Nissan Navara (2016-2022) Review
Thorough revisions to styling, suspension settings and interior technology make the hardy Nissan Navara pick-up more appealing than ever
Strengths & weaknesses
- A wide range of cab styles available
- Great ride in Double Cab models
- Capable off-road and able to haul 3.5-tonnes
- It's nowhere near premium SUV levels
- Lower powered diesel can be noisy
- Modern set-up only available on Double Cab models
Nissan was very quick to realise that a large swathe of new pick-up customers were turning to the big brutes not simply to haul loads for a profession, but instead to help facilitate lifestyle choices.
As such, it overhauled its Navara in 2016, offering what it referred to as "SUV-like" interiors, thoroughly revised suspension in the most lifestyle orientated Double Cab models and an exterior that was festooned with stylish design elements that are more typically found on models like the Nissan Qashqai.
But the Nissan Navara remains a great example of a comfortable pick-up truck that can easily be used everyday.
However, don't be fooled into thinking the new Navara is merely a show pony that isn't willing to put in a hard day's labour, because hill descent control, a low range gearbox, selectable all-wheel-drive and some nifty axle articulation see it positively trample rough terrain.
On top of this, it's still able to handle a 1-tonne payload and tow 3.5 tonnes of unbraked load, which has become the yardstick that most modern pick-up trucks now adhere to.
Of course, most of this cutting-edge off-road technology is reserved for the more expensive Double Cab variants but Nissan expects the large majority of its Navaras to be specified in this way, with the most basic King Cab models only really purchased as trusty workhorses.
The result of such upmarket additions is a pick-up truck that feels more like a large SUV to drive, rather than an unruly commercial vehicle.
Double Cab models with the clever multi-link suspension manage to soak up potholes and imperfections in the road without sending painful shudders through the driver and passenger's posteriors, while it feels planted enough to take corners at higher speeds than you normally would in a vehicle of this nature.
Steering is light and easy to wrangle around tricky inner city environments and most of the higher spec machines come with Nissan's excellent Around-View Monitor, which projects a birds-eye view of the vehicle onto the infotainment screen for scrape-free car park manoeuvres.
Engine choice is kept very simple, with only two real variants on offer. They both use the same base 2.3-litre dCi diesel engine but come offered with either 160PS (160hp) or 190PS (190hp).
The more powerful variants uses twin turbo technology to create the extra oomph and it is only this engine that is offered in the easy-to-use seven speed automatic transmission.
As you can probably tell, Nissan is keen to push customers to the top end of its model range with the tempting mix of increased interior cab and bed space, the pinnacle of Nissan off-road technology and the sort of equipment and infotainment that is typically found in the Japanese marque's SUV line-up.
Alas, all of these niceties do come at a price, with the more powerful and generously specified Double Cab models easily cresting the £30,000 mark.
But all things considered, customers do get a lot of vehicle for their money.
|5-years / 100,000-miles
|Up to 1788mm x 1560mm
|5,330 (Double Cab) 5,225mm (King Cab)
|1,840mm (Double Cab) 1,790mm (King Cab)
Best Nissan Navara for...
Best for Economy – Nissan Navara King Cab Visia 160PS 2WD
It comes as no surprise that the most basic model in the line-up is also the most frugal in terms of fuel. That said, it only offers 2mpg more on the combined cycle than the larger and more lavish Double Cab models with the 160hp engine.
Best for Families – Nissan Navara Double Cab Tekna 190PS 4WD Auto
This model comes with a long list of comfort features that will make everyday life with the vehicle much easier. Also, the larger cab offers space for five adults and the pairing of an easy auto gearbox and higher-powered engine aid performance.
Best for Performance – Nissan Navara Double Cab Trek-1 190PS 4WD Manual
About as rough-and-ready as they come, this model comes with high-powered LED spot lamps in the bed and can be optioned with a rear differential lock for tackling extreme terrain.
1997: The Nissan Frontier is introduced to the North American markets and forms the basis for the modern Navara.
1998: Nissan offer a more expensive alternative to the Frontier, badged the Navara, which features improved engines, exterior styling and interiors.
2004: The second generation goes on sale and continues selling for a decade, with the model introduced to more markets, including Europe.
2014: The latest generation, otherwise known as the NP300 Navara, goes on sale sporting refreshed looks, improved technology and better ride and handling.
Understanding Nissan Navara names
Engine 2.3L dCi 160PS
Nissan uses just one diesel engine across the range but it can be specified in two power outputs, with higher-powered models receiving two turbochargers and offered with either a manual or automatic gearbox.
Gearbox 6 speed manual
6-speed shows that the car has six gears. Customers can choose between a standard manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan offers a comprehensive six trim levels, with the most basic Visia models kicking off proceedings. Each higher trim level means greater equipment and comfort features, as well as improved exterior styling and a loftier price tag.
Body style Double Cab
The Nissan Navara is the marque's mid-sized pick-up truck and as such, is only offered in either four-door Double Cab variants or a two-door King Cab body style that feature two small openings for access to the small rear seats.
Nissan Navara Engines
160PS 2.3 litre dCi Single Turbo and 190PS 2.3 litre dCi Twin Turbo
Some customers will feel this simple approach to engine offerings is refreshing, making it a much easier decision to choose the correct powerplant to suit his or her needs, while others will pine after greater choice.
The rival Volkswagen Amarok, for example, is offered in several 'sensible' engines, as well as the ability to specify it in the brutish V6 diesel for those who like their trucks packing some impressive performance figures.
Mercedes-Benz has also revealed that it plans to offer its customers a potent V6 diesel, while Ford Ranger can also be specified with a 3.2L TDCi Duratorq diesel that develops 200hp and an impressive 470Nm of torque.
That said, the range-topping 190hp twin turbo diesel found in the latest Navara is powerful enough to mix it rivals, offering more get-up-and-go than the Fiat Fullback and Ssangyong Musso, while matching the output of the current most powerful X-Class.
This larger unit is also the one to go for if you're looking for some refinement in your daily drive, as the lower powered 160hp unit has to be worked harder to get it up to speed, resulting in more noise and vibration entering the cabin.
It's by no stretch of the imagination an agricultural old lump but it will likely grate those used to the serene surroundings of a well-insulated SUV with a much smaller engine.
Pair the more potent of the two engines offered with the seven-speed automatic transmission and the Nissan Navara becomes a relaxing cruiser, whereas the long-throw six speed manual gearbox serves as a reminder of its commercial vehicle roots.
That said, the automatic gearbox can be a little sluggish to swap cogs at times and it sees fuel economy fall from 44.1mpg to 40.3mpg, while CO2 emissions jump from 169g/km to 183g/km.
0 - 62mph
2.3L dCI Single Turbo 2WD Manual
2.3L dCI Single Turbo 4WD Manual
2.3L dCI Twin Turbo 4WD Manual
2.3L dCI Twin Turbo 4WD Auto
Nissan Navara Trims
Visia, Acenta, Acenta+, N-Connecta, Tekna, N-Guard
Nissan knows its most basic Visia models are likely to be used extensively in harsh working environments, so it kits these out with low maintenance cloth seats, 16-inch steel wheels, manual air conditioning and the most basic AM/FM radio and four (or six in Double Cab) speaker sound system.
This bare-bones specification has a massive impact on the way the Navara looks, with a black tube rear bumper and contrast mirrors lending it the air of a Highway Maintenance vehicle rather than the stylish lifestyle pick-up Nissan hopes it customers invest in.
However, all models receive Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control (4WD only), which makes the Navara an impressive off-roach machine, regardless of trim level.
Step up to Acenta and things suddenly get more stylish, with 16-inch alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, chrome exterior touches and chrome interior door handles making it look much more appealing.
Inside, customers get a push start button and door step lights that add a little more luxury to proceedings.
Acenta+ adds 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and LED door mirror indicators and LED daytime running lights, while the interior is treated to automatic air conditioning, a colour rear view reversing camera and an automatic dimming rear-view mirror.
This trim level also sees the first leather flourishes added, with the steering wheel, handbrake and gear knob covered in cow hide.
N-Connecta is where things get seriously high-tech, as the NissanConnect 2.0 Satellite Navigation and Entertainment System is introduced here, boasting a high resolution 7’-inch touchscreen, DAB Digital Radio, a colour reversing camera that's displayed on the touchscreen, smartphone app integration and Bluetooth audio streaming.
Tekna throws Nissan's entire catalogue of optional extras at the Navara, with details like LED headlights, front heated leather seats, the aforementioned Around View Monitor and rear parking sensors added.
N-Guard trim was added to the range in August 2018. Based on the flagship Tekna grade, it comes in dark colours, while the front grille, fog lamp surrounds, mirror covers, door handles and rear bumper are all finished in black. Front and rear parking sensors and headlamp washers are fitted as standard equipment.
All trim levels also have the option to add the locking rear differential, which improves off-road abilities.
Off-road fans can also go for a Trek-1 package that adds metallic/pearlescent black or white paint, LED spot lamps in the bed, striking black 18-inch alloy wheels and a neat bed divider for holding all manner of things securely.
The OFF-ROADER AT32 package was launched in June 2018. It includes bespoke performance suspension that increases ride height by 20mm, full protection of key underbody components and larger 32-inch tyres. A snorkel to improve wading depth can also be optioned.
Nissan Navara Reliability and warranty
Nissan's 5-year/100,000-mile warranty is a testament to the faith it has in its vehicles and the Japanese marque is renowned for creating solid, reliable pick-up trucks that can last a lifetime of punishment.
Arguably not quite as bulletproof as the Toyota Hilux or the Mitsubishi L200, the latest Navara still feels built to last, with plenty of tough plastics inside and tried-and-tested engine technology underneath the body.
Used Nissan Navara
As we said above, Nissan trucks have a rock solid image. Such an image does usually come at a price for the second-hand buyer as residuals tend to be pretty good.
There are some good savings to be had though.
Two-year old Tekna modles with around 50,000 miles on them start at around £15,000.
Nearly-new Tekna models are a smidge over £20,000.