The Nissan Navara is one of the best pickups in the business. It offers an almost car-like ride with the ruggedness and utility of a pickup. It’s the best of both worlds, but the pickup has so many variants to choose from – 14 to be exact. There are variants with simpler amenities, but there are also variants with more luxury in mind.
So, what do you choose? On this segment of Which Variant, we comb through the many variants and trim levels of the Nissan Navara. That being said, keep in mind to consider what you like, but buy what you can afford. We got you covered because we’re crowning several winners this time around.
So if you want a pickup truck, the Nissan Navara has a great platform to begin with. You have fully independent front and rear suspension in all variants, which allow for smooth sailing over the bumps and divots on the roads of Manila. All variants also come with a 2.5L turbo diesel engine, but for the base model, the engine is rated for only 163 hp and 403 Nm of torque. The figure is definitely not bad, and it gets the job done because of the generous amount of torque. You also get a manual transmission with six gears for you to row through. Overall, the bones are there, but its feature set is barren, but for less than a million pesos, coming in at P929,000, you have a big car for the price of a highly specced subcompact.
All it has are essentials and nothing more. You get a basic 1-DIN audio system with AUX, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity options. It does have airbags, but it has no ABS. This is as barebones as you can go with the Navara.
The ace of base?
Going one step up, you get the Calibre MT 4x2 trim. In terms of safety features, it’s still barren, but you do get a 2-DIN audio system, but the unit is still quite basic. The addition of alloy wheels brings a touch of style to the car. You do add P60,000, but that just covers the price of the wheels and head unit, essentially.
This stands as the most gussied up basic model from the Navara lineup, but let’s move on since there is much ground to cover.
EL – Navara
While basic models fly under P1,000,000, getting past the seven-digit number gets you a few things. You now get ABS from this model onwards. While it’s not a big inclusion, it is a sign of things to come. This model also comes with more security features such as an immobilizer and an alarm system.
For the additions you can see, there are 18-inch wheels and a keyless entry system that is a big surprise for a model that comes in at just P1,079,000. You still get a manual but pay P1,139,000 to get a 7-speed automatic transmission.
Another step up and you finally get an appearance package. P1,199,000 will give you a Nissan Navara EL 4x2 MT Calibre Sport Edition. If you prefer driving a manual transmission, all while exuding masculinity, then this could be for you, but we cannot deny that the EL with an automatic transmission is more practical.
The EL 4x4 MT Navara is your most affordable if you want the power to all four wheels. Unlike midsize SUVs, you can get a 4x4 system for only P1,239,000. If you need to have that system, be prepared to row through the gears while stuck in traffic, but that shouldn’t be a problem especially with diesel torque on your side.
But if you want to prioritize looks over a 4x4 system, you can opt for the Nissan Navara N-Warrior. It’s an appearance package that goes on top of the EL family of variants. This unit will be for those that want to stand out from the crowd.
At its prime
The Nissan Navara is best as a VL variant. You get the amenities that match the plush ride that all units have compared to other rivals. Here you have a 5-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, but there is a change that dealers are doing to bring the Navara up in terms of its technology. Not only do you get a better-equipped cabin, but you also get a more powerful engine to go with it. You may be running the same displacement at 2.5L in this trim level, but the power output is at 190 hp with 450 Nm of torque, and across the range, you get a 4x4 system standard. The price for admission into the VL club is at P1,419,000, and like the EL, add P60,000 for an automatic. To top it all off, you get the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite with all the VL variants, which let you see around the vehicle. Oh, and you do get Nissan’s intelligent key which lets you enter into the vehicle without taking anything out of your pocket.
After the VL MT and VL AT variants, you start seeing leather interiors coming with the units. The most affordable model with a leather interior will be the VL 4x4 MT N-Warrior at P1,569,000. If you want an automatic, prepare at least P1,579,000 for the VL Sport Edition. The price then tops off at the VL AT N-Warrior at P1,629,000.
We’ll preface our choices by saying, you don’t need a 4x4 system if you’ll end up using the car in the city anyway. 4x2 is enough for most of your needs provided you don’t need to go off-road too often. While nice to have, if saving money is your priority, then there is a variant for you.
Our second runner up is for the budget-minded. The 4x2 EL Calibre AT takes the cake for most value-oriented purchase with regard to practicality. You get a standard interior, basic safety features, and a chassis that rides well for only P1,139,000, which is almost unfair to crossovers, SUVs, and any sedan. But if you’re looking for a little more capability, this next variant is for you.
Manual transmission on a diesel vehicle is not as taxing. You have loads of torque to help you feather the clutch in traffic, but the main attraction of this first runner up is the 4x4 system that can be had for not that much money. Another entry from the EL family of variants is the Nissan Navara 4x4 EL MT. We cannot deny that if you need a vehicle that is capable on a budget, the 4x4 system is a huge plus, and at P1,239,000, it’s a bargain for a 4x4 system with a flatbed at the back and a comfy ride.
Now, this brings us to our winner, and no it’s not the N-Warrior, because it will depend on the consumer’s tastes on whether he will be swayed by the looks and additions to the N-Warrior variants. Therefore, it goes to the more conservative, but more muscular 4x4 VL Sport Edition AT variant. It looks good, it has an automatic and has all the bells and whistles that the midsize pickup that Nissan can come with. You also get more power and torque, which pairs nicely with the 4x4 system on offer.
So there you have it, we believe that these three variants are worth your hard-earned money, or at least a look.
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