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Used car review Nissan Navara D40 2005-2010

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    Nissan Navara STX king cab

Graham 'Smithy' Smith reviews the used Nissan Navara D40 05-10: its fine points, its flaws and what to watch for when buying it.

The D40 Navara was one of a new wave of one-tonne pickups, bringing with it a more modern look and feel compared to the rugged older working class models that preceded it. 

Initially only a dual-cab pickup - single and extended "king" cab pickups and cab-chassis workhorses came in 2008 - the D40 was aimed at the growing recreational market as much as it was the tradies who'd traditionally used them.

The D40 was built on a ladder chassis with coil spring independent front suspension and power rack-and-pinion steering teamed with a rigid rear axle on leaf springs for a combination of ride comfort, driving ease and payload capacity.

There was ample room inside the cabin for five, and the three in the rear seat, which could be flipped up for extra storage space, had the safety of lap/sash seat belts. Nissan offered a choice of a whopping 198 kW 4.0-litre V6 petrol that displayed quite a liking for fuel and a 128 kW 2.5-litre turbo-diesel that was much more fuel-friendly.

The transmission choices offered were a six-speed manual and a five- speed auto, while the majority of models were part-time four-wheel drive with a serious low range for off-road activity. The payload of the dual-cab pickup was 810-965 kg and it was rated to tow up to 3 tonnes.

The level of standard equipment was quite high. The working class RX boasted air-conditioning, central locking, a useful split-fold rear seat and a CD player, while the boss-cocky ST-X came with power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, alloy wheels, side steps, leather-bound steering wheel, cruise control and a six-stack CD changer.


The Navara is well built and generally reliable, but there are a couple of issues buyers need to be aware of. Clutches are an issue with Navaras equipped with manual gearboxes, particularly if used for towing.

We've had plenty of complaints of clutches being replaced at quite low kays, less than 50,000 km in some cases. One, we know, has had three clutches in 37,000 km. Given that Nissan rates the towing capacity of the Navara at three tonnes, and heavily promote them for that purpose, they are going to be used by tradies and grey nomads for towing, so this is a real concern.

Recently a dealer mechanic let the cat out of the bag when he told us that at his dealership they replace as many as five clutches per month, and he says Nissan is covering them under warranty. Most owners come to the dealership because the clutch is slipping, but occasionally it's because the clutch is shuddering. 

On inspection they find the drive plate part of the dual-mass flywheel is distorted, which can happen very quickly if the driver   allows the clutch to slip, even a little, when backing a trailer for instance. The typical cost to replace the clutch, including a new dual-mass flywheel is in excess of $3000.

The good news is that it is possible to fit a solid flywheel and a heavy-duty clutch, which pretty much eliminates the problem. According to our mechanic insider the real solution is to buy an auto in the first place, even for towing. 

Another issue that is a regular at Carsguide is a rattling, sometimes even failed, timing chain, claimed to be because of assembly problems back at the factory. Rattling can begin as early as 50,000 km, and if not attended to, can ultimately lead to failure of the chain and extensive damage to the engine. As always it's important to confirm a service record.

NISSAN NAVARA D40 - 2005-2010

Price new: $38,990 to $45,990
Engine: 4.0-litre V6 petrol, 198 kW/385 Nm; 2.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel, 128 kW/403 Nm.
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 5-speed auto; RWD or 4x4
Economy: 9.5 L/100 km (TD), 13.6 L/100 km (V6)
Body: Dual-cab pickup, King-cab pickup, King-cab cab-chassis. Cab- chassis.
Variants: RX, ST-X
Safety: ABS, EBD, BAS, dual front airbags on ST-X (opt on RX). 3-star ANCAP with dual front airbags.


  • $21,500 to $36,500 for an RX dual-cab pickup (2005-2010);
  • $23,000 to $30,000 for an RX cab-chassis (2008-2010)
  • $26,000 to $34,000 for an RX king-cab cab-chassis (2008-2010)
  • $25,000 to $41,000 for an ST-X dual-cab pickup (2005-2010)
  • $22,500 to  $32,000 for the ST-X 4x2 dual-cab pickup (2005-2009)
  • $29,500 to $38,500 for an ST-X king-cab pickup (2008-2010)
  • $28,500 to $37,000 for an ST-X king-cab cab-chassis (2008-2010)


Smooth, comfortable, refined pickup for work or play, would be the pick of the bunch but for the clutch and timing chain issues.


3.5 stars


  • Toyota Hilux - 2005-2010 The class benchmark is hard to beat with a wide choice of models, body styles, petrol and diesel engines, two and four-wheel drive. Does everything well. Pay $12,500 to $49,000. 4 stars
  • Ford Ranger - 2007-2010 Ford offered only diesels in the Ranger and focused on the recreational market, but the Ranger is worth considering. A good all- rounder. Pay $12,500 to $40,000. 3.5 stars
  • Mitsubishi Triton - 2006-2010 Swoopy style, but tough as nails, the Triton offers decent petrol and diesel options with a wide choice of body styles and models. Should be high on the shopping list. Pay $12,000 to $43,600. 4 stars


Do you own a Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series? If so tell us what you think of it by sending your comments to Graham Smith at or Carsguide, PO Box 4245, Sydney, NSW, 2010.


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 6 comments

  • I own a 2010 STX king cab and YES there are rattling doors… I have recently done a lot of rough driving up at fraser island and morton island and I am extremely surprised at the Navara's abilities. It has gone everywhere iv asked it to go and rattles (and poor fuel consumption) aside I LOVE it. Definitely a world above my previous 08 Mazda BT50 ute.

    Locklan of Peachester, QLD Posted on 06 January 2014 9:50am
  • I am looking to buy a second hand (preferably 09) D40 ST-X king cab. I will be doing quite a lot of country driving on rough dirt roads. Do you have any other ideas on what to look for? Also, are there any problems with rattling doors on the king cab?

    Mick Heyneman of Oakbank Posted on 09 November 2013 11:00am
  • I am looking at a new d 40 dual cab 2.5 litre diesel turbo to replace my 06 d22 3ltr. Can some one tell me if they have fixed the problem with the timing chain issue? i have noticed that they have upgraded engine power from the old models. Please advice.

    Grant of Brisvegas of brisbane Posted on 02 October 2013 1:52pm
  • Im Buying a 2nd hand 08 D40 with 49K km Paid $28.2K, Reading this Forum And The following Site I have no Quarms, Spoilt by Two Nissan Patrols Utes since 84 then 2000 TD4.2,

    Rob Scully of Fernvale Qld Posted on 01 July 2013 8:41pm
  • I have been reading a lot of bad stories about Navara clutches, I have an 06 STX D40, 2.4 ltr turbo diesel, manual with 180,000K's on it, I'm a farmer tow a loaded tandem car trailer (2.5 tonner) a lot, 'go bush' on cattle stations with the trailer (loaded with 6 drums of avgas), I use it as truck and work it when I need to. I have never touched the clutch or anything else major, have replaced a sensor on the cruise control, switch on the aircon and a set of shockies at 140,000K's. No low down torque from the motor is the only gripe I have with it. Trailer loaded on a hill start intersection in the area I live, I have to ride the heck out of the clutch to walk it off the line in heavy traffic, so when I can avoid it I take the turn before go one block around avoiding this intersection looking after the 'clutch' and 'my wallet'! On top of this I can give it a good wash and polish and throw four 'chicky babe's' in it and go out. I have always been a hilux owner but the price tag, better fuel economy of the 6 speed and the leg room in the back is what sold me on it. I love it and wouldn't swap it for the world, but after farming for 20 yrs I know how to look after a clutch?

    Michael Posted on 15 March 2013 11:31pm
  • Hi, Im looking for advice on which 4x4 to buy, which can tow a 3 horse gooseneck trailer, but dont neccesarily want to buy brand new, I have been told I need a turbo diesel but which is the better brand around the 5yo mark....thank you for your help...cheers

    sharee of Hervey Bay Qld Posted on 22 December 2012 9:11am
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