The Navara is a good bakkie as it is, but the 4×2 version brings many advantages
Already impressive enough in 4×4 incarnation, Nissan, kept the best for last in its Navara range. This sweeter, quicker and more frugal rear-wheel drive 2.3D Double Cab LE automatic is cheaper too. Let’s face it – how often – if ever will you go far enough off road to actually warrant selecting four-wheel drive. Never mind low range?
DO YOU REALLY NEED A 4×4 BAKKIE?
If you never do either, there really is no point in bothering about four wheel drive. Not only does it add weight and drag to steal performance, fuel consumption and feel. It brings a sixty grand premium too. Never mind have you ever arrived somewhere in a bakkie to be asked where you went to low range only to admit, ‘no, it’s just a 4×2’? That look on their face is priceless!
Anyway, whatever Mercedes did to its version, the Navara is still smart inside. It’s well specced and comfortable although it lacks a little driving position adjustability versus some rivals. It certainly lacks for little and there are even some trick bits. Like that neat video rear mirror for reversing.
A LIGHTWEIGHT ADVANTAGE AGAINST THE CLOCK TOO
Packing the same downsized 140 kW 450 NMm2.3-litre turbodiesel as that Merc, the 4×2 Nissan is quite a bit lighter,. So it’s not only in our quicker and quite impressive 10.2 second 0-100km/h dash. But also right across the board in performance terms; it’s lighter on fuel, carries a 25kg heavier load and still pulls a 3.5-ton braked trailer.
You can also feel this 4×2 version’s nimbler demeanour immediately. Enhanced perhaps by its coil sprung live axle rear end. It’s now even more supple and communicative and I found its 7-speed automatic box a pleasure.
NAVARA 4X2 IS A WIN-WIN IN SO MANY WAYS
We’ve always preferred rear-driven bakkies. This Navara once again proves, unless you want to make like Jan van Riebeeck or Kingsley Holgate, why bother with the extra driven axle? In every other situation the 4×2 Navara is the win-win choice.
ROAD TESTED: Nissan Navara 2.3d DC LE 4x2 Automatic Engine: 140 kW 450 Nm 2.3-litre TD I4 Drive: 7-speed auto 4x2 Payload: 1035 kg 9 Towing Capacity: 3500 kg 9 TESTED: 0-60 km/h: 4.48 sec 6 0-100 km/h: 10.28 sec 7 0-160km/h 28.37 sec 0-400m: 16.9 sec @ 131 km/h 7 80-120 km/h: 7.66 sec 6 80-160 km/h 14.83 sec CLAIME Fuel: 6.8l/100km 8 CO2: 179 g/km 8 Warranty/Service: 6y 150K/3y 90K km 9 PRICE: R636K 6 RATED: 75