A HOST of new bakkies have been launched to our local market recently. To remind us of the Navara’s dominance, Nissan recently invited us to the Witsand Nature Reserve in the Kalahari Desert to put this big brute through its paces.
Unseasonable rain may have settled much of the dusty Kalahari, but it did make for an interesting and more challenging adventure as this left the landscape rather muddy. Our weapon of choice for the expedition was the Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4 LE.
Equipped with a strong 140kW of power and a massive 450Nm of torque, this 2.5-litre diesel powertrain supplies the Navara with enough raw pulling power to make light work of whatever Mother Nature threw at it. Power is transferred to the wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, or a five-speed auto. Utilising the muscle on offer and flicking between high and low-range as well as sporting a differential lock, this bakkie climbed dunes, and clambered through some treacherous dongas.
The ground clearance was constantly challenged as the damp earth fell away, while idling through the river beds. Boasting 230mm of ground clearance along with a 30 degrees approach angle, 22 degrees ramp and 24 degrees departure angles, the Navara was victorious in its escapades.
Dunes can reach 100 metres in height and 10 kilometres in length. Add to this, sweltering temperatures and a barren landscape and you quickly realise that the conditions are, well challenging to say the least. Luckily, the Navara is fitted with niceties and useful creature comforts like automatic climate control, electric windows, and radio/CD with USB connectivity to ensure you always travel in comfort.
On the safety front, the big bakkie houses ABS brakes with EBD and six airbags. So, despite its ruggedness and robust abilities, it still offers a safe cabin for its occupants.
Some people may feel the Navara is in need of an upgrade, but it’s still one of the best looking bakkies on the market. And after conquering the harsh African landscape, it cements its place as a firm South African favourite. And it’s easy to see why. It isn’t shy to get dirty and put in the hard work.