Nissan Navara 2021 review

The Navara is a practical and comfortable pick-up truck that appeals to a wide range of buyers

£19,205
Average price
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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Practical
  • Comfortable ride
  • Good warranty

Cons

  • Notchy manual gearbox
  • Not as good as an SUV on the road
  • Some cheap interior plastics
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

  • Video

  • Price Guide

  • Trims

  • Summary

Model review

The pick-up market is one of those segments that’s evolved significantly over the years – no longer just appealing to those looking for a workhorse, but also a more upmarket lifestyle product. 

That’s true of the Nissan Navara, which arrived in 1985 as a utilitarian product, but has increasingly become more premium over the years. However, the rugged models remain available for those looking for that type of vehicle. 

The latest generation Navara arrived in 2015, and was a big step up from its predecessor – coming with a host of new technology, a much smarter look and also a new 2.3-litre diesel engine. 

Known as the NP300 Navara, it also introduced a new five-year warranty to the model, while also coming with a more advanced suspension setup to improve comfort further, while also bringing it with weight savings. Given Mercedes used the Navara as the basis for its X-Class pick-up, it also helps to put the model in good stead. 

Latest model

The most recent update to the Navara came in 2019 as part of a mid-life update. While changes weren’t huge, Nissan improved efficiency and smoothness with the introduction of a new six-speed manual gearbox, while a revised suspension allowed the model to carry heavier loads – increasing the payload by as much as 114kg. 

A larger eight-inch touchscreen was also introduced, which is works alongside the NissanConnect Services app – giving drivers insights and telematic information remotely. Design changes were quite small, though, and restricted to new alloy wheels and tweaked LED headlights. In 2020 Nissan also updated the top-spec N-Guard model – the most stylish in the range – bringing new colours, a more premium look and a new spray-on liner for the load bed, which helps to absorb shocks and sounds. 

Value for money

Nissan got rid of the single cab option on the latest Navara, with the model now available as a Double Cab and a King Cab – a four-seat model that does without traditional back doors and favours load capacity over rear room.

Prices start from £23,275 for the King Cab and £24,125 for the Double Cab, and we’d recommend going for the latter as it is a much more useful day-to-day tool. Standard kit isn’t overly generous, but all models are equipped with cruise control, air conditioning and Bluetooth. The mid-spec N-Connecta is where our money would go – adding larger alloy wheels, a touchscreen and keyless entry and start. Note that with many pick-ups being bought by businesses, prices are often ‘plus VAT’, so this is something to check before buying. 

If you’re looking at a used Navara, even the oldest models won’t dip much below £4,000, even with high mileage. The latest generation is available from around £11,500, though to get fewer miles and a higher spec you’ll have to spend around £16,000. Good discounts are available on nearly-new models, though. 

Looks and image

The latest Navara is undoubtedly the most visually appealing yet, though if you want style, we’d look past the basic Visia and Acenta models and go further up the range for something that gets more attractive alloy wheels and chrome styling. Tekna versions bring the roof rails, which are a neat touch. The one to go for, though, when it comes to style, is the top-spec N-Guard, which brings more muscular looks with its black accents and large black alloy wheels. 

Nissan has certainly improved the Navara’s cabin in recent years, and it now has a more car-like feel than ever – not least because it shares a design with the brand’s X-Trail SUV. With an improved eight-inch touchscreen and easy-to-use interface, it’s one of the better pick-up interiors, though it is starting to feel a touch dated – particularly on areas such as the steering wheel. 

If you want a comfortable pick-up for long distances, we reckon the Navara is the best in this class. With a multi-link suspension setup, it has one of the best rides of any truck – even when unladen – while it stays flat and planted through the corners. It’s by no means as good as a similar SUV, but by pick-up standards, it’s impressive. 

Video review

Space and practicality

As we’ve mentioned, the Navara is offered in a King or Double Cab guise and if you intend to carry rear passengers – even occasionally – we’d recommend going for the latter. There’s plenty of space throughout, with taller adults able to get comfortable. 

It also has a huge load bed, which is 1.75m-long on the King Cab and 1.54m on the Double Cab, with both offering an impressive amount of room, with a payload of up to 1,136kg on offer. It also has an impressive 3,500kg towing limit, making it ideal  if you need to hitch up larger caravans and trailers. 

Engines

The latest generation of Navara uses a 2.3-litre turbocharged ‘dCi’ diesel engine, which is available with outputs of 161bhp or 187bhp on higher-spec models. Part-time four-wheel-drive is fitted to all models, with much of the range available with the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed automatic transmission. 

In terms of performance, the less powerful option can reach 0-60mph in 12.3 seconds, though the 187bhp version can manage it in 11 seconds.

Running costs

While the Navara is a big truck and won’t be cheap to run, it’s more efficient than you might expect. Nissan claims it will return 40.4mpg (38.2mpg for automatic versions), while CO2 emissions ranging from 184-194g/km are respectable for a vehicle of this size. 

Things to look out for 

All Navara models benefit from a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, which is one of the longest in this class, though it’s eclipsed by the seven-year unlimited mileage one you get with the SsangYong Musso. It should also prove to be a reliable proposition, though just check for any issues relating to the DPF filter on models that only do short runs. As with any pick-up, look out for excessive wear and abuse, too. 

Rivals 

Pick-ups remain as popular as ever, with the Navara facing stiff competition from the Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux. The SsangYong Musso (which also comes in a long-wheelbase specification) is worth considering as well, while the Volkswagen Amarok and Mercedes X-Class could be worth considering if you fancy something a touch more upmarket. The Mercedes even shares the same underpinnings as the Navara. 

Depreciation

As pick-ups get older, you’ll notice they hold their value well, as they prove especially popular for a variety of uses. If you’re looking at something newer, you’ll be able to get big savings off list prices with steep depreciation seen, especially on nearly-new examples. 

Trims explained

A choice of five trim levels are available on the Navara, with equipment highlights and pricing as follows.

Visia

Standard equipment on the Navara includes electrically adjustable door mirrors, electric front windows, automatic lights, Bluetooth and DAB radio. You also get air conditioning, 17-inch steel wheels, a trip computer and cruise control.

From £23,275 (excluding VAT)

Acenta

The step up to the Acenta brings 17-inch alloy wheels and more attractive chrome styling, along with rear electric windows, additional speakers and autonomous emergency braking.

From £24,225 (excluding VAT)

N-Connecta

The N-Connecta would be our pick of the range, as it adds more attractive 18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and rear privacy glass. It also gains an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation and a reversing camera. Elsewhere, keyless entry and start, climate control and a leather steering wheel are also included.

From £28,000 (excluding VAT)

Tekna

High-spec Tekna models bring heated front seats, an electric driver’s seat and leather upholstery, along with more attractive silver roof rails and side steps. It also comes with adaptive LED headlights, rear parking sensors and a 360-degree camera system.

From £29,650 (excluding VAT)

N-Guard

Right at the top of the range is the N-Guard, which is a model focused on styling. It gains a full black styling kit – including its alloy wheels, door mirrors, grille and bumpers. You also get leather and cloth seats with blue stitching, additional interior lighting and a sunroof.

From £31,400 (excluding VAT)

Summary

  1. King and Double Cab models available
  2. One of the most comfortable trucks around
  3. Bold styling
  4. Pleasant car-like interior
  5. Very practical
  6. Plenty of trim choice
  7. Smooth diesel engine
  8. Five-year, 100,000-mile warranty
  9. One of the cheaper models to run in this class
  10. A seriously impressive pick-up

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