On a test drive the Navara will impress. The 2.5L CRDi engine and 5 speed auto gets the Navara moving at an impressive rate. Once moving and any movement of the accelerator pedal gets the vehicle changing speed almost as quick as the pedal was moved.
Seating is good, high and good visibility around you. The seats are firmly sprung/cushioned and are definitely long distance chairs. The rear seats are very upright but other wise are quite comfortable , you certainly dont feel like you are sitting on a set of tubes.
The external mirrors are large, not too radically curved and useful. The blind spots are small and a look over your shoulder covers that spot well.
Instrumentation is enough, well lit and easily readable. No fancy fuel usage , radio station etc info- which is good.
The factory 6 stack CD is good, but no bluetooth or GPS makes it a pain these days. However it is not difficult to update the stereo for around $300 to one with DVD/bluetooth/gps/rear camera etc. The standard speakers are fine as is, just the head unit is lacking.
The down sides- fuel economy is a total joke. The placarded fuel usage was written by used car sales man. Reality is closer to 15l/100kms city, 13l/100kms highway.
Steering - the power steering effort is good, the vagueness is from the high side wall tyres . The lock to lock could only be counted as 'a lot of turns'. This truck is long at 5.5m and so you need a lot of wheel lock on to get it to go around tighter corners.
Brakes - yes it has some. Vague, Commodore ish spongy feel pedal, way too much travel. The brakes will always bight and do work well, but they do not inspire confidence.
There is no space under the bonnet for 2nd batteries, water heaters or the like, so even though the Navara is a decent off roader, it is not an off road camp ground friendly engine bay. Add in that the body work is so high, the engine bay is hard to work in for any one under 7 ft tall.
Oh, and the fuel economy is very bad!.