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Used car review Nissan Navara D40 2005-2008

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    The Nissan Navara D40 is a well-built, refined all-rounder that can double as a work ute and family car.

Graham 'Smithy' Smith reviews the Nissan Navara D40 05-08: its fine points, its flaws and what to watch for when buying it.

One look at the monthly sales numbers is enough to tell you that dual-cab utes like the Nissan Navara D40 are enjoying unprecedented popularity with Australian car buyers.

They've become the great all-rounder, the vehicle that can stand up on the job site, tow a caravan or boat on weekends, and take the family along for the ride. Once they were simply work vehicles that were only seen fit for use on the job site, but in recent times they've been tamed as they've been adapted to home duties. They're now far more refined than the workhorses of the past, and they're fast becoming as comfortable and as safe as passenger cars.

MODEL WATCH

When launched the D40 dual-cab Navara was sold alongside the older D22 model, a raw-boned basic ute by comparison to the newcomer. The Europe-built D40 was a close cousin of the Pathfinder wagon and brought much of the Pathfinder's refinement and comfort to the ute market. As a result it looked much more comfortable in a town setting, with a rugged, yet stylish look that didn't scream job site.

Underneath, it had a rugged ladder frame chassis like the Pathfinder, and similarly used coil spring independent front suspension for ride comfort. At the business end it had a solid axle slung on leaf springs to achieve a useful payload of up to 965 kg.

It also boasted a towing capacity of three tonnes, making it attractive for anyone wanting to tow a large caravan, boat, horse float, or a decent sized work trailer.

Under the bonnet there was a choice of petrol or diesel engines. The petrol choice was a 4.0-litre double overhead camshaft V6 developing a whopping 198 kW at 5600 revs and 385 Nm at 4000 revs. It was the most powerful engine available in a dual-cab ute at the time and that was reflected in the D40's spirited performance.

The other option, a better choice for fuel economy, was a 2.5-litre double overhead camshaft intercooled turbo diesel that produced 128 kW at 4000 revs and 385 Nm at 2000 revs. All came standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, but there was also the choice of a five-speed auto.

While most of the models in the D40 range were four-wheel drive, Nissan offered one with two-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive system was part-time and selectable using a switch on the dash. Once four-wheel drive was selected drive was split 50/50 between the front and rear. A low ratio transfer case and limited-slip diff gave the Navara decent offroad performance, which was enhanced by its short front and rear overhangs and ample approach and departure angles.

Steering was power rack and pinion, and brakes were a combination of front discs and rear drums, with ABS braking featuring Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist standard on ST-X models and optional on the lower spec RX.

Inside, the D40 was considerably larger than the older D22, boasting substantially more head, shoulder and legroom for the comfort of both front and rear passengers. The interior was also well featured with lots of useful storage options, coin and cardholders, drink holders, a place to stow sunglasses, and an overhead console.

ON THE LOT

Pay $18,000-$26,000 for a 4x2 ST-X dual-cab with the petrol V6. For an RX V6 4x4 pay $18,000-$28,000, an ST-X V6 4x4 pay $20,000- $30,000, and add $4000-$5000 for a diesel engine.

IN THE SHOP

The D40 Navara is generally robust and reliable, but reports from carsGuide readers suggest the clutch is an issue. Some owners are reporting they are replacing clutches at odometers as low as 25,000km, and some have had to replace two or more clutches inside 100,000km. It's something owners planning to take advantage of the D40's supposed three-tonne towing capacity and tow a caravan around the country on that long dreamt about holiday should be aware of.

Other than the clutch issue there's really nothing else to be concerned about. But it's worth looking for evidence of use offroad in the form of dinged or scratched panels, a bashed and beaten underbody, and torn or split seals and boots.

Occasional offroad use by competent drivers is of little concern, and many Navaras are rarely taken beyond a gravel road, but any vehicle that appears to have had a hard life off the beaten track that should sound alarm bells. Like any used car it's important to check for a service record. Regular oil changes are a key factor in keeping engines alive in the long term.

IN A CRASH

Driver and passenger airbags, along with ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist were all standard on the ST-X, making it the best choice for safety. The RX missed out on those important safety features, they were options, so it's best to give this model a miss unless they do have the safety options. ANCAP rated the Navara at three stars in its crash testing.

AT THE PUMP

Nissan claimed the V6 petrol Navara would average 12.5-13.5 L/100km in manual guise, a little more as an auto, while the diesel would do 9.0-9.5 L/100km. Owners vary in their results, but most report they get 11-13 L/100km around town, and 11 L/100km on a trip.

OWNERS SAY

Dennis Weeks says his D40 diesel is a great all round vehicle. He regularly uses it to tow a 22-foot caravan and says it does it with ease, but he also chose it because he could load the rear with everything needed to go off road camping without the caravan. He says it is a delight to drive, quiet and comfortable, and to date has been trouble free. In normal use it gets around 10 L/100km; when towing the caravan the economy blows out to 16 L/100km.

Grant Connelly's D40 has done 40,000 trouble free kilometres to date and hasn't missed a beat. He says it's great to drive and gets around 11 L/100km on a trip.

Matt has owned a D40 STX diesel for two years and his only complaint is the cost of the regular 10,000km services, but he is also disappointed with the fuel economy. It gets 12-13 L/100km around town and around 11 L/100km on the highway sitting on 100km/h. It's done 62,000 kilometres, It is still on the original tyres, and there have been no problems to report. He says it's more than capable off road with plenty of grunt to pull you up and over any obstacles.

Marc and Jennifer Smith say they had to replace the clutch in their Navara after 37,000km. Nissan refused to cover any of the cost, telling them that the clutch isn't covered by the warranty, that it's a wear and tear item.

Doug Putney bought his D40 Nissan Navara for its supposed three-tonne towing capacity. It is now two and a half years old and has only done 45,130km, much of it towing his 2.7-tonne caravan, but already it has had three clutches. The first was replaced at 15,532km, the second at 29,399km, and the third at 42,964km.

LOOK FOR

  • Rugged good looks
  • Roomy interior for five
  • Three-tonne towing capacity
  • Questionable clutch capacity
  • Economical diesel engine
  • Thirsty V6 petrol engine
  • Solid build quality.

ALSO TRY THESE

  • TOYOTA HILUX (2005-2008) The long-standing benchmark for Japanese one-tonne utes is the market leader. It's well built, robust and reliable, if rather bland. Popularity and reputation mean resale is strong. Pay $9800-$44,000.
  • MITSUBISHI TRITON (2006-2008) The swoopy ute with its wild curves is a good driver with plenty of refinement that makes a good worker for those on the job or a fun get- away ute for the weekend. Good all-rounder that gets the job done. Pay $14,000-$41,000.
  • MAZDA BT-50 (2006-2008) Mazda brought its B Series up to date with a comprehensive makeover in 2006 with new looks, new engines and more refinement, but with only minor changes to the chassis. Performs well, is comfortable, quiet and economical, but it's a bit squeezy inside the cab. Pay $17,000-$38,000.

 THE BOTTOM LINE: Well-built and refined all-rounder that can double as a work ute and family car.

RATING: 80/100

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 33 comments

  • Dennis Weeks I also tow a 22ft caravan, had to change the clutch at 80,000k. Best advice I can offer is that the next time you have clutch trouble, do what I did and change to a Exadie heavy duty clutch at half the price of a Navara and a third of the cost for any future work done. Eric Fisher Canberra

    Eric Fisher of Canberra Posted on 23 February 2014 8:02am
  • I brought my D40 new in 2008, I have had little problems like what they say is a clutch pipe rattling or vibrating on the bell housing. I am sick of taking it back to D J Nissan in Hobart to have it corrected. They have fitted what they call a factory mod to it, but they are now saying thats it they cant do anymore.

    phillip crow of hobart Posted on 15 January 2014 5:40pm
  • I bought my 06 Stx D-40 5 speed auto Feb 2012, 104000k. When they trans wants to change from overdrive down to 4th there is a delay and the car starts to vibrate as if you are going over a cattle grid. Replaced transmission & torque converta due to engine shudder and metal fragments in transmission 106000k rebuilt torque converta due to problem not fixed still the same. Nissan wont give any information on cause as they didn't do the repairs and repairer not able to solve the problem thinking its an Engine control unit fault rebuild came with 2 years & 40000k warranty from Autotrac, Nissan Dealers apparently are aware of this problem but refuse to repair at Nissan's cost even though the repairs are not done by them there are many of these 06Navara's with the same problem and possibly Pathfinders as well. I love the features of this vehicle, sadly I would not recommend anybody to purchase one unless you have full Nissan warranty and then you will have problems as well. would like to do all the mods Bull Bar, Lift, Lights, Snorkel, and Power Chip, unless this issue is fixed then its a waste of time, fuel econ is 12.5ltr city and 10.2ltr highway per 100k. Was to be my dream 4x4

    John Mangano of Somerton Park Posted on 27 October 2013 7:32pm
  • will the rear diff out of a 06 D40 fit into an 08 D40 they look much the same any thoughts

    Doug frazer coast of Maryborough Posted on 11 June 2013 6:00pm
  • I brought my D40 in November 2007. It is a V6 manual and has covered 50000 Klm and I have only had replace the battery and one set of new tyres. It has been converted to dual fuel with LPG and I am very happy with the vehicle. I have to say that the plastic around the cruise controls on the steering wheel need to be replaced as the silver has worn off in one area.

    Jason of Gold Coast Posted on 24 March 2013 5:36pm
  • The comments are great. I've been looking at an 09 d40ST with 55000km on the clock. Do you think it would come down to the type of driving done to determine the longevity of the clutch? This appears to be a consistent problem with the vehicle and the only one that concerns me. The one I took for a drive was excellent!

    Nat Rice of Mackay Posted on 13 May 2012 7:50pm
  • Have a 2007 D40 2.5, at 95,000 started having over fueling issues to the point that it will flood while driving and then still, scarry in traffic! Nissan .have no idea or are not saying anything. Up until know I loved it and spent $20K access rising it. Never again

    ian Orne-Gliemann of Sunshine Coast Posted on 11 May 2012 11:38pm
  • I own 1, a D40 auto. its a nice looking car, comfortable. But drinks like a fish and is piss week at towing. I have been fighting with Nissan after the first week we bought it. They claim they do 10Lt per 100Km... Try 16Lt per 100Km, that’s driving like Miss Daisy & god forgive you think about towing, David k Perth

    mrbig@iinet.net.au of perth Posted on 27 March 2012 11:40pm
  • Can anyone comment on the 2.5TD and its power ability? is it underpowered for the size of car without towing and does it get worse when towing?

    tom of perth Posted on 12 March 2012 2:47pm
  • I have a 2006 D40 Dual Cab, had it for just over a year, had nothing but problems with it, and the nissan dealership. love the comfort and look of the D40, Wouldn't buy another one.

    Angela of Rockhampton Posted on 02 March 2012 4:50pm
  • Don't own one but was thinking about buying one under 40000ks. Having read the reviews I will look at something else. Thanks to all for the feedback. This is a great resource.

    Paul Harvey of Newcastle Posted on 03 February 2012 1:16pm
  • Wow a lot of unhappy Navara owners. Don't worry, my Patrol had the engine fail very low kms on the clock so I'm glad you're not all feeling left out. Head to Fair Trading in your state if you're not getting satisfaction from Nissan. They're selling an unmerchantable product.

    heyheyagl of Melb Posted on 02 February 2012 12:55pm
  • My 2007 D40 Dual Cab(YD25) was to be our retirement vechile.As such changed oil,100% synthetic under 10.k.every time. Motor blew at 175K. Apparently I was a lucky one. Reports of people blowing theres as low as 50k. I personally know of another 5 that done the same. Buyer beware there a great looking car but just will not do the miles.They are crap. Nissan doesn't want to know because they wanted to charge 300 dollars for oil changes and didnt get the business. Many are trade qualified and oil change is not that difficuilt. Not mention clutch replacements on the D22 and Timing chains,and disc pads and ...and ....and...BUYERS BEWARE

    ashley of perth Posted on 15 January 2012 9:46pm
  • This is my second commment re my D40, First was as above ( May 23 2010) at approx 10,000k. I hated it. Have now driven 40,000 and it really is a much better car. As far as I can tell the engine management system detunes the peformance initially and progressively ups the power over the first 30 or 40 thou. Right now it has more power, smoother power and is more economical. Last tank around town delivered 8.7 LP 100k. Interestingly enough it is better around town than country where I can expect 10 - 11LP 100k. I am very stingy however and drive to save fuel. Give it a bit of throttle however and she pumps out plently of black smoke so can suck it with the best of them if you choose to drive that way. And yeah the rear suspension sucks. Will probably fit air bags

    Alec Jardine of Adelaide Posted on 08 January 2012 7:56pm
  • Nissan Navara d40 outlaw = Biggest piece of junk I have ever owned, suspension was replaced when I took it in for a service to fix one of the 1000 squeaks (Nissan said is was the bonnet, did they not think I would notice the all new suspension components?) oil leaks, squeaks, solenoid on turbo, diesel particle filter, bluetooth, cd players has its own agenda, rattles as pieces fall off it, tray now rattles, power loss for no apparent reason, it never ends..... was to be a 10 yr truck... never will I buy a Nissan again unless they start building them back in Japan.

    Peter of Bribie of Bribie Island Posted on 07 January 2012 6:24pm
  • I have just bought a D40 and we will be towing our caravan soon. Reading the above comments I have a question, when towing is it best 2 have overdrive on or off there are a number of different views. Hope u can help

    Ted Podesta of Sydney Posted on 05 March 2011 12:55pm
  • I have a 2008 ST-X 2.5 Diesel 6 speed manual, it's great I have done 75 000klm/s, taken on the beach a few times and travel from Brisbane to Cairns numerous times a year. The clutch went at 40 000 k's, Nissan replaced it, no Q's, the seats tore at 10000 k's, Nissan replaced no worries. I am getting around 10L/100k's all the time. The side steps are weak and i will add ARB side bars on my new Ute. I am ordering my 2011 model now. Its a great car.

    Shane LUMSDEN of Capalaba 4157 Posted on 01 March 2011 7:38am
  • We bought a manual STX in Nov 10 after trading our 08 ford ranger and I would have it back any day. The Pros - excellent fuel economy, roominess and folding the rear seat out of the way. The Cons -the dash rattles, the faulty oil light, loud engine, poor acceleration, and poor fit of the tailgate, endless wait for parts and poor dealer service. I hate all new cars with the parabolic rear view mirrors and I fear the clutch will go soon too.

    markus of kyogle Posted on 30 January 2011 9:16pm
  • I am still in 2 minds. I have an 09 Turbo Diesel Auto that uses approx 12ltr per 100. I get a maximum 300k when towing, haven?t done the figures and do not want to. Had to replace the front pads at 20K (no warranty) tyres at 40K, steering wheel (warranty), canopy locks (warranty). I are currently "discussing" the poor rear spring life with Nissan. Could turn into me driving this Navara through their head office front door if they do not come to the party. Check the poor quality of the rear springs when you are looking at one. They sit flat from the factory, they do nothing except hold the diff in place. 4 adults and you are hitting the bump stops on mild rises. The thing tows well but the engine is getting noisier and noisier as the k's start to add up (currently 52k). wouldn?t be surprised if it lets go shortly. The wind noise from one of the back doors not sealing properly is deafening, I hate that. Might go for a Rangie next... less problems...

    Stephen Yates of Melbourne Posted on 17 January 2011 9:53pm
  • i love my nissan,but it had its clutch replaced at 21,000 it only happens when i an reversing the horse float, i now put it in low 4x4 for reversing, i feel reverse is to high gear causing this to happen, and the front brakes had to be replaced, but zupps did it all under warranty

    Stephen Clements of brisbane Posted on 27 December 2010 8:07am
  • Have done 70,000 k's in 3 years with my auto. A lots of it towing a caravan We haven't had a spot of problems. I love it.

    John of Rockhampton Posted on 21 December 2010 9:02pm
  • Being the owner of an 07 d40 4 lt petrol done 65000 ks bought new I wouldn't wish the problems I'm having on my worst enemy Bought it to tow a 2 ton caravan as its supposed to be a tough tradie what a load of Sh-t. had to spend thousands on after market shocks and suspension there has been a new clutch not covered under warranty and now having problems with the second. brakes are crap bits of the plastic interior fall apart rear windows leak if you leave it in the rain and as a 4wd its hopeless locks up in loose gravel and doesnt like sand I now have a horrible noise coming out of the front of the motor on start up more expense All in all i think its the biggest piece of crap ive ever spent $ 40000 on And now out of warrenty its got to go

    Graham of coffs harbour Posted on 14 December 2010 10:46am
  • I am a Nissan technician and have never come across any more of a rubbish car. Sure enough keep them whilst still in warranty as soon as it runs out trade it in or expect big $$$ for repairs that WILL be needed! Buy a Toyota and save the hassle

    Ryan "smith" of Nsw Posted on 10 December 2010 7:37am
  • My hubby bought it as a work horse based on salesman and Nissan blurb. 13000kms did clutch. I drive kids to school in it and He bought a 4cyl van for half the price that did what this car wouldn't! Needing new clutch... maybe kids are too heavy.... Will never buy another Nissan!

    Judy of Victoria Posted on 14 October 2010 3:14pm
  • At the risk of sounding like a Nissan apologist I have to say my D40 diesel (2006 STX) has been brilliant, but not without flaws. Three things I dislike are the brakes (when will all ute makers stop using drums on rear axles and use discs front and rear???), the very average LSD and the lack of torque sub 1500rpm. Clutches seem to be a hot potato with this vehicle and if you've just stepped from driving petrols all your life to owning a turbo-diesel for the first time, you've got to re-calibrate your driving style. Any gradient or boggy terrain needs some thought and slipping a clutch to get going is VERY short term thinking. If you're going to tow get the auto trans, the torque convertor will sort it out, otherwise on the beach or elsewhere let air out of your tyres and use LOW range! The positives are many, a useful interior (love the flip up rear seats), huge cargo bay, great tie downs, excellent fuel economy (8-10L/100kms), plenty of go... it's a good truck. With an ARB suspension kit, Bridgestone D694LT tyres and a canopy it's a great work/tourer. 137,000kms of really hard work, covered by excellent service/warranty attention, I'll likely buy another... the V6 diesel!

    David Wilson of Adelaide Posted on 16 September 2010 5:42pm
  • 3 clutches by <40,000km, 'expecting my fourth'. I was told Nissan will no longer replace clutches under warrantee after 80,000km - Northside Nissan Wangara WA. New injector pump as the Nissan installed filter offers no protection apparently. Love the drive, love the power of the diesel, love the look, but if this was a private car, I would have traded it ages ago. This was purchased as a work car, based on Nissans blurb. Hardly ever been in 4WD, never towed, nor driven harshly. So disappointing really. Given their advertising, barely of merchantable quality.

    Dave Scott of Perth, WA Posted on 09 September 2010 9:12am
  • 2007 D40 turbo diesel auto... beware trans shudder is an issue and warrantable as is the injectors at around 65-70k km there starts a rattle from the engine, cold under normal acceleration possible chain but in reality its injectors and in my case, my car was 2 weeks out of warrnaty and they said with that it would cost me about 3500 - 4500 to rectify. As you would expect from a Diesel to get alot better life. This is a big let down from Nissan so be wary... and if you have a rattle get it fixed before the warranty runs out.

    paul west of adelaide Posted on 31 August 2010 9:33pm
  • My Navara D40 clutch died at36,500kms, Nissan wouldnt replace the clutch under warranty after looking around i found that some company's make a replacement clutch for the Navara so i purchased the new clutch and after fighting with Nissan they eventual installed my clutch free of charge but i had to purchase the new clutch on my own back, the new clutch is by far better and was half the price of the Nissan Clutch

    Brody of Perth Posted on 25 August 2010 12:58pm
  • Be careful apparently there are some problems with the catalytic converters now,the v6 engine becomes sluggish and lacking in power then engine light comes on dont muck around get it sorted straight away apparently the cost could be as much as $5000 if not covered by warranty. Just ask D.C.motors in rockhampton . May be rated at 3 tonne towing capacity but if they changed the ratio in the diff gears it might be achievable without trashing so many clutches nissan should listen more to people who buy and drive their vehicles instead of trying to claim unattainable fuel consumption figures. Of course the D40 has the same drivetrain as the pathfinder but in reality it is a commercial vehicle maybe a different diff ratio as an option would rectify a lot of problems anybody chasing an after market clutch should try contacting dave at autobarn moss st. slacks creek in QLD i heard he put one in his navara

    paul navara veteran of shailer park QLD Posted on 27 July 2010 10:48pm
  • Nissan did cover the cost of our clutch, pressure plate etc after I printed out all the complaints I found via Google. It is a known problem so don't give up. First one was replaced at 18K and is still ok at 40K although we will fit an after market clutch ourselves at some stage.

    Belinda May of NSW Posted on 21 July 2010 4:56pm
  • I BOUGHT MY NISSAN D40 2 DAYS AGO A 06 MODEL DIESEL 4WD AND I LOVE IT SO FAR & I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW MUCH WOULD A CANOPY COST PLUS A BULL BAR

    DON AND TAN of FORSTER NSW Posted on 08 July 2010 8:44pm
  • I picked up my new D40 4x2 turbo diesel three weeks ago and have been bitterly disappointed with the total lack of go under 1500 revs. ( 4x2 has detuned version of 4x4 motor) I thought I was buying a grunty commercial vehicle that I could happily trickle about in a nice relaxed fashion. You know, just get her rolling in bottom then into second and away. I now realise I have to drive it like a flamin sports car. Perhaps I'm just old fashioned but when my old mum taught me to drive she reckoned if the car was still moving you drop it into second to take off. I have to drop this damn thing ( with a double de-clutch and a spongy rev, )into bottom unless its going quick enough to see 1500 rev in second.Grrr. No wonder there has been so many trashed clutches. And I read a review where Nissan refused to pay for a clutch at 37,000 cos it is a wear and tear item. Flamen joke. I mean seriously - dabbing the throttle is like dabbing a sponge. Why did'nt I buy a Colorado. First new car at 48 years old and I buy a lemon.

    Alec Jardine of Adelaide Posted on 23 May 2010 8:21pm
  • We have a 1998 Navara 2.5 diesel towing a 6 metre caravan 90% of the time. Auto performs perfect fuel about 16 litres per 100km towing. Without van, 10 km per 100 litres, have now 48000km on clock.

    ben and alison smit of australia Posted on 14 May 2010 1:26pm
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