The last time Nissan made an update to the Navara was in 2019and it came in the form of the Navara Stealth. There weren’t any major changes made to the special edition bakkie besides “Stealth” stickers on the outside, and other minor cosmetic add-ons. Two years on and Nissan has launched a new and improved version of their trusted Navara, and this time the changes are worth sitting up and taking notice.

Exterior

This is where the new Nissan Navara grabs your attention. Its exterior design has been upgraded to look bold and more aggressive, putting the locally produced bakkie on par with its competitors in this segment. The secret is really in the front end and grille design. If you look at some of the vehicles in this class such as Toyota’s Hilux or the Ford Ranger, you’ll notice that their noses are designed to be as imposing as possible. Nissan has now joined the club and given the Navara a more pronounced and squared-off grille. It now looks a lot like its American cousin, the Nissan Titan. The Navara’s designers didn’t tamper with its rear too much, understandably, since most pickups have a plain rectangular load bin anyway. Speaking of the load area, the payload has Improved by 100kg in the new Nissan Navara. This is a result of an increase in the load bin’s dimensions by 36mm in the front height, and 64mm in the rear height.

Engine

Nissan has upgraded the new vehicle to a 2.5-litre diesel engine, which is up from the outgoing 2.3-litre. Not only that, but the Japanese have tinkered around with it and improved its turbo unit. If you’ve driven the previous-gen Navara you may have picked up a noticeable lag and heaviness when pulling off. Now that’s a thing of the past with the reworked turbo – it now holds boost when the car comes to a stop and uses the stored energy for its initial pull-off. The result is a car that now moves with respectable enthusiasm, whether off the line or at road speed. Output figures from Nissan now indicate 120kW and 403 Nm going to the rear wheels or all four, depending on the vehicle spec you opt for. On offer is a 4X2 as well as a 4X4 in both double and single cab variants, and you can have it with a manual or automatic gearbox. In the 4WD models, you have the choice of sticking it into 2WD or 4WD depending on the conditions. In addition to 4H, 4WD models also have a 4LO (low range) mode for powering through challenging off-road terrain. A hill-descent control system is also present to assist in those steep descents.

The firm has always prided itself in its 5-link coil suspension which made its debut in the outgoing Nissan Navara, the suspension has gotten even better in this new model. We can attest to its improved dampening on and off-road. The latter is where it truly shines, gliding over very uneven terrain without rearranging your internal organs. It’s not all about being tough and rugged, the new Nissan Navara also offers a variety of safety aids through Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM). If you’re already sold on it based on this article, you’ll be happy to know that it is now available on dealership floors across the country. See below for the full price list.

2021 Nissan Navara price

Navara 2WD Single Cab                                              R311 00 (Starting)

Navara 4WD Single Cab                                              R492 000 (Starting)

Navara 2WD Double Cab                                            R474 000 (Starting)

Navara 4WD Double Cab                                            R552 000 (starting)