With the new Dual Cab pick-up launched mid-year and a tranche consisting of King Cab, Single Cab and Dual Cab Chassis to hit the market by the end of November, taking total variants to 27, Nissan could well have ticked all the boxes with its NP300 Navara range.

Already Nissan’s best-selling vehicle Down Under, accounting for a third of all sales, the Japanese company appears determined to give the new NP300 Navara every chance of maintaining its lead.

The pick-up went through more than 40,000 tests for proven quality and 1,000,000 kilometres in real-world conditions, including driving in both rural and metropolitan Australia.

NP300 Navara stands out from its competitors with best in segment diesel fuel economy, crucial for light commercial vehicle buyers, and first in segment features such as spinal support front seats and LED headlights.

On test was a Nissan NP300 Navara ST 4×2 automatic diesel dual cab, which sells for $41,490, plus on-road costs.

It may be just a two-wheel drive, but the test vehicle puts on a bold face like any serious off-road 4×4. For example, the signature Nissan V-motion grille flows onto the bonnet on its way to the front guard, resulting in a smooth yet strong character.

Daytime running lights and chrome window moulding create a premium impression, which is continued to the rear with the V-Motion motif repeated in the tailgate, incorporating the Nissan badge. It all adds up to aerodynamic efficiency.
While rubber ranges upwards of 15 inches, the mid-range ST rolls on 16-inch alloy wheels and carries a full-size spare.

Inside, Nissan claims the high ground in occupant comfort, with Spinal Support Front Seats designed to reduced fatigue during long drives. Body pressure is spread over the seating surface through the middle section in the folding seat back, promoting a ‘neutral’ posture to reduce pressure on the spine and muscles.

In the rear, there is an optimum balance between knee room and body angle, as well as ample head room. Back rests are contoured to offer more support than in the previous model.

A rear power-sliding glass window, operated by a switch on the dashboard, allows access to the tub and increased ventilation.

The centre console offers concealed storage and also houses rear air vents for second-row passengers. Larger storage pockets are located in the driver and passenger doors.
Other storage includes the glove box, overhead sunglasses holder and flip-up rear seats with a hidden area underneath. Trays can also be found on the dash top and in the centre console.

There are four front row and two rear cup holders, and two bottle holders for both rows. Three 12-volt power sockets are scattered around the cabin, while a fourth, weather-proof, is situated in the tub.


Steering wheel controls and dashboard displays, including a 5-inch colour display, provide simple access to vehicle systems. Advanced Drive Assist Display provides multiple screens in the centre of the dashboard, between the tachometer and speedometer dials.

ADAD display options include fuel economy, distance to empty, audio information and navigation directions where sat-nav is available. All dual-cab grades have a USB and Auxiliary port in the centre console lower storage area for easy, visible access.
Bluetooth phone and audio streaming are included on all grades. NissanConnect smartphone integration features on ST and ST-X, allowing use of Facebook, Google Search and Pandora.

The test vehicle had the benefit of a twin-turbo 2.3-litre four-cylinder double-overhead camshaft diesel engine putting out 140 kW of power and 450 Nm of torque peaking between 1500 and 2500 rpm.

The two-stage turbocharger, 200MPa injector system, thermal management system and electrical variable displacement oil pump mated with the seven-speed automatic transmission make for a claimed 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres in the combined urban / highway cycle.

All dual cab pickup grades feature ventilated disc front brakes, rear drum brakes, independent double wishbone front suspension with front stabiliser bar, five-link rear suspension with shock absorber and power steering.

Braked towing capacity on all diesel grades is 3500 kg, an important feature in this segment, while turning circle has been improved over its predecessor from 13.4 m to 12.5 m.

All dual cab pickup grades feature ventilated disc front brakes, rear drum brakes, independent double wishbone front suspension with front stabiliser bar, five-link rear suspension with shock absorber and power steering.

A driver’s side knee airbag is one of seven among front and rear curtain airbags, driver and front passenger airbags and side airbags, while on the outside, the energy absorbing bonnet is designed to minimise pedestrian injury.

LED headlights offer longer life, save energy and lead to wider and improved visibility. The ST grade features LED signature daytime running lights automatic on/off headlights with twilight detection are standard on dual cab pick-ups.

An alloy sports bar with integrated high mounted brake light and front fog lights are standard on ST, as are side steps for easier cabin entry and exit.

New generation Vehicle Dynamic Control with Brake Limited-Slip Differential improves performance and safety. Anti-lock Braking, Electronic Brake force Control, Traction Control and Brake Assist make up active safety systems on all dual-cab grades.

The hum of the 2.3-litre diesel motor was non-invasive, becoming harsher only as it was loaded up. Some body roll was evident on quicker, tight bends, otherwise Navara ride and handling were quite car-like.

Steering and brakes – ventilated discs up front and drums in the rear – with their advanced back-up systems, were the soul of efficiency on bitumen and handled gravel going if treated with respect.

Best fuel consumption of 6 litres per 100km was recorded on the motorway and up to 13 in stop-start town traffic.

Owner peace of mind is backed up by a myNissan Service Certainty schedule, three-year / 100,000 kilometre warranty, with an optional extended warranty, and three-year roadside assist program.

Nissan has manufactured strong and dependable pick-ups for more than 80 years, with more than 14 million sold across 180 countries. The new NP300 Navara has the chops to remain on song for the maker.


Navara DX 2WD manual petrol dual cab: $26,490 (manual), $28,990 (automatic)
Navara RX 2WD manual diesel dual cab $32,990 (manual), $35,490 (automatic)
Navara ST 2WD manual diesel dual cab $38,990 (manual), $41,490 (automatic)
Navara ST-X 2WD manual diesel dual cab $44,990 (manual), $47,490 (automatic)
Navara RX 4WD manual diesel dual cab $39,990 (manual), $42,490 (automatic)
Navara ST 4WD manual diesel dual cab $45,990 (manual), $48,490 (automatic)
Navara ST-X 4WD manual diesel dual cab $51,990 (manual), $54,490 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Nissan dealer for drive-away prices.

16-inch alloy wheels
ABS anti-locking brakes
Electronic brake-force distribution
Vehicle dynamics control with Brake Limited Slip Differential, Active Brake Limited Slip, Brake Assist
Traction control
Front fog lights
Daytime running lights
Smart key
5-inch touch screen
Bluetooth wireless technology
Reverse camera
Power rear window

(2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine)
Capacity: 2298 cc
Configuration: 2.3-litre intercooled twin turbo-diesel, DOHC, common-rail direct injection
Bore and stroke: 85 mm x 101.3 mm
Compression ratio: 15.4:1
Maximum Power: 140 kW @ 3750 rpm
Maximum Torque: 450 Nm @ 1500-2500 rpm
Emission rating: Euro 5

Drivetrain: Seven-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, 2WD

Length: 5255 mm
Width: 1850 mm
Height: 1795 mm
Wheelbase: 3150 mm
Track: 1570 mm (front); 1570 mm (rear)
Ground clearance: 226 mm
Approach angle: 31.3 deg
Departure angle: 25.8 deg
Ramp over angle: 22.6 deg
Cargo bed length (floor): 1503 mm
Cargo bed width (floor): 1560 mm
Cargo bed width (between wheel arches): 1130 mm
Tare mass: 1777 kg
Gross vehicle mass: 2910
Towing capacity: 3500 kg (braked) / 750 kg (unbraked)
Seating capacity: 5
Fuel Tank Capacity: 80 litres
Turning circle: 12.4 m

Suspension: Independent double-wishbone with front stabiliser bar (front); Multi-link with shock absorber (rear)
Brakes: Ventilated discs (front; drum (rear). Anti-lock Braking System and Electronic Brake force Distribution, Traction Control System, Vehicle Dynamic Control with Brake Limited Slip Differential, Active Brake Limited Slip, Brake Assist
Steering: Electric power assisted rack and pinion
Wheels / tyres: Alloy 16in; 255/70R16 tyres. Full-size spare

Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: N/A
Top speed: N/A

Fuel type: Diesel
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 6.8 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions 179 g / km

3 years / 100,000 kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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