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Nissan Navara NP300 Dual Cab Chassis ute 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
7
Marcus Craft road tests and reviews the NP300 Nissan Navara Dual Cab Chassis ute with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.

Six months after launching its much-anticipated coil-sprung versions of the new NP300 Navara, Nissan has bolstered the range with leaf-sprung single-, king- and dual-cab chassis versions of its latest light commercial workhorse. 

We were among the first to get behind the wheel of the new dual-cab models in Albury, on a drive program that included road, dirt and a 4WD track. 

Managing director and CEO of Nissan Australia Richard Emery said "just over 5000" of the NP300 dual-cab utes had been sold since the June launch. He said "We've been building capable and popular commercials for a very long time now... and this all-new model embodies everything that we know about building durable, hard-working utes, suited to our market.

"Navara is Nissan's best-selling model in Australia... in recent years it has comprised anywhere between 25 and 30 percent of our annual sales.

"In fact, Navara is about to hit a significant milestone in Australia: in December we anticipate delivering Navara number 300,000 to a local customer, somewhere here in Australia."

In dual-cab market dominated by the HiLux, the pressure is on. Modern dual-cabs aim to strike the right balance between being a people mover, workhorse and a pleasure-seeking craft. Dual-cabs comprise a huge, very competitive chunk of the 4WD market and buyers demand a lot from them.

Features

The dual-cab cab chassis is only available as an RX-spec 4x4 with the six-speed manual box and single turbo-diesel engine; there is no 2WD dual-cab cab chassis.

In RX guise it is 5120mm long, 1790mm wide, 1800mm high, 3150mm wheelbase, with 217mm of ground clearance.

Features include seven SRS airbags, including driver knee airbag, single CD player with AM/FM radio, AUX and USB/iPod connectivity, six speakers, Bluetooth hands-free telephone operation with steering wheel controls and Bluetooth audio streaming, leaf-spring rear suspension, privacy glass (second row and rear window), 16-inch steel wheels and full-size spare wheel

Buyers have the option of fitting a drop-side tray.

Towing capacity is 3500kg (braked).

Engines / Transmissions

The dual-cab cab chassis gets the 2.3-litre single turbo-diesel engine (120kW/403Nm).

The transmission is a six-speed manual.

Transfer case is dual-range 4x4 with electronic 4WD selection.

Driving

We only had the chance to drive a dual-cab RX six-speed manual on the 4WD track at the Wodonga TAFE Logic Campus. It had a 325kg load in the back.

As with many other workhorses on the market, the Navara, in its heart, really belongs out bush and on sand. That's where it comes into its own and that's where it's the most fun to drive. No matter how refined, comfortable and slick 4WD utes become – their true strength is only ever being disguised or diminished.

Suffice to say, it did well on the rough stuff. Real well.

Safety

All NP300 Navaras have a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. Dual frontal, side chest and head-protecting airbags (curtains), driver knee airbag as well as EBD, ESC and EBA are standard. Advanced seat belt reminders are fitted to all seats.

There are no ISOFIX child-seat mounts; Nissan reckons it is addressing the issue – more on this soon.

Verdict

In a market awash with more sophisticated, better-equipped auto dual-cab offerings, it'll be interesting to see if this – manual only, single turbo-diesel only – will flourish or fail.

Pricing guides

$27,977
Based on 478 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$13,950
Highest Price
$39,575

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
DX 2.5L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $15,990 – 19,490 2015 Nissan Navara 2015 DX Pricing and Specs
DX (4X2) 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $14,990 – 16,988 2015 Nissan Navara 2015 DX (4X2) Pricing and Specs
DX (4X4) 2.5L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $12,500 – 18,040 2015 Nissan Navara 2015 DX (4X4) Pricing and Specs
RX (4X2) 2.5L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $14,999 – 35,990 2015 Nissan Navara 2015 RX (4X2) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Marcus Craft
Editor - Adventure

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Pricing Guide

$13,950

Lowest price, based on 196 car listings in the last 6 months

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