Navara will account for 30% of Nissan sales

Navara will account for 30% of Nissan sales

Pick ups currently account for more than 20% of the new vehicle market, and Nissan New Zealand managing director John Manley says that the all-new NP300 Navara will account for more than 30% of its new model sales mix.

Last year Manley says the brand sold 2252 units, and despite the later arrival of the new model to our shores, he expects to sell a similar number in 2015, even though the full 14-variant line-up won’t be in place until October.

He also thinks the higher grade ST and ST-X models will account for 80% of Navara volume this year.

All four grades of the double cab NP 300 Navara pick up, being DX petrol, RX, ST, and ST-X diesels, have gone on sale, with the single and king cab models to follow in October.

Bluetooth audio and telephony, cruise control, and seven airbags are standard features across the range and theres a narrower body style on the manual-only NP300 Navara DX petrol model, which Nissan has introduced as a replacement for the previous D22 Navara workhorse.

Manley also says that more recently the Navara has been Nissan New Zealand’s strongest selling model and this is no doubt set to continue as the local distributor struggles to get the supply of other hot-selling models that it would like more of.

Both the Qashqai and X-Trail SUV models are on allocation from the factory, which means the local distributor can only sell what it can get its hands on, but Manley says the dealer network are doing their best with the product available to them.

“We think we could get more sales, if there was more product available to us,” he says.

Nissan reckons the new NP300 Navara has the best-in-class fuel economy, towing capacity thats equal to the class-leaders, and the best power to weight ratio in the pick up segment.

The Japanese manufacturer says it carried out more than 40,000 tests for quality and more than 1,000,000 kilometres were driven by pre production units in real-world conditions.

It would appear that Nissan has the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger in its gun sight, as the new NP 300 Navara offers two versions of a four-cylinder 2.3-litre diesel engine, one with a single turbocharger, and one with a twin turbocharger configuration.

The most powerful engine is the YS23DDTT, a twin-turbo 2.3-litre four-cylinder double-overhead camshaft (DOHC) diesel unit. It produces 140 kilowatts of power, with 450 Newton metres of torque available at 1500-2500rpm. In the ST and ST-X 4×2 dual cab manual grades, this engine’s combined fuel economy is rated at 6.3L/100km, and C02 emissions are 166g/km.

The YS23 engine is also available in single-turbo diesel unit (YS23DDT), producing 120 kilowatts of power and 403 Newton metres of torque. Braked towing capacity on all diesel grades is 3500kg.

The petrol option is the four-cylinder QR25DE 2.5-litre DOHC engine. In the NP300 Navara it produces 122 kilowatts of power and 238 Newton metres of torque.

Customers have the option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmissions. The DX and RX models are only available with the six-speed manual transmission.

The new Navara retains a fully boxed ladder frame design with the angles of approach being 29.5-32.5 degrees and departure angle of 24-26.7 degrees and Nissan says that all components are concealed under the frame for increased ground clearance.

However, the five-link rear suspension in NP300 Navara double cab pick up models is quite a departure from the traditional leaf-springs used by the rest of the competitors in this segment.

Nissan says it provides better handling, ride comfort and off-road capability. Lateral rigidity is increased while suspension weight is decreased says the manufacturer.

On a very brief drive during the media launch, we found the new Navara to be a huge leap over its predecessor in terms of comfort, noise, vibration, and harshness. The ride quality and handling was good, but despite the newfangled suspension, it still feels like a traditional pick up when cornering.

Off-road the NP300 Navara delivers improved off-road capability that includes a wading depth of 450 millimetres and a lateral tilt of 50 degrees.

Active brake limited slip (ABLS) optimises the driving force of each wheel in slippery conditions on four-wheel-drive models. ABLS functions on all wheels, whereas mechanical LSD only works on rear wheels says Nissan. Brake Limited Slip Differential is across both 4×2 and 4×4 grades.

Hill Start Assist in the ST-X 4×4 models prevents it from rolling backwards after the brake is released when on a slope greater than 10 degrees for a period of two seconds.

Hill Descent Control maintains vehicle velocity during steep downhill driving without the need to use the accelerator or brake pedals, using 4LO or 4H mode in NP300 Navara ST-X 4×4 models.

The shift-on-the-fly 4WD system lets the driver switch between 2WD and 4WD (4H mode) with the simple twist of a dial, at speeds of up to 100km/h.

The minimum turning circle (kerb to kerb) of the NP300 Navara has been improved in comparison to its predecessor, now 11.8 metres for DX and RX and 12.4 metres for ST and ST-X (ranged from 12.5 – 13.4 metres on D40).

All double cab pickup grades feature ventilated disc front brakes, rear drum brakes, independent double wishbone front suspension with front stabiliser bar, five-link rear suspension with shock absorber and power steering.

Wheels are 18-inch alloys on ST-X grades, 16 inch alloys on ST, 16 inch steel wheels on RX and 15 inch steel wheels on DX. Each grade also has a full-size spare wheel and tyre.

The two-channel Utili-Track System appears on ST-X grade, allowing for tethering and securing loads in the rear tub. This cargo restraint system includes two channels and four heavy-duty forged aluminium cleats that lock anywhere along the channel.

The ST-X also features roof rails and heated door mirrors with power adjustment/folding and integrated LED indicator lights.

Nissan says it focussed strongly on providing a more comfortable and well specified interior for buyers who want a pick up with the attributes of an SUV.

After a brief drive in the ST-X models during the media launch, we would agree.

In the top spec ST-X grade, theres a centrally located 7-inch integrated colour display with touch screen, including satellite Navigation with 3D mapping. The ST grade features a 5-inch colour display. A 4-inch screen is featured on DX and RX grades.

At the recent media launch of the NP 300 Navara, Nissan staff took pains to point out the benefits of the new spinal support front seats, which they say result in reduced fatigue during long drives. The seat distributes body pressure on the seating surface through the middle section in the folding seat back, promoting a ‘neutral’ posture to reduce pressure on the spine and muscles.

The ST-X grade receives heated, leather-accented front seats and the driver’s seat is eight-way adjustable with power slide, recline and height options as well as power lumbar. It also has dual zone climate control and a sunroof with electric one-touch power tilt and slide.

Other ST-X features include intelligent key with remote keyless entry, illuminated push button engine start and rear interior lights.

A rear power-sliding glass window operated by a switch on the dashboard features on RX, ST and ST-X grades.

The full range of double cab NP300 Navara models are now available at Nissan dealers.

The NP300 Navara has a three year/100,000 kilometre warranty and three year roadside assist programme, all prices quoted here exclude on road costs.

New Zealand Pricing: Nissan NP300 Navara:

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