The manufacturer’s all-new pick-up will arrive in UK showrooms in January when it will battle for precious sales in a competitive and rapidly growing sector. Daniel Puddicombe reports
Competition in the pick-up market is set to heat up with the launch of an all- new Nissan Navara, followed by a host of new rivals from manufacturers making their debuts in the model sector.
Nissan has revealed its all-new Np300 Navara pick-up ahead of the model’s launch at this month’s Frankfurt motor show, and before it goes on sale in January 2016.
The vehicle is powered by a new 2.3-litre diesel engine in two power outputs: 160hp and 190hp. Nissan claims it is up to 24% cleaner than the outgoing 2.5-litre diesel engine, which, though currently unconfirmed by the Japanese manufacturer, would put the Navara up around the current best-in-class for fuel efficiency, which is Mitsubishi’s new 178hp 2.4 L200. That vehicle returns an official 42.8mpg and emits 173g/km of CO2.
The Navara will be launched in two- or four-wheel drive, and with the option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox. Initially it will be available in double-cab and King cab styles. According to Nissan, the Navara has a payload “in excess of one tonne”. The current Navara has a maximum payload of 1250kg, while the L200’s gross payload is 1045kg.
The new Navara’s towing capacity is rated at 3500kg, matching the best-in-class capacities of Ford’s Ranger and Isuzu’s D-max.
Nissan is claiming a sector- best double-cab loadbay length of 1578mm, compared with the L200’s 1470mm and the Ranger’s 1549mm. The King cab’s load bed measures 1788mm, short of the Ranger super cab’s 1847mm.
Externally, the new Navara is distinguished by a V-motion grille combined with boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights. Inside, the vehicle’s dashboard has been redesigned to increase cabin space and provide a more open feel. Nissan claims the front seats have been engineered using technology inspired by Nasa. Technology includes Nissan’s Around View Monitor parking aid – first seen on the company’s crossover car range – and its Forward Emergency Braking system. Other features include cruise control, hill-descent control, hill-start assist, a rear-view camera and parking sensors.
Nissan has created a new five-link rear suspension unit for the double-cab model that should provide significantly improved ride comfort and handling. According to Nissan, King cab derivatives feature a “substantially updated” version of the leaf spring suspension that was fitted to the previous- generation Navara.
Commenting on the new Navara, Ponz Pandikuthira, director of light commercial vehicles for Nissan Europe, said: “We’ve harnessed our experience and customer feedback to develop the new Nissan NP300 Navara, which sets a new benchmark for performance, refinement, convenience and running costs.”
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the outgoing Navara was the fifth best-selling pick-up of 2014, with sales of 4533 units.
However, the sector is about to hot up with (in addition to the forthcoming new Mitsubishi L200) sector debutantes Fiat, Mercedes-benz and Renault also launching pick-ups.
Nissan will reveal the Navara’s final specification and fuel consumption figures closer to the model’s launch.