The buoyant ute market in New Zealand will become even more competitive going into 2015 when Nissan unveils its new Navara.
The Japanese carmaker, sitting third on the top 10 commercial sales ladder behind the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux, has revealed the first official pictures of its 12th-generation workhorse, the NP300 Navara.
But there are scant details – the ute pictured here is for the Thailand market and New Zealand specification, including engines, transmissions and grades, will be confirmed at a later date.
The light-commercial market has been stronger than ever in NZ over the past couple of years and the new Nissan will go into battle with the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton, Mazda BT-50, and Isuzu D-Max.
Nissan says Navara will offer “greater durability and more efficient performance” than before. It will be available with a choice of wide or narrow body styles, with single-cab, dual-cab and king-cab options on the menu.
There will be a choice of petrol or diesel engines, and in either two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive configurations. Four-wheel-drive models will have the ability to switch between drive modes while on the move.
The Navara has a smaller turning circle than its predecessor, says Nissan. The ute’s new look includes LED daytime running lights that frame a chrome-finished grille. It features what Nissan describes as a “V-motion motif” that extends from the grille and over the wheel arches to deeply sculpted doors.
On the inside, the car has a revised interior with a new steering wheel and metal-look highlights that give a more car-like impression. Andy Palmer, Nissan’s chief planning officer, says the brand has sold more than 14 million utes since 1933.
“Nissan pick-ups are often the lifeblood of their communities, and they need a broader range of abilities than almost any other vehicle,” he says. “The NP300 Navara continues the legacy of Nissan’s long pickup history and, like all Nissan models, it will deliver excitement through innovation.”