Nissan Navara 2020 n-trek warrior (4x4)

2020 Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior long-term review: Introduction

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The 2020 Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior is something of a standout in the dual-cab segment in Australia. Whereas other manufacturers have been happy to release a product and let the aftermarket have its way with it, Nissan Australia decided to engage the aftermarket, allow them to enhance an already solid platform, and then offer it to the consumer with a full factory warranty.

From the outset, it seemed like a clever idea. That’s why we decided to spend a few months with the Navara N-Trek Warrior to take a closer look at what it’s like to live with.

Priced from $63,790 (six-speed manual), the Warrior sits right in amongst the other high-end dual-cabs in terms of price. The 2.3-litre, twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder isn’t among the powerhouses in the segment, but mated to a seven-speed auto as our test example is, it’s a competent and efficient performer.

Its 140kW and 450Nm are enough power and torque to get the job done off-road, as we’ve seen in previous testing, as well as in the cut-and-thrust around town.

The official ADR fuel claim is 7.0L/100km, and we’ve seen up to 10.0L/100km during prolonged off-road testing, so we’ll keep an eye on that around town as well, where it should be more frugal.

One thing is for sure, while the engine isn’t as powerful as some in the class, unladen around town, it’s certainly not stressed or overworked.

Aside from the visual changes, there are also changes under the skin that have been designed to add to the Navara’s resume. As we’ve seen most recently with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, enhancements and modifications that have made the vehicle more proficient off-road have also added to its on-road chops. Specifically, the suspension changes have made the on-road ride even more comfortable.

The Warrior has a taller ride height and more ground clearance (up by 40mm), a wider footprint, uprated and updated Aussie-tuned suspension, as well as a raft of off-road-focused inclusions. Quality Cooper Discoverer AT3 tyres are standard with the Warrior package.

We’ll be doing some specific tow testing with our long-termer, and while the rating is a theoretical 3500kg, that’s not a number we’d be creeping too close to, and certainly not over long distances.

Like all dual-cabs, just because they ‘can’ doesn’t mean they ‘should’. While most dual-cabs aren’t bought with heavy-duty towing in mind, many of them will be used to tow weights up to 2000kg on average – a number they should all be able to deal with pretty easily.

We’ve already stated in testing previously that we think the new suspension design and wider footprint deliver surety and ride quality beyond that of the already competent Navara. Aside from the Ranger Raptor, there isn’t a standard dual-cab that rides over poor surfaces around town better than the Warrior.

While initial versions of the coil-spring Navara copped some criticism for load carrying – largely irrelevant to the higher end of the market anyway – it has always delivered unladen ride quality that leaf springs can’t match.

The Warrior is a fair step above that, making for a less fidgety, more comfortable day-to-day ride.

The plastic tub liner is a solid inclusion, although I’d prefer a spray-on, non-slip option like we see with the US trucks that come to Australia. Still, the plastic liner is a lot better than a bare-metal floor.

You also get sturdy adjustable rail tie-downs for the tray, making it more useful than some standard offerings. Of late, I’ve seen a few Warriors with custom canopies set up for off-road touring, and if I owned one, I would definitely investigate that style of addition.

Inside the cabin, the Warrior feels and looks exactly like the tough truck it is claiming to be. You also get Nissan’s 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as native satellite navigation. There’s no digital radio, but if you head bush regularly, that’s not a factor anyway.

What’s most interesting about the Warrior, from a visual perspective, is that it looks the way so many people are modifying their otherwise stock dual-cabs to look pretty much from day one of ownership.

So, you walk into a dealer and drive out with a modified 4WD dual-cab that doesn’t need any extra money spent on it. In theory.

Stay tuned over the coming months, and we’ll take a regular look at what the Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior is like to live with. Don’t forget, too, if there’s anything specific you’d like to know, ask the question below and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

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