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NISSAN NAVARA NP300: STILL GOING STRONG

There were only a few options available in the past when it came to tough pickups in Nepal with the Toyota Hilux and the Nissan Navara sharing the limelight. The Nissan Navara is quite the staple name when we talk about pickup trucks in Nepal. The older generations of the Navara were known for being rugged and reliable.  With the arrival of next generation of pickups in the market, the timing was ripe for Nissan to re-introduce the Navara NP300 in the Nepali market. Let’s find out how the Navara NP300 stacks up against its major rivals.

EXTERIORS:

Pickup trucks are huge vehicles and the new Navara is no different. The tough looks of the Navara matches its macho attitude. The striking visual expression is highlighted by its box shape with sweeping lines and flared wheel aches. There are two raised body panels on the bonnet of the truck which provides the Navara a menacing look.

The new bold front gets an aggressive looking chrome grille with LED projector headlamps.  The sleek aerodynamic shape is carried through to the very end. This huge truck rides on small 16inch rims. One thing that I noticed right away is that the Navara was missing fog lights, which is quite important if one plans to take it off tarmac.

INTERIORS:

The moment you climb into the truck you will notice generous amount of space inside the cabin. The double cab pickup can comfortably accommodate 3 people at the back with adequate leg and head room. Even though the ground clearance stands at 228mm, ingress and egress is easy, thanks to the comfortable, sedan-like seating.

The interior quality gets high-quality materials but the Navara misses out on modern entertainment options like Bluetooth connectivity, touchscreen infotainment system & steering wheel mounted at such a hefty price tag.  However, the Navara provides plenty of space and comfort.

You get a feeling of superiority while driving the truck because of the superior seating positioning  which provides a good command of the road. The steering is not very light but it results in more feedback and driving confidence. Reversing the truck is another story though, the heavy steering and the absence of parking sensors and the reversing camera makes it quite a tough task.

Convenient storage and cup holders, multiple 12-volt power outlets and Rear AC vents make the stay relaxed and comfortable.  Nevertheless, the Navara provides a first class ride.

ENGINE & PERFORMANCE:

Under the hood sits a 2.5L turbocharged diesel engine which produces 163hp @ 3600 RPM and 403 Nm of torque @ 2000 RPM.  The moment you push the pedal to the ground it is ready to pin you to the seat as the RPM needle surges past the 2000 RPM. The truck didn’t have any issues with whatever terrain we threw at its way. There wasn’t a lot of turbo lag, as a matter of fact at times you would forget that this vehicle is actually turbo charged because the torque kicked in quite soon.

The wheel to change for 2WD to 4WD (H) or 4WD (L) on the fly (up to 100km/h) is very convenient as you don’t have to stop the vehicle to change the driving mode as stopping in the middle of a difficult terrain is the last thing that you’ll want to do.

The Navara also comes equipped with downhill assist system; if you turn this feature on then the car will automatically apply the brakes while going downhill so that you can focus more on tackling the terrain coming ahead. It is also equipped with a hill start assist system; if you have to climb up from a stop, it makes sure that the vehicle doesn’t roll backwards.

The Traction Control System (TCS) is turned on as standard every time you start the vehicle and you can manually turn it off when required. However, the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and the Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) cannot be turned off.  With power comes great responsibility and the Navara inspires you to gear up for any job with a host of active and passive safety features.

VERDICT:

The Navara NP300 is a true blue off-roader that is engineered to excel on the road or off. Although at a price tag of Rs 72,99,000 it misses out on several modern features,  it is jam packed with off-roading features that will make most off road junkies happy. This machine has set its priority straight into how it’s meant to be driven and it is very good at it with its tested and proven fully boxed frame, a world-class engine and go-anywhere 4×4 command.  If you need a serious partner that’s up to the biggest challenges, then there’s hardly any other vehicle in this segment comparable to the Navara NP300

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