2015 Nissan NP300 Navara

Nissan has been building midsize trucks since 1985, with models stretching all across the globe. Here in U.S., the Hardbody and then Frontier have filled the slot, but overseas in nearly every other country, it’s been the Navara. Now for 2015, the Navara moves into its twelfth generation with the NP300 Navara.

While we were expecting Nissan to announce the U.S.-spec Frontier sometime soon, the automaker has been quiet on the details. We do suspect many if not most of the Navara’s details will transfer over to the Frontier, but we cannot be certain. That’s especially true when considering the powertrain options.

As for the new NP300, the updates are more evolutionary than revolutionary. A more ridged high-strength frame holds still the independent, coil-over suspension up front with a leaf spring suspension out back. Power comes from two — so far — improved engines: a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, gasoline mill and a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, turbo-diesel. Both engines are more efficient and powerful, helping the truck do more with less fuel. A seven-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission are offered with both engines.

An electric, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system is available and is assisted by Nissan’s Vehicle Dynamic Control system, Hill Start Assist, Hill Decent Control, and Active Brake Limited Slip. That last feature uses the brakes to apply force to a spinning wheel in low-traction situations on both the front and rear axles. The mechanical differential then sends power to the opposite wheel.

These nitty-gritty features all work together to get make the Navara look like a solid contender for Nissan in the upcoming years. As far as the U.S. version, it appears we’ll have to wait a bit longer for any news. But when it comes, rest assured that TopSpeed will have it covered.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara.

Exterior

Nissan NP300 Navara
Nissan NP300 Navara
Nissan NP300 Navara

The Navara NP300 comes in two cab configurations, the smaller King Cab and the full-size Double cab. The updated bed is larger than the outgoing model and capable of hauling more items. Nissan Nissan also says in the press release below that the truck will be offered in both a narrow- and wide-body type, depending upon the region. Further explanation isn’t given, but count on a narrow-track version to be offered in countries with smaller, more crowded streets.

The Navara’s looks are fairly impressive. It shares the same design language as other Nissan models like its V-type front grille. Chrome surrounds on the fog lights and mirror caps help dress up the body, while nicely detailed LED daytime running lights call attention to the front.

Out back, a chrome bumper and sculpted rear end are nice additions. The details that surround the taillights and flow upward to the tailgate’s lip are especially interesting. Expect the bumper to gain a conventional, low center step for towing and easy bed access on U.S.-spec models.

Interior

Nissan NP300 Navara
Nissan NP300 Navara
Nissan NP300 Navara

The interior of the truck is a familiar place for those accustomed to Nissan cabins. The look is clean with good amount of hard buttons to control the HVAC and infotainment system. Redundant steering wheel controls keep functions at the driver’s fingertips and a TFT screen in the center of the gauge cluster keeps relevant information handy.

We’re glad to see an old-school parking brake lever present, but an electronic unit may replace it in U.S.-bound models. That would free up the center console for more cup holders or storage bins — a necessity for American buyers. The rear accommodations in the Double Cab look competitive in the current midsize truck market, though how comfortable the area is has yet to be determined.

Overall, the interior looks well-appointed and functional, though a bit too car-like in some respects. The steering wheel especially looks dainty for truck duty.

Drivetrain

Nissan NP300 Navara

Nissan’s list of powertrains for the 2015 Navara includes two engines. The first is a revised version of the current, 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, gasoline engine currently found under the Frontier’s hood. For 2014, that engine produces 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. We suspect it will get a well-deserved power bump, pushing its output to around 200 horses and 200 pound-feet of toque, but Nissan hasn’t release any official numbers.

The other engine is a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, turbo-diesel unit producing 188 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are available with either a seven-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual. Two- and four-wheel-drive is offered as well.

Nissan has also been quite mum on whether the 4.0-liter V-6 will receive any updates for the U.S. market or if it will even return at all. The same can be said about the 2.8-liter Cummins I-4 turbo-diesel the automaker showcased at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.

Type4-cylinder, 2.5-liter DOHC Gasoline4-cylinder, 2.5-liter DOHC TurboDiesel
Output (HP)TBA188
Torque (LB-FT)TBA332

Prices

Nissan NP300 Navara

Nissan has yet to release any information on pricing at this point, but we suspect the truck’s price won’t deviate too far from the current range. Inside the U.S., the Frontier starts out at $17,990 for the King Cab and $23,600 for the Double Cab.

Competition

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado

Like the Navara-Frontier relationship, the Colorado will be a U.S.-spec version of GM’s global truck platform, though it shares little with its foreign cousin. The Colorado will come in an extended and crew cab configurations with a five- and six-foot bed option. The truck’s interior is built to the same standards as the current 2014 Silverado with fit and finish ranking pretty good.

Under the Colorado’s hood will be three engine options. A base 2.5-liter I-4 will serve as the bottom-dollar mill, while a 3.6-liter V-6 will be the premium options. Then for 2016, a 2.8-liter Duramax I-4 turbo-diesel will be offered.

Pricing for the Colorado and its GMC twin, the Canyon, hasn’t been announced, but we suspect the trucks will start around the $20,000 mark.

Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma

Like the current-generation Frontier, the Tacoma is not a bad truck, it’s just the better part of a decade old. Though Toyota Toyota is likely developing its replacement, we’ll have to deal with the current truck for a while longer. The Tacoma is powered by the venerable 4.0-liter V-6 making a reasonable 236 horsepower and getting 21 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Tacoma is also the only midsize truck to still offer a single cab. That is important to buyers looking for a strictly work truck, but those people seem to be few and far between these days. The base asking price for the Tacoma starts at $17,875 and goes up from there.

Conclusion

Nissan NP300 Navara

Overall, Nissan’s revised Navara appears to be a good leap in the right direction in making a strong midsize competitor. The combination of a more refined exterior and interior make promises about a more refined ride and characteristics. With the Chevrolet Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon acting as strong competition, the heat is on for Nissan to deliver a solid truck with high levels of refinement, high tow ratings, an innovative bed, and a competent engine lineup.

LOVE IT
  • Good looking exterior
  • Better interior refinement
  • Still a capable truck with body-on-fame design
  • The possibility of a diesel engine
LEAVE IT
  • No major details released yet
  • No word on U.S.-spec Frontier
  • Interior looks a little too soft for truck use

Press Release

The all-new Nissan NP300 Navara is the 12th generation of its hard-working pickup, embodying Nissan’s legacy of excellence and trust in this highly demanding segment, and now with new levels of comfort, convenience and advanced technologies. Backed by Nissan’s 80 years of global pickup truck know-how and legendary reliability, the NP300 Navara meets the needs of demanding individuals and business owners alike.

Nissan NP300 Navara

The all-new model boasts highly competitive fuel economy, improved acceleration and easier operation, a more rigid and durable frame, as well as modern yet tough and strong design.

The new Nissan NP300 Navara achieves lower overall running costs through a combination of improvements in powertrain performance and a reduction in body mass. Exterior refinements include a reduction in roof height and higher ground clearance, as well as a larger loading area

The Nissan NP300 Navara is represented by a wide range of body types and powertrain options according to individual market demands, through narrow- and wide-body type, king and double cab models, as well as all-wheel drive and two-wheel drive types.

The Nissan design team focused on delivering a sportier and more emotional expression on the NP300 Navara, while maintaining Nissan’s distinctive design DNA. The view from the side is marked by the smooth silhouette thanks to the high beltline and blacked B-pillar, which lends the NP300 Navara a unique character. The door section with dynamic convex and concave surface boldly expresses its energetic and dependable appearance along with the massively sculpted fenders. Nissan’s signature “V-motion" motif flows from the grille and into the hood through to the front fender, giving a smooth and dynamic character line.

The visual appeal of the NP300 Navara is also enhanced thanks to the boomerang shaped lighting signature created with LED daytime running lights that gives a prominent and distinctive impression. Additional visual spice comes from chrome waist line moldings and turn indicators mounted in the door mirrors. The unique new color choices - Savannah Yellow and The Earth Bronze - are designed to underscore the unique character of the NP300 Navara: vital yet urban.

Nissan NP300 Navara

Life on board has also been upgraded. Here the designers have styled the dashboard featuring a gentle sweep from the center panel to the door side with 3-dimensional rich sections in order to offer a feeling of spaciousness. In addition, the Nissan designers have styled the interior to represent a new quality benchmark in the segment, with finely designed meters and a tactile steering wheel, as well as the use of an aluminum-like finish on the center cluster and console as well as the finely crafted stitches on the seat.

Occupants will feel the clear influence of Nissan’s SUV leadership, through the intuitive ergonomic design and use of high quality materials, and thanks to easier ingress and egress as well as improved refinement and visibility. Overall, the interior is spacious and comfortable, offering convenience for hard-working entrepreneurs and the quiet relaxation of a well isolated space for family journeys. The material selection and elaborate treatment such as double stitching fully express its high quality and sophistication.

“Since we built our first pickup in 1933, over 14 million customers around the globe have come to depend on a Nissan pickup to transport their families, workmates and cargo, sometimes in the toughest of circumstances, “explained Andy Palmer, Nissan’s Chief Planning Officer. “Nissan pickups are often the lifeblood of their communities, and they need a broader range of abilities than almost any other vehicle. Engineering a good one isn’t easy, but with the NP300 Navara, we’ve added to our accumulated 80 years of Pickup know-how, more comfort, convenience and SUV-inspired features, in-order to build a great one.“

“The Nissan New NP300 Navara sets new benchmarks for performance, toughness, versatility and running costs; all the qualities that are critical for pickup users," adds Andy Palmer, Nissan’s Chief Planning Officer.

The dashboard sports multiple easy-to-read dials, plus a large center console with a full array of intuitive features that combine with steering wheel controls to enable easy and safe use while driving. Included are high-resolution color TFT instrument displays with access to compass and turn-by-turn navigation support, fuel economy indicator and audio track and radio content. Customization features provide driver assistance in a variety of languages, as well as alerts, maintenance reminders and more.

While life-on-board is comfortable and convenient, the NP300 Navara has been designed and developed to easily and confidently handle heavy loads, while allowing ease of loading and unloading. Underneath, the NP300 Navara’s high-strength chassis and leaf suspension have been engineered to take the punishment of intense daily usage, reflecting the expectations of pick-up customers around the world among the other improvements to the NP300 Navara’s characteristics are a reduced turning circle, reflecting the importance of agility and maneuverability in city driving.

Nissan NP300 Navara

The NP300 Navara’s powertrain boasts improved performance, with reduced fuel consumption and emissions, as well as a dynamic control braking system that makes for a leader in segment performance. Engine options have been developed for best in class fuel efficiency and emissions ratings, yet with impressive power output and acceleration. Models come equipped with improved versions of Nissan’s 2.5-liter DOHC in-line 4-cylinder Diesel engine or 2.5-liter in-line 4-cylinder Gasoline engine. The new 2.5-liter DOHC in-line 4-cylinder Diesel engine features maximum power of 140kW and 120kW at 3600rpm, maximum torque of 450Nm and 403Nm at 2000rpm, and higher boost from a turbocharger with electrical actuator. Fuel economy has been improved by as much as 11% over the previous model.

Shift-on-the-fly 4x4 driving can be engaged while the vehicle is in motion. The VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) system helps improve 4x4 driving performance and safety, along with ABLS (Active Brake Limited Slip), HSA (Hill Start Assist) and HDC (Hill Descent Control).

The NP300 Navara’s transmission options include a seven-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmission. The seven-speed automatic provides for low fuel consumption at slow speeds as well as better acceleration, expanded gear ratio for wider range of speeds, and smooth acceleration and shifting. The six-speed manual features enhanced fuel efficiency from low to high gear, while its optimized shift stroke makes for quick and effortless gear changes.

Overall, the new Nissan NP300 Navara provides fleet and individual owners improved productivity in the field and comfort on the road. This is thanks to the high quality engineering that has delivered a tough and durable frame along with a high performance powertrain, and a striking design inside and out for a premium ownership experience.

Nissan NP300 Navara

“We are confident that the all-new Nissan NP300 Navara will go straight to the top of pickup buyers’ shopping lists in all of the markets where we will sell it. Its combination of striking looks, efficient performance, robustness and durability will allow owners to work and play harder – enriching their daily lives. The NP300 Navara continues the legacy of Nissan’s long pickup history and, like all Nissan models, it will deliver excitement through innovation," concluded Andy Palmer.


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