The What Van? Road Test: Nissan Navara (2019)

Date: Friday, January 17, 2020   |   Author: Steve Banner


Nisnav Detail Engine

Engine and gearbox

The four-cylinder 16-valve engine’s maximum power output bites at 3,750rpm while top torque of 450Nm kicks in at 1,500rpm. The compression ratio has fallen from 15.4 to 15.1 while fuel-injection pressure has risen from 2,000 to 2,200 bar with the adoption of a new pump.

The water cooling system has been updated too.

Thanks to the use of SCR – selective catalytic reduction – periodic doses of AdBlue are neededw to ensure compliance with Euro6 exhaust emission requirements. The AdBlue inlet point is to be found underneath a flap on the body’s offside. A particulate filter is fitted as well.


For a big pick-up the latest Navara handles remarkably well, a benefit that has to be attributed to the design of its suspension and the qualities of its Continental tyres. Tight bends can be tackled without having to worry that the truck’s back end will decide to swing out at an inopportune moment.

Unfortunately, the ride is not up to the standard of the handling. When the cargo box is empty you feel every bump – which at least prompts you to keep your speed in check – although everything calms down somewhat when you put a load on board. Things start to smooth out noticeably once you are half-laden.

With 190hp on tap you are not short of performance, and the power is poured on steadily as you accelerate. We had no major issues with the gear change or with in-cab noise levels.
Fuel economy? We were hitting an average 32mpg – about the same as the quoted WLTP combined phase maximum figure – on routes that included a fair amount of high-speed motorway work with plenty of weight onboard, not to mention a selection of Gloucestershire’s steeper and more demanding hills.

We can’t say we’re keen on the push-button starter, aware as we are that such arrangements are giving rise to growing security concerns across the industry. On a more positive note, the Navara’s four-wheel-drive system is easy to engage. All you need to do is twist a knob on the dashboard, then twist it again to engage a low-ratio set of gears.
It’s good to see our Navara had an electronic limited-slip differential, which can be turned on and off as needed.

We trundled around the damp and muddy paddocks of rural Herefordshire and up and down a slippery embankment or two without finding our progress halted. At no point did we have to resort to the lower set of gears, although it is always good to know they are there if you happen to need them.

Should you start bouncing around off-road then there are grab-handles on the A- and B-pillars for passengers to cling onto, and a compass on a display on the dashboard should help you find your way home if you get lost.

The level of ground clearance meant we had no grounds for concern when we splashed across a brook that was deeper and running more quickly than usual thanks to heavy rain. Wading depth is 600mm while minimum ground clearance is 223mm.


View The WhatVan Digital Edition