Steve Banner highlights what problems to look out for when purchasing a second-hand Nissan Navara, which was aimed at the lifestyle market when it was first launched in the UK 2005.
When it made its UK debut back in 2005, Nissan’s 4x4 Navara represented a significant departure from the pick-ups the brand had traditionally offered. Although perfectly acceptable for businesses, the styling and the level of equipment available indicated that it was designed to appeal to the leisure market too. Indeed, Nissan referred to it as a sports utility truck.
The range was made up solely of the king cab, with space behind the two front seats accessed by two small rear-hinged doors, and the double cab. Both were up for grabs with a choice of three different trim levels – Standard, SE and Outlaw – with the double cab also marketed in top-of-the-range Aventura guise. Power came courtesy of a 174hp 2.5-litre diesel married to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic gearbox.
Subsequent revamps have led to changes to the names used to describe trim levels with the introduction of Acenta and Tekna and the 2.5-litre being beefed up to 190hp. If that’s not enough poke for you then September 2010 witnessed the arrival of a 231hp 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 550Nm on tap – and a wallet-numbing price tag to match.
So is a second-hand Navara likely to be a sensible buy? The only way to find out is to take a test-drive, and when you do, listen out for any loud grinding and knocking sound from the rear. It may be accompanied by vibration, and will rise and fall in line with your road speed. The racket is likely to be caused by the failure of one or both of the rear half-shafts. An integral part of the drive train, they will have to be fixed. If the truck is still under warranty then Nissan may sort the problem out for free, but if it has expired then you should try to negotiate a £1200 cut in the price the vendor is asking for the vehicle. That’s the advice proffered by web site Used Van Expert.
If you do not hear lots of grinding while driving then you may hear an annoying rumbling or droning noise instead, most probably from the rear wheels. That is likely to be caused by a wheel bearing problem, says Used Van Expert, and the bearings concerned will need to be replaced, in which case push for a £350 cut in the asking price per affected wheel.
Check also that the spare wheel is still in place. It is easy to steal, according to Used Van Expert, so get it replaced before purchase if it has gone walkies.
Navara’s aircon system is prone to giving trouble says Used Van Expert. Switch it to its coldest setting, and if the air coming out isn’t icy cold, the condenser may not be working properly or at all as it is prone to suffering damage because of where it is mounted. Replacing it could cost as much as £500. At the same time check that water has not leaked from the aircon system into the front passenger footwell because that too is a glitch – albeit not a major one – that will need resolving.
As with any 4x4, check underneath for damage, especially if the existing owner is in a sector of industry – construction for instance – that works its pick-ups hard. Examine the wheels and tyres for damage too – uneven patterns of tread wear could mean the wheels are no longer aligned correctly.
Auctioneer Manheim recently disposed of a 2006 Outlaw Double Cab to the trade on a 06-plate with 113,431 miles recorded for £6000. It also sold an Aventura Double Cab, 2005- registered on a 55-plate and with 204,643 miles to its credit, for £5900. Clearly, old Navaras hold their value well.
An Acenta Double Cab, 2010 on a 59-plate, was knocked down for £8300 having covered 55,043 miles, Manheim reports. In addition the auctioneer sold a 2011 Tekna Double Cab automatic, on a 60-plate and with 25,323 miles to its name, for £14,500. All the foregoing were 2.5 litres.
• Visit www.usedvanexpert.co.uk for further advice and information