Head to Head: Nissan Navara vs Toyota Hilux

Either the Nissan Navara or the Toyota Hilux are trusted nameplates in the pickup truck segment. Both models have already gone under the knife, with facelifted versions now sold in the Philippines. These reliable Japanese trucks are indeed capable enough to handle adventures or any work you need to accomplish, but the question is: which one would you choose?

Just recently, Nissan Philippines expanded the Navara lineup with the PRO-4X which then overtook the former range-topper which was the VL. Aside from the close price point, the Navara PRO-4X AT 4x4 can match the Hilux Conquest 2.8 DSL 4x4 AT in terms of specs, but can the new variant surpass the Toyota? We shall find out as we compare both midsize pickups in range-topping forms head-to-head. 

Head to Head: Nissan Navara vs Toyota Hilux exterior

Among these two vehicles, the Navara PRO-4X carries a fresh look following a facelift last March. The Hilux Conquest, on the other hand, is also relatively new, with the updated model launched in September of 2020.

The PRO-4X is by far the most rugged-looking Navara yet. The overall design was cleanly executed, it gets a fair amount of black and orange details. It gets a pair of new headlights which houses DRLs and quad-LEDs, plus, its fascia is then topped with a larger blacked-out grille along with a new bumper integrated with a pair of LED fog lamps. 

Like the Hilux Conquest, it also gets step boards and a generous amount of black cladding. It also gets blinkers on its side mirrors and a new set of 17-inch gloss black alloys wrapped in 255/65 tires. Lastly, the rear comes with new taillights and a large embossed Navara lettering which further elevates the fresh looks of the pickup.

Now, onto the Hilux Conquest. For starters, it carries a number of familiar design cues from the Toyota Tacoma. Apart from the new grille and bumper, the Hilux Conquest also gets new LED headlamps and fog lamps that illuminate the road well at night. What’s exclusive on the Hilux though are the sports bars which add points to its overall ruggedness.

The Hilux Conquest’s rugged theme continues over the side, all thanks to the generous amount of black cladding. Plus, the side mirrors come with blinkers and it's also treated with a shiny black material that’s similar to the door handles. Ingress and egress is made easier thanks to the step boards, while its shoes are then complemented by a set of 18-inch gloss black alloys wrapped in 265/60 tires. 

The two of these pickups are the complete package when it comes to the exterior, however, we’d have to give the Nissan Navara PRO-4X credit for a heavier payload capacity of 1,100 kg that does outdo the Toyota’s 1,000 kg. With that said, the overall winner for this round is the Nissan, but not by a landslide. 

WINNER: Nissan Navara

Head to Head: Nissan Navara vs Toyota Hilux interior and technology

Both pickups don’t look too flashy on the inside. For starters, the cabins get an all-black color scheme, there are some trim pieces on each vehicle which gives the cabin a bit of contrast. Only the Navara PRO-4X having leather upholstered seats, while the Hilux Conquest sticks with cloth upholstery. Another fancy thing about the Navara are the Zero-Gravity front seats which provide elevated comfort levels for both the driver and front passenger.

Other essential features on both pickups include steering wheel-mounted controls, a push start button along with keyless entry, automatic climate control, and an 8-inch infotainment system with a 6-speaker audio system, do take note that both screens come ready with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless smartphone integration. 

While interior quality doesn’t seem to go far against each other, the addition of the leather seats is sort of expected in this price range. Given that, the Navara PRO-4X one again dominates this round. Don’t get us wrong though, the Hilux Conquest 4x4 still carries a considerable amount of equipment which should still appeal to many buyers today.

WINNER: Nissan Navara

Head to Head: Nissan Navara vs Toyota Hilux ride and comfort

The Nissan Navara still holds the crown for ride and comfort. While most competitors in this segment come to have a typical rear leaf spring setup like the Hilux, the Navara, on the other hand, has better ride comfort all thanks to its rear multi-link suspension and coil springs. This is surprising since the Navara boasts a heavier payload capacity. 

Having a stiffer ride does reward a pickup with better payload capability, but the Navara’s suspension setup wins over this category as it smoothens out potholes and some uneven terrain. That said, this makes it one of the most comfortable pickups today.

WINNER: Nissan Navara

Head to Head: Nissan Navara vs Toyota Hilux power

The Hilux Conquest 2.8 DSL 4x4 AT is a bit more powerful than the Navara PRO-4X AT 4x4. The Toyota is run by a 2.8-liter turbo diesel that produces a mighty 201 hp and 500 Nm of torque, while the Nissan has a 2.5-liter turbo diesel that still produces a hefty 187 hp and 450 Nm of torque. 

As for the gearbox, the Navara PRO-4X can only be paired with a 7-speed automatic, while the Hilux Conquest 4x4 can be mated with a 6-speed manual, however, the engine might have a slight decrease from its torque figures when doing so. 

Given its more extensive power figures, plus, the availability of a manual for the top trim, the Hilux Conquest 4x4 wins this round. While the Navara’s power figures are slightly behind, it shall still remain as a trusted and capable choice in the segment given its tried and tested powerplant.

WINNER: Toyota Hilux

Head to Head: Nissan Navara vs Toyota Hilux Safety

Standard safety and security equipment on both midsize pickups include an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) or Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Hill Start Assist, and Hill Descent Control. The two benefit from dual-front airbags, curtain, and side airbags, while only the Hilux Conquest 4x4 comes with a knee airbag for the driver. 

As for driver assistance, the Toyota comes with front and back parking sensors paired with a reverse camera while the Navara PRO-4X gets a more modern 360-degree camera that comes with an off-road mode that should enable you to tackle terrains with added confidence. For a safer driving experience during night time, the Navara PRO-4X is also equipped with an auto-dimming rearview mirror which should deter unnecessary glare coming from the cars at your rear.

Notably, the Navara PRO-4X gets a suite of advanced safety features including Intelligent Emergency Braking (IEB), Driver Attention Alert (DAA), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), High Beam Assist (HBA), Around View Monitor (AVM), and Moving Object Detection.

It looks like the Nissan Navara PRO-4X has really stepped up its game when it comes to safety. While the Hilux Conquest 4x4 does have a sufficient amount of safety goodies, the Nissan just has a lot more to offer, therefore making it the overall winner of this category.

WINNER: Nissan Navara

Head to Head: Nissan Navara vs Toyota Hilux verdict

Both midsize pickups are undeniably great but after having a thorough comparison between the two, the Nissan Navara PRO-4X managed to take the winner’s spot all thanks to the range of upgrades it has. It is indeed worthy of your hard-earned money, at P1,849,000, the PRO-4X does give you quite a lot and perhaps all the things you’d expect on a modern pickup, not to mention, it still retains that comfortable ride it’s long been known for.

The range-topping variant of the Hilux does appear to be more affordable, with it being priced at P1,830,000 which is P19,000 pesos less than the Navara PRO-4X. You will be missing out on some of those fancy gizmos that you’ll find on the Nissan, despite that, you’re still getting a more potent 2.8-liter powerplant and its strong reputation for reliability because it’s simply a Toyota. This means either way you choose, you certainly won’t go wrong with any of these midsize pickups.

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