Nissan Navara ST-X 4WD Ute 2021 Review

2021 Nissan Navara ST-X Road Test Review

Nissan Navara ST-X. Nissan has revised Navara Ute with new styling, a full one tonne payload and component upgrades that make it a whole lot better than before.

Nissan Navara ST-X Starting life a long time ago as the NP300, current generation Navara is a product of the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi alliance and runs plenty of Renault parts including the engine.

Perhaps the most obvious change is Navara’s frontal styling with a prominent grille similar to Ford’s Ranger. Who cares, they dress it up with slick looking angular LED headlights on some Navaras and either a black or chrome finish.

It’s distinctive and tough.

Other changes have been introduced to safety, driver assistance tech, the rear axle, infotainment and some new colours. There’s also a new top of the line version called the Pro-4X which is essentially a dress up of standard Navara.

All except one model still run coil spring rear suspension that may or may not be problematic for heavy duty applications such as towing.

The diesel engine is 2.3 litres with either a single or twin turbo induction system. The test ST-X resides one step from top of the range in this case with optional 7-speed auto transmission and leather upholstery. It sells for $59,790 with those two options.

Towing capacity is 3.5 tonnes and the model driven comes standard with a towbar and wiring while trailer sway control is standard across the whole Navara range.

The new “Forged Copper” colour is stunning and way better than boring old white or silver.

In ute sales, Navara is currently ranked about 5 or 6 but this update could change the musical chairs in Nissan’s favour.

It certainly feels more robust than before.

Nissan Navara ST-X

Navara ST-X Exterior

I really like the tough new styling especially on the chrome fronted ST-X driven. It’s imposing and angular which is the go-to look for utes in this country.

They tweaked other exterior components along with the grille and the overall effect is positive from all aspects and certainly not overdone like some competitors.

Underneath it’s the same as the first NP300 but the appearance is tweaked to the point where you wouldn’t know.   Love the new colours, gold and light grey, but the wheels are fairly generic looking….

Nissan Navara ST-X

Navara ST-X Interior

Much like the exterior, inside the latest Navara is familiar but different as minor changes have been made to the infotainment system, upholstery and dash layout.

The test vehicle had optional leather upholstery with a comfortable dimpled surface on the squab and backrest. I really like the sliding electric rear window.

The tones are light grey with some metallic trim and fascia providing contrast.

The app-driven infotainment system is easy to use and see.

I found the seats comfortable over a long drive and internal space is good for four, five at a pinch.

The chunky wheel has multiple functions and numerous storage compartments are provided in the front of the cabin.

Nissan Navara ST-X

Navara ST-X Features

As the penultimate model, ST-X scores;

  • Dual zone climate control
  • Full size 18-inch alloy spare
  • Auto headlights and wipers
  • Off road monitor
  • Sliding rear window
  • Tub liner and sports bar
  • Drive mode select
  • Towbar standard
  • Satnav

Nissan Navara ST-X

Navara ST-X Drive and Engine

It goes well especially with the twin-turbo, 2.3-litre, turbo diesel four rated at 140kW/450Nm. That’s nowhere near class leading but Navara’s 7-speed auto transmission makes the most of what’s available and never feels lacking in the get-go department. I can’t comment on the 6-speed manual. The auto transmission pays dividends at the bowser where this particular model acquits itself well for a big, 2140kg, dual cab consuming as little as 7.0 litres/100km on test. It would probably do even better with careful driving.

Strong torque is delivered at low revs facilitating towing and gives Navara plenty of punch off the line. It’s strong through the entire engine rev range and cruises easily on the freeway at 110kmh with around 1800 rpm on the tacho.

Minimal noise or vibration intrudes into the cabin though you can hear a diesel rumble when the engine’s working hard. Otherwise there’s little to complain about in this area.

The auto is smooth, almost predictive and with drive mode select, optimises itself for various driving environments/conditions.

The selectable 4WD system is simple to operate and there’s heaps of ground clearance for off road driving along with good approach and departure angles. On rough bitumen roads Navara is comfortable thanks to its coil spring rear suspension, certainly better than most in this area.

I hooked up a car trailer to the test vehicle and it made light work of the job remaining level even with the two tonne rig on the back.

The exercise didn’t dent fuel economy too much either with mid-10.0s showing on the trip computer.

And those LED headlights are really good at night providing a wide spread of white light.

Nissan Navara ST-X

Navara ST-X Safety

Navara has a five star ANCAP crash rating augmented this time around with additional advanced driver assist technology, not the least being trailer sway control across the entire range. It has better brakes than before and a stronger rear axle to go with that increased payload rating.

All Navaras now have what’s called Nissan Intelligent Mobility System that brings a suite of technology to assist the driver and protect occupants in the event of a crash.

Nissan Navara ST-X

Summary

I wasn’t a fan of current generation Navara before this one particularly when I compared it with my own old D22 2.5 model.

However, this new version feels a lot stronger than the previous variant and looks way better. You can get a leaf spring variant in the lower spec’ variant if coils are a deal breaker.

The price is getting up there when compared to say a Mitsubishi Triton of similar specification. But now, the Navara has an edge in the looks department along with an increase in payload to a full tonne.

Good Bits

  • Powerful styling
  • Additional safety equipment
  • One tonne payload

Not So Good Bits

  • Rear coils might be an issue
  • Intrusive driver assist technology
  • Heated seats and ext’ mirrors optional on this model

Also Look At:

Nissan Navara ST-X

Model   

2021 Nissan Navara ST-X dual cab 4×4 auto

Model Price $58,270 MLP*
Engine 2.3L 4 Cyl TDi
Drivetrain 4×4 7 speed Auto
Power 140kW at 3,750rpm
Torque 450 Nm @ 1,500-2,500rpm
Safety Five Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions 208 g/km
Economy ADR 7.9 L/100km
Tow Capacity / Tow Ball 3500 Kg / 350 Kg
Servicing 12mths/ 20,000km Capped Price
Warranty 5yr/ Unlimited km with 1 Yr. conditional roadside assist up to 7 years

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Dimensions

 
Overall Length 5311mm
Wheelbase 3150mm
Width / Height 1850mm / 1830mm
Unladen ground clearance / wading depth Up to 224mm / 600 mm
Approach / Rampover / Departure angles 32.7 degrees / 23.2 degrees / 20.3 degrees
Fuel Tank  / Turning Circle 80 Litres / 12.5mts KTK
Kerb Weight / Payload / GVM / GCM 2142kg / 1024kg / 3140kg / 5910KG
Towing Capacity / Tow Ball rating 3500kg / 350kg

 

  • 7.5/10
    Overall Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

Summary

This new version feels a lot stronger than the previous variant and looks way better. You can get a leaf spring variant in the lower spec’ variant if coils are a deal breaker.

The price is getting up there when compared to say a Mitsubishi Triton of similar specification. But now, the Navara has an edge in the looks department along with an increase in payload to a full tonne.