At EFTM you’ll find a stack of car reviews that are designed to let you know what it’s like to drive the latest and sometimes greatest cars around. But a one week test drive doesn’t always allow for some deeper insights when it actually comes to living with the vehicle. So we thought why not hop behind the wheel of Nissan’s Navara ST-X for two months. The ute market is now so popular it could be said that these types of vehicles are now the new family car, despite their workhouse underpinnings.
When it comes to the Nissan Navarra the ST-X model sits atop the range. There’s heated leather seats, larger infotainment screen, dual air-conditioning, sunroof, larger 18-inch wheels and roof rails. So it’s well equipped, comfortable and not too trucky looking on the outside either.
Week one of our long-term drive saw the Navara put through what I’m sure 90 per cent of owners will do on a week in week out basis, the daily commute. For me that’s around a 120km/h trip from the fringes of North Western Sydney to the CBD. Stop, start traffic and long motorway stretches was all that was asked of the Navara and it performed well, especially in a couple of key areas.
Fuel economy is excellent so far, dipping as low as 7.8L/100km. That’s exceptionally good for what is essentially at the very core a work truck.
Comfort levels are also equally good, the front seats are some of the best you’ll sit in full stop. Despite the daily grind I never felt fatigued or uncomfortable at all.
At highway speeds the Navara is also impressively quite with wind and road noise kept at bay. But at lower speeds the engine is typically diesel; you always know it’s there with an unrefined soundtrack that almost seems at odds with the rest of the package.
But it does push on well, you can easily spin the back wheels in the wet while the twin-turbo really helps you coast along on a broad torque wave.
The steering at low speeds is too heavy; I was almost inclined to check the front tyre pressures at one point. It requires plenty of wheel lock when navigating a car park or even roundabout.
A couple of small things have proved useful others a fraction annoying. The window washer alert reminder is handy, I love a clean windscreen and that’s often a tough task given my local areas invasion of bugs.
I can’t believe there’s no outdoor temperature gauge, that’s very rare in any vehicle these days.
However it’s all going well so far, the Nissan Navara at face value comes close to matching a high-spec family SUV in the comfort stakes at least. This week I plan to delve into NissanConnect, an app based smartphone connectivity system, I’ll have more to say about that next week!
2016 Nissan Navara ST-X 4X4 Dual-Cab
Price: $54,490 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 2.3-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo-diesel with 7-speed automatic
Economy: 7.0L/100km auto