NAVARA: READY TO PICK UP PICKUP SALES
CAPABLE OF MIXING WORK AND PLAY IN EQÚAL MEASÚRES, THE NEW NISSAN NAVARA IS SET TO CARRY ON WHERE THE POPÚLAR NISSAN PICKÚP LEFT OFF. DESIGNED AND ENGINEERED ALONGSIDE THE HIGHLY ACCLAIMED NEW PATHFINDER, THE SPANISH-BÚILT NAVARA BRINGS SÚV LEVELS OF REFINEMENT TO THE FOÚR-WHEEL DRIVE PICK-ÚP MARKET.
Since 2001, when the best selling Nissan Pickup was launched, the utility market in Europe has changed dramatically. Where pickup trucks used to be considered as nothing more than practical workhorses and were usually found in the farmyard or on the construction site, they are now embraced as much by leisure users.
For the latter, the pickup has become the vehicle of choice. They have come to rely on the availability of four-wheel drive to get them to the top of the ski slopes, deep into the forests or as close as possible to the water's edge, all the while knowing there's masses of room in the pickup bed for their sports equipment.
The Nissan Pickup can take some credit for this turn around. As well as providing commercial users with reliable and rugged transport that enjoyed highly competitive running costs, Pickup's high levels of comfort and refinement also appealed to skiers, windsurfers, mountain bikers and those following a host of other outdoor pursuits.
Now comes the Nissan Navara. By building on the qualities that helped make Pickup such a success, Navara aims to widen the pickup market still further. Nissan considers the Navara as a pioneer in the pick up market. It gives drivers and passengers all of the comfort, refinement, quality and performance of an SÚV, but without compromising its abilities as a hard-working, rugged pickup.
Navara was designed in tandem with the recently launched Pathfinder SÚV. As a result, the levels of passenger comfort expected – and found – in Pathfinder are also present in Navara. Both are built by Nissan in Spain.
Like Pathfinder, Navara features a rugged ladder-frame chassis with a refined independent front suspension system
featuring double wishbones and coil springs with a rigid axle and over slung leaf springs at the rear.
First seen at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show, Navara is available in two versions – King Cab and Double Cab. In both cases overall dimensions have increased providing Navara with a more spacious interior than the equivalent outgoing Pickup while its pickup beds are the largest in the class.
King Cab can seat two adults in the front with two occasional seats in the back of the cabin for children or, over short distances, for adults while the Double Cab version has a three seater rear bench in an enlarged cabin, providing ample room for five. In both cases, the split rear seats flip-up to provide extra stowage within the cabin, its practicality boosted by a virtually flat floor and a fold-flat front passenger seat: in total, both versions have no fewer than eight different seating/cargo configurations and great access to the rear of the cabin in both King and Double Cab bodystyles. Great attention has been paid to the practical side of Navara's cabin, with all possible areas made available for storage.
But the serious load story concerns the pickup bed. In both cases, the beds provide best-in-class load space in their
respective market segments. Navara's four-wheel drive system uses Nissan's proven part-time 4WD system which provides drive to the rear wheels under normal conditions or a 50/50 torque split to all four wheels when 4WD mode is engaged. The system also has both high and low ratio modes.
Power from the 2.5-litre direct injection turbocharged diesel is also increased over Pickup: indeed, Navara is available in two states of tune, the most potent of which boasts 174PS and a class-leading 403Nm of torque. The second version develops 144PS and 356Nm of torque. A choice of transmissions is available, Navara featuring the same six-speed manual as found in the Pathfinder or a five speed automatic. The high levels of torque means Navara is also a superb towing vehicle, capable of pulling up to three tonnes without complaint. The brakes
features ventilated front discs with efficient drums at the rear, while steering is a precise rack and pinion system.
'During its time on sale, the Nissan Pickup earned itself a strong reputation as an honest, hard working vehicle. Navara builds on Pickup's strengths and adds new levels of ability, refinement and fun,' says Brian Carolin, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Nissan Europe. 'We are confident that Navara will appeal to an ever wider customer base than Pickup achieved, thanks to its dual personality: it is just as happy being a tough and practical
load carrier as it is helping its owners pursue their leisure activities. Nissan believes it is the first manufacturer to
combine the practicality and ruggedness of a traditional pick up with the qualities of an SÚV.'
Since its launch four years ago, the Nissan Pickup has enjoyed steadily increasing sales across Europe. In 2003 almost 40,000 units were sold, representing an increase of 35 per cent over the preceding year. And the story continued in 2004 with 44,217 examples sold, an increase of 11,5 per cent over 2003.Source - Nissan