Nissan is talking up the power-to-weight ratio of its new Navara ute, saying it’s lighter and uses less diesel fuel than its many rivals, but delivers just as much oomph.
The kerb weight difference of up to 300kg over Ford Ranger variants, it says, can add up to a saving for the Navara owner of between $500 and $700 a year in town-and-around fuel bills alone.
Nissan NZ picked on a comparison with the current Ford Ranger for two reasons: because Ranger is the best-selling ute in NZ, and because Nissan has just launched its range of 11 Navaras.
They are codenamed NP300 and made up of six two-wheel-drives and five four-wheel-drives, 10 of the 11 using a Renault Alliance 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine offering two different states of tune – 122kW/403Nm;140kW/450Nm – and a two-wheel-drive petrol variant using the 122kW/238Nm 2.5-litre engine from the X-Trail.
Nissan believes the new model offers the best equipped package in the ute sector. The range is priced between $31,990 and $64,990 and offers a slick interior design with smartphone connection, seven airbags, choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearboxes, four 12-volt power points, including one on the tray, LED headlights, push-button start, heated front seats, independent rear suspension, improved turning circle … and a sliding rear window.
So how does it stack up on paper? Here’s a look at like-for-like premium diesel models with automatic gearboxes.
4WD Navara ST-X double-cab: Kerb weight 1921kg; 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with 140kW at 3750rpm and 450Nm at 1500-2500rpm. Braked towing 3500kg; payload 930kg; C02 emissions 186gr/km; fuel use 7.0-litres/100km; fuel tank 80 litres. Gearbox seven-speed auto. Costs $64,990.
4WD Ranger XLT double-cab: Kerb weight 2129kg; 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel with 147kW at 3000rpm and 470Nm at 1500-2750rpm. Braked towing 3500kg; payload 1071kg; C02 emissions 248gr/km; fuel tank 80 litres; fuel use 9.4 litres/100km. Gearbox six-speed auto. Costs $61,540.
4WD Mitsubishi Triton GLS double-cab: Kerb weight 1940kg; 2.4-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder generating 135kW at 3500rpm and 437Nm at 2500rpm. Braked towing 3100kg; payload 960kg; C02 emissions 192gr/km; fuel use 7.6 litres/100km; fuel tank 75 litres. Gearbox six-speed auto. Costs $59,490.
4WD Toyota Hilux SR5 double-cab: Kerb weight 1940kg; 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with 126kW at 3600rpm and 343Nm at 1400-3400rpm. Braked towing 2800kg; payload 850kg; C02 emissions 230gr/km; fuel use 8.7 litres/100km; fuel tank 76 litres. Gearbox five-speed auto. Costs $58,090.
4WD Holden Colorado LTZ double-cab: Kerb weight 2150kg; 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with 147kW at 3600rpm and 500Nm at 2000-2200rpm. Braked towing 3500kg; payload 1000kg; C02 emissions 245gr/km; fuel use 9.1 litres/100km; fuel tank 76 litres. Gearbox six-speed auto. Costs $59,990
4WD Isuzu LS-T double-cab: Kerb weight 1943kg; 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with 130kW at 3600rpm and 380Nm at 1800-2800rpm. Braked towing 3500kg; payload 1002kg; C02 emissions 225gr/km; fuel use 8.1 litres/100km; fuel tank 76 litres. Gearbox five-speed auto. Costs $60,990.
4WD Volkswagen Amarok double-cab Highline: Kerb weight 2158kg; 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with 132kW at 4000rpm and 420Nm at 1500-2000rpm. Braked towing 3000kg; payload 882kg; C02 emissions 219gr/km; fuel use 8.3 litres/100km; fuel tank 80 litres; gearbox is eight-speed auto. Costs $65,990.
4WD Mazda BT-50 double-cab: Based largely on the Ford Ranger, it has pretty much identical numbers.
Payload, of course, is the weight in and on the vehicle, not what the rear tray can handle alone. If payload is 930kg and there are four 100kg adults travelling in the double-cab, the load on the tray can’t in theory exceed 530kg.
The comparisons continue among rival double-cab two-wheel-drives. Ford has its 3.2-litre XL Ranger doing 8.4 litres/100km, with C02 emissions of 222gr/km; Nissan says its 2.3-litre double-cab ST-X Navara is good for 6.8 litres/100km and 179gr/km.
On paper at least, the 2.3-litre Navara diesel engine is thriftier and cleaner burning than its 4WD and 2WD rivals, just edging out the Triton, a recent newcomer. That’s an advantage Nissan NZ managing director John Manley is happy about.
“The new Navara builds on decades of strength for Navara in New Zealand,” he said. “It delivers premium comfort, innovative features and advanced technology, all while maintaining the tough, capable and reliable characteristics that utility buyers expect.”