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First impression: Nissan Navara NP300 [+video]

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Edaran Tan Chong Motor has just pulled the wraps off the all-new Nissan Navara NP300, their latest pride and joy. Right after the launch there was a short test drive organized by the kind folks at ETCM which gave us a taste of their new pickup truck. 

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Amongst the biggest highlights of the new Navara, according to ETCM, is the fact that the new truck boasts a rear multilink suspension set up, which they claimed to be the first Japanese truck to offer such a commodity. Other ‘first-in-segment’ features include LED projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, a rear spoiler, rear aircon vents, Zero Gravity-inspired front seats and a seven-speed automatic transmission.

09 Drive_All-New NP300 Navara

Upon hitting the roads with the new Navara, it was apparent that the new multilink suspension was delivering its promise. Rougher roads and bumps does not unsettle the rear end of the Navara, which surprisingly felt very composed. On trucks with traditional leaf spring rear suspension, the bumps could unsettle the rear. Looks like we’re off to a good start then.

19 Drive_All-New NP300 Navara

Promising comfort aside, the new seven-speed self shifter is also worth mentioning, as this new transmission, unlike trucks in the segment, offers  impeccably smooth gearshifts. The new gearbox reduces 300 rpm at 110 km/h over the old six-speeder found in the Navara D40, which not only improves fuel economy, but also lowers engine noise.

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Elsewhere, the Nissan Navara NP300 feature rear seat back angle that has increased to 23°, 5° more than its predecessor. In real world usage, the NP300’s rear seats are still a tad bit too upright, which strained our backs during long distance drives. Thankfully, the provision of a rear aircon vent is much welcomed.

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During our off-road excursion with the Navara, the multilink rear suspension really did start to shine. While we initially figured that the new suspension configuration to be more of a gimmick than anything else, experiencing the truck through rough terrain certainly isn’t.

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Certainly, a small percentage of pickup truck buyers actually utilize their trucks off-roads, but for the majority of buyers, these trucks are relegated to road duties with the occasional flash floods in town. But even so, the Nissan Navara NP300 is a very promising truck, and we are certainly looking forward to spend even more time to properly gauge it.

29 Drive_All-New NP300 Navara

Stay tuned for our full review!


Nissan Navara NP300 (Photo credit Aaron Lee & Eric)