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Nissan Navara 2022 review: Pro-4X GVM test

The PRO-4X is essentially an ST-X with unique features.

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Tradies score


In MY21 guise, the D23 Nissan Navara features fresh styling, big increases in standard safety,  minimum one-tonne payload ratings, increased load tub volume across all dual cab variants and a model range simplified to four key grades.

Those comprise SL, ST, ST-X and the new top-shelf PRO-4X, which has enhanced features, styling, interior comfort and refinements typically found at this premium end of the 4x4 dual-cab market.  We recently spent a week behind the wheel to see how it compares to rivals in this competitive market segment.

Price and Features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The PRO-4X comes standard with Nissan’s premium 2.3-litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission, but our test vehicle is equipped with the optional seven-speed automatic for a list price of $60,630. 

That undercuts range-topping 4x4 dual-cab rivals like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak ($66,090), Toyota HiLux Rugged X ($69,990) and Isuzu D-MAX X-Terrain ($63,900), but is considerably more than Mitsubishi’s bargain-priced Triton GLS Premium ($52,790). Our test vehicle’s Stealth Grey is a premium paint option available at extra cost.

The PRO-4X scores a black double-tube stainless-steel sports bar with sail panels. The PRO-4X scores a black double-tube stainless-steel sports bar with sail panels.

The PRO-4X is essentially an ST-X with unique features that are either in addition to or replace existing ST-X equipment. With an emphasis on black, these include 17-inch PRO-4X black alloy wheels with 255/65 R17 Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tyres and full-size steel spare, black double-tube stainless-steel sports bar with sail panels, plus black wheel-arch flares, roof rails, door handles, door mirrors, side steps and grille. Inside are unique floor mats and leather-accented seats, with distinctive contrast stitching and embroidered PRO-4X logos.

The PRO-4X wears blacked out 17-inch alloy wheels. The PRO-4X wears blacked out 17-inch alloy wheels.

Being based on the richly-equipped ST-X means the premium PRO-4X comes loaded with useful gear as standard including a 3500kg tow-bar, slide-adjustable cargo anchorage system in a fully-lined load tub, six-speaker infotainment system with 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and digital radio, reversing and 360-degree cameras, dual-zone climate, leather-accented steering wheel and shifter, tyre pressure monitoring, four USB ports, two 12-volt accessory outlets and lots more. However, the absence of adaptive cruise control and front parking sensors is conspicuous at this model grade.

Inside is an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Inside is an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Design – is there anything interesting about its design?

The PRO-4X benefits from brake and rear axle upgrades required to achieve the Navara’s higher minimum one-tonne payload rating across the dual cab range. 

Its off-road credentials include a 12.5-metre turning circle, 224mm of unladen ground clearance, 600mm wading depth and 32 degrees approach, 22.9 degrees ramp break-over and 19.8 degrees departure angles; the latter caused by the standard issue tow-bar.

The PRO-4X is a good-looking package. The PRO-4X is a good-looking package.

Overall, the PRO-4X is a good-looking package, thanks largely to the Navara’s latest bold design language which is clearly inspired by Nissan’s Titan full-size US pick-up. The interior has the premium look and feel you’d expect, with contrasting white and red stitching in its leather-accented seating and a classy blend of chrome, satin chrome and textured hard surfaces throughout the cabin.

The front seats are supportive and comfortable although tall people might find the driver’s seat a tad too high, even on its lowest setting, while rear seat head-room and shoulder-room are marginal for three adults. A more prominent and defined driver’s left footrest would be welcome. 

Engine and transmission – What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

Nissan’s premium YS23DDTT 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine produces 140kW at 3750rpm and a tractor-like 450Nm of peak torque between 1500-2500rpm. Its pair of inline sequential turbochargers provide excellent lag-free throttle response, which combined with impressive refinement makes it one of the best engines in the 4x4 dual-cab ute class.

The 2.3-litre twin-turbo-diesel engine produces 140kW/450Nm. The 2.3-litre twin-turbo-diesel engine produces 140kW/450Nm.

The smooth-shifting seven-speed torque converter automatic, with its intelligent auto downshifting, is equally competent and refined. It also offers four distinct drive modes – Normal, Sport, Off-Road and Towing – which can be selected by a console toggle switch. The overdriven sixth and seventh gears optimise highway fuel economy and the manual sequential-shift function can be handy off-road and particularly useful when carrying and/or towing heavy loads in hilly terrain.

4x4 transmission is dual-range part-time, with shift-on-the fly electronic 4x4 engagement up to 100km/h and 2.7:1 low-range reduction. There’s also an electronic rear diff lock.

Fuel consumption – How much fuel does it consume?

Nissan claims an official combined figure of 8.1L/100km and the dash display was showing 9.3 when we stopped to refuel at the completion of our test, which covered just under 300km with about one third of that distance lugging a near-maximum payload.

Our own figure, calculated from tripmeter and fuel pump, was higher again at 10.4 which results in a real-world driving range of around 770km from its 80-litre tank. 

Practicality – How practical is the space inside?

Cabin storage includes a large-bottle holder and storage bin in each front door, plus a single glove-box and overhead glasses holder. The centre console has an open storage cubby at the front, two small-bottle/cup holders in the centre and a small lidded box at the back.

There's a large-bottle holder and storage bin in each front door. There's a large-bottle holder and storage bin in each front door.

Rear seat passengers also get a large-bottle holder and smaller storage bin in each door plus a fold-down centre armrest with two small-bottle/cup holders. The rear seat’s base cushion can also swing upwards through 90 degrees and be stored vertically for more internal cargo space. 

The rear seats can be folded up to reveal more cargo space.  The rear seats can be folded up to reveal more cargo space. 

The load tub is 519mm deep and its 1509mm floor length is slightly shorter than its 1560mm width.  With 1134mm between the rear wheel housings, it won’t fit a standard Aussie or Euro pallet (like most dual cab utes), but there are plenty of tie-down choices including four fixed load anchorage points at floor level and the two-channel slide-adjustable system for taller loads.

The tub measures in at 519mm deep,1509mm long and 1560mm wide. The tub measures in at 519mm deep,1509mm long and 1560mm wide.

The 2146kg kerb weight and 3150kg GVM results in a genuine one-tonne-plus payload rating of 1004kg. It also has a 5910kg GCM (or how much it can legally carry and tow at the same time) and is rated to tow up to the class-benchmark 3500kg of braked trailer. 

However, to tow that weight and not exceed the GCM would require an enormous 740kg reduction in payload, leaving only 264kg to play with, which could easily be used up by two or three adult occupants before you could think about loading their luggage or anything else.

Fortunately, most 4x4 dual-cab ute owners don’t need to tow 3500kg, so a more practical compromise would be to base the towing limit on the Navara’s 3150kg GVM, which would reduce the maximum tow rating from 3500kg to 2760kg (which is still more than adequate for most) and maintain the maximum one-tonne payload rating. 

What’s it like as a daily driver?

There’s ample performance from the twin-turbo diesel engine which makes light work of city and suburban driving. It’s particularly responsive in the 40-80km/h range often encountered in these areas, where energetic acceleration is appreciated when lights turn green or when finding gaps in busy traffic.

It’s also economical at highway speeds where the overdriven seventh gear allows low-stressed engine operation, with only 1750rpm at 100km/h and 2000rpm at 110km/h. These revs are also where torque and throttle response are at their strongest.

The combination of four-coil suspension and 17-inch tyres (compared to lower profile 18s) produces a commendably smooth unladen ride quality. It also has low engine and tyre noise at speeds up to 110km/h. 

Not hard to find a comfortable driving position, although taller drivers may find the seat base cushion a tad short for proper under-thigh support. There’s no lumbar support adjustment but we never found a need for it as the front seat backrests are very supportive in that area.

What’s it like for tradie use?

Pretty good actually. We loaded 830kg into the load tub which with our driver was a total payload of 930kg, that was only 74kg under the payload limit. The rear suspension compressed 65mm under this loading, leaving about 40mm of ample clearance between the chassis rails and axle bump-stops. 

On previous Navara tests with full payloads, the coil-spring rear suspension has used up all of its travel just sitting still, relying heavily on its rubber bump-stops to support the load when driving. However, the latest version can haul big payloads without a hint of bottoming-out, so a nod to Nissan for finally getting this problem sorted.

We loaded 830kg into the Navara's tray. We loaded 830kg into the Navara's tray.

On our 13 per cent gradient, 2.0km long set climb at 60km/h, the engine’s ample 450Nm of torque made light work of hauling this near-maximum payload to the summit in fourth gear at 2000rpm, which was bang in the middle of its peak torque zone. It required so little throttle at those engine speeds that acceleration was easily delivered on request.

Fact is, it hardly noticed the sizeable weight that was strapped in the load tub, not only when climbing but also descending, where its engine-braking in a manually-selected second gear proved equally strong. For a 2.3-litre engine, it performs like a larger one.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

Ownership – What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

The D23 Nissan Navara is now such a good all-rounder it doesn’t leave room for major criticism. In its eye-catching PRO-4X trim it looks and feels like a premium grade product and is capable of handling any tasks that might be asked of it, either by a hard-working tradie or weekend adventurer.  


Based on new car retail price

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