What is it?
This is Nissan’s most off-road focused ute. It’s made by a Japanese company, in Thailand, and has been upgraded in Australia - all while wearing American tyres.
The new Navara is an impressive machine, thanks to its better on-road manners and multi-link suspension set-up in the rear.
You can buy a more off-road focused PRO-4X model from Nissan, however there’s one more model above that which makes that Navara look a little inadequate.
This is the Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior, which is tuned and upgraded here in Australia by Premcar.
It’s a purpose-built off-road focused ute, so obviously I set out on a massive road trip to see if these upgrades were worth the additional cost and to let you know whether you should buy this behemoth of a ute.
Build Quality4.4 out of 5.
If you’re looking for plush materials, they’re not really found on the inside of the Navara. There are plenty of hard, scratchy plastics that run throughout the entire cabin; only the leather seats and stitched floor mats provide that extra premium touch to this interior.
Hard plastics result in some rattling and squeaks as the chassis of the Navara shakes along rough sections of road or dirt.
The exterior build quality however, is - simply put - tough. These added components lift the exterior build quality to another level. A tough looking and feeling hoopless bullbar, bash plate and wide off-road tires are all justifying their price in build quality alone.
How Much Does it Cost?4.5 out of 5.
This exact PRO-4X Warrior will set you back $69,990 before on-road costs, and if you want a manual, you’ll pay a little less. It’s a fair price to pay against competitors like the Jeep Gladiator, VW Amarok W580 and Ford Ranger Raptor.
Although, the most frustrating part of this ute is the lack of a power bump, which would make it more competitive with its close rivals.
Warranty and Servicing4.2 out of 5.
This is one of the major advantages of buying the Warrior trim of the Navara rather than going aftermarket for some of these upgrades.
Premcar’s partnership with Nissan means that all of these upgrades are tied in with the 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty of the Navara.
As for servicing, for the automatic version of this ute, you can expect to pay $3,769 for 5 services over 5 years or 120,000km of driving (whichever comes first). Here’s the breakdown:
|1 Year or 20,000 km||$502|
|2 Years or 40,000 km||$539|
|3 Years or 60,000 km||$703|
|4 Years or 80,000 km||$560|
|5 Years or 100,000 km||$543|
|6 Years or 120,000 km||$776|
For a large off-road ute, servicing is on par with what I would expect, although I wouldn’t want to hang around to replace those Cooper tyres, seeing as they cost around $435 a pop.
Noise Level4.4 out of 5.
Sound isolation from the outside world was surprisingly great. Despite wearing heavy-duty Cooper off-road tyres, minimal tire roar and wind noise entered the cabin.
It’s not library quiet in here, but you’re not going to be exhausted by the noise that does bleed into the Navara.
The generic speaker system was probably the part of the sound experience that needed an upgrade the most. It met my mark for a base expectation, however I would have loved a little more punch or clarity to get a little more from the music that I was playing through these speakers.
On a different note, the bland diesel exhaust sound could have done with a slight upgrade to help match the more aggressive look of this particular ute.
Braking3.2 out of 5.
Braking was a definite weak point for the heavy Warrior.
There’s a set of front disc brakes and a set of drum brakes on the rear. Suffice to say, they’re not big enough to provide absolute confidence under heavy braking.
The softer brake setup allows for smooth trail braking through bends, to produce a smooth transfer from acceleration to slowing down. Albeit, you don’t feel a whole lot of confidence that this ute can stop ‘on a dime’.
The autonomous emergency braking system is alert and awake just in case there’s an obstacle entering your path, but under normal braking conditions, I would have preferred a little more bite under the brake pedal.
Acceleration/Power4.1 out of 5.
Using the same 2.3L twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine found across the Navara line up, I can’t help but feel that Premcar really wanted to tune this motor.
In fact, they did. However, boardroom meetings saw the Warrior being refused a power bump in the name of affordability. I’d argue people would have been fine paying a few extra grand for a noticeable performance enhancement, but that’s just me.
That means you have the same 140kW at 3750rpm and 450Nm at 1500-2500rpm, resulting in a measly 60.9kW per tonne.
A recorded casual 0-100km/h time saw us hit 100km in at a mediocre 13 seconds.
It’s noticeably slower between 80-110km/h, but those turbos work hard to push this ute to the finish line.
I know that power isn’t the purpose of this ute, and nor does it feel like it needs more when you’re on the rough stuff. It’s more for when you’re on high-speed sections of road while carrying people and cargo where you’ll wish this pushed a little more power and torque.
Gear Shifting4.3 out of 5.
This 7-speed automatic transmission makes for a comfortable daily driver option in the Navara.
It’s smooth, it’s certain in the gears it holds, and never fumbles a shift. Shifting into reverse can feel a little ‘chunky’ at times, but regardless, it provides a buttery smooth application of that torque the twin-turbo motor spits out.
Suspension & Handling4.5 out of 5.
Premcar could have carried over the set-up they tuned for the N-Trek Warrior from the previous generation Navara, and most of us wouldn’t have noticed.
Yet, Premcar went ahead and did a complete rework on the suspension for this generation of Warrior. There’s been a reduction in rebound to avoid ‘wafting’ over undulations in the road, a 30mm increase in track width and a 40mm increase in height.
What results from this upgrade is a truck that actually is a lot of fun to take through sweeping corners. In true trophy truck race car fashion, in really sharp corners, you can read that weight transfer through to the outer-rear tyre, as the inner-front proceeds to lighten up.
Off-road, the suspension set-up was a treat to conquer ruts, puddles and long sections of rough fire trails. Although, it occasionally felt a little too stiff over some deeper holes in the road; deflating those all-terrain tyres a little should help combat that a bit.
I felt that this ute loved to carve sweeping bends, making it a pleasure to rip through some of Australia’s best driving roads - a surprising result whilst wearing heavy duty off-road gear and running on all-terrain tyres. It was a testament to those Cooper tyres that could deliver both on- and off-road.
Fuel Efficiency3.8 out of 5.
Over nearly 2000 kilometres of driving, I averaged around 10L per 100km over a series of long country roads and some urban environments.
If you’re based in a major city, expect to see that figure average as high as 15L per 100km. Additionally, with current diesel prices, you can expect to pay nearly $170 for a full tank of diesel.
I just wish there was a little extra capacity for the sake of road trips, as I felt this tank emptied a little quicker than I’d like compared to other diesel cars I’ve taken on this same route.
Interior Design3.7 out of 5.
Depending on who you ask, the Navara’s interior is starting to look a little old.
There’s a 7-inch infotainment screen, and a smaller LCD screen found in the driver’s instruments. There are plenty of hard buttons, which might mean a sigh of relief for some buyers.
I wish the interior matched the sharp, boxy looks of the exterior. Rather, it feels a little like the last generation Nissan here. I would appreciate a little more tech, and some amenities like heated seats to come back to the top-trim Navara.
I do appreciate the new Nissan logo on the wheel, Warrior branded head rests and PRO-4X branded seats and carpets. Nonetheless, it’s not enough to make this interior feel fresh in 2022.
The design here is practical with a capital ‘P’, but it could be the lack of upgrades in here that turn buyers to other brands like Jeep.
Boot Size & Comfort4.5 out of 5.
Tray space remains the same for the Warrior, as it does for the rest of the Navara line up.
Gross vehicle mass carrying capacity has increased by 100kg to compensate for the additional weight added by the accessories splashed on the exterior of this ute, as well as that full-sized spare wheel.
There’s an easter egg type accessory here, as keen-eyed viewers will notice the custom-built tow hitch receiver to prevent that 40mm lift from having any impact on hitching a trailer compared to a normal Navara.
Comfort-wise, I found this ute to deliver an effortless ride over 10 hours of back-to-back driving. I’ve heard some complaints about the comfort of these front seats, but despite those claims, I didn’t have any major issues with them. My lower back survived the road trip, that’s for sure.
What was noticeable was the larger wheels and improved suspension set-up, which allowed for a Baja truck-like ride over the highway.
To the wish list of improvements, I’d add radar cruise control and active lane-keep assist, as that would really enhance the long road trip experience of this ute.
Features4.4 out of 5.
As mentioned, there are some missing features that other utes have managed to package in at a cheaper price, like radar cruise control and heated seats. However, they don’t have the plethora of mechanical upgrades that I’d prefer to take over those creature comforts.
I especially love the integrated light bar into the front bull bar, providing a significantly improved night driving experience.
Here’s the full list of features you get with the new Navara PRO-4X Warrior:
- 2.3L four cylinder diesel motor
- 140kW at 3750rpm, and 450Nm at 1500-2500rpm
- 7 speed automatic
- 8-inch infotainment
- 7-inch driver's display
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Satellite Navigation including turn-by-turn directions
- Autonomous Emergency Braking and Warning
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Active Lane Keep Assist
- Driver Attention Warning
- 4x4 drivetrain
- 4x2, 4x4 and 4x4 Low Modes
- Rear differential locker
- Hill decent control and Hill start assist
- 3.5T towing capacity
- 1T paylod capacity
- 40mm height increase and 30mm track width increase
- Upgraded bash plates
- Hoopless bullbar with integrated lightbar
- Sports bar in rear tray
- Cooper AT3 offroad tyres
- Full-size spare
- New tow hitch receiver
- Keyless Entry/Exit and Start/Stop
- Automatic rear window
- 360 degree offroad and parking cameras
- Integrated bumper step
- Utili-track channel system for securing cargo in ute bed
- Cruise control
- Dual-zone climate control
- PRO-4X logo stitched into seats
- Warrior logo stitched into headrests
Buy it, Consider it, or Leave it?
Looking for a serious off-road capable ute, without having to spend time finding, fitting and fabricating aftermarket parts to it? The Navara PRO-4X Warrior is for you.
It provides performance both off and on the road, retains the regular Navara’s practicality, and looks in every way like a Baja-ready trophy truck.
If those things appeal to you, it’s a certain ‘Buy It’ option - especially if you’re looking for a modern day, Australian-tuned ute.
Although, if you want more grunt, the Navara falls a little short on that mark. Additionally, the interior can feel a little aged for those looking for a major upgrade over their existing ute.
That’s where I’d ‘Consider It’, if power is your number 1 priority when cross-shopping against the Navara’s key rivals.
About the author Cameron is our resident car expert. Aside being a source of knowledge about the automotive industry, he has also driven a wide variety of cars - from a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, through to a 1998 Toyota RAV4.
Computer failure issues
Purchased a brand new Nissan Navara Pro in November 2021 to tow a camper trailer. I had a company car so only drove the car on weekends. We took it off road the first week of January and was getting malfunction warning lights coming on and the usb function kept disappearing so you could not play music through the USB at all every-time this happened. I got some time off work so booked the car into Nissan in Midvale and said it’s the only car I have so I will have to wait for it.
I sat there for nilly 5 hours only to be told they didn’t know how...
Purchased in November 2021 at Nissan Dealers.
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