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NISSAN PICKS UP THE PACE (some text hidden)
By Car & Driving
The unique selling point of Nissan's Navara pick-up, its multi-link suspension system, has been improved as part of a useful package of changes. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 46
Nissan promise that this improved Navara pick-up can manage to offer relatively car-like ride, refinement and performance whilst remaining a dependable workhorse. Plus an even more powerful base engine and a reasonable sense of style allow this truck to appeal to commercial and private buyers alike.
Backgroundword count: 145
Nissan have been proudly promoting their pick-up heritage with today's Navara model. That's no surprise considering the Japanese brand first produced such a vehicle over eighty years ago. The Navara nameplate isn't quite so old, dating back to the year 1997 and marking the first modern Nissan pick-up that didn't just appeal to those after a working vehicle. Indeed, with pick-ups popular as alternatives to SUVs, refinement is more important than ever. With that in mind, Nissan developed a smooth 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine for this current model that's so refined that Mercedes also uses it for its X-Class model. It also claims to be powerful and efficient. The key attribute here though, is the provision of a rear suspension set-up for the family-friendly Double Cab model that promises more car-like standards of ride and handling ride, without sacrificing its off road or load carrying ability.
Driving Experienceword count: 252
The Navara's 2.3-litre dCi turbodiesel engine has changed significantly in its base 163PS form, where it gains twin turbochargers - like those already fitted to the gutsier 190PS version of this unit. This means this base powerplant now puts out a prodigious 425Nm of torque, a useful 22Nm more than before. Both variants get a new 6-speed manual gearbox that features longer gear ratios and a shorter shift pattern, providing for slicker gear selection. The brakers have been looked at too; you now get disc brakes alkl round (previously at the rear, there were old fashioned drums) and the brake boosters are now bigger. That's a 40% reduction in braking forced and a usefully reduced stopping distance. Even more significant are the changes made to the multi-link rear suspension system, which is the thing that sets this Navara apart from most of its pick-up rivals who continue to use clunky old leaf springs. This Nissan's multi-link set-up now uses new dual stage coil springs and it's fitted to the King Cab body style for the first time. With a revised set-up, the rear posture is raised by 25mm to give the pickup an upright and more powerful looking stance, whilst continuing to deliver a more comfortable and dynamic 'car-like' driving feel. As a result, Navara's payload also increases by up to 46kg, dependent on model. Otherwise, things are much as before, which means that a seven-speed automatic gearbox remains optional, though once again, this is reserved for the Double Cab model only.
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