Review: Nissan Navara (2016)
3.5 tonne towing capacity, SUV-like comfort and refinement, one-tonne payload.
Rear legroom on king cab models is poor, some interior plastics feel cheap.
Recently Added To This Review
Six speed manual transmission. Upgraded suspension for heavier payloads with Intelligent Trailer Sway Assist technology for towing. Rear disc brakes are now standard for improved stopping power. The... Read more
The latest Navara receives several key changes. These including a new six- speed manual gearbox, revised alloy wheel designs, and the latest in-car connectivity. Multi-link rear suspension has been... Read more
. Combining a one-tonne payload with a 3.5 tonne towing capacity, Nissan's pick-up is the most popular in its class. “Cheaper to run, better equipped and more rewarding to drive than most of... Read more
Nissan Navara (2016): At A Glance
The refined and rugged Nissan Navara is the complete pick-up package. It’s smarty styled, practical and capable of hauling huge loads. The cabin might not be as plush as some of its rivals, but the Navara trumps the competition when it comes to comfort and ease of use.
The key to the Navara's superiority is found in its mechanical set-up, with double cab models using a five-link set-up with coil springs instead of the leaf sprung cart suspension that is commonly used. This means the bounce and wallow ride has been replaced with a smooth and rewarding drive that feels more akin to a family SUV than a commercial vehicle.
Traditionalists can still get the Navara with leaf suspension on king cab models, but this was phased out on new models in late-2019. This means all versions of the Navara now get fit multi-link rear suspension as standard.
The Navara can be specified with two-wheel or four-wheel drive and retains its workman like qualities by offering a one-tonne payload and using the same durable box chassis as before. All versions are powered by a 2.3-litre diesel engine, which is packed with torque and offered with either 160PS or 190PS, the latter with twin turbochargers. Updates to the Narava range in late-2019 saw the entry-level engine get a small increase in power (now 163PS) and more torque.
All Navaras are strong towing vehicles - pulling up to 3.5 tonnes - and benefit from lots of low-torque for shifting heavy loads. There's more than enough performance for the Navara to fulfil its work and family duties with a hushed motorway manner and responsive steering.
The interior is large and comfortable, with a spacious interior and commanding driving position. Higher spec models get a seven-inch touchscreen and navigation, while air conditioning, rear ventilation and a full-size spare wheel are all fitted at no extra cost across the range. Nissan also provides a five years/100,000 mile warranty, which is fully transferable.
Pick-up manufacturers are always keen to claim car-like qualities, but few manage to live up to the billing. However Nissan has set a new benchmark with the Navara by giving it similar handling and ride characteristics to a family SUV. As a result the Navara is easy to use, predictable to drive and comfortable for long trips. In our view it's the best pick-up on the market.
Driven: Euro6 Nissan Navara
Now, with the Euro6 emission rules in force, Nissan has updated the Navara, with lower running costs, lower CO2 emissions and more equipment fitted as standard.
What does a Nissan Navara (2016) cost?
Nissan Navara (2016): What's It Like Inside?
The Nissan Navara is offered in two body-styles - king cab or double cab - and both can carry a one-tonne payload. King cab models are more work-focussed, with the smaller cab providing a 1788mm load bed that’s 200mm longer than the one found in the double cab. However, king cab models are effectively two-seater affairs, with a small set of bench seats located at the rear for occasional use.
In our view the double cab strikes the best balance for day-to-day usability, with a 3.5 tonne towing capacity and a one-tonne loadbay. The cabin is spacious with lots of head and leg room for up to four large adults and there is plenty of useful storage, with deep door pockets and a large cubby box.
The interior quality might not match the Volkswagen Amarok, but all Navara models get comfortable and supportive cloth seats that have been designed to provide better spinal support by wrapping around occupants and providing more contact between the seat surface and the body.
The simple cabin layout will feel familiar to pick-up drivers, as will the abundance of unpleasant hard plastics that cover the door trims and dashboard. However the Navara feels well bolted together and everything seems solid and built to last, with no gaps in the trim or worrying squeaks from the dashboard or plastic fittings.
The tailgate can be locked separately and sits flush with the loadbay when lowered, which makes it easy to load and slide large objects towards the rear. Tie points are also included as standard, but there's no protection for the rear window, although a guard can be added as an option.
The Navara is offered in five trims and entry-level models get all of the basics, with air conditioning and rear air circulation control, Bluetooth and a full-size spare wheel. Four-wheel drive is also standard on all double cab models, along with hill descent control, hill start assist and rear differential lock. Safety kit is also generous, with seven airbags and an autonomous braking system that will apply the brakes in the event of an accident.
In mid-2016 Nissan introduced the Euro6 version of the Navara, with improved levels of standard equipment. As a result these models offer better value, with base models getting cruise control, speed limiter, and steering wheel mounted audio controls as standard.
What's the Nissan Navara (2016) like to drive?
The Nissan Navara scores highly for ride comfort and road handling, with most models getting five-link coil rear suspension as standard. This means the Navara is easier to drive than many other pick-ups, with the suspension upgrades eliminating the bumpy and wallowing ride that often makes them a challenge to drive unladen.
The Navara is available with two-wheel or four-wheel drive, with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard or an optional seven-speed automatic. Power comes from a four-cylinder 2.3-litre diesel engine with either 160PS or 190PS, the latter achieved with twin turbochargers.
The 2.3 unit is actually a modified version of the NV400 engine, which means it’s well-suited to heavy duty load lugging with lots of torque, although the manual gearbox isn't the best with slow and notchy changes. Both versions of the 2.3-litre diesel pull well, with a respective 403Nm and 450Nm or torque from just 1500rpm, although neither feel particularly quick with performance fading as you approach 4500rpm.
Claimed fuel economy ranges from 44.9mpg for two-wheel drive to 44.1mpg for the four-wheel drive double cab models. CO2 emissions are also lower than the outgoing Navara, with manual versions emitting just 169g/km.
In mid-2016, Nissan introduced a Euro6 version of the 2.3-litre diesel, with lower running costs and reduced emissions. Claimed economy for two-wheel drive versions increased to 46.3mpg, while four-wheel drive versions were upgraded slightly to 44.8mpg. CO2 emissions for the Euro6 units start from 159g/km.
Most of the improvements in economy and emissions are gained from the use of AdBlue, with the 2.3 diesel using 17 litres for every 7145 miles. Filling the AdBlue tank is simple though, with the filler cap located next to the diesel tank flap; however, this pushes running costs up a little, with a typical 10 litre bottle of AdBlue costing £20.
In late-2019 the Navara was revised with the introduction of twin-turbocharging for the entry-level version of the 2.3 diesel. Power increased to 163PS while torque was uprated to 425Nm. Completing the powertrain improvements is an improved six-speed manual gearbox that features longer gear ratios and a shorter shift pattern, providing a less frequent and slicker gear selection.
On the road the Navara is a huge step forward over its leaf-sprung rivals, with a predictable and settled ride that remains stable in even the tightest of corners. The steering is also good, with lots of feedback that makes it easy to make mid-corner corrections. We also found the engine to be well-hushed at motorway speeds, although road and wind noise is notable owing to the Navara’s large wing mirrors and 18-inch wheels that are standard on most trim levels.
Like its predecessor, the latest Nissan is a competent off-roader and four-wheel drive versions will easily cope with rural farm tracks, muddy fields and wintery road conditions. Operating the various drive modes is simple with four-wheel drive, high and low ratios activated by a rotary button on the dashboard. The Navara is also an excellent tow vehicle, pulling up to 3.5 tonnes, which is almost one tonne more than the old model.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
- 5 star
- 4 star
- 3 star 100%
- 2 star
- 1 star