- Excellent ride quality
- Good value against competitors
- New touchscreen is excellent
- No adaptive cruise control
- No telescoping steering wheel
- Expensive service costs
Dual cab utes seem to be all you see on the road today and for good reason: they’re practical, capable and versatile family haulers that don’t mind a weekend off the beaten track or a trip to the job site. The Nissan Navara has been on sale in Australia since 1988 and has established itself as one the oldest ute nameplates on the market. The new 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X takes the Nissan Navara to another level giving it a little more off road prowess and a lot more of the attitude Australian ute buyers seem to want. Is it good enough to trade your SUV for? Let’s find out.
Every manufacturer these days seems to have a dual cab ute in their lineup (minus Hyundai and Kia), which means that the competition for the Navara is strong. Out of the Navara’s chief competition, there is the Mazda BT-50, Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, LDV T60, Volkswagen Amarok and the Mitsubishi Triton.
Price & Equipment: 8.5/10
The 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X is at the pointy end of the Navara range. It’s second from the top, with only the even more hardcore Pro-4X Warrior above it. The Navara range starts off with the $32,300 plus on-road costs SL manual 4×2 single cab but the Pro-4x variant starts at $58,130 plus on-road costs (currently $62,290 drive away). The car we tested was an automatic, which is currently priced at $63,790 drive away.
Nowadays, utes need to be just as tech- and feature-fulled as their passenger car rivals and the 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X does not disappoint. It comes with 17-inch black alloy wheels with a full size spare, a sports bar, roof rails, a tub liner, a tow bar, black and red accents to the bodykit, selectable driving modes, automatic LED headlights, LED front fog lights, LED tail lights, heated/auto-folding mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry with push button start, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio, satellite navigation, a six-speaker sound system and a 7.0-inch digital driver’s display as standard.
Safety is also very important for a ute and the 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X comes with seven airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with forward collision warning, trailer sway assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, auto high beam, driver fatigue detection, rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, tyre pressure monitoring and an alarm.
Unlike the 2022 Nissan Navara ST-X, the Pro-4X model of the Navara range doesn’t have any optional equipment. We would like to see the electric and heated seats become at least optional on the Pro-4X. Only four colours are available on the Pro-4X: ‘Black Star’, ‘White Pearl’, ‘Burning Red’ and our test car’s ‘Stealth Grey’. The latter two come at a $550 premium.
We would like to see a telescoping steering wheel, an electric driver’s seat, adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors and both pedestrian and cyclist detection for the AEB system. But in saying this, we think the Navara Pro-4X is great value for money compared to its competition.
Equivalent utes on the market include the $70,200 plus on-road costs Toyota HiLux Rogue, the $53,240 Mitsubishi Triton GSR, the $65,990 Mazda BT-50 Thunder, the $65,900 Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain and the $62,390 Ford Ranger Wildtrak. The 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4x sits on the cheaper end of the scale when compared to its rivals, and doesn’t miss out on much equipment in comparison.
Performance & Economy: 8/10
The sole engine option for the Nissan Navara Pro-4X is the familiar 2.3-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine that has been under the bonnet of the Navara since this generation was released in 2013. It produces 140kW of power at 3,750rpm and 450Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,500rpm. As it should be with an off-road themed model, the Navara Pro-4X is only available as a 4×4 dual cab model.
The engine in the Navara is somewhat noisy, but that can be said for most other utes in this segment. The power delivery is rather linear, which is unusual for a turbo diesel and it also accelerates faster than you may think. The twin-turbochargers definitely help with providing the power the Navara needs to accelerate from 0-100km/h in around 10 seconds, which isn’t too bad for such a large vehicle and it feels quicker in real life.
There are two transmission options for the 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X: a six-speed manual transmission and a $2,500-optional seven-speed torque converter automatic that our test car was equipped with. The automatic is smooth and gear changes are effortless and being a torque converter gearbox, it also doesn’t jerk or lurch when setting off from a standstill.
The Mitsubishi Triton’s 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine makes 133kW/430Nm (7kW and 20Nm less than the Navara), the Toyota HiLux has a 2.8-litre turbo diesel that produces 150kW/500Nm (10kW and 50Nm more than the Navara) and the Mazda BT-50/Isuzu D-Max twins have a 3.0-litre turbo diesel that makes 140kW/450Nm which is exactly the same outputs as the Nissan.
The claimed average fuel consumption figure for the Navara Pro-4X with the automatic transmission is 8.1L/100km. Our week spent driving the Navara driving on a mixture of roads saw an average of 10.2L/100km, which is better than what we expected from a large ute. The Navara has an 80-litre fuel tank so expect to around 850km to a tank.
Ride & Handling: 8.5/10
The 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X has a trick under its sleeve: rather than using a traditional coil spring set up for the rear suspension, it has five-link independent rear suspension system. This makes the ride comfort better than most competitors and we can comfortably say that the 2022 Nissan Navara is one of the best riding utes we have ever experienced. It is soft enough to not be phased by speed humps or driveways, but firm enough to not feel wallowy or loose.
The handling ability of the Navara is rather good, which is again to do with the rear suspension set up it drives and handles more like a car (or SUV) than a ute. This means while there is body roll, it’s not as bad as other more traditional utes on the market. The steering is quite light for a commercial vehicle, meaning it is easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces and the road noise is also reasonably good for a ute as well.
The braked towing capacity of the 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X automatic matches the best in class at 3,500kg. The maximum tow-ball download is 350kg. Nissan claims clearance of 220mm, an approach angle of 32 degrees, a break over angle of 22.9 degrees and 600mm of wading depth.
The active safety in the Navara aren’t overly intrusive, but as we mentioned before, we would love to see the addition of radar cruise control, especially in this higher spec model. The forward collision alert is the right amount of sensitive without being too trigger happy and the lane departure warning is great at keeping you in your lane – but there is no trace assistance.
Interior & Practicality: 7.5/10
The interior of the 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X is rather traditional in design for a ute but this isn’t to say it’s bad, because despite its age, it’s a nice place to be. There is a reasonable amount of practicality and there is some cool features to make the Navara feel modern enough to compete with newer competitors.
The dash of the Navara has is mostly all hard plastic but the door panels have portions of leather on them as well as the centre console. The leather used on the seats is also of a nice quality and feels great to sit on. Everything seems to be put together well but there could be more soft touch materials used to give a more premium feeling.
There is quite a lot of storage in the Navara. There is a spot in front of the gear selector to store a phone, two cup holders behind the shifter and a generous centre console, a nicely sized glove box, deep door pockets and map pockets behind the front seats. It is worth noting that other utes such as the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 have more storage options in their cabins.
Centre of the Navara’s cabin is an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation and digital radio. This screen is shared with other Nissan products, such as the current Qashqai, and it’s a big improvement on the previous system used in older Navara models. The infotainment system is easy to operate on the move thanks to shortcut keys on either side of the screen. The six-speaker sound system is surprisingly punchy – it offers a wide range of customisation and deep bass.
Getting into the rear of the 2022 Nissan Navara reveals a nice back seat with more than enough head and knee room for taller passengers. There is also a centre arm rest with two cup holders, a USB-A charging port, air vents and map pockets on the rear of the front seats. If you need more storage, the rear seats can also fold to make more space. There is also an electric rear window, which is the only ute in the segment to offer this.
The tray in the Navara Pro-4X has a tub liner to not damage the tray itself and it also has a clever hook system called ‘Utili-Track’ to help tie items down. The hooks also slide and can be removed. The tray of the Navara measures 1,509mm long, 1,560mm wide (1,134mm between the arches) and 519mm tall.
Service & Warranty: 8.0/10
The 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X comes with the a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, which is the same that is offered on the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50 and the Toyota HiLux – although it is worth noting Toyota offer a further two years if warranty on the engine. The Isuzu D-Max comes with a six-year/150,000km warranty and the Mitsubishi Triton comes with up to 10 years/200,000km of warranty. The Navara comes with five years of roadside assistance, as does the BT-50 and the D-Max has seven years – but Toyota does not offer any form of roadside assist.
The Nissan Navara requires being serviced every 12 months or 20,000km, which is a best in class interval. The cost of servicing the Navara over the span of five years/100,000km is $2,971 (an average service cost of $594), which is a little steep when compared to the $2,330 (average service cost of $466) that the Ford Ranger Wildtrak will cost over five years/75,000km and the $2,595 (average service cost of $519) the Mitsubishi Triton costs to service over the same distance. The Navara’s longer intervals will help those driving long distances though.
2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.1/10
Despite its age, the Nissan Navara is a pretty good all-rounder in the ute class. It drives well, offers a good amount of technology, has a great twin-turbo diesel engine and can do just about everything else that more popular competitors can – though still more comfortably than a lot of them. The most recent update to the Navara brought it properly into the modern era and gave it inclusions it was desperately needing like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a newer and larger touchscreen. As a result, the Navara is now as modern and nice to drive as it has ever been and competes better against rivals than it ever has before.
Does all of this make the Navara enough to tempt you away from your SUV and into something a little more rugged? We think so. It doesn’t seem to feel big behind the wheel or have the firm rear end that other utes have, making it more than comfortable enough for the school run but crucially, tough enough for a weekend away off the beaten track. But would we choose the Navara out of the current crop of dual-cab utes? It would definitely be up there on our list but we ultimately think the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 twins offer a more modern and well-rounded package – for a price, that is. For its asking price, the Navara represents excellent buying.