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Nissan Navara 2022 review: Pro-4X Warrior - GVM test

The PRO-4X Warrior is almost $10K more than the standard PRO-4X. (image: Mark Oastler)

Daily driver score

4/5

Tradies score

4/5

Ford’s desert racing-inspired Ranger Raptor was clearly the catalyst for Nissan Australia to create a tougher and more specialised ‘Warrior’ version of its D23 Navara. However, unlike the Raptor which is designed and developed in-house by Ford, Nissan has partnered with Melbourne-based OEM automotive engineering specialist Premcar (formerly Ford Performance Vehicles) to meet its design requirements.

The first Warrior, based on the then premium N-TREK model grade, was released in 2019 and received such a positive reception that Nissan and Premcar have teamed up again to create a new Warrior, this time using the current top-shelf PRO-4X model as its foundation.

With typical tradie use in mind, we recently put one to the test and discovered a good looking, sharper handling and more capable all-rounder that offers some key load-carrying and price advantages over the Raptor.

Read more: Nissan Navara 2022 review: Pro-4X Warrior

Price and Features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The PRO-4X Warrior is only available with Nissan’s 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, but buyers have a choice of either six-speed manual transmission for a list price of $67,490 or seven-speed automatic like our test vehicle for $69,990.

That’s almost $10K more than the standard PRO-4X and for that you get what Nissan claims to be the world’s toughest Navara, starting with its beefy 275/70 R17 Cooper Discoverer All Terrain AT3 tyres and alloys with full-size alloy spare, wider track and uprated suspension.

Being based on the richly-equipped PRO-4X means you get cool stuff throughout. (image: Mark Oastler) Being based on the richly-equipped PRO-4X means you get cool stuff throughout. (image: Mark Oastler)

Other key enhancements include a winch-capable bull bar with integrated LED light bar and Warrior-specific (for ground clearance) tow-bar, Navara-branded red front bash plate and other underbody armour, Warrior-specific wheel arch flares, body decals and headrest embroidery.

Being based on the richly-equipped PRO-4X means you also get cool stuff like a six-speaker infotainment system with 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and digital radio, dual-zone climate control, leather-accented steering wheel and shifter, four USB ports and two 12-volt accessory outlets, reversing and 360-degree cameras, tyre pressure monitoring, slide-adjustable cargo anchorage system in a fully-lined load tub and more.

Design – is there anything interesting about its design?

A 30mm increase in track width gives it a broad-shouldered stance and more planted road feel, while the 40mm gain in ground clearance results in an improved approach angle (was 32, now 36 degrees) and near-identical 19 degrees departure angle with tow-bar and full-size spare wheel tucked under the tail. There’s also a useful increase in GVM (see Practicality).

A 30mm increase in track width gives it a broad-shouldered stance and more planted road feel. (image: Mark Oastler) A 30mm increase in track width gives it a broad-shouldered stance and more planted road feel. (image: Mark Oastler)

There are new spring rates and revised damping (shock absorbers) all-round for better compliance, improved isolation from impacts, less body roll and reduced float when towing or carrying a load. New jounce rubbers have been developed for better control of wheel movement at maximum suspension travel and reduced transmission of large impacts into the cabin.

According to Nissan, the PRO-4X Warrior’s rigorous testing program included extensive on-road development drives on a variety of local sealed and unsealed roads, while off-road testing was conducted at the Australian Automotive Research Centre (AARC) and numerous other locations.

Engine and transmission – What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

Nissan’s premium YS23DDTT 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel is more than adequate for this application, with its pair of inline sequential turbochargers providing excellent lag-free throttle response in producing 140kW at 3750rpm and 450Nm of peak torque between 1500-2500rpm.

Nissan’s premium YS23DDTT 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel is more than adequate. (image: Mark Oastler) Nissan’s premium YS23DDTT 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel is more than adequate. (image: Mark Oastler)

The smooth-shifting seven-speed torque converter automatic is equally competent and refined. Overdriven sixth and seventh gears optimise highway fuel economy and there’s a manual sequential-shift mode which is handy both off-road and when carrying and/or towing heavy loads in hilly terrain. It also has intelligent auto downshifting and the choice of four drive modes comprising Normal, Sport, Off-Road and Towing selected by a console toggle switch.

The 4x4 transmission is dual-range part-time, with shift-on-the fly electronic 4x4 engagement up to 100km/h and 2.7:1 low-range reduction. There’s also an electronic rear diff lock.

Fuel consumption – How much fuel does it consume?

Nissan claims a combined figure of 8.1L/100km (same as the standard PRO-4X) but the dash display was showing 10.2L at the end of our 322km test, of which about one third was hauling a heavy payload. Our own figure, calculated from tripmeter and fuel bowser readings, was only slightly higher at 10.4L which equates to a real-world driving range of around 770km from its 80-litre tank.

Practicality – How practical is the space inside?

The auto-equipped Warrior’s 2298kg kerb weight represents a sizeable 152kg increase over the standard PRO-4X on which it’s based. This would have resulted in a relatively modest 852kg payload rating if the standard 3150kg GVM was retained.

However, Premcar’s suspension re-work includes a 100kg GVM upgrade to 3250kg with a corresponding increase in payload to 952kg, which is only 52kg less than the PRO-4X. The Warrior also retains the PRO-4X’s class-benchmark 3.5-tonne braked tow rating but to do that you’d have to slash the payload to only 112kg (enough for just a driver) to avoid exceeding the 5910kg GCM (or how much you can legally carry and tow at the same time).

The rear seat’s base cushion can swing upwards through 90 degrees and be stored vertically. (image: Mark Oastler) The rear seat’s base cushion can swing upwards through 90 degrees and be stored vertically. (image: Mark Oastler)

For what it’s worth, we reckon it’s always safer and more practical to base braked tow ratings on a vehicle’s GVM rather than its chest-beating advertising claims. In this case 3250kg, which when deducted from the 5910kg GCM reduces the braked towing capacity from 3500kg to 2660kg (which is ample for most folks anyway) but restores the full 952kg of payload.

The load tub’s 1509mm floor length is slightly shorter than its 1560mm width and it’s 519mm deep. With 1134mm between the rear wheel housings, it won’t fit a standard Aussie or Euro pallet (it’s not alone there), but there are four fixed load anchorage points at floor level and the two-channel slide-adjustable system mentioned earlier for securing taller loads.

With 1134mm between the rear wheel housings, the tub won’t fit a standard Aussie or Euro pallet. (image: Mark Oastler) With 1134mm between the rear wheel housings, the tub won’t fit a standard Aussie or Euro pallet. (image: Mark Oastler)

Cabin storage includes a centre console with open storage cubby at the front, two small-bottle/cup holders in the centre and a small lidded box at the back. There’s also a large-bottle holder and storage bin in each front door, plus a single glove-box and overhead glasses holder.

Rear seat passengers also get a large-bottle holder and smaller storage bin in each door plus a fold-down centre armrest with two small-bottle/cup holders. The rear seat’s base cushion can also swing upwards through 90 degrees and be stored vertically for more internal cargo space.

What’s it like as a daily driver?

Although it’s a stretch to compare a high-riding 4x4 ute with a low-riding Falcon sedan, there is a distinct Premcar ‘DNA’ evident in the Warrior that’s reminiscent of its FPV/Tickford past. That is, sharper steering response and firmer, more disciplined handling with enough suspension compliance to ensure a supple ride regardless of road surface (and in this case off-road surface).

There’s ample grunt from the refined twin-turbo engine and it offers quiet and fuel-efficient operation at highway speeds, with only 1750rpm required to maintain 100km/h and just under 2000rpm at 110km/h. The low noise of the Cooper Discoverer tyres at highway speeds is commendable given their aggressive tread patterns.

There is a distinct Premcar ‘DNA’ evident in the Warrior that’s reminiscent of its FPV/Tickford past. (image: Mark Oastler) There is a distinct Premcar ‘DNA’ evident in the Warrior that’s reminiscent of its FPV/Tickford past. (image: Mark Oastler)

The front seats are supportive and comfortable although tall people might find the driver’s seat a tad too high, even on its lowest setting. There’s also no lumbar adjustment (although we didn't need it) and the seat base cushion feels a tad short for proper under-thigh support. It could also benefit from a larger left footrest, as it doesn’t offer enough support for a decent-sized Blundstone.

What’s it like for tradie use?

We forklifted 650kg into the load tub which with our two-man crew equalled 800kg, or about 150kg under the Warrior’s peak payload rating. Interestingly, the recommended cold tyre pressure for this task was a relatively low 30psi.

The nose only dropped 5mm while the rear coil springs compressed almost 60mm, but there was also about 60mm of static rear bump-stop clearance remaining. Combined with the rising rate rear springs and long jounce rubbers, this set-up ensured there was no bottoming-out during our load test.

We forklifted 650kg into the load tub which with our two-man crew equalled 800kg. (image: Mark Oastler) We forklifted 650kg into the load tub which with our two-man crew equalled 800kg. (image: Mark Oastler)

The ride quality was smooth, with braking and steering largely unaffected; the Warrior’s disciplined and surefooted handling on sealed and unsealed roads instilled confidence behind the wheel. It also proved to be an effortless hill-climber on our 13 per cent gradient, 2.0km set climb at 60km/h with ample torque providing plenty of pulling power. Engine-braking in a manually-selected second gear on the way down was equally robust.

The recommended cold tyre pressure for this task was a relatively low 30psi. (image: Mark Oastler) The recommended cold tyre pressure for this task was a relatively low 30psi. (image: Mark Oastler)

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

Same as PRO-4X. Five-star ANCAP rating (awarded 2015), seven airbags and the rear seat has three top-tether and two ISOFIX child seat anchorage points. Plenty of active safety headlined by AEB plus forward collision and lane departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, trailer-sway control, hill-start assist, hill descent control, reversing/360-degree cameras, rear parking sensors and more. However, adaptive cruise control and front parking sensors are notable omissions which should be standard issue at this model grade.

Ownership – What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

The Navara is covered by a five years/unlimited km warranty. Premcar matches Nissan’s warranty on Warrior enhancements with all enquiries handled by Nissan. Five years 24-hour roadside assist. Scheduled servicing every 20,000km/12 months whichever occurs first. Capped-price servicing available costing $2847 across five years.

Although it can’t match the supreme air-cushioned feel of the Raptor, it does come close and looks just as tough. It also offers one extra tonne of braked towing capacity and almost 200kg more payload. And, it’s almost $10,000 cheaper. That’s a tempting tradie alternative to a Raptor, whichever way you look at it.

$69,990

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

4/5

Tradies score

4/5
Price Guide

$69,990

Based on new car retail price

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.