Road Test : Nissan Navara ST
Review by Tristan Tancredi - 22 August 2012
The Pick Up Utility segment is heating up in the Australian Market. Let's list a few of the competitors: Hilux, Colorado and Triton to name a few.
A ute is to a tradesman what a computer is to a journalist: A vital work tool. It's no surprise that a ute has to be practical for work, yet also adaptable to everyday family life. Enter the dual cab ute, in this case, the Nissan Navara ST.
A 2.5 litre turbo diesel engine powers this 4X4 dual cab ute, so let's take a closer look.
The Navara Dual Cab ranges from the basic model RX, the ST and top of the range dual cab ST-X. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the ST 4X4 model for a week of on road testing.
The diesel fuelled ST we got our eager hands on rocked a 5 speed Automatic Transmission with optional manual mode. The auto transmission does enough when lugging a load and clicks through the appropriate gears in a well timed manner. Need a little bit more power, simply click the shifter into manual mode.
When cruising through the streets, aka 50 cent style, the Navara is a smooth ride. Despite lacking awe-inspiring speed, the vehicle does have enough to make day-to-day driving a breeze, (overtaking included). On or off road, the Navara feels comfortable and capable.
A turning knob on the front dash enables the driver to quickly change the Drive type from 4X2, to 4X4 High or 4X4 Low.
The trademark diesel rattle infiltrates the interior cabin, yet it is by no means intrusive. After a few hours you barely notice the engine doing what it does best.
The Navara ST is packing a 2.5 litre intercooled turbo diesel DOHC engine, the engine that is predominately used throughout the Navara Range. Only the ST-X utilises a more powerful 3 litre V6 engine, but for now, we will settle with the ST.
The Navara ST is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 diesel variants. The 4x2 offers maximum power ouput of 120Kw at 4000rpm and maximum torque sits at 403Nm at 2000rpm. The 4x4 is slightly more punchier, delivering 140Kw of power at 4000rpm and 450Nm at 2000rpm.
The gutsier performance of the 4x4 enables a maximum towing capacity of 3000kg, whilst for the 4X2, the max towing capacity is 2000kg.
Combined fuel usage of the Automatic transmission sits at 8.7L per 100kms for the 4X2 and 9.0L per 100kms for the 4X4.
Even though we with limited carpentry experience could fit a whole heap in the tray, we thought it would be wise to get an experienced tradies opinion on the practicality of the Navara for everyday use.
Our experienced carpenter said that while the Navara looks great, can tow a whole heap of weight and has plenty of interior space it wasn't practical for everyday work. "The tray size isn't big enough and it's tricky to load and unload the heavier equipment". We'll take his word on that, he has been a tradie for a long, long time.
To get the specifics out of the way, the tray measures in at 1511mm by 1560mm and provides more than enough space to load up for a weekend away.
Other than the all important tray, the Navara ST has a prominent, aggressive front end that creates the all important "tough" look. A car you would expect to see covered in mud lugging a trailer up a mountain with it's fog lights glaring. (On a side note, let me add: Having a tough on road presence didn't deter motorists hogging the right lane on freeways. Lift your game Vic Roads!!)
Side steps although important for practicality (Most people need them to get into the cabin), round out the "workmans" theme and complete a pretty neat exterior package. Combined with a sports bar, 17" alloys and a Utili-Track System (Keeps the load stable), the Nissan Navara ST is a very capable dual cab ute.
A 4 Star ANCAP safety rating is rewarded to the dual cab Nissan Navara.
The ANCAP safety report signalled that the driver and front passenger were not adequately protected during frontal offset crash testing. Briefly, what this means is that in a head on crash, the driver and front passengers chest and legs were not sufficiently protected to warrant a 5 star safety score.
Other safety features include; Vehicle Dynamic Control (Excluding 4X2 ST), ABS, Dual front airbags, dual side airbags, dual curtain airbags and a crumple zone to reduce cabin impact.
The dual cab Navara ST cabin is basically a heightened sedan. Once inside and there is as much space as a standard 5 door car.
The seats are designed with cloth fabric material with stylish mesh patterns. The front drivers and front passenger seats are both comfortable and spacious and come in a concoction of black and grey.
Down back and there is plenty of space in the rear seats for a car full of mates. With heaps of storage space and a 60/40 rear split fold, i'd be shotgunning this dual cab ute for a trip to the snow this winter.
There is nothing futuristic about the front dash and multimedia set-up, actually it is very simple and bordering on the edge of boring. It seems Nissan is living up to a philosophy of "nothing fancy".
In fact, a 7" inch touch screen is only available in the top of the range ST-X 550. The rest of the range is left with an interface you would expect from a vehicle circa 2006.
Simple - Yes, Easy To Use - Yes, Innovative - Far From It.
Other interior features include 6 speakers, bluetooth handsfree via steering wheel controls, Ipod and AUX connectivity and Climate Control.
The Nissan Navara is a solid all-rounder. It is capable as a work truck, whilst more then suitable as an everyday family ute.
There are a few deficincies in the armour of the ST, A 4 Star ANCAP safety rating is a massive red dot next to the Navara and the biggest chink in a pretty solid car.
A great drivers seating position, combined with a comfortable interior and a smooth driving experience, at the least be sure to test drive the Nissan Navara ST.
* Prices are manufacturer list prices only, for the drive away price please contact your local authorised Nissan dealer.
ANCAP Safety Rating
Bland Interior Design
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