Navara N-Trek was spawned from a bunch of limited edition Navaras that rang a bell with customers. Nissan liked what they saw on sales charts and brought out the N-Trek last year, closely followed by the N-Trek Warrior with all the bells and whistles including locally fitted suspension and tyres.
Here’s another of those previously “top dog” utes that have been supplanted by more accessorised and more expensive models.
Truth be known, the regular Navara N-Trek is good enough for all applications offering strong off road capabilities with good looks, performance, economy and road feel.
You can’t miss it with blacked out components highlighted with bright orange contrasts.
Based on the Navara ST-X, N-Trek gets the twin turbo 2.3-litre turbo diesel engine with more poke than the single turbo unit on other Navaras.
Also has an optional seven speed auto which easily captures available torque while maximising fuel economy.
It’s in against a swag of red hot competitors but the Navara name carries a lot of weight and this one lives up to the reputation.
It’s OK to look at, perhaps a touch boof-headed around the frontal area but other than that not much to complain about. Generic is what springs to mind and that means N-Trek won’t take on the likes of Ranger or Amarok for street appeal but it’s distinctive enough in this livery to stand out more than other Navaras.
The paint outs lift N-Trek’s appearance as do additional features like the front fog lights, side steps with orange highlight, chunky wheel arch flairs and gloss black alloy wheels.
There’s a rear sports bar behind the roof and other neat touches like black roof rails and the striped graphic along each side of the vehicle.
Looks like a Benz ute with a different front and no three pointed star.
Inside is more distinctive than the outside with car-like styling to the dash and comfortable seats featuring decent side bolsters and firm squabs.
Splashes of metal-look fascia and trim lift its appearance as does the subtle use of orange to complement the outside.
It’s a big dash, tall, wide and smooth with a large wedge shaped centre console containing the obligatory touch screen (8.0 inch) and a slew of push button controls underneath.
The driver’s instrument pod is conventional in appearance and contains the usual dials and read-outs. Behind that is a chunky sports wheel with multiple functions and some neat metallic highlights.
Interior tones are most grey but it’s a ute that demands a degree of practicality over aesthetics.
Plenty going on here to justify the $59 grand ask;
- Partial leather upholstery
- Revised and improved infotainment system
- Satnav hard wired
- Suspension upgraded
- Steering upgraded
- Local calibration
- Towing capability upgraded
- Limited slip rear diff’
- Power driver’s and heated front seats
Drive and Engine
They get the 2.3 twin turbo diesel to do a lot of work as it cranks out 140kW and 450Nm – about average for the class. Personally I would prefer a larger capacity engine under less pressure but in the N-Trek’s case, it all works efficiently aided by the impressive 7-speed auto transmission which makes it easy to keep the engine on boost and in the most effective rev range.
It has decent punch off the line and through to engine redline about 4500. Keep it at a lazy 1800rpm and you’ll see excellent fuel economy down around the 7.5 l/100km mark if you’re careful.
I used it for towing and the N-Trek barely felt a car and trailer hooked up behind. Fuel consumption went up as you’d expect but it had no problems up long uphill stretches only sometimes flicking down a cog or two.
It’s a quiet engine out of the Renault stable and has a reputation for reliability. A mate with a Gen 1 NP300 Navara twin turbo has 200,000km on the clock already without any issues. He is due to update but can’t see the sense in trading his Navara in.
Ride is good for a ute, perhaps a touch jiggly on broken asphalt but it steers and brakes well and is car-like from behind the wheel. They uprated the rear coil springs to dual rate but it feels like a well sorted leaf spring set-up.
I really like the sliding rear window that allows true, flow through ventilation reducing the need for aircon’ in many instances.
Navara gets a 5-star crash rating but misses out on some of the latest advanced driver assist features. You do get a reverse camera, 360 degree around view, 7 air bags, hill descent control and hill hold but no AEB, blind spot warning or adaptive cruise. In other words, no camera/radar.
Gets a version of torque vectoring that apportions drive to the wheels with more grip.
Auto dusk sensing headlights are handy.
The N-Trek scores bright LED headlights too along with other safety related equipment.
- Looks good
- Goes well
- Tows easy
Not So Good Bits
- Not as much punch as some of the competitors
- No advanced driver assist technology
- Smallish tray
I like the Navara N-Trek and would definitely consider one if I was in the market. The price is getting up there for the auto but so are the others in this segment. You’ll pay a lot more for a similar spec’ HiLux or Ranger and the Nissan, for all intents and purposes is just as good.
Facts and Figures: 2019 Nissan Navara N-Trek
- Engine: 2.3L four-cylinder turbo diesel producing 140kW/450Nm
- Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
- Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Thailand
- Price: from $58,950 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.