RX Models Extend Navara Range

July 19th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Nissan has extended the breadth of its D40 Navara range with the introduction of eight value for money RX badged models to cater to tradesmen, the agricultural and forestry sectors.

“These are working utes intended for people who have heavy, dirty gear they need to get to job sites and the wide variety of places our primary industries operate in,” said John Manley the Managing Director of Nissan New Zealand.

“And we have reintroduced a King Cab Well-side model to the Navara RX range for those people who need cab storage space, but prefer the longer tray.”

The Navara RX is available as a King Cab chassis, allowing buyers to personalise the rear of the Ute to their needs, as well as a King Cab well-side and Double Cab.

The Navara RX models have gone on sale from $39,900 for the two wheel drive double cab and from $46,490 for the four wheel drive King Cab chassis.

In total there are eight RX models available, as all four variants come with either a six speed manual gearbox or a 5 speed automatic transmission.

The two rear wheel drive models have the 106 kWs and 356 Nm of torque version of Nissan’s 2.5 litre four cylinder turbo diesel motor, while the six 4WD models get 126 kWs and 403 Nm.

And while the RX is easy to keep clean with its vinyl floor covering and heavy duty upholstery it has not totally scrimped on features. There is air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, keyless entry and a four speaker sound system.

For utes that are expected to earn their keep, there is a rear limited slip differential, anti lock brakes and an electronic safety programme also known as vehicle dynamics control.

The RX models can be distinguished by their steel wheels – all other Navara D40s have alloys – no rear bumper and manually operated door mirrors.

“We’ve obviously had to leave out some equipment to make the RX more attractive to farmers, rural and forestry contractors,” said Mr Manley. “But all the important technical features are still there that a working Ute needs to perform to expectations.”

The 2WD RX models have a towing capacity of 2000 kgs and the 4WDs, three tonne.

Above the RX models, Nissan offers four different mid range ST double cab models with two and four wheel drive. They add carpeted cabins, 16 inch alloy wheels, side steps and a chromed rear bumper among other features and have the same engine and transmission options as the RX.

The higher specification STX models – again all double cabs – have 120 kWs 2WD and 140 kWs 4WD power trains, with 17 inch alloys, an active brake limited slip differential, dual zone climate control, Nissan’s unique tie down system at the rear and a leather covered steering wheel which incorporates controls for the 6 speaker audio, cruise control, blue tooth and trip computer.

The top of the range STX 550, which was introduced earlier this year has even more features with the 170 kWs turbo diesel V6 under the bonnet.

Nissan is still retaining its core D22 Navara Ute, for those buyers wanting a physically smaller vehicle. The D22 is available as either a single cab chassis or double cab with a choice of 2WD and 4WD – all with a manual gearbox – ranging from $30,200 to $44,500.

Nissan X-Trail Wagon 2012 Review

July 13th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

The base model X-Trail was the ride of choice for a jaunt from Auckland to Pirongia Mountain on a beautiful winter’s Saturday. An X-Trail is a good starting point for any kind of road trip because this mid-sized SUV is one of the most versatile in terms of boot storage.

The flat boot floor conceals a drawer and cubby hole into which you can place items that might normally roll around in the boot; it also allows you to conceal items out of view. On the right of the boot there’s another small receptacle with a lid, too.

Its practical interior is enabled by a practical exterior. If you took a Continue reading “Nissan X-Trail Wagon 2012 Review” »

Be Careful With Advice Or Your Name Could Be Mud

July 10th, 2012 by Tim Grimley

If I’m honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to this Saturday. You can fake all the bravado you want to your friends, but when push comes to shove, only a true mental case would actually look forward to putting on a pretty Heath Robinson superman costume composed mostly of women’s undercrackers and crawling through an assortment of freezing swamps.

The Tough Guy and Gal Challenge is one of those events that seems like an absolute hoot sometime around January when severely intoxicated. What a laugh it would be to go for a bit of a jog through the countryside, occasionally pausing to wade through a few streams and finish off with a warm shower and a tincture or two.

Yeah, she’ll be right….

Reality comes with a fairly savage bite when the day comes around and you realise that the actual process involves standing in a series of chilly queues with several hundred people waiting to be shoved into what purports to be water, but actually smells like an outbreak of equine dysentery at the Melbourne Cup. However, despite everything I managed to haul myself around the course and after a freezing shower in the car park, was readying myself for the tincture stage of proceedings when things suddenly took a dramatic turn for the worse.

‘Hey Tim, you know a lot about cars don’t you?’

There is nothing more certain to strike fear into my heart than hearing these words, because the end result is always one of two things. Either someone wants to introduce their Uncle Norris who has spent the last twenty years rebuilding an MG using only his teeth and is dying to spend the next twenty explaining to someone every step of the process in minute detail or even more terrifyingly, they want to talk about a car purchase.

As you well know, people are fairly precious about their beloved automobiles and I’ve yet to discover a way of telling someone that they are a mush-brained berk for choosing a Holden Barina over a Ford Fiesta that doesn’t result in some degree of umbrage being taken. It’s all well and good to take a swipe at a global motor manufacturer who, despite having a small African defence budget to play with, still turn out a rotter of a motor, but I’ve never liked breaking an individual’s heart by telling them that they would have been better off investing their hard-earned wedge on a decent pair of walking boots and a bus pass. Thus, in order to maintain some semblance of integrity, I’m forced to conduct the entire conversation with vague hand gestures and phrases along the lines of “It’s very you”.

Would you take advice from this man?

Although even that is preferable to what I was actually asked: what used car someone should buy in the first place. While I could – and occasionally do – bang on for longer than is socially acceptable about the comparative merits of various manufacturers’ current model range, how a car stacks up several years down the line can be a bit of a lottery.

Take for example the greatest car I have ever bought. It was a Volvo 740 and that was down to the fact it could slide around roundabouts at 20kph with a wardrobe in the back, make your bottom warm on cold mornings, had an entertaining overdrive button on the gear lever in lieu of a fifth gear and only cost $700. It was a thoroughly magnificent beast and is the car I regret selling over all others. Even with 400,000km on the clock it ran like a dream and I would have happily sold it to my best friend, such was my trust in its Nordic abilities.

Although this was a sale unlikely ever to go through due to the fact my best friend refused to get in it. Despite all of the plus points mentioned above, less than careful previous owners meant it had one or two minor foibles such as the roof lining randomly falling off, every door, window and the sunroof leaking like a baby and the whole thing reeking of damp labrador.

If the earlier caretakers had put a smidgen more effort into basic upkeep and not keeping sodden pets in the back it would have been perfect. A car is only as good as the people who have used it and until the day someone starts vetting the social and mechanical standards of people, the process of purchasing an older vehicle will always be a bit of a lottery.

And therefore if faced with the same situation, I can only recommend you take the option I did; resort to abject cowardice and come up with a solution that you are absolutely confident no-one will buy. My recommendation of the Renault Laguna station wagon as a safe, practical, fun and reasonably economical family option was totally on the mark, but there is not a cat in hells chance anyone spending $10,000 of their own money would risk one over the likes of Subaru’s Legacy or Nissan’s Primera.

I’ll admit it was pretty shameful behaviour for one dressed as a superhero, but after that mud run, I was happy to get out of sticky situations in any way I could.

Nissan Navara ST-X 550 2012 Review

June 2nd, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Taking it to the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 is a bit of a daunting task so Nissan has upped the power stakes. How’s 23 more kW and 80 more Nm of torque? The ST-X 550 (for the 550Nm of torque) is fast for a ute – it’s no HSV Maloo, but a Maloo isn’t a proper off-roader with 4WD low range. All this power would be fine, but it also rides like a ute on its leaf springs and the traction control light is a frenzy of activity in the wet as it tames the 170kW.

The Nissan tips the scales at over 2177kg and you can feel it in the corners. The steering is heavy and it leans into any change of direction. Chuck another 833kg in the tray and hook up 3000kg (as long as it’s a braked trailer) and you’ve got six tonnes to deal with. And that’s where you’ll need Continue reading “Nissan Navara ST-X 550 2012 Review” »

Zero Emission Nissan LEAF Priced to deliver Zero Emission Leadership

May 21st, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Nissan New Zealand today announced its zero emission electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, would go on sale in July priced at $69,600.

In revealing the Recommended Retail Price, Nissan New Zealand Managing Director, John Manley said the LEAF family hatch was priced to deliver Nissan leadership in this fast developing zero emissions segment and offered true, premium car value with 21st century technology that would change the personal mobility landscape.

“Last year New Zealand achieved nearly 80% of electricity generation from renewable means, the third highest of all OECD countries.

With a Government target of 90 per cent of electricity generation to be from renewable sources by 2025 New Zealand provides an ideal environment for widespread utilisation of electric vehicles.”

Nissan has sold more than 20,000 LEAFs in its first year, which has already made it the highest-selling electric car in the history of the car industry. It has also garnered the highest critical acclaim; in the form of World Car of the Year, European Car of the Year and Japanese Car of the Year; the Nissan LEAF is now opening up new motoring alternatives across the Globe.

“With a range of up to 160kms on a single battery charge, the LEAF is expected to find favour early on in New Zealand’s fleets, as they seek sustainable transport solutions, and later with private customers who are interested in a zero tailpipe emission car ownership experience coupled with freedom from petrol service stations.” Manley said.

Nissan New Zealand is currently finalising plans for an EV dealer network concentrating sales points at key urban locations. These locations will be advised next month.

“Nissan dealers will be at the forefront of automotive generational change when LEAF arrives in their showrooms in July,” said Manley.

Nissan Juke Ti 2012 Review

April 24th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

For a car that’s a shade under $34,000 I was surprised at just how solidly built the Nissan Juke feels to drive. But then, I shouldn’t be surprised: look at it. You could stick an M16 machine gun on the top, paint it in camo and it wouldn’t look out of place as a military rapid response vehicle.

Nissan says it’s a cross between a sports car and an SUV. This is not true – there’s nothing much sporty about 86kW and 158Nm of torque and it is slow. However, it does drive very well, it’s not that thirsty for its size – 6.3l/100km on the combined cycle (I managed 6.7) – and there’s enough room for four adults and some light luggage.

In a market where some manufacturers produce boring-looking vehicles Nissan has (if you exclude the more conventional Tiida and Wingroad, and the corporate-styled Maxima) elected to create Continue reading “Nissan Juke Ti 2012 Review” »

Nissan Juke-R video build continues – interior fit out

November 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The hard working crew at Nissan UK are pushing on with building the Juke-R prototype and have revealed their latest video.

Fitting the mechanical bits from Nissan’s GT-R supercar into the tiny Juke crossover has proved understandably tricky. But as seen in previous videos, the team has got the engine and drivetrain in place and it’s time to start re-fitting the interior.

Just throw in a couple of buckets and some gauges right? Nah it’s not that easy. With the large GT-R engine pushed back into what was the Juke’s cabin, the builder’s needed to rework almost everything to make sure the controls were accessible to whatever brave soul is going to pilot this unnatural beast.

To see how the Juke-R team got on watch the video below. Continue reading “Nissan Juke-R video build continues – interior fit out” »

Nissan PIVO 3 concept to debut at Tokyo Show

November 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Tokyo Motor Show has become well known for having its share of wacky futuristic concepts and Nissan are making sure this reputation is upheld.

Nissan is taking its PIVO concept to the 2011 show in its third concept form. The first PIVO 1 was unveiled in 2005, the PIVO 2 in 2007 and now the PIVO 3.

The PIVO 3 is sticking to the same three-seat layout and central driving position as its predecessors but its styling has moved towards a more production-ready concept.

Francois Bancon, Nissan deputy divisional GM for product strategy, has said that Nissan is considering pushing ahead with the PIVO. “There is no decision to do this. We are now considering the next step of the EV after LEAF and Infiniti EV and an LCV EV. We are going to have many ways to propose to the market what seems radically different, it must be an EV signature [model], if you will.” Continue reading “Nissan PIVO 3 concept to debut at Tokyo Show” »