It can be quite a tricky thing writing about a new bakkie in South Africa. It is such a fierce and competitive segment that is dominated by the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. The rest, as good as they may be, never seem to take the number one spot. That doesn’t mean they aren’t any good, they just have a much steeper mountain to climb it would seem. Nissan has given its contender, the Navara, a facelift, so let’s take a look at why it is worth considering.
LOCAL IS LEKKER
This updated Nissan Navara is built right here in Mzanzi at the Rosslyn plant near Pretoria. “Our continuous improvement process has seen us re-engineer the entire range of models to produce a Navara that’s perfectly suited to South African and ultimately African conditions, with options that make sense for our market: single and double-cab, 2WD and 4WD options, and both automatic and manual transmissions,” Stefan Haasbroek, Marketing Director at Nissan South Africa. Which basically means this is a bakkie that is built in Africa, by Africans, for Africa. This is thanks to the R3-billion investment that was made in Nissan’s South African plant back in 2019.
WHAT IS NEW?
This new Navara has seen some cosmetic as well as technical upgrades. It is still recognisable as tough and rugged, but with a more reinforced version of itself. It includes the V-Motion identity, an over-fender for PRO-4X grades, redesigned wheels and increased bed height. It also features new LED head and foglights. I have been driving the PRO-4X 4X4 and I had not been driving it all of five minutes before someone commented on it at a traffic light. I got a big thumbs up. I then drove in to a parking lot and someone else commented on the looks as I stepped out of it. Basically, it is turning heads wherever it goes.
Step inside and you will notice a restyled steering wheel and redesigned seats. It also boasts the navigation app Navi and up to four USB ports, including two quick-charging ports, and three 12V power outlets – so your devices never run out of juice. Two devices can be connected to Bluetooth at once.
This Navara is the most advanced model yet with the inclusion of Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM), and the safest too. There is Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Emergency Braking, Driver Alertness, High Beam Assist, Around View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to name but a few of the driving systems. It also boasts seven airbags.
The eight-inch touchscreen features voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, as well as built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There is a Navara for every need and requirement, from a workhorse to a leisure vehicle. There is one engine available in two states of tune – a 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel that produces either 120kW and 403Nm or 140kW and 450Nm. There is also a manual or automatic transmission to choose from.
- Single Cab – R311 000
- 4WD Double Cab – R740 000