2018 Nissan Navara ST-X 4WD Dual Cab Ute Review

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X Road Test Review

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Overview

Nissan’s Navara has had a mixed history. Original Utes had a reputation as being indestructible, especially the diffs, and were extremely popular with the 4WD fraternity.

When Nissan launched the all new Navara a few years ago, they didn’t get it quite right, especially the suspension for towing, but the recent upgrade in 2018 has seen them rectify that and return the Navara to its rightful place amongst the segment leaders.

We are testing here the top of the range Navara ST-X 4WD Dual Cab Ute. We have recently tested the ST version and the review can be found here. Also have a look at our comparison article between an Isuzu D-Max LST and the Navara ST-X

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X front qtr

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Exterior

There seems to be two strong design influences in the Ute market. Firstly the big bold American Pick-Up style that the Colorado and Ranger follow. The second is the more subtle flowing style that the Isuzu and Mazda fall into.

The Navara maintains a look that is somewhere between the two style above. The front grill has a sweeping design that incorporates the headlights and flows through the side bonnet bulges. These define the bonnet and also, surprisingly assist with wheel placement off road.

From the side and rear the Navara maintains a sense of subtle style, yet the jury is out on the rear tailgate lip.

Exterior features include DRL’s and LED headlights. The ST-X also has side steps, front fog lamps with chrome accents, located in the front bumper. ST-X has heated door mirrors with power adjustment/folding & integrated LED indicator lights, polished silver roof rails and intelligent keys system.

The 18″ alloy wheels with 255/60R18 tyres also add to the overall styling.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X interior

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Interior

Like a lot of range topping Utes, The Navara ST-X is pretty comfortable inside. The optional leather faced heated seats are comfortable, especially with the additional lumbar support.

The steering wheel is a little thin for my liking and has no reach adjustment, but it does sit a little way from the dash, so that isn’t a major issue. It houses the obligatory controls for audio and Bluetooth system and cruise control etc.

The dash is large and easy to read with two large dials and a central MFD. The centre stack houses the 7 inch display for SatNav and other features. It is a little smaller than others but the graphics are good to read day or night.

The overall ergonomics are well designed, with soft touch pints for elbows on the door trims and central console bin.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X rear seats

There is plenty of handy storage with a large central bin, two large cup holders in the centre console, again in the door, clever slide out cup holders in front of the air vents and large glove box.

So it’s a big tick for the front occupants. The rear seats are comfortable, but like all Utes, leg room is restricted. However there are large air vents and USB ports in the rear for convenience.

Over bonnet visibility is great, with the ridges assisting as mentioned. The ‘A’ pillars are intrusive though as are the ‘B’ pillars, but the external rear view mirrors are large and practical. The surround camera also add a level of visibility and safety that most other Utes don’t have.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X centre screen

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Features

The Navara ST-X is the top of the range so you would expect it to have a full range of features. That is and isn’t true though. Standard features include:-

  • Satellite Navigation with 3D Mapping and
  • 7″ integrated colour display with touch screen
  • Air-conditioning with dual zone climate control
  • Rear air vents in centre console
  • Intelligent KeyTM with remote keyless entry
  • Day/night rear view mirror with electric anti-dazzle & compass
  • LED projector headlights and Front fog lights
  • Rear power sliding mirror
  • Rear Diff lock
  • 2 channel Utili-Track™ system, but unfortunately and inconveniently, no tie down points in the tub.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X tray

Optional features ($1,500) we had on the test vehicle and really should be there include:-

  • 8-way driver seat with power slide/recline/height adjustment & power lumbar support
  • Heated front seats with Leather accented seat trim

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X engine

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Drivetrain and Engine

Navara ST-X is powered by a 2.3L 4 Cyl Twin Turbo Diesel engine that produces power of 140kW @ 3,700rpm and Torque of 450Nm @ 1,500 – 2,500rpm. This is matched to a 7 speed sport automatic transmission.

The twin-turbo diesel engine comes with one low pressure and one high-pressure turbo charger. Set in a series, they work together to give you seamless power and torque delivery, offering the maximum 450Nm of torque from as low as 1500-2500rpm.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X Engine torque

So when you are stopped at traffic lights or towing a heavy load, on acceleration you can really feel that torque instantaneously

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X transmission

The Navara has a true dual range 4×4 transfer case with an electronic 4WD selection and electronic rear diff lock.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X tray load 1

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute What is it like to drive

We had the opportunity to test the ST-X around town, on the freeway, on forest trails and on the sand. We also loaded it up with some props for my daughter’s event hire business. As you can see from the photo the tray was well and truly loaded and yet the Navara didn’t miss a beat.

On road ride and handling for the ST-X is amongst the best in class. It provides a smooth and compliant ride for its occupants, equalled by only the Amarok or Mercedes Benz X-Class. (Which is to be expected).

This is partly due to the front suspension being Independent double-wishbone with front stabiliser bar and rear suspension – 5-link with shock absorber.

On dirt roads, again the suspension soaks up the bumps and jarring more than most Utes. This is without a load on as well.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X articulation

The key here is that the Navara provides this ride without sacrificing the off road benefits. Objectively it may have a little less articulation than some Utes, but this doesn’t stop it from performing over 4WD tracks, fire trails etc.

The low delivery of available torque and the flat line delivery between 1500 and 2500rpm means that the Navara performs easily and effortlessly when both on and off road. While it looks slightly underpowered compared to some of the headline figures, in real world driving conditions it isn’t found wanting.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X tray load 2

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Dimensions

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute has an

  • overall length of 5255mm,
  • wheelbase of 3150mm,
  • width of 1850mm and
  • height of 1780mm
  • Unladen ground clearance is 230mm.
  • Approach angle is 32.4 degrees, rampover is 23.9 degrees and departure angle is 26.7 degrees.
  • Wading depth is TBA mm
  • Turning circle is 12.4m
  • Fuel Tank is 80L
  • GVM of 2810kg, GCM of 5910kg,
  • Kerb mass of 1949kg and Payload* of 961kg,
  • There is 1130mm between the wheel arches
  • Towing capacity is 3500kg,
  • Tow ball rating is up to 10%**

*Includes occupants, fuel and fitted options/accessories. The weight of these must be deducted from the payload to determine load carrying   capacity. Front and rear axle loads must not be exceeded

**must be accounted for in the payload calculations

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X side

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Safety

Like most Utes these days the Nissan Navara ST-X comes with a 5 Star ANCAP safety rating.

Key safety features include:-

  • Reversing camera – in audio display
  • Around View® Monitor and Reversing sensors
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Brake Limited Slip Differential (BLSD)
  • Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS)
  • Brake Assist (BA)
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Hill Descent Control (HDC)
  • Electronic rear differential lock
  • Driver & front passenger front-impact SRS airbags, Driver & front passenger side-impact SRS airbags, Driver knee airbag, Front to rear SRS curtain airbags
  • Second row child anchorage points (3), ISOFIX (second row RH/LH)
  • Daytime running lights, LED signature daytime running lights, Automatic on/off headlights – twilight detection,
  • LED high mounted stop light.

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Fit for Purpose

4wd Dual Cab Utes are the hardest vehicles to comment on. They are required to perform a multitude of tasks, more so than any other vehicle.

Navara ST-X as a Family vehicle that can go off road, tow family toys, transport gear in the back and keep the family safe and provide a smooth ride, the Navara ST-X does some things better than other Utes and many the same.

The key element here is that it provides a very smooth and compliant ride on road without sacrificing many of the other attributes expected. In this way it is amongst the best all round Utes.

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute Summary

After a bit of a stutter start, the latest version of the Nissan Navara is back amongst the top tier of Utes.

The interior is definitely a comfortable place to be, both on road and off road ride and handling are compliant and comfortable, it will tow with ease and has the ability to head off road without a worry.

If you are looking for a family 4WD Ute, then the Navara should absolutely be on your list.

2018 Nissan Navara ST-X rear

Good:-

  • Ride and Handling
  • Practicality
  • Towing capacity

Not so good:-

  • Leather seats optional
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • No steering reach adjustment

Also look at

Model:   Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab Ute

  • Model Price $52,490 RRP*
  • Engine 2.3L 4 Cyl Twin Turbo Diesel
  • Drivetrain 7 Sp Sport Automatic 4WD
  • Power 140kW @ 3,700rpm
  • Torque 450Nm @ 1,500 – 2,500rpm
  • Safety 5 Star ANCAP
  • CO2 186g/km
  • Economy ADR 0 L/100 km
  • Servicing Fixed Price 12mths/20,000km
  • Tow Rating 3,500 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 350 kg
  • Warranty 3 Yrs. / 100,000 km with Roadside Assist

*excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP

 Overall Rating: 88/100

  • Behind the Wheel 8
  • Comfort 8
  • Equipment 9
  • Performance 8
  • Ride & Handling 9
  • Practicality 9
  • Fit for Purpose 9
  • Towing Ability 10
  • Off Road Ability 10
  • Value for Money 8
2018 Nissan Navara ST-X 4WD Dual Cab Ute
4.4

Summary

Navara ST-X as a Family vehicle that can go off road, tow family toys, transport gear in the back and keep the family safe and provide a smooth ride, the Navara ST-X does some things better than other Utes and many the same.

About Rob Fraser 125 Articles
Rob first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, many years ago. He has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive.