It’s been a year since the facelifted Nissan Navara came out. Since then, it has been the country’s second best-selling pickup and the brand’s best-selling vehicle in the country. It’s pretty much obvious at this point that the Navara is a very important car for the brand, and with the 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X, they have every single right to be proud of their best-selling model. Thanks to its comprehensive facelift, it’s currently one of the best all-rounders in the segment. Here’s why.
It all begins with its exterior. For a facelift, Nissan changed the Navara’s exterior quite extensively. The front fascia is characterized by a taller grille and C-shaped LED headlights. To achieve its more imposing look, the hood’s height was increased. Combined with its redesigned front bumper, the Navara is one of the most handsome pickups money could buy, and this is regardless of which variant you choose.
The side profile pretty much remains unchanged, except for a new set of alloy wheels and in the case of this Pro-4X variant, a subtle set of fender flares. Once you move towards its rear end, you’ll notice the new tailgate design wherein the Navara logo is already directly stamped onto the sheet metal. There’s also a pair of sleeker LED taillights that give the Navara a more modern light signature at night.
Getting this Pro-4X gives you the benefit of more color choices, black 17-inch wheels (though its design is from the VE) that are wrapped in Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tires, and a blacked-out grille, along with black and red Nissan badging. The Pro-4X is likewise one of those lifestyle pickups, not dissimilar to the Ranger Wildtrak or Hilux Conquest, and its handsome looks certainly fits the bill.
Unfortunately, the interior of the Nissan Navara is where I’m left wanting more. Unlike the exterior, the interior upgrades are much more minute. It pretty much carries over the pre-facelift model’s simple and utilitarian dash design. There’s nothing but acres of hard, scratchy black plastic, though at least it’s well built as expected in a pickup. The Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max have a more premium interior thanks to their leatherette-topped dash. In the case of this Pro-4X variant, the seats come with Pro-4X stitching, which at least breaks up the monotony of the interior design.
Features and Infotainment
At least the one thing that Nissan got right is its electronics. Standard on all but the base EL is an 8-inch Nissan Connect infotainment system that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The graphics look nice and the interface is logically laid out. Together with the generous amount of hard buttons, navigating the infotainment system is easy, though the animations make the response times sluggish. In conjunction with this is a 7-inch multi-information display between the two analog gauges, which look really good and offer sharp graphics.
Kudos to Nissan as well for pushing forward safety as one of the Navara’s key selling points. Unlike other brands who only stuff their advanced driver-assistance tech to just their top-of-the-line offerings, Nissan has equipped stuff such as a reverse camera and automatic emergency braking to even the mid-spec VE. Stepping up to the VL and above adds stuff like blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and a 360-degree camera system. Manufacturers, take note. This is how you do safety for your vehicle offerings.
Space and Practicality
The 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X offers a good amount of space regardless of where you’re seated. Those at the front are treated to very comfortable Zero Gravity Seats, and they’re marketed as such because they’re designed to minimize fatigue on long drives. It’s more than just marketing speak because the seats are really very supportive on long drives. My only gripe would be the lack of reach adjustment for the steering. I’m okay with its default reach setting, but others may prefer the competing BT-50 or D-Max and their steering with reach adjustment to be better suited for their body type.
Meanwhile, those seated at the rear are also treated to a decent amount of space. Okay, so pickups aren’t necessarily known for their legroom, but the Navara offers a good amount of space even for tall adults. It’s no Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, but it does the job well. In addition, the Navara is one of the wider pickups out there, which means you can genuinely sit three adults at the back. In addition, the seats themselves flip up to reveal more storage.
Of course, you’re probably buying a pickup for its cargo-carrying capability, and in that respect, the Navara has finally caught up to the competition. Thanks to engineering upgrades made to its chassis and suspension, this particular Pro-4X variant is rated to haul 1,017 kg of payload, which puts it right in the middle of the competition. Cargo hauling used to be the Navara’s weakness because of its coil-spring rear suspension, which, on the other hand, is the best type of suspension for ride quality.
Under the hood of the 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces 190 hp at 3,600 rpm and 450 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. While these numbers aren’t class-leading, they don’t exactly tell the whole story. With its broad torque curve, the Navara’s engine has plenty of pulling power from the low to the middle of the engine’s rev range. As a result, the Navara feels torquier than its numbers might suggest.
Accompanying it is a 7-speed automatic that shifts gears quickly and smoothly. It also responds to your throttle inputs really well, which means there’s barely any need to use manual mode. The engine, however, isn’t the best sounding out there as it sounds agricultural next to its competitors.
Once inside the vehicle though, you’ll realize the improved refinement of the Navara. Engine noise suddenly becomes much more muted, and thanks to thicker sound deadening and the addition of dual-layer acoustic glass, road and wind noise is much more reduced compared to the pre-facelift model. Other Navara variants are going to be a bit quieter since they ride on all-season tires, but even in this Pro-4X with its all-terrain tires, road noise is not obtrusive at all.
Once again, the Navara’s coil-spring suspension will be its main talking point, and indeed there’s a reason for that. It gives the Navara a class-leading ride, as it’s practically the only pickup whose ride doesn’t differ compared to its SUV counterpart (in this case, the Terra). Toyota should learn a thing or two from Nissan in giving the Fortuner a softer ride because even the Navara offers a much better ride. Even with such a suspension setup, handling is still well controlled, at least for a pickup. It’s no Mazda CX-5 or some sort of sporty crossover, but it gets the job done in the twisties.
Speaking of twisties, the steering ratio has also been quicked this time around, which means driving the Navara through such roads isn’t any more a chore. More importantly, this makes u-turns easier, and while it still uses hydraulic steering (which arguably is what I prefer in a pickup), it’s now on the lighter end of the segment.
We also had the opportunity to take the Navara Pro-4X off-road, and this is a good segway to talk about the fact that all 4×4 variants of the Navara come with a locking rear differential. While the terrain we drove over wasn’t tough enough to necessitate the use of the locking diff, at least there’s peace of mind when the situation demands such a feature.
Lastly, we have to talk about the fuel economy of the 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X, which, unfortunately, isn’t all good news. At 9.3 km/l, it’s on the thirstier end of the pickup segment. Under the same circumstances of mostly provincial roads, since I don’t live in Metro Manila, rival pickups average at more than 10 km/l. It’s also the same case with the Navara’s SUV sibling, the Terra, so don’t expect variants riding on all-season tires to fare any better in terms of fuel economy.
The 2022 Nissan Navara Pro-4X is another take on the ever-popular lifestyle pickup segment. For a facelift, the changes are quite comprehensive, as Nissan has not only given the Navara a more handsome face, but also a better pickup overall. As a result, not only is it the most comfortable pickup money can buy, but it now has the payload capability to match its rivals riding on stiffer leaf springs. Thanks to its competitive pricing, generous features across all variants, and class-leading ride, the Navara is a pickup that’s easy to recommend to anyone. No wonder it’s Nissan’s most popular vehicle in the Philippines.
Pricing and Rating
Exterior Design: ★★★★★
Interior Design: ★★★☆☆
Space and Practicality: ★★★★☆
Safety and Driver Assistance: ★★★★★
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★☆☆
Value For Money: ★★★★★
Overall: 4.2 out of 5
*Pricing is correct and accurate as of this article’s time of writing.