Nissan has launched the Series 3 Navara ST-X with vital changes under the skin.
Nissan has launched the Series 3 Navara ST-X with vital changes under the skin. Photography by Mitchell Ok

2018 Nissan Navara Series 3 arrives with Aussie changes

THIRD time is hopefully a charm for the Nissan Navara.

The third iteration of this generation Nissan Navara has been launched since first going on sale in 2015.

Vital changes have been made to the dual cab pick-up models, addressing suspension issues when towing and while under load. Steering upgrades have also been introduced, with less turns lock-to-lock.

Much of the Series 3 road testing and analysis was done in Australia. Due to our varying road conditions, engineers undertook thousands of kilometres of testing without load and when towing on roads around central Victoria.

No alterations have been made to the body, yet some internal features have been bolstered.

Prices have risen between $200-$500 on eight of the 35 Navaras available.

While Nissan has 35 different variants of Navara available, including cab-chassis and king cab models, more than 90% of vehicles sold are dual cabs. The latter (other than cab chassis variants) receive suspension upgrades courtesy of the more sophisticated five-link rear suspension - as opposed to the leaf springs under the workhorse models design to cope with heavier loads.

The Nissan Navara Dual Cab SL Series 3.
The Nissan Navara Dual Cab SL Series 3. Photography by Mitchell Ok

Dual cab pick-ups come armed with a dual-rate rear spring system which is lighter and "has higher lateral rigidity”.

The lower spring rate is designed for when the ute is unladen or under light load, while the higher spring rate works in tandem with a dynamic rebound damper. When load is applied to the Navara, the damper is designed to contact the chassis rail which causes the damper to compress and the resistance increases.

When this Navara sits next to previous models, it sits 25mm higher without a load and 40mm higher when laden.

The number of steering wheel turns it takes to completely rotate from one side to the other has reduced from 4.1 to 3.4.

Nissan benchmarked the Series 3 against the nation's best performing utes, including Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Holden Colorado.

Minor specification changes have been made across five grades.

The Nissan Navara Dual Cab SL Series 3.
The Nissan Navara Dual Cab SL Series 3. Photography by Mitchell Ok

All vehicles have Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity (no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto), aircon and cruise control.

All dual cabs now have Isofix points for child seats on the two outer rear seats, but the same annoying material loop on the seat top has been retained for top tether points rather than being embedded on the rear wall.

Satellite navigation has is now on King Cab ST grade, aligning with its dual cab sibling, while the RX, SL and ST dual cabs have lower tie down hooks. ST-X grades with Utili-track have four additional tie down hooks located lower within the tub.

There's a host of optional accessories available, but key for ST-X buyers is the $1500 pack which includes leather-accented heated seats, leather door trims and an 8-way power driver's seat with lumbar support.

Adding a sunroof costs $1000.

While white accounts for more than half of all Navaras sold, there are six other hues: black, red, silver, dark blue, gold and grey. Metallic options are $550 extra.

The Nissan Navara Dual Cab SL Series 3.
The Nissan Navara Dual Cab SL Series 3. Photography by Mitchell Ok

AT A GLANCE

Nissan Navara

PRICES From $28,490-$54,490 (good)

WARRANTY AND SERVICING Three year/100,000km (ok), service intervals are annual or 20,000km at an average price of $621 (manual) or $614 (auto) over six visits (good, long distance intervals)

ENGINES 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel 120kW/403Nm or twin turbo version 140kW/450Nm (strong).

TRANSMISSIONS Six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic (expected).

THIRST 6.4-7.1/100km (best you'll get in a ute)

TOWING 3500kg, payload 965-1356 depending on model (good)

Single Cab

DX 4x4 6MT Cab Chassis $31,990

RX 4x2 6MT Cab Chassis $25,990

RX 4x4 6MT Cab Chassis $32,990

RX 4x4 7AT Cab Chassis $35,490

King Cab

RX 4x2 6MT Cab Chassis $28,490

RX 4x4 6MT Cab Chassis $35,490

RX 4x4 6MT Pickup $37,290

ST 4x4 6MT Pickup $43,990

ST 4x4 7AT Pickup $46,490

ST-X 4x4 6MT Pickup $49,990

ST-X 4x4 7AT Pickup $52,490

Dual Cab

RX 4x2 6MT Pickup $33,490

RX 4x2 7AT Pickup $35,990

ST 4x2 6MT Pickup $40,190

ST 4x2 7AT Pickup $42,690

ST-X 4x2 6MT Pickup $44,990

ST-X 4x2 7AT Pickup $47,490

RX 4x4 6MT Cab Chassis $38,490

RX 4x4 7AT Cab Chassis $40,990

RX 4x4 7AT Pickup $42,990

SL 4x4 6MT Pickup $43,990

SL 4x4 7AT Pickup $46,490

ST 4x4 6MT Pickup $47,190

ST 4x4 7AT Pickup $49,690

ST-X 4x4 6MT Pickup $51,990

ST-X 4x4 7AT Pickup $54,490


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