Review: Nissan Navara (2005 – 2016)
Useful rear hinged rear doors on crew cab, developed alongside Pathfinder, one of the most refined 2005 pick-ups.
Prone to timing chain problems, halfshafts suffer from high wear, avoid models without full service history, reports of severe chassis rust.
Recently Added To This Review
Report of poor quality chassis corrosion prevention treatment. Nissan dealer sub-contracted the work, which rejected due to being not to specification. Wiring looms were not reconnected to the chassis... Read more
Strange account of Nissan taking a reader's Navara D40 to Spain to be "rust-proofed". The process took 5 months and the reader's cherished pride and joy was returned damaged with grafitti, scratches... Read more
Report of failure of chassis October 2017 Nissan Navara at 82,212. Nissan said it would take 6 weeks for them to assess, but as the vehicle is an essential part of the owners business he had it welded... Read more
Nissan Navara (2005 – 2016): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure
More than any other pick-up on the market, the Nissan Navara straddles the divide between workhorse and SUV. The Navara D40 was offered in the UK by Nissan in Double Cab format, with the King Cab offering more load length in the pick-up bed thanks to its shorter cab.
Even if it is a pick-up that plenty will buy more for its style and looks, the Navara is a tough worker and can carry 1125kg, or 1215kg in King Cab form. It will also tow up to 2700kg with a braked trailer and the load bed will manage up to 1861mm with the King Cab or 1511mm with the Double Cab.
Power comes from 2.5-litre or 3.0-litre turbodiesel engines that offer 190PS and 231PS respectively. The smaller engine comes with a six-speed manual as standard or there’s an auto ’box option, while the 3.0-litre V6 diesel is only offered with a seven-speed auto.
Nissan also supplies all Navara models with four-wheel drive and low ratio transfer ’box, so it can cope with serious mud plugging just as easily as it cuts a dash on the high street. Topping this off is the Navara’s decent ride, handling and refinement that put it among the best in class.
Used Buying Guide - Nissan Navara
With good road manners to back its clear good looks, useful carrying and towing capacity, the Navara was a big success for Nissan, its wide remit of appealing to business as well as retail customers seeing it offered with a wide range of trims.
What does a Nissan Navara (2005 – 2016) cost?
Nissan Navara (2005 – 2016): What's It Like Inside?
Nissan has adopted the same trim levels for the Navara as it uses on its passenger cars, albeit in a slimmed down line-up. For the Navara, there is the Acenta trim as the entry point, with Tekna also offered for the 190PS 2.5 diesel models. A Platinum model offers greater luxury, while the Outlaw is the only trim offered with the 3.0 V6 model, which also comes with an automatic gearbox as standard.
The King Cab versions of the Navara have a two-door design and shorter cab, though they still provide a second row of seats and two three-point seat belts. Space in the back row of the King Cab is limited, so adults will find it pinched and even kids will soon tire of the lack of legroom.
Choose the Double Cab instead and the amount of legroom increases considerably to accommodate three abreast with more comfort and ease than many rivals. Access to the rear of the Navara is good through the rear doors of the Double Cab and they open out wide to reveal a large aperture.
In the front, it’s just as easy to swing in and out of the cab for the front passenger and driver. The driver is afforded decent vision, though the Navara’s thick pillars don’t give quite the panoramic view for the driver found in some of the competition. However, the Nissan’s driving position is among the best in the pick-up class. Even so, it could be further improved if Nissan allowed the steering wheel to adjust for depth as well as height.
The dash is typical of Nissan in that it gets all of the fundamentals right by providing large, clear dials for the main instruments but then scattering too many small buttons for the minor controls all over the centre console. When many Navara drivers will be clambering in and out all day, often with work gloves on, this can be an irritation.
On the plus side, there’s no faulting Nissan’s generosity when it comes to kitting the Navara out with standard equipment. It is packed with electric windows, dual zone climate control, cruise control, electric windows all round, remote central locking, iPod connection, Bluetooth connection, ESP, driver, passenger and side airbags, alarm, side steps and 17-inch alloy wheels. And that’s just the Acenta.
Move to the Tekna and you gain roof rails, rear privacy glass, heated front seats, automatic headlights and wipers plus steering wheel controls for the stereo. The Platinum and Outlaw models go even further, so you will never want for luxury whichever Navara you prefer.
As well as the opulence of its cabin, the Navara has not forgotten about being practical. The tailgate locks separately from the cab and drops down flush with the load bed.
Depending on the model you choose, loads of up to 1215kg can be carried and also goods up to 1861mm in length stowed with the tailgate closed. There are tie-down hooks in each corner of the load bed and Nissan will also sell you a hard top or roller cover for greater security.
What's the Nissan Navara (2005 – 2016) like to drive?
Both of the engines in the Nissan Navara offer more power than most rivals can muster, which makes the Navara pick-up an entertaining drive. The 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel has 190PS on tap at 3600rpm, but maximum shove of 450Nm is delivered at just 2000rpm, making it more potent and much more flexible than the Toyota Hilux.
On the road, the Navara’s 2.5-litre engine doesn’t feel quite as punchy or brawny as the figures suggest and it doesn’t like to be worked too hard. Still, it’s is much more lively and usable than a Hilux and the six-speed manual gearbox is sweetness and light to use compared to the clunky efforts of some pick-ups.
Few will choose the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, which is derived from a Renault unit, due to its economy and emissions compared to the 2.5-litre engine. If you can stomach these extra costs, however, the V6 is very smooth and oozes power and relaxed cruising. With a considerable 550Nm of low-down grunt at just 1750rpm, there is never any question of this Navara hauling itself along at a brisk pace, overtaking with ease and sauntering along motorways in laid back style. It also makes short work of towing right the way up to the Navara’s 2700kg limit and copes easily with its maximum payload weight.
Whichever engine you choose in the Navara, the Nissan is one of the better handling and riding machines in the pick-up class. Despite its basic underpinnings dating back to 2005, although there was a comprehensive revamp in 2010, the Navara doesn’t feel its age.
Where the similarly aged Toyota Hilux feels crude and loud on the road, the Navara does a good job of quelling its engines’ noises. It also suppresses road and wind noise with far greater effect and efficiency than the Toyota. The 2.5-litre engine can become vocal when pushed to give its best, but settle in to using its low rev shove and work up through the slick six-speed manual gearbox and you’ll make comfortable, quiet progress.
As for the V6, it’s just plain quick and is something of a hot in pick-up circles. Only the Ford Ranger with its 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel engine feels in the same league for power and performance, though even the Ford has to give best to the Nissan’s V6 for aural delight and smoothness.
As with its performance, the Nissan Navara is also still a good choice for ride comfort thanks to suspension that copes well with the UK’s roads that better resemble a battle field than a transport network at times. Accurate steering with no slop helps enormously here, while the Navara makes a better fist of putting its power down on the road than most pick-up rivals.
Use the switchable four-wheel drive for off-roading and the Navara will get to most places its rivals will with similar ease. Only the likes of the Land Rover Defender and Isuzu D-Max will outdo the Nissan when it comes to foraging into the rough.
Real MPG average for a Nissan Navara (2005 – 2016)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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