The new Nissan Navara may be based on a largely carried-over chassis, but the changes are significant.

The most obvious, for the New Zealand market at least, is the adoption of a five-link coil sprung rear suspension set up in all wellside models. This multi-link set up boasts the same load capacity and axle articulation of the leaf spring set up that will still be available on the cab/chassis variants, but offers superior ride and handling characteristics, both laden and unladen.

The other big change comes under the bonnet, where the venerable 2.5-litre diesel turbo four-cylinder engine is being dropped in New Zealand in favour of an all-new Renault-developed 2.3-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel unit.

While it produces the same power and torque as the old engine (140kW/450Nm) the new diesel unit is 20 percent more efficient than the old 2.5, as well as being more flexible - with the torque coming in 500rpm lower, at 1500rpm - and much quieter.


While overseas markets will be made available with both mid and high-power versions of the revised 2.5 and all-new 2.3-litre diesel engines, as well as a petrol four-cylinder, Nissan New Zealand are sticking with just the high-power version of the new YS23 2.3-litre diesel engine.

It will be available with a choice of either a seven-speed automatic of six-speed manual transmission and is expected to be available in New Zealand early in 2015.