Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.

Special edition Nissan Navaras look taut and terrific

CRAWLING through rocky bushland and onto a winding sandy track the world opened. Tethering into the distance was an endless ocean featuring a kaleidoscope of blues off the picturesque coast of Dunsborough, south west of Western Australia.

Embracing the remote location it's little wonder Nissan Navara owners are embarking on similar adventures.

Research shows virtually all those piloting a Navara explore its off-roading ability - most often for weekends away or holidays.

Dual-cab drivers are the antipodes of SUV owners. Most high-riding wagons rarely see gravel, let alone dirt, despite their original design intentions.

Utes remain one of the nation's favourite modes of transport, with the Toyota HiLux maintaining its position as the leading seller while the Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton are also at the upper echelon of the charts.

Which is why Nissan has bolstered its dual-cab with the kit most sought-after as it hunts those shopping in the plush ute market.

Two new limited edition models have been added to the Navara line-up with up to $10,000 worth of kit for no extra cost.

Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.

VALUE

Leading the dual-prong attack is the Black Edition that is based on the 4x4 ST variant, but gains a heap of kit to honour the naming hue, including 18-inch alloys with all-terrain tyres, sports bar, flared wheel arches, nudge bar, soft tonneau cover and tubliner, bonnet protector, mirror caps, special decals and a LED light bar.

Adding more muscle to a robust deal is agressive drive-away pricing, $48,690 for the manual and $51,190 for self shifters. ABN holders get $1700 off.

For the $39,490 drive-away Silverline (an extra $2600 for the auto), it adds 16-inch alloys, polished sports bar, Silverline tailgate badge and an internal mobile phone holder on top of the usual SL equipment. ABN holders get $1500 off manuals and $1600 off autos.

Black Editions are available in five colours, including white, silver, black, grey and red. Silverline has a similar palette, minus grey.

Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.

Nothing changes mechanically, while the five-star safety rating is retained with seven airbags and rear view camera.

Complimentary equipment on both are electronic rear differential lock, LED headlights and daytime running lamps, Bluetooth audio and phone integration (unfortunately no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto) and cruise control. The ST Black Edition gets the upgraded seven-inch colour touchscreen with satnav as opposed to a five-inch display and a leather accented steering wheel on the Silverline.

The extra equipment could be a sign of things to come, and Nissan product manager Chris Schultz said the marque was able to achieve the deal through buying power - but admitted he wanted more than the 900 units of each variant.

"It's all the things we see in our after-sales area that people buy," he said.

"There is more dress-up involved in after-sales now which I think that's the transition from people buying and driving V8 utes into this type of vehicle.

"Previously it was all just performance-based or towing capability, and there is still that aspect, but people want them to look tough and cool as well.

"Everyone is toughening them up and changing the look."

Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.

The fledgling realm has seen a rapid influx of entries.

HSV has unleashed its Colorado Sportscat, while Ford has the off-road focused Ranger Raptor, Holden kitted out its Colorado and called it the Z71 Xtreme, while Toyota has its Rugged X and Rogue models.

Where Nissan has set itself apart is pricing. While the equipment isn't as hardcore as the aforementioned rivals, the Navara price tag hasn't shifted whereas the competition is skyward of $60,000-$70,000 plus on-roads.

Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.

DRIVING

Nissan maintains the same 2.3-litre twin turbo diesel which delivers outputs of 140kW/450Nm.

The key performance upgrade on Black Editions is the General Grabber AT3 rubber for going off-road. Those tackling soft sand driving regularly would probably be better suited to a more road-bias tyre, but for the mixture of bitumen, gravel, rock-hopping, challenging muddy terrain we survived in WA they proved faultless.

Before the D23 Navara was relaunched in 2015 it was known as the nation's most powerful tradie with a V6 turbo diesel, but it has since blazed a new trail with its biturbo four-cylinder.

Ford has since adopted a 2.0-litre derivative for its dune-jumping Ranger Raptor and the shift to lower capacity turbos its likely to continue.

Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.

With 3500kg braked towing capacity the Navara has proven itself to be a solid and adaptable unit.

The extra kit on the special editions provide limited, if any, additional on or off-road prowess but is motivated by a growing market.

"If you look at SUVs and all the different segments, these are the guys that are spending the most on after-sales and differentiating their vehicles," Schultz said.

Utes are also drawing buyers from wide-ranging vehicle segments. Improved road dynamics and more creature comforts mean modern dual cabs become handy family vehicles - just with bloody big boots.

"There is no outflow from LCV (light commercial vehicles). People like the practicality and how they use them rather than going into an SUV," Schultz said.

"It's surprising. Most of the other segments in Australia have some outflow but this one has no outflow...or its so minuscule it doesn't show up on the data."

Both models are on sale from October 1.

Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.

VERDICT

The special editions are a no-brainer. Extra kit for no price penalty sets a new standard for the Navara, and while there are no mechanical changes the improvements are exactly what the market is chasing.

Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.

AT A GLANCE

NISSAN NAVARA SL 4X4 SILVERLINE AND ST 4X4 BLACK EDITION

PRICE Silverline $39,490 (m) and $42,090 (a) drive-away, Black Edition of $48,690 (m) and $51,190 (a), less for ABN holders (good value)

WARRANTY AND SERVICING 3 year/100,000 km wty (short), average service cost is $744 ($751 manual) over six intervals are 20,000km or annual (OK)

ENGINE 2.3-litre twin turbo diesel 140kW/450Nm (strong and smooth)

SAFETY 5 star, 7 airbags, rear view camera, two Isofix points, hill start assist, electronic rear differential lock (reasonable)

THIRST 6.5-7.0/100km (expect closer to 9)

SPARE Alloy full-size spare (excellent)

TOWING 3500kg, payload 965-1356kg (good)

Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.
Nissan has released two special edition models, headlined by the Black Edition which starts from $47,190 plus on-roads.


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