Australian buyers absolutely love pickup trucks, especially those that make a bold statement on the road. And, as far as the statement goes, the new Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior certainly makes a very big one.
This flagship variant of the Facelift Navarra was unveiled by Nissan Australia in mid-2021 and serves as a replacement for the pre-Facelift Navarra N-Trek Warrior. It competes as a rough-ready vehicle, like the Toyota Hilux Rugged X and the Ford Ranger Raptor, which are perfect for highway cruising, such as blasting over a gravel road or climbing a steep off-road trail.
Unlike the N-Trek Warrior that replaces it, the Navara Pro-4X Warrior doesn’t leave the factory looking like this. Instead, it is heavily modified by local engineering firm Lover and then shipped to Nissan dealers.
A truck that is hard to ignore
Lover upgrades begin with new suspension components under the skin, giving Nissan an additional 40mm (1.5-inch) ground clearance. High-speed rebound and compression rates have also been increased by 50 percent and 100 percent, respectively. Nissan claims that these changes result in a softer and more compliant ride.
Look outside the modified suspension and you’ll see black 17-inch wheels with 275/70 Cooper Discover All Terrain AT3 tires. The Lover’s flagship Navara is decorated with a bright red skid plate, underbody dash plate, modified bump stop and a winch-compatible bulbar at the front.
Various external upgrades have also been noticed. These include a flared front and rear wheel arch, new mud flaps, side steps, ‘twin turbo’ decals on the rocker panel, and an overhead front fascia with a new steel bumper and an incorporated LED light bar. All Navara Pro-4X Warrior models have a black sports bar, roof rails and a tweaked tow bar.
The market for this type of rugged pickup truck in Australia, rarely makes the same impression as the Warrior, although the Helix Rugged X, with its snorkel complete, comes close.
To refresh Navara for the 2021 model year, Nissan Cabin has made several welcome updates. However, it has begun to show some signs of aging.
At the center of the dashboard is the proud carmaker’s exterior 8.0-inch infotainment system. The system is available across most parts of the Nissan range but has been updated to the latest generation of vehicles, such as Kashkai and X-Trail / Rogue. Although the system works well and is easy to understand and operate, the touchscreen is not particularly responsive and the software appears to be out of date. Although we prefer the automaker’s decision to keep the automatic number of buttons and dials.
Nissan has given the facelifted Navarra an updated gauge cluster that holds two traditional dials but has a larger central display that shows the car’s core function. This setup is a definite improvement over the pre-facelift model. We also welcome the introduction of a brand new three-spoke steering wheel with black plastic buttons and a black Nissan badge.
Read more: We run the 2020 Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior
Compared to the pre-facelifted N-Trek Warrior we tested two years ago, this updated model has one more set without the plush leather trim and the older model’s unruly orange seat center. Interestingly, the heated seats have been removed for this new model, which means there are now three empty switches in the transmission tunnel. Another disappointing part of the interior is the low-resolution reversing camera.
A familiar engine and experience
No changes were made to the new Warrior’s powertrain. As such, it is complete with the same twin-turbo 2.3-liter diesel engine as the older model, with 140 kW (187 hp) and 331 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque. This engine is exclusively connected to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
We spent a week with the Navara Pro-4X Warrior, testing it on city streets, country roads and highways, and several off-road trails. Like the previous model, we were fascinated.
The engine fits very well with the Navarra. Sure, its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 will not match the current generation Ford Ranger Raptor with 292 kW (391 hp) and 583 Nm (430 lb-ft) of torque, but let’s be honest, this size Too much power in a truck is too much. On the highway, the Navarra engine has enough pull power to overtake the wind, although the transmission can sometimes feel a little lazy. As is often the case with diesel, some steam starts to lose as soon as the 2.3-liter revs are made.
The most obvious difference between the new Warrior and the ‘regular’ Navara N-Trek that we tested last year is the quality of the ride.
Make no mistake, the typical Navara N-Trek ride is good. However, the Warrior is remarkably more comfortable and much less rigid, making long highway giants more enjoyable. Lovers have also managed to ensure that the steering remains positive and sharp despite the increase in ride height.
And how about off-roading?
Most of the Navara Pro-4X Warrior models supplied in Australia will spend most of their time being driven into the worksite by traditionally owned merchants. However, for those who are brave enough to go down the road and take some difficult paths, the Warrior feels right at home even there.
Like the lower variants of the Navarra, the Pro-4X can run on 2WD, 4WD and 4LO. It also offers different drive modes, something that the pre-facelift model did not provide.
We spent the day exploring the beautiful Tulangi State Forest in Victoria and worked our way through some narrow and treacherous trails to reach Mount Despair. Deep and hard water crossing was never a problem for the Warrior and all-terrain tires provided great traction even on the toughest surfaces.
In fact, the Navara off-road trail feels at home so much that it is possible to navigate across most terrain in rear-wheel drive mode without switching to four-wheel drive, keeping it at 4LO or locking the rear differential. That being said, there were times when we had to lock the rear deft to avoid getting stuck while creating a particularly narrow and difficult climbing path. The powerful LED light bar also proved to be a life saver when the sun fell behind the horizon.
Those who have picked up the keys to the Pro-4X Warrior will be happy to know that the automatic model has a payload of 952 kg (2,098 lbs) and 3.5 tons (7,716 lbs) of braking towing capacity.
Price and competitors
The 2022 Nissan Navara is available in a plethora of specifications in Australia. The range starts from the AU $ 39,100 ($ 28,042) driveway for the entry-level SL single cab chassis. Other variants offered include AU $ 43,664 ($ 31,315) SL Dual Cab, AU $ 45,653 ($ 32,742) SL King Cab Chassis, AU $ 51,728 ($ 37,099) SL Dual Cab Chassis, AU Ca 51,28,28 (AU $ 51,99,28) $ 51,999,2424244 Cab, AU $ 55,847 ($ 40,053) ST-X Dual Cab, AU $ 63,197 ($ 45,324) ST-X King Cab, and AU $ 63,052 ($ 45,220) Pro-4X Dual Cab. The flagship Navara Pro-4X is available from the AU $ 71,490 ($ 51,272) driveway for the Warrior manual and from the AU $ 73,990 ($ 53,065) for the automatic.
While paying more than AU $ 70,000 ($ 50,204) for a pickup of this size may seem like a lot, it is fairly consistent with its competitors. For example, the HiLux Rugged X AU starts at 70,750 ($ 50,741) and the Mazda BT-50 Thunder AU starts at 68,990 ($ 49,479). The all-new Ford Ranger Raptor is significantly more expensive and will start at AU $ 85,490 ($ 61,313) plus on-road costs.