Nissan Navara King Cab road test and review

WORKHORSE: Nissan's Navara King Cab pickup proves a decent all-rounder without the Dual Cab price tag.
WORKHORSE: Nissan's Navara King Cab pickup proves a decent all-rounder without the Dual Cab price tag.

UTES are not typically associated with royalty.

One look at this workhorse and it's unlikely Will and Kate will be casting aside the Rangie any time in the near future.  

Yet this Nissan Navara is crowned the King Cab, honouring its sizable cabin dimensions.  

While not quite the domain of princes and princesses, the humble ute has come a long way in recent years. The Navara is a fine example of how these utilities, in name and nature, have made giant steps forward in creature comforts, performance and safety.   

There are 13 versions of the Navara single and king cabs, and we jumped into the RX model which has a price tag less than $40,000.  

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.


Getting down to business is the primary function of this Navara derivative, so there is little fanfare or flair. That suits buyers just fine.  

There is little need for the instructional manual as all the dials and operations are self-explanatory.   

Fit and finish is a step up from days of old, and it's even got bluetooth phone connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls.   

Designed as a two-seater, the two fold-down chairs in the back are occasional use only. Akin to the seats hosties use on aeroplanes, the straight backs and absence of child seat anchorage points mean families should look at the dual cab if considering it for work and play.  

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.

Six-way manual adjustment of the driver's seat along with tilt manipulation of the steering column means finding a good position behind the wheel is relatively simple, but it doesn't have telescopic functionality like most other modern passenger cars.   

On the road

Chest-beatingly strong, the diesel never shies away from a challenge.  

We tackled some hilly terrain to value the Navara's worth and it conquered 20-degree climbs like shelling peas.   When unladen, the rear end can feel light and it will quickly step out in wet conditions if you are too enthusiastic on the throttle. It gets leaf-sprung rear suspension to help handle the hefty loads, which plays a major role in the old-school ride feel.   

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.

Yet the King Cab is a surprisingly good and smooth drive, although the diesel feels agricultural in its soundtrack.    Four-wheel drive can be selected via a dial on the dash on the fly at speeds up to 100kmh.  

What do you get?

The standard equipment list is not bad, with 16-inch wheels with full-size spare, rear power sliding window, bluetooth with steering wheel controls and audio streaming, CD stereo along with USB/iPod connectivity, cruise control, three 12V power sockets and seven airbags.  

Those who want more luxury can spend some extra coin and get the ST or ST-X, where you also get NissanConnect smartphone integration, leather-accented upholstery, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable driver's seat, remote keyless entry, reverse camera, LED projector headlights and sat-nav (ST-X only).  

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.

Other options

Diesel competitors in this oversized cabin realm, both in pick-up and cab chassis form, include the Ford Ranger XL Super Cab ($35,590), Isuzu SX Space Ute ($34,300), Mazda BT-50 XT Freestyle Cab ($32,745) and the Toyota HiLux Workmate Double ($33,990).  


As a daily driver, the Navara offers comfortable surrounds. Dual cup holders are in the console along with bottle holders in the front doors, and there is also a USB port and auxiliary jack in front of the shifter.  

Being a King Cab it offers more flexibility than your standard ute. There is a useful space that can handle a small suitcase or two with the rear seats folded away.   

Four tie-down hooks are inside the tray, although the two-channel "Utili-Track" system that enables you to slide attachment points along the length of the tray is only on the range-topping model.   

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.

Funky factor

With steel wheels there is little romance about the appearance. For some extra pizzazz it could do with some alloys and a roll bar for some cred against the more passenger-like dual cabs, as well as the Falcons and Commodores.   Colour options include white, red or black, with silver and sapphire options also available.   

The lowdown

Somewhat forgotten as the automotive industry has rapidly evolved, the ute market is now making ground.   

Across the NP300 Navara range are much-improved dynamics and comfort, with this King Cab no different.   

While maintaining its workmanlike attributes, it feels light years ahead of previous offerings that wore this badge.   

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.

Vital statistics

Model: Nissan Navara NP300 RX 4x4 Pick Up.  

Details: Four-door (rear hinged for back doors), four-seat, four-wheel drive utility.   

Engine: 2.3-litre turbocharged diesel generating maximum power of 120kW @ 3750rpm and peak torque of 403Nm @ 1500-2500rpm.   

Consumption: 6.6 litres/100km (combined average).   

CO2: 174g/km.   

Transmission: Six-speed manual with dual range 4X4.   

Towing: 3500kg; tow ball 300kg when gross vehicle mass is reduced by 410kg.  

Bottom line plus on-roads: $36,990.  

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.

What matters most

What we liked: Impressive comfort for a workhorse, super solid performance from the turbo diesel.   

What we'd like to see: Reverse camera, improved comfort of fold-down rear seats, track tray system in the RX model.   

Warranty and servicing: Three-year/ 100,000km warranty with roadside assist for the same period. Service intervals at 12 months/20,000km.  

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.

The verdict

Driving experience 16/20  

Features and equipment 17/20  

Functionality and comfort 16/20  

Value for money 18/20  

Style and design 15/20  

Total  82/100

The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.
The Nissan Navara King Cab ute in $48,990 ST-X spec.

Topics:  4x4 king cab nissan navara np300 review road test rx

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Wet conditions expected for weekend

Showers are expected for Saturday afternoon.

Saturday is expected to be wet, with rain forecast for the afternoon

A birthday party to feast on

TASTY OFFERINGS: Seasonal Feast will celebrate its second birthday in Stanthorpe this Friday.

Stanthorpe's Seasonal Feast markets celebrates second birthday

RSL marks a historic milestone

Stanthorpe RSL Sub Branch president Cyril Charlwood and Ballandean resident Pedro Curr at the recent Battle of Long Tan memorial. The sub branch will celebrate 100 years of the RSL on Saturday.

Stanthorpe celebrates 100 years of the Returned Service League

Local Partners

Lovely leeks a tasty option for spring sustenance

Tarts are a classic summer-time dessert, however this leek tart proves that they can also be a delicious savoury option.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

CMC organisers: No more pre-sale tickets will be sold

US country music group The Dixie Chicks. Supplied by Chugg Entertainment.

UPDATE: Plenty of people unhappy with process

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track