2017 Nissan Navara Tekna Review

Nissan Navara front II

By Ben Harrington

Editor's note: Readers will notice something different about Ben Harrington's review because he's from the U.K., writing about what we call mid-size pickup trucks. We thought it might be interesting to get an international perspective on what could eventually be coming to the U.S. (with the appropriate conversions in place). Here's what Harrington had to say about the 2017 Nissan Navara, which is very likely to turn into the Nissan Frontier we get next year.

The competition in the double-cab pickup truck market has increased dramatically over the years thanks in no small part to the dual-purpose nature of the small pickup segment.

Vehicles like the Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux are the stalwarts in the field, but these days, you've got to consider Volkswagen's impressive Amarok and even the Fiat Fullback, as well.

Now we'd add the Nissan Navara to that grouping. We feel it more than merits a good amount of consideration.

What Makes the Navara Different

Where the Navara stands apart from the ever-increasing opposition is its use of a "proper" five-link rear suspension. Somewhat antiquated leaf-spring setups have long been the weapon of choice for pickups thanks in large part to their ability to cope with heavy loads. A consequence of this system, though, is a lack of driving refinement — especially unladed.

Nissan Navara axle II

This more modern approach provides benefits that are especially evident at both higher speeds, where the Navara feels planted, and on less-than-perfect surfaces, where a leaf-sprung pickup traditionally tends to bounce around. Not so here; the Navara swiftly soaks up potholes and the like without deviation, and there's little in the way of traction loss as the rear tires stay firmly in contact with terra firma.

Choice of Two Turbo-Diesels

The 2017 Navara comes equipped with a 2.3-liter turbo-diesel engine standard. Depending on your trim level, you get to choose whether you'd like one or two turbos bolted to it, producing 160 or 190 horsepower, respectively. Our range-topping, Tekna-trimmed test truck had the higher-output twin-turbo model; what's more pertinent is its 332 pounds-feet of torque, making overtaking and quick getaways a lot easier than you might imagine in a vehicle with 1-metric-ton (2,000-pound-plus) carrying capability.

There's a choice of six-speed manual or speed-speed automatic transmissions, though the auto is restricted to the more powerful engine. You can also opt for either four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, but manual gear changes and 160 hp are compulsory if you want a two-wheel-drive-only Navara.

As with the suspension setup, the Navara's engine follows suit. It's quieter and more civilized than the agricultural efforts associated with the genre, especially from inside the cabin. The seven-speed automatic is also seamless until pushed hard; even then, though, there are no neck-jolting changes as it moves up through the upper ratios.

Nissan Navara dash II

If you opt for the impressive automatic, there's the usual drop in fuel economy to consider, with combined mpg dropping from 44.9 mpg in the manual to 41.0 mpg, and CO2 emissions rising from 167 grams per kilometer to 183 grams per kilometer. Those differences are not significant amounts, and this seven-speed auto is plenty good enough to justify them.

Imposing Style All Around

To a certain extent, manufacturers have their hands tied when designing a double-cab pickup. They must start with the prerequisite large load area and then move forward, optimizing interior room for passengers. The result is a basic three-box shape that tends to look like everyone else in the competitive set.

But with the Navara, Nissan has done a good job of allowing a big ol' unit to look unashamedly like just that. Its large, flat grille is tall and imposing, switching back to a near-horizontal hood flanked by two, broad shoulders that follow the lines of the headlights and add to the Navara's striking overall impression of a larger size.

The high hood makes for a squat windshield, giving a sleeker look when looking head-on. The Navara's beltline then drops down aft the door mirrors, cleverly increasing visibility for rear passengers.

Flared wheel arches continue the Navara's muscular look, and the rear tailgate even sports a small spoiler — although how much it does for aerodynamics is debatable.

Civilized Interior

At almost 73 inches wide and 72 inches tall, you'd expect there to be plenty of living space inside the Navara. For the most part, you'd be right: The driving position is elevated on a wide, armchair-like seat, and you'd be hard-pressed to come into contact (never mind fight for elbow space) with another passenger. Just don't expect gripping bolster, like in some sports cars, as this pickup is built for long-haul comfort.

It's the same story in the backseats, with two tall adults fitting comfortably and no lack of head- or legroom unless you're quite tall. A third adult will fit in the center seat in a pinch, but things may feel cramped on longer journeys.

Nissan Navara 4WD II

The Navara's dash layout is well-appointed and furnished with solid plastics that are just about middle ground in the class. Everything feels well-screwed together, and the Navara's attempt for civility continues with an actual dial for switching between 2WD/4WD/High and Low ratios, rather than the usual, unwieldy floor-mounted gear lever.

How's the Value?

Our test truck in Tekna trim is priced close to $34,000. It comes stuffed with kit including heated seats, a 7-inch high-definition touchscreen and dual-zone climate control. The Navara range starts from around $27,000, with five trim levels (including the Tekna) to choose from — two of which are chassis cabs.

In a vehicle of this size, the box I'd always tick on the options list would be parking sensors (worth every penny): At over 208 inches in length, low speed maneuvering would be daunting without them, especially as the rear window and rear corners are so far apart.

Thankfully, Nissan has acknowledged this, and they come as standard on every Navara pickup, with a rear parking camera included on Accenta Plus and N-Connecta option packages. If your budget will stretch to this Tekna model, Nissan's very helpful bird's-eye-view 360-degree camera is also included.

To Conclude

There may be more competition than ever in this pickup truck class here in England, but with its impressive new engines and some clever and interesting features, Nissan is showing that the 2017 Navara is up for the fight.

Cars.com photos by Ben Harrington


Nissan Navara grille II

Nissan Navara headlight II

Nissan Navara 360view II

Nissan Navara mirror II

Nissan Navara cab II

Nissan Navara bed II

Nissan Navara rear II

Nissan Navara front II

Comments

Isn't the US model getting the 2.8L Cummins?

The headlights look a little too high for my taste.

Did he review this?

SPLIT HITS THE FAN Furious customers urge Nissan to recall 4X4 Navaras after it emerges that major fault could see trucks snap in HALF

Owners have found severe rust which can cause cracks in the chassis and accuse Nissan of keeping issue 'under wraps'
Exclusive
By DANIEL JONES & ROSIE TAYLOR
5th February 2017, 9:42 pm
Updated: 7th February 2017, 1:27 am

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2791663/nissan-navara-safety-fears/

Buy a Frontier while you can still get a V-6 Crew Cab w/auto trans for less than $26K

If you must have a diesel go buy a RAM 1500 or a GMC Canyon. Don't wait.

Prices are headed sky high.

@Gregory Stevens,
Stop posting that nonsense. Not every truck splits in half at all.

Your posts are getting very long in the tooth.

Nissan has very good quality.

How many Nissans have you seen in the shop? None?

In fact Nissan trucks have the least amount of problems to fix because Nissan's Quality Assurance is second to none.'

Just so you know, quality assurance (QA) is a way of preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers; which ISO 9000 defines as "part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled and Nissan's is the best!

Wow, one would hope Nissan had figured out how to build a reliable pickup chassis by now.

@Daddy Doe, Gregory Stevens, Lionel or whoever you are,
The snapping trucks are from 2005 to 2008! Not the newest model. Check for yourself. UAW union tacticts don't work on me. Please research so you know what you are talking about.

https://www.driving.co.uk/car-clinic/fixer-nissan-navara-pick-snapped-half/


The Fixer: My Nissan Navara pick-up snapped in half
Pick-up used as family car to transport father's two children

A NISSAN Navara owner has described his horror at the moment he was told his pick-up truck had snapped in two.

Gary Baker, a father of two from Baldock in Hertfordshire, had left his 2006 Navara with a local garage for its MoT on Monday, March 20 when he got the call from the mechanic.

Baker told Driving.co.uk: “The guy called me up and said, ‘I’ve done the MoT and it needs a bit of work on the brakes but I’m not going to bother with that because the chassis has snapped. The brakes are the least of your problems.’

“I said, ‘Oh… OK. I’d better come and have a look to see what you mean.’”

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After arriving at the test centre, Baker was shown the underneath of his car and could see that the chassis had indeed snapped between the cab and the rear load area. He was told that the mechanic had done nothing more than drive the truck onto the inspection ramp when he heard a crack.

“It was a ‘wow’ moment,” said Baker. “Luckily it was on the mechanic’s ramp and not on the motorway with my two children in the back. That [thought] was quite sickening. We go camping three or four times a year and drive up to Nottingham once a month, and the Navara is great for chucking all the stuff in the back. We have a five year-old girl and recently had another baby, and they need a load of stuff, so the Navara’s luggage space was a big seller. But at any point it could have snapped in half, and we could have been hurtling down the road at 70mph.”

Baker’s garage checked online and discovered “a whole load of information” related to Nissan Navara D40 models, built between 2005 and 2008, suffering from excessive corrosion. In a number of cases, the chassis had also snapped.

go buy a RAM 1500 or a GMC Canyon. Don't wait.

Prices are headed sky high.
Posted by: papajim | Apr 2, 2017 9:29:03 AM

@papajim,

You work for the UAW.

Why can't we have low 40s mpg's here also?

The United States uses a different gallon than the United Kingdom. As a result, miles per gallon measurements are different. A British MPG to American MPG calculator will allow you to convert a British Imperial MPG rating to an American one.

Low 40's in the UK is the same as low 30's in the US.

Not bad, I'll consider it in two years as well as the Ford Ranger. I like the five-link rear suspension.

Why can't we have low 40s mpg's here also?

Posted by: Uh huh | Apr 2, 2017 11:50:02 AM

We do . Our GMC Canyon 2.8L diesel gets 40.3 British MPG average. So this is 33.6 US mpg. Nice to be able to go 700 miles with a 20 gallon tank. The 2.8L also has more power and torque( 369 ft lbs) than the Nissan 322 ft lbs. I can't wait for all the smaller trucks to be available with diesel, they are way more efficient than the gas engines.

One of my best buddies bought one of these last year for his wife (he has a Nissan Patrol) with the 2.3 TD twin turbo; we've gone off-roading a few times & street racing comparisons with my '15 global Ranger (Wildtrak/3.2 TD 6 speed);

We mutually agreed the only thing Nissan beat the Ranger in was the ride comfort, otherwise the Ranger was all around a better truck.

Not bad for a 6 yr old platform but most impressive was the Ranger's 3.2 TD - I hope Ford will offer an updated version in the US Ranger. Although I felt the 6-speed was adequate, one or two more gears would definitely improve this already fantastic truck.

With all due respect to Mr Harrington, British reviewers seem to be preprogrammed to use judgment-laden terms as though they are were foregone conclusions. I find that irritating.

Terms like "antiquated"; "proper"; and "civilized" are the rub here.

Instead of "antiquated", an alternative set of characteristics for the Hotchkiss suspension (leaf springs + shocks, or "dampers" in Brit-speak) might be:
* Time-tested
* Durable
* Rugged (damage resistant)
* Simple
* Lower cost
* More maintenance free

(Ex: I am just in the process of ordering a Ram 3500, and have specified leaf springs instead of multilink precisely because of those characteristics. I took an empty coil-spring Ram and an empty leaf-spring Ram on test drives over rough pavement. The difference is negligible, but a slightly different result CAN be detected. The Coils did a slightly (SLIGHTLY) better job absorbing pothole slams but then oscillated more on wavy surfaces, and showed more body roll in cornering: the Leafs were a little harsher on broken pavement, but then stayed flatter in cornering and reduced pitching on wavy pavement much more rapidly.)

Further, there is nothing any more "proper" about any one suspension over another. Each has its virtues and deficits. As far as "civilized" is concerned, if any design is a product of our civilization, then it's "civilized" by my definition. If Mr Harrington wants a soft cushy ride out of his vehicle, as his definition of "civilized", then he should review a Mercedes E-class and not a pickup truck. I want my pickup trucks to ride like pickup trucks, and would not expect them to behave either like sports cars of luxo-mobiles. (I have one of each of those too, and they are fine for what THEY are supposed to do..)


=====================

@Mark Williams it MAY come to the US next year but I have my doubts. Europeans as such do not use Pickups , so options are limited. 2.5 litre Diesels instead of 3 Litre ones, use elsewhere.
30,000 Pickups sold for a population of 500 million, gives an idea of the small percentage who buy them.
US Nissan has to work out ways to make the Titan desirable first, it has major problems in that area.

@NMGOM
You would by yourself on that one , ride quality. If it rides like a " truck" instead of a Ute it would not sell.

@Ken,
Chassis snapping? Falls into being abducted by Aliens category . A non-existent issue.

@Alex,
The Cummins is a bit of a clunker, when it comes to small Pickup diesels. Renault is an impressive engine .

Australian experiences with the Navara, areproblems with load carrying. Pickup is all over the place,when load nears it's maximum . They have bought out a Mk2 model, but it is marginally better. No problems with engine and towing but payload different story

Maneuvering is spelled incorrectly in the 7th photo, from the top.

Maneuvering is spelled incorrectly in the 7th photo, from the top.

@classified

It is spelled differently depending on region. You say tomato, I say toeMAHto

Robert Ryan - - -

"@NMGOM
You would by yourself on that one , ride quality. If it rides like a " truck" instead of a Ute it would not sell."

What? Not sell WHERE? Your comment is nonsense, and smacks of Euro-think. We are talking sales potential for the USA here.

The best selling vehicle, among ALL types and classes, in the USA, for the past 30 years is the Ford F-150 pickup truck, with rear leaf springs: it rides beautifully (for a truck) and gets a 5-star safety rating in all categories.

And the among the top five best selling vehicles in the USA for at least the past decade, three are pickup trucks: Ford F-150 (leaf); Chevy Silverado (leaf); and Ram 1500 (leaf then coil**).

Total sales for all 1/2-ton pickups in the USA for 2106 were:
Ford............Chevy/GMC...........Ram...........Tundra........Titan
820799...........796556...........487558.........15489.......21880.

Total sales for all mid-size pickups in the USA for 2106 were:
Colorado.......Canyon........Tacoma........Frontier.........Ridgeline
108725......... 37449....... 191631........ 86926.......... 23667***

Metallurgy and spring design of all types has come a long way since WWII; and leaf springs, with great length (60 to 72 inches) and large leaf-count packs (4-9), can rival coils, --- WHILE maintaining the advantages I listed as bullet points in my original comment. And the driving experiment I did (also in comment above) confirms exactly that. (I've been told that even my 21-year old 1996, leaf-sprung Dodge Ram rides better on highways with tar strips and expansion joints than most sedans and small SUV's of that era...)

----------------------
** Only the Ram 1/2-ton has used rear coils during the past few years, and that has not improved sales any more than any other new features. In fact, Ram's rate-of-sales-growth in 2016 was actually LOWER than rivals that stayed with leaf springs: Ford = 430 units/month; Chevy/GMC = 360 units/month; Ram = 290 units/month.
Check out the "GoodCarBadCar.net" website for exact sales information: http://www.goodcarbadcar.net

*** Among mid-size trucks, only the "ute-like" Ridgeline uses coils, and you can see how successful those sales were. But the new Ridgeline was intro'd in June/July, so even doubling those data to give a full-year estimate gives us ~50K, still the lowest of the group, except for the Canyon, an up-scale specialty vehicle.
-------------------------

==============================

@NMGOM
"What? Not sell WHERE? Your comment is nonsense, and smacks of Euro-think. We are talking sales potentrial"
That would be approaching zero, with something that road like an ox cart

Wow. Nissan copied RAM rear suspension.

Robert Ryan - - -

Boy, you really are preprogrammed into stereotypes!

"Like a truck" nowadays does NOT mean like an oxcart! Did you even look at the sales data I showed you? Those US sales would not be possible if those vehicles rode like an oxcart, would they? Duh!

The modern term "like a truck" is nowhere like a stiff, tough 1930's Ford of Dodge. The term NOW refers to the robust, durable, comfortable suspension we see on modern pickups sold here. "Like a truck" simple means that its does not corner like a BMW, or have the completely cushy ride of a 1965 Lincoln Continental, --- but covers everything VERY nicely in between.

Have you ever even ridden in a full-size 1/2 ton, 2016 American Pickup, say a Chevy Silverado, or are you just voicing prejudices from the past? Where are you located anyway? (As I said before, I smell the scent of Euro-think...(^_^).)

Your comments here remind me of the ignorance and prejudices of Brit reviewers when the new C-7 Corvette came out with the "antiquated" and not "proper" OHV LT1 engine, instead of dual OHC design. The 6.2-liter LT1 was small, low-profile, compact, --- and had the highest specific HP per pound of any modern naturally aspirated engine, producing 460 HP and 465 lb.-ft or torque, and giving Corvette owners 29 MPG! (US Gallons). The innovations in that engine are amazing, and Corvette INTENTIONALLY kept the OHV design as more robust and durable, while not adding engine height to maintain a low hood (bonnet) profile. See link.
ref: http://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/gm-engines/lt1/

=====================

Four doors and wimpy bed: Non-starter. Let's see a real truck, not a fat-boy hauler.

Good to see the track system in the floor of the bed eliminated. It would clog with debris.

It's a complete fallacy of you think the small diesels are so great on fuel. Only at altitude will you see a cost effective difference. My silverado has gotten 32.6 avg with a load of race bikes and gear on the way back from unadilla. I get 26 normal on slow highway every time it's not windy. Thats consitent on a full size. My tow rating is 10800 from recent literature I just checked. I'll take this cheap to run full size all day over a mid size that needs smelly diesel. Have fun smelling like that stuff.

@NGOM
Corvettes only sell in NA Ride of 1/2 tons must be reasonably comfortable,otherwise they would not sell. Ride is similar to the Navara. No not European.

The midsize market has been vastly over estimated by American auto media and some of the smart marketing guys at GM and Toyota. Nissan continues to sell a 10 year old model that has dominated the mid size field in the $20-30k price range. Knowing what GM is selling their midsizers for, it's amazing they sell at all. The Honda is giving a true insight into the problem---their Ridgeline has not sold well since day one.

Ford has patiently waited and they're making a big investment. Probably a big mistake too.

Americans LOVE their full size pickups. The rationale for building compacts and midsizers evaporated about 20 years ago, for the North American market anyway.

@PapaJim,
Honda is selling practically every Ridgeline they can make. I haven't bought one yet because I've NOT BEEN ABLE TO buy one! My nearest dealer has never had more than three in stock and they sell within a week, two weeks at the most.

Honda hasn't sold many because they don't build many!! Don't let the numbers fool you. Their Alabama plant is at capacity turning out Pilots, Odysseys, Acura MDXs and Ridgelines. Their emphasis is on Pilots and Odysseys, particularly since the new Odyssey is debuting. Ridgeline is taking a bit of a back seat on manufacturing.

Last month's sales are, I think, maybe the highest monthly sales so far for the new Ridgeline. They'd sell more if they could build more. It is definitely a limited product right now.

@Longboat

Put down that pipe!

GM sells more full size trucks every year than Honda has sold since the original Ridgeline was born.

Honda would be having an all out party if they sell 100k pickups in a year.

@PapaJim,
You completely missed the point of my post. Honda CANNOT build 100k Ridgelines, unless they stop production of their more popular Pilot and Odysseys. They don't have the plant capacity.

The Ridgelines are selling as fast as Honda can build them. GM can't do that.

They can't keep inventory on dealers' lots. My nearest dealer currently has 303 new Honda vehicles, and only ONE of those is a Ridgeline.

Errata on my previous post: March is the second-highest sales month for the new Ridgeline (December sold 4085 units).

@longboat

Honda is a global industrial giant with vast human and financial resources, and huge manufacturing capacity.

They've been making internal combustion-powered vehicles since I was a pup. What they choose to devote their resources to is their business.

Their place in the North American market for pickups is an asterisk. They played around with pickups for quite a while with their first-gen Ridgeline, which was strictly an acquired taste. It had a face that only a mother could love.

@PapaJim,
You're right, Honda is a large global player. They specialize in smaller, reliable, efficient vehicles. The Ridgeline is the largest vehicle they build. If they were to build larger, it would be more efficient to build a cheap body-on-frame like the Big3 trucks. They would have to build all new tooling to do that. And, remember, they have to build trucks in the U.S. in order to sell trucks in the U.S., thanks to the antiquated UAW savior known as the Chicken Tax.

The original Ridgeline was an experiment, and developed as a "line filler". It sold relatively well, despite its unusual looks. Honda has never had plans to build many of them. It is quite telling that most original Ridgeline purchasers still have their trucks, and are still extremely happy with them.

Remember that the Ridgeline sold well for several years after its introduction, then tanked along with every other automaker due to the recession, then never really bounced back because they never updated the truck. Still, they sold every unit that they built, and none of those were fleet sales. That's a pretty stellar record for a "line filler".

I imagine they are quite content to sell every truck they build, rather than have dozens sitting on lots for weeks/months.

Honda is selling practically every Ridgeline they can make. I haven't bought one yet because I've NOT BEEN ABLE TO buy one! My nearest dealer has never had more than three in stock and they sell within a week, two weeks at the most.

Honda hasn't sold many because they don't build many!!

===

Bullocks! 16 Ridgelines in stock at my local Honda dealer and 18 at the next. Hondas pickups don't sell in bigger numbers because nobody wants that many.

@Ken,
Count yourself lucky. Within a 300-mile radius of me, there are about 100 Ridgelines on dealers lots (about 30 dealers). The largest has 19, and they are changing stock daily.

How many RTL-E trims are on dealers lots in your area? Those are the ones that usually sell before they hit the dealers lots, and probably the most profitable for Honda, outside their Black Edition.

It is the lower trims that don't sell as quick, especially the FWD trucks. I think Honda overestimated that market, where perception overrides common sense.

Honda does not sell the Ridgeline outside NA, they are all cars and SUV's. US 1/2 tons ditto. So unlike the Navara, they are NA specific

At one point, Honda was considering going global with the Ridgeline, but I don't know where they will be produced if they do that. They cant build them fast enough for the U.S. market. Maybe if they build or re-tool a factory overseas.

The Ridgeline is a little big for a global truck. I am hoping they will build a smaller truck, maybe based on the HRV.

...Honda is a large global player. They specialize in smaller, reliable, efficient vehicles.

@Longboat

There was a time fifty years ago when Honda executives and investors saw an opening in the North American market for a different kind of automaker, and different kinds of cars.

Today the Koreans (and Chinese?) are eating their lunch. Honda's time has come and gone in my opinion.

@papajim--My wife has had 2 Fords since she had her 77 Accord for over 17 years. We liked the Fords and had reliable service from them but since buying a new CRV in 2013 we have a preference for Hondas. I also like my Honda Harmony lawn mower. I will have to see this new Ridgeline in person but this looks to be a much better and more usable truck than the Silverado. I am a shill for Honda who wants equal rights for Muslims. Nothing scares me more than Donald T.

BTT.

On topic of a new Nissan Pickup, I don't need or want a 4door family hauler. I hope Nissan will bring the single cab Mexican market NP300 w/6spd manual to N.America. I need the bed space and lower msrp . My list of bells and whistles are an A/C and cruise control with those steel wheels.

So you can't get an extended cab, just a crew cab??
Booo!



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