First drive: 2019 Nissan Navara N-Trek review

Moving Well | Tim Nicholson | Posted on 11 August 2019

Tim Nicholson takes the smart new Nissan Navara N-Trek for a launch drive.


First impressions:

The N-Trek adds some aggressive styling to the Navara, boosting the look of Nissan’s sturdy and popular pick-up.


Buyers have a lot of choice in the burgeoning ute segment and manufacturers are working hard to keep their offerings fresh in a bid to remain competitive. None more so than Nissan, which has updated its current-generation D23 Navara four times since its mid-2015 launch.

Just last month Nissan rolled out the Series IIII Navara that gained Nissan’s latest infotainment system, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for the first time.

Front view of silver Nissan Navara pick up parked in golden field in front of a lake


Buyers have a lot of choice in the burgeoning ute segment and manufacturers are working hard to keep their offerings fresh in a bid to remain competitive. None more so than Nissan, which has updated its current-generation D23 Navara four times since its mid-2015 launch.

Just last month Nissan rolled out the Series IIII Navara that gained Nissan’s latest infotainment system, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for the first time.

Now the Japanese car-maker has wheeled out a new special-edition N-Trek variant that will become a permanent member of the Navara line-up.

The N-Trek is priced from $56,450 before on-road costs in manual guise, increasing to $58,950 for the seven-speed auto. It’s based on the range-topping Navara dual-cab ST-X 4x4 and adds $3700 to the base price of that variant.


The N-Trek gains visual tweaks inside and out to help butch up the look of the Navara, but it doesn’t benefit from any mechanical updates. This is not the hardcore Ford Ranger Raptor rival that Navara fans had hoped for, rather a competitor for tamer fare such as the Ranger Wildtrak, Holden Colorado Z71, and Toyota HiLux Rugged. 

In the meantime, the N-Trek adds visual flair thanks to a number of black flourishes. You will find black 18-inch wheels, fender flares, alloy sportsbar, lower-body side decals on the doors and tub, headlight bezels, rear bumper, front grille, roof rails, door handles and foglight surrounds. The side steps, lower front fascia and rear-view mirror caps are also black with an orange accent line.

Inside, the N-Trek adds leather-accented seats with orange fabric inserts, as well as orange stitching on the seats, centre console, armrests and steering wheel. It also has heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Close up of Nissan Navara badge on white boot.
Interior shot of Nissan Navara's driver and passenger seats showing steering wheel and dashboard


The pricing lines up well against its rivals, with the Colorado Z71 starting at $54,990, the HiLux Rugged kicking off from $55,865 and Isuzu’s D-Max X-Runner priced from $54,990, while the Ranger Wildtrak starts from $61,090.

In the metal, the N-Trek’s black touches toughen up the Navara, which has softer styling than its more aggressive-looking one-tonne ute counterparts. Inside, the orange detail adds a welcome splash of colour to the grey cabin. The cool styling additions help justify the $3700 premium for the N-Trek over the model on which it’s based. Having Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as standard at this level adds to the Navara’s appeal too.

Nothing has changed with how the Navara drives. It has always been a capable ute and Nissan has made regular improvements to its suspension and ride and handling capabilities since 2015. We drove the N-Trek unladen and it maintained a compliant ride that is biased towards comfort rather than dynamic prowess. It’s a comfortable vehicle to drive or be driven in, even over degraded and unsealed roads, as we found during our test in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Back view of white Nissan Navara driving along empty country road past golden fields.


It is, however, a noisy ute. The 2.3-litre engine works hard and has plenty of grunt, but it is loud under load and there is not enough cabin insulation to keep the noise out. Other brands have improved the noise, vibration and harshness levels of their respective ute offerings, but Nissan has more work to do here.

Performance is strong, fuel economy is good and the Navara still feels like a solid offering in the crowded segment. 

Nissan Navara N-Trek

PRICE

Price as tested: $58,950 plus on-road costs
Model range: $56,450-$58,950 plus on-road costs. 

STANDARD SAFETY

Five-star ANCAP rating, reversing camera, reversing sensors, seven airbags, brake assist, hill start assist, hill descent control.

STANDARD FEATURES

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, keyless entry and start, satellite navigation. 

DRIVETRAIN

Engine: 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, seven-speed automatic, four-wheel drive.
Maximum power: 140kW@3750rpm.
Maximum torque: 450Nm@1500-2500rpm.
Tyres font/rear: 255/60R18.

 

FUEL

Type: Diesel, 80-litre tank
Fuel consumption: 7.0L/100km (government test).
CO2 emissions: 186g/km. 

WARRANTY/SERVICES

Five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Capped-price servicing every 20,000 kilometres or 12 months.