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Nissan Navara adds V6 turbodiesel

The price has dropped by $2000 to $62,990.

Key among the changes is the addition of the V6 turbodiesel to more models in the D40 Navara line-up, given a few more customers access to the 170kW/550Nm powerplant from a lower price point.

Safety has been improved, with the Japanese brand adding stability control - it's Vehicle Dynamic Control in Nissan-speak - and lap-sash belts for all five occupants, helping to get it a four-star NCAP crash-test rating.

The 2012 ST-X dual-cab 4WD will be offered with the torquey three-litre V6 turbodiesel and a seven-speed automatic from $56,990, which Nissan says is about $4000 cheaper than the 2011 ST-X 550.

Also on the features list for the ST-X is a SUB port for the sound system, fog lights and an alloy sports roll-bar.

The 550 flagship has not gone unchanged, with the flagship "workhorse" getting a hard-drive-equipped satnav, leather trim, seat heaters, a satin-black sports roll-bar, a Bose sound system and a reversing camera, but the price has dropped by $2000 to $62,990 - Nissan says that's as a result of increased supply, but price cuts and new models from its primary competition might also have something to do with it.

The volume seller of the range - the ST dual-cab 4WD has been endowed with the more powerful 140kW/450Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder (previously there was 128kW and 403Nm on offer), gets a six-speed manual or five-speed auto, Utili Track load restraint system, dual-zone air conditioning, six airbags and sits standard on 17in alloy wheels.

Both the turbodiesel V6 and 2.5-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder models have a braked towing capacity of 3000kg.

Even the entry-level RX single-cab model has had the once-over, upgrading from a bench to bucket seats and adding carpet floor covering and rubber mats.

Nissan Australia managing director and CEO (until the end of March) Dan Thompson said the revisions to the Navara range further strengthened Navara's aim to wrest leadership from Toyota in the highly competitive market.

"Navara is one of Nissan Australia's cornerstone products aimed at giving us No.1 importer status," he says.

"Despite the recent arrival of several newcomers in this highly competitive segment, Navara has comfortably maintained its popularity and market position.

"With the new Navara ST-X V6 turbo-diesel, the enhanced D40 Dual Cab 4X4 and keener pricing, we have new and sharper tools to maintain this momentum," he says.

Nissan Australia has confirmed the appointment of William Peffer as incoming CEO and managing director from April onwards, when Dan Thompson takes up his new role as Vice President (Finance) for Nissan Europe, based in Switzerland.

Mr Peffer, currently marketing, communications and media director at Nissan North America, holds a Bachelors Degree in Advertising Communications from Michigan State University and a Masters Degree in International Finance from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.