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Sunday / 23 June 2024
HomeFeaturesNissan Navara Pro-4X review – As comfortable as they come

Nissan Navara Pro-4X review – As comfortable as they come

Supremely comfortable, highly capable, and handsome, the new Nissan Navara Pro-4X has it all.

This bakkie is not only made in South Africa but at the start of 2021, it was also updated with the local market in mind.

The Nissan gained a new suspension system featuring independent rear dampers, better shock absorbers, revised chassis mountings, an increased tail height, and fine-tuning specifically for our unique road conditions.

What all this boils down to is that the Navara is probably the most comfortable double cab on the market right now, on and off-road.

Smooth sailing

What makes the updated Navara bakkie’s ride so agreeable in its latest iteration is mainly the fitment of new five-link coil-spring suspension at the rear.

These coils significantly reduce harshness and give the Navara a more refined driving feeling than other bakkies with leaf springs. It still drives like a bakkie, but more car-like than the rest.

Also new for the updated Navara is a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel powerplant, offering up 140kW and 450Nm in this Pro-4X application, connect to a seven-speed auto-box with low range.

The powertrain doesn’t stand out for being the best at anything in particular, but it’s not the poorest performer in the slightest. From start you might not be as speedy as the more powerful double cabs but after passing the initial split seconds of turbo lag it becomes agile.

Rest assured, it’s so quiet and steady on the freeway I consciously had to keep an eye on the speedometer the whole time. Regarding fuel consumption it showed mixed results, ranging from as low as 9.4l/100km to over 11.

For its off-roading credentials, the Navara receives a shift-on-the-fly 4×4 system that allows switching between 2×4 and 4×4 up to a speed of 100km/h teaming up with a few high-tech applications to keep it as stable on the trails as on the tar.

The around-view cameras with moving object detection, exclusive on the Pro-badged models, are built to help you trek hardcore off-road obstacles without the need of a spotter – and if I must admit it came in handy to squeeze the broad-shouldered bakkie into the garage with millimetres to spare.

It has a useful railing system in the bin, too, which will help you tie down a maximum one-tonne load.

Quiet cabin

The Pro-4X as the Navara range-topper gets a few elements inside to help it stand out from its plainer siblings including good-looking model-exclusive seats with white stitching, a glowing red start button, and additional red badging to go with the outside.

My biggest complaint was that the steering wheel does not have reach adjustment and even on its highest setting, it sat just too low and too close to the dash to be forgotten.

The door panels and handles are also more plastic than other bakkies in this league, but it’s stacked with goodies and rides so well that these things are forgivable.

What went into making it a pleasure from the inside is the double-layer noise-reducing glass that when closed almost completely drowns out sounds from the outside world.

A full suite of six driver assistance interventions including blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warnings is also included, and what was remarkably helpful was that when navigation is active, the 8 inches of infotainment real estate is split in half to show where you’re currently driving on one side, and what the upcoming turn looks like on the other.

Simultaneously, flicking through the multi-information driver’s screen brings up several displays that will help you keep an eye on trip info, consumption, compass direction, media, and navigation; and by your knee sits a switch for electronically opening the small rear window. Surprisingly, the Nissan is one of the last bakkies on the market to still have one of these.

Thanks to the Navara’s breadth, its cabin is also among the larger of the double cabs, and an under-seat storage area in the back row offers a safe space to keep valuables away from prying eyes.

Verdict

Since launch, the Navara has proved itself a worthy player in the hotly-contested bakkie segment, but I think it might still be underrated.

While not cheap, few new vehicles are in the current pricing climate, and getting into this range-topper will run you R812,900.

If you are shopping for a top-end leisure double cab from one of the big brands, I doubt you’ll have any buyer’s remorse with this Nissan in your garage.

The Pro-4X is also just a real looker with its red accents, black 17-inch alloys, and model-exclusive over-fenders and roof rails adding a discrete bulkiness that’s not there on the standard models.


Nissan Navara Pro-4X



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