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Nissan Navara 2022 review: Pro-4X Warrior

With 40mm of extra clearance, big wheel arch flares and chunkier tyres, the Warrior looks the part.
EXPERT RATING
7.3
Infused with Australian engineering specialists Premcar's renowned expertise, the first Warrior was a formidable off-road alternative to the Ford Ranger Raptor. Now, for 2022, the Warrior 2.0 extends the best version of the Navara's capabilities further, with wholesale chassis improvements, building on the recent facelift's safety and refinement advancements. The result is like no other Navara.

Global events mean you may have missed it, but the Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior was one of 2020’s biggest automotive success stories.

The brainchild of noted Melbourne-based vehicle engineers, Premcar, the original Warrior sold out almost instantly, impressing buyers and critics alike with its impressive styling and off-road chassis upgrades.

Inevitably, with the heavily facelifted MY21 Navara – the second big makeover since the D23 series debuted way back in 2014 – comes a new Warrior iteration, with even greater 4x4 capability to match its updated styling and better specification.

Should potential buyers of Ford Ranger Raptor and Toyota HiLux Rugged X think twice before signing the dotted line?

Nissan Navara 2022: PRO-4X Warrior (4X4)
Safety rating
Engine Type2.3L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency8.1L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$69,990

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

Broad and beefy, with its 90mm of extra length, 45mm of extra width and 40mm of extra height compared to the regular PRO-4X, the Warrior sure looks the part, aided by that US-market Titan full-sized truck bonnet and grille treatment that so dramatically butches up the Nissan’s appearance. The wheelbase remains the same at 3150mm, by the way.

Broad and beefy, the Warrior sure looks the part. Broad and beefy, the Warrior sure looks the part.

The decals seem a little aftermarket and twee, though, and the red bash plate may not be to everybody’s liking, but the Warrior achieves exactly what its target audience expects – to stand out compared to the regular ute grades.

That blockier front end is matched by a taller tub that sits well with the old centre section. That blockier front end is matched by a taller tub that sits well with the old centre section.

Credit, too, goes to Nissan’s design team for updating the 2014 D23’s timid styling so emphatically. That blockier front end is matched by a taller tub that sits well with the old centre section. The end result means the MY22 Navara still looks contemporary all these years later… until you haul yourself up inside, that is.

 

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

There is nothing at all intrinsically wrong with the Warrior’s interior, even in 2022.

Though not cavernous, the cabin is certainly accommodating enough, with space up front for most folk, thanks to ample room for heads, shoulders and legs. If you’re shorter in stature, the driver’ cushion has a height lift too, meaning they don’t have to peer over that bulkier bonnet line. Too bad the passenger’s seat doesn’t, though.

Nicely padded seats that provide comfort even hours after being sat on them being chucked around on 4x4 tracks is further testimony to their soundness in design and execution.

Though not cavernous, the cabin is certainly accommodating enough. Though not cavernous, the cabin is certainly accommodating enough.

The familiar dash is simple and conventional yet thoughtfully laid out too, with most switchgear operated by good old-fashioned buttons rather than buried within infernal touchscreens. Ventilation is easy to locate and access, the instruments clear and attractive and storage is plentiful too. We’re also fans of the sporty three-spoke steering wheel.

Finding the right driving position isn’t difficult for most people, though there is only height (so no reach) adjustment for the steering column, while vision remains pretty good all round – the upshot of the deep side windows and excellent standard surround-view camera. The latter is such a boon whether manoeuvring around boulders in the bush or negotiating the usual Saturday-morning supermarket carpark melee.

However, it isn’t just the lack of adaptive cruise control that exposes the Navara’s wrinkles. The dash design looks ancient compared to some of the Nissan’s newer rivals, even ones at a fraction of the Warrior price, like GWM Ute Cannon’s. It’s also not very truck-like, with nothing but the pillar-mounted grab handles (and being perched high up, of course) separating this fascia design from a normal passenger car's.

The padded seats provide comfort even hours after being sat on. The padded seats provide comfort even hours after being sat on.

In sharp contrast to the aggressive exterior styling, it all looks a little fey inside – and not helped by the embroidered logo on the headrests. We’re willing to bet that not all off-road junkies are into haberdashery.

Nissan redesigned the rear backrest and cushion back at facelift time, and we couldn’t really fault the second row. Again, it's not massively spacious, but the fit and finish are fine, vision out is good, there are useful amenities like a central armrest with cupholders and rear-facing air vents for occupants, while entry/egress is assisted by those pillar handles.  

The MY21 D23 facelift promised – among other changes – improved sound-deadening and a stiffer, stronger chassis for reduced noise/vibration/harshness transmission. These criticisms seem to be less obvious this time around, meaning that travelling in the Warrior is less tiresome and fatiguing than in any previous Navara. We wouldn’t go as far as to say the Nissan is now class-leading, but the jittery and unsettled bugbears of old now seem diminished.

We’re fans of the sporty three-spoke steering wheel. We’re fans of the sporty three-spoke steering wheel.

Further back, the Warrior’s cargo bed’s floor is 1509mm long, its top is 1469mm long, width is 1560mm at floor level and 1490mm at top level, while the wheel arch width is rated at 1134mm. The tailgate opening is 1360mmm and overall wall height is 519mm. Useful info to know.

Finally, the rear axle has been strengthened and the tub is now larger and features flat-type tie-down hooks, resulting in a payload increases. GVM (gross vehicle mass) climbs 100kg to 3250kg, for a gross combined mass of 5910kg. Payload is 952kg (auto) and 961kg (manual), kerb mass is 2289kg (man) and 2298kg (auto) and towing capacity is 3500kg (braked) and 750kg (unbraked), with a maximum tow ball download rating of 350kg.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

Make no mistake. The previous (2019/2020) N-Trek Warrior was the best version of the current-shape Navara you could buy, giving it an off-road focus that the regular models didn’t possess, while somehow better masking their disappointing on-road dynamics and refinement. The noise and jittery suspension didn’t matter so much when four-wheel driving.

This time around, Premcar has built on the progress that the 2021 Navara facelift brings, including improved chassis rigidity, suspension, noise/vibration/harshness measures, comfort and safety. It was an extensive 12-month engineering program, located in Melbourne.

Nissan has also based the MY22 Warrior on the better-equipped, top-spec PRO-4X (from $58,130 before on-road costs for the manual/$60,639 for the auto) now that the old N-Trek grade is history, which equates to Wildtrak and Rogue when compared to Ranger and HiLux respectively.

As such, prices now jump $4500, and begin from $67,490 before on-road costs for the Warrior manual, and $69,990 before ORC for the Warrior auto that the overwhelming number of buyers will choose.

So, what does the $9360 Warrior premium bring?

For 4x4 fans, plenty. Premcar engineering upgrade knowhow, for starters. Then there’s the winch-compatible ‘Safari-style’ front bull bar with integrated light bar, a Warrior-specific tow bar, a larger and thicker bash plate for greater engine protection, Cooper Discoverer All Terrain AT3 275/70R17 tyres (including on the alloy spare), a 100kg GVM upgrade (now 3250kg), 260mm ground clearance (up 40mm, with springs and tyres making up 15mm and 25mm respectively), 30mm-wider tracks (to 1600mm), revised suspension with new spring rates and dampers that improve both handling and ride), and a larger and taller jounce bumper for less impact harshness at full suspension travel.

Over the old truck, Warrior 2.0’s approach angle improves four degrees (to 36°) but departure angle degrades 0.8° (to 19.8°) due to that full-sized spare. Ramp-over angle is rated at 26.2°, which is better by 3.3°.

As with all PRO-4X models, on the safety front you’ll find Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Blind Spot Warning, a surround view monitor with Moving Object Detection, Off-road monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, high-beam assist and rain-sensing wipers, among other gear.

Note, however, the cruise control lacks adaptive functionality, betraying the Navara’s advancing years.

The Pro-4X Warrior features a smallish 8.0-inch central touchscreen. The Pro-4X Warrior features a smallish 8.0-inch central touchscreen.

As do the smallish 8.0-inch central touchscreen, though it does score a 360-degree bird’s-eye-view surround-view camera and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, while full LED lighting, keyless entry/start, a 7.0-inch instrument cluster, Bluetooth telephony with audio streaming, digital radio, satellite navigation, climate control air-conditioning, leather and leather-like upholstery, an electric sliding rear window and rear privacy glass are also included.

So, is the Warrior good value? Well, given its greater off-road capability that Premcar’s palpably upgraded engineering specs usher in compared to the regular Navara PRO-4X, the answer has to be a firm yes. And keep in mind too that a Raptor costs $10K more – though the Ranger does offer more kit at that price point.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

One area where neither the Warrior nor any MY21 Navara seem to have received any changes is behind that prominent snout. It’s the same YS23DDTT 2298cc 2.3-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo powertrain as before.

Premcar didn’t touch a thing under the Warrior’s bonnet either, meaning it has exactly the same power and torque outputs, peaking at 140kW at 3750rpm and 450Nm from 1500rpm to 2500rpm. The power-to-weight ratio is around 61kW/tonne, depending on gearbox.

Speaking of which, it drives all four wheels via either a six-speed manual or seven-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. As with all latest-model Navara autos with this engine, there’s a driver selector mode offering Sport/Off-Road/Tow/Normal settings.

The Warrior’s 4x4 set-up consists of a transfer case with dual-range four-wheel drive (4WD) with electronic 4WD selection made up of 4x2 rear-wheel drive, 4x4 high range and 4x4 low range. Nissan’s Active Brake Limited Slip Differential is also included.

As before, the Navara features a double-wishbone front and five-point multi-link coil-sprung rear suspension system. Of the current crop of competitors, only the Ranger Raptor has a similar rear end set-up.

 

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

According to the official combined fuel figures, the Warrior averages 7.5L/100km for the manual and 8.1L/100km in auto guise, for a carbon dioxide emissions rating of 197 grams per kilometre and 213g/km respectively.

With a fuel tank that holds 80 litres of diesel, expect to average up to 1067km between refills in the manual, or 988km when feeding the auto version.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

The current-shape Navara has come a long way since 2014.

That said, while regular updates have tried to match the class leaders like Ranger in terms of driving pleasure and ride comfort, none have ever managed to hit the mark.

By concentrating on off-road capability, the new PRO-4X Warrior seems to have come closer than any other.

The current-shape Navara has come a long way since 2014. The current-shape Navara has come a long way since 2014.

Better tyres, springs and dampers, combined with the stronger platform, revamped suspension and improved sound insulation all MY21 models enjoy, have created a Navara that suffers from less body shake over bumpy roads, as well as reduced noise transmission into the cabin. Even the 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel seems more muted than before.

Now with the handy and effective choice of Normal or Sport modes, the Warrior in auto guise (as tested) steps off the line more briskly than its meagre capacity suggests, staying within its narrow torque band to keep things moving pretty quickly. It doesn’t seem coarse or strained, reacts surprisingly eagerly to the throttle at speed and settles down to a distant thrum when cruising along at highway velocities.

The Pro-4X Warrior suffers from less body shake over bumpy roads. The Pro-4X Warrior suffers from less body shake over bumpy roads.

We never had the chance to test it in urban areas, but out on rural roads around Coffs Harbour, there’s sufficient performance for most people’s needs.

That said, the Warrior’s aggressive attitude should be matched by more muscle at this price point, and that will only be exacerbated once the V6-powered Rangers come on stream later in 2022. We look forward to more powerful versions sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Still sticking with on-road driving, the Navara’s steering is a pleasantly light if somewhat dull experience, since it faithfully follows the line of cornering and doesn’t feel boaty or unwieldy doing so, but provides very little feedback or involvement. Which is AOK for an off-road focused 4x4 truck. Considering how purpose-built those go-anywhere tyres are – as well as the 260mm ground clearance and higher centre-of-gravity the suspension lift brings – the Warrior’s handling through tighter turns – in pouring rain at that – proved remarkably composed and controlled.

Still sticking with on-road driving, the Navara’s steering is a pleasantly light if somewhat dull experience. Still sticking with on-road driving, the Navara’s steering is a pleasantly light if somewhat dull experience.

You won’t think you’re driving a Ranger, let alone a passenger car, but by the same token, there’s nothing heavy or burdensome going on here either. The Warrior feels well sorted.

The same applies to the Nissan’s ability to soak up road bumps, with none of the pitching and fidgety motion that afflicted previous utes. Only on a particularly corrugated piece of bitumen did some lateral body shimmer become apparent in our non-laden example. We call this a win.

Off road, the Warrior shone, making easy work of some deep-rutted paths, acutely angled slippery gradients, a few fast-flowing streams and occasional heavily-churned mud tracks.

Off road, the Warrior shone. Off road, the Warrior shone.

Going from 4x2 to 4x4 High is an easy twist of a knob, reassuringly effective hill-descent activation is only an instant press of a button away and choosing 4x4 Low highlights the Navara’s determined crawling capabilities, with enough punch from the 2.3-litre twin-turbo to power through. It can turn amateur bush bashers into experts and, in our time at least, hardly felt like a sweat was raised. The technology underneath does all the hard work.

Clearly, over the past eight years or so, Nissan’s engineers have honed the D23’s off-road prowess; Premcar’s mods have enhanced them to a pleasingly next-level degree.

Like we said earlier. The Warrior is the best Navara to drive by far… on as well as away from bitumen.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   6/10

The Navara was awarded a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, but that was against 2015 scoring criteria that were less strict than today's testing regime, so it’s highly likely that the Warrior wouldn’t be up there with the class best if it were tested nowadays. Again, an age-related issue.

Safety systems do include seven airbags (dual front, front-side, curtain and driver’s knee SRS items), AEB, forward collision warning, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Blind Spot Warning, surround view monitor with Moving Object Detection, Off-road monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, tyre pressure monitors, high-beam assist and rain-sensing wipers.

These come on top of anti-lock brakes with brake-force distribution and brake assist, along with traction and stability control devices.

To help get to where you need to be, the Warrior also features Hill Start Assist, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Descent Control and an electronic locking rear differential.

Note that while the front brakes are discs, the rear ones use drums, while adaptive cruise control is not available. The bones of this Navara are really getting on now.

A trio of child seat anchorage points are provided behind the rear seatbacks, along with ISOFIX points in both outboard rear cushions.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

Nissan Australia offers capped price servicing for up to six years. Prices vary from $502 to $783 per service, depending on mileage.

Like all Navaras, the Warrior’s service intervals are 12 months or 20,000km. Like all Navaras, the Warrior’s service intervals are 12 months or 20,000km.

Like all Navaras, the Warrior’s service intervals are 12 months or 20,000km, and you get a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty as well, which is par for the course nowadays.

Verdict

The original N-Trek Warrior was something out of the box. Confident, capable and cool to look at, it rose above the mediocrity of the old Navara. It’s no wonder Nissan had no trouble at all selling them.

Premcar’s follow-up is better at every turn, turning up the wick both on and off road, while leveraging the progress that the substantial facelift has brought.

The end result is an even more superior Navara, and one that off-road focussed buyers could rely on to really give the class leaders like the more-expensive Raptor a run for their money. The Aussie ingenuity that’s been added is what makes Warrior 2.0 literally stand out.

On the evidence of this, imagine what Premcar could do with a more-modern design and stronger engines! Raptor, Rugged X and others have a formidable foe in their midst.

Pricing guides

$51,145
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$32,300
Highest Price
$69,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
PRO-4X (4X4) 2.3L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTOMATED MAN $60,630 2022 Nissan Navara 2022 PRO-4X (4X4) Pricing and Specs
PRO-4X Warrior (4X4) 2.3L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTOMATED MAN $69,990 2022 Nissan Navara 2022 PRO-4X Warrior (4X4) Pricing and Specs
SL (4X2) 2.3L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTOMATED MAN $34,800 2022 Nissan Navara 2022 SL (4X2) Pricing and Specs
SL (4X4) 2.3L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTOMATED MAN $47,300 2022 Nissan Navara 2022 SL (4X4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.3
Design8
Practicality7
Price and features8
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption7
Driving8
Safety6
Ownership7
Byron Mathioudakis
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$69,990

Lowest price, based on new car retail price

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