By Fact Jeke
THIS past weekend I had the pleasure of bundu bashing in the all new Nissan Navara courtesy of Nissan Clover Leaf Motors. Initially when the Group sales and a marketing manager Admire Ndumo offered the manual derivative that they have in stock as a demo, I was reluctant. Remember most vehicles now come in automatic and this has promoted laziness in us drivers.
After picking up the vehicle, my first point of consciousness was “dont forget Fact, this is a manual”. As a seasoned professional I quickly got the hang of it and the rest was just shear adventure.
The all new Nissan Navara was officially launched in Harare Zimbabwe for our market last month with all the four dealers present. With the introduction of the first generation Navara back in 1997 onto the market, Nissan has become a strong contender in the pickup segment. To date millions have been sold globally and all who are loyal to the brand are proud of the heritage the Navara has added to the Nissan brand. I had an opportunity a few years ago to do a long term test drive where I had a bright red Navara for a month which was given to me by Croco Nissan. Spotting a clean shaven head when I was still too fresh in my late twenties, the Navara not only looked bold, capable and delivered both on road and off road. Fast forward to 2017, the product has transitioned and right now on our Zimbabwe roads we all witness the rugged redefined third generation Navara.
With this product there are high expectations in all markets in sub-Saharan Africa and from observation and counting number on our roads this is a strong double cab contender. From the information gathered from the dealer council, headed by Stanford Sibanda of Nissan Clover Leaf Motors to date the country has seen sales of 831single cabs of those 504 are Nissan making the 2017 market share for Nissan in Zimbabwe in that segment significant figure of 61 percent. “What this means is that for every 10 single cab pickups on Zimbabwean roads, six are Nissan. It’s success stories like these which drive us to do more research and offer more practical products for our customers.” This was said by Liz Segal who is the general manager Sales & Operations for Nissan sub-Sahara Africa.
Initially, the Navara range will consist of three double cab models, offering a choice of Mid- or High-specification and a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox. All models will be powered by the new 140 kW YS23DDT twin-turbo diesel engine. Coupled with the award-winning coil, five link rear suspension, the all new Navara packs a lot of punch. Talk about luxury and stability in a double cab.
The striking new design of the all-new Navara centres on the next-generation V-motion grille. The V-shape of the bold chrome grille flows into the creased bonnet and is resolved on the tailgate, which features a stamped V-motif. The first hints of the Navara’s SUV-features are seen in the full LED-headlights with boomerang-style LED daytime running lights across the range. The High-grade also features LED turn indicators in the chromed side-mirrors.
Load carrying capacity has also been upgraded significantly. The new Navara can carry up to 1 002kg, depending on specification level, and thanks to its powerful new engine it can tow a braked trailer of up to 3 500kg. The Navara has a 229mm ground clearance, but the new raised suspension set-up and smart design have allowed for a 3-degree improvement in the approach (33.0 degrees), ramp-over (25.2 degrees) and departure angles (27.9 degrees). The suspension and drivetrain set-up also means that the new Navara has a lateral tilt angle of up to 50 degrees.
The new engine delivers 140kW at 3 750rpm and 450Nm, which is available across a wide engine spectrum and which peaks for 1 000rpm between 1 500rpm and 2 500rpm. Fuel consumption in a combined cycle has been officially rated at 6.5 litres per 100km, allowing for a range of over 1 000km on a full 80 litre fuel tank.
This models sees the First coil spring five link rear suspension in a mainstream one tonne pick-up.
Electronic and mechanical drive aids promise superior off-road capabilities. Judges of the International Pick-Up of the Year Awards spent a great deal of time on the advancements in this area of the all-new Navara.
The double cab models launched in Zimbabwe last month all feature the new coil spring rear suspension. The set-up combines traditional pick-up load carrying capabilities, with the benefits normally associated with an SUV with a similar suspension set-up. These include better road holding, car-like ride comfort even over rutted gravel roads and better tracking through high-speed corners.
It is available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new, seven-speed automatic gearbox. The automatic gearbox features gear ratios selected to specifically optimise the torque delivery of the new twin turbo engine and also offers a manual shifting function.
While similar in dimensions to its predecessor, the new cabin features larger doors for easier ingress and egress, a 23-degree slanted rear bench for greater comfort and more rear legroom and a host of creature comforts, such as the first in class dedicated rear air vents and even an electrically operated rear cab window.
Behind the steering wheel, the driver is welcomed by a brand-new cockpit design. The design centres on the touch-screen infotainment and navigation system that is standard equipment across the range.
When it comes to infortainment, it’s an entertainers dream…. No compromise. High-grade models also add features such as dual zone climate control and keyless entry with a start/stop button.
For enquiries contact AMC, AMTEC, Croco Nissan or Nissan Clover Leaf Motors who are the authorised dealers.