Nissan has unveiled the MY21 update of its D23 Navara, one of our favourite 4X4 utes here at Loaded 4X4. Sporting a bold new Nissan Titan looking front end – that will no doubt have huge market appeal – this is the fifth iteration of the D23 since it landed in Australia in 2015. That’s quite a manic development schedule and one that has been based around getting that coil-sprung rear end – that we like a lot – right.
Details are scarce, but it appears the MY21 Navara’s drivetrain remains unchanged, which means a choice of seven-speed automatic/six-speed manual gearboxes bolted up to the old Renault 140kW/450Nm 2.3-litre turbo-diesel engine. It’s not the last word in refinement and the auto changes gears about as quickly as Joe Biden does, well, anything really, but like Joe, it all comes together and makes you feel good in the long run.
Nissan has, however, re-tuned the suspension (again), bunged in a new steering rack and strengthened the rear axle, to increase payload to 1,200kg, depending on the variant. The coil-sprung five-link rear-end will continue to imbue the MY21 Navara with a ride quality that the leaf-springers can only dream about, and that’s good news.
Safety features have been boosted with the introduction of AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking), Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Blind Spot Warning and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, among other sticky beak safety technologies.
Inside, the MY21 Navara is said to be quieter, thanks to increased amounts of sound deadening insulation as well as a laminated windscreen and front windows. There’s also a new steering wheel and improved styling of the instrument panel highlighting the 8-inch navigation screen and a 7-inch higher-resolution TFT screen, along with the latest Nissan Connect Infotainment software. More importantly, rain-sensing wipers with speed adjustment have finally made the included features list.
The other news from the unveiling is the introduction of a new PRO-4X dual-cab variant, that gets a bunch of the usual blacked-out stuff, like a black roof rack, black 17-inch alloys and black AT tyres. Inside there are some red trim accents that are said to have been inspired by the colour of magma and that’s cool if a little random.
All of which is terribly exciting, but none of which holds a candle to the news that the Premcar tweaked N-TREK Warrior will continue to sit above the Navara line up in 2021. It’s a peach, not quite right drivetrain and all.
All up, it’s quite a decent step up from MY20 to MY21, but the refreshed Nav, when it arrives in early 2021, is going to have its work cut out for it when it squares off with the all-new D-MAX, upgraded HiLux, and every frat boys’ favourite, the Ranger.