Navara Twin Test: PRO-4X v’s ST-X

by Petrol Mum

The Nissan Navara range has a new rugged styling, both inside and out, thanks to a mid-life update introduced at the end of 2020. All variants now include a comprehensive range of advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility systems and the latest infotainment technology as standard.

The range is currently crowned by the newest nameplate to the Nissan Navara stable – the PRO-4X – which features a distinct array of unique exterior design features including an off-road styling package. This consists of black fender flares, roof rails, door mirrors, side steps, grille and door handles. The rugged off-road design is complemented by 17” x 7” black alloy wheels shod with all-terrain tyres.

I recently drove the PRO-4X and the dual cab ST-X grade for a back-to-back on-road comparison to test out the suitability of these two utes as a daily driven family car. Nissan Australia have high hopes for the ST-X as they believe it is set to account nearly a third of Navara sales nationally.

To start with, even though these utes are fitted with independent double wishbone with front stabiliser bar on the front suspension and 5-link with shock absorber on the rear suspension the ride in both was still jiggly and ‘truck like’, which is similar to most utes I have driven. I preferred the ride in ST-X over the PRO-4X though as it was more comfortable, most likely because of the all-terrain tyres fitted to the PRO-4X.

The inclusion the Nissan Intelligent Mobility systems across the Navara range is a big plus considering more utes than ever are being driven in urban areas. Their 5-star ANCAP (2015) safety rating is based on testing of the 2015 Navara and applies to all updated Navara D23 variants (single, king & dual cabs) built from December 2020 and all have seven airbags including front, seat side, curtain and driver’s knee. Base model Navaras get Intelligent Emergency Braking, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Driver Alert and Reverse Parking Camera.

The ST-X and PRO-4X also come with standard cruise control, along the level of driver safety aids that you would expect to see on a modern passenger car. These include Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent Lane Intervention, Blind Spot Warning and Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The reversing camera has a 360o around view monitor with moving object detection and reverse parking sensors. 4WD variants also get the Intelligent Off Road Monitor system as well, for when you want get out of the city and into our great Australian wilderness.

These two Navaras both come with the Intelligent Key with Push Button Engine Start and Dual Zone Climate Control, again two features you would definitely want on a family car. To get you to your destination all Navara variants come standard with an 8.0” touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and models from the ST and above come standard with satellite navigation as well. Other media sources include AM/FM, DAB, USB, AUX and Bluetooth and to connect to the infotainment system there are multiple options including one USB-C, one USB and one 12V port under the arm rest. At the front of the centre console there is a storage cubby with another USB port, 12V outlet and an AUX inlet, but this is hard plastic lined so your phone would slide around if you stored it here.

The voice control button, which is located on the leather-accented wrapped steering wheel, has a masculine silhouette on it like many other car companies and the image that is displayed on the infotainment screen when you press the button is also masculine-looking. It does amuse me that when you press voice control button you are greeted by a woman’s voice to ask you how they can assist. From a functionality perspective the voice control worked well for setting a destination on the sat nav system, but would not work for me to make a phone call.

The ST-X I drove was fitted with the Leather Accented Seat Option Pack ($1,500) that includes leather accented seat trim, heated front seats and 8-way driver seat with power slide/recline/height adjustment with power lumbar support, but no memory positions. In both utes the passenger seat had manual adjustment for recline and forward/back only and in the PRO-4X the driver’s seat manual adjustment for recline, forward/back and height plus the nice looking PRO-4X stitching.

Can my family fit in the Nissan Navara?

The rear seats have enough head room for adults, but leg room is a bit tight. The central seat folds down as an arm rest with two rigid drink bottle holders in it and there are good-sized drink bottle storage cubbies in the doors as well. Rear passengers get two central air vents with open/close and direction control and below these there is one USB port. The mat on the floor does not extend over the transmission tunnel, even though this is only a small step, so this area of the carpet may get dirty and worn over time.

The Navara comes with tether-style anchor points for your child seat restraint points and these could be confusing to use if you did not consult the owner’s manual. The Navara does have two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only one anchorage point located behind the centre seat. This means when you install the rear tether of your child restraint on the two outer seats you have to feed the tether through the loop behind that seat and attach it to the anchorage point behind the central seat. This is not only somewhat confusing but also may get difficult to do if you had more than one car seat fitted in the ute.     

Both of these Navaras are powered by a 2.3 litre intercooled twin turbo-diesel engine with 140kW power and 450Nm of torque and a 7-speed automatic transmission. The Navara defaults to rear-wheel drive or you can select high 4WD or low 4WD. In addition, the Drive Mode Selector allows you to choose between Sport, Off-Road, Tow and Normal. The official combined fuel consumption for the automatic is 8.1L/100km and I used 9.4L/100km in the ST-X and 9.2L/100km in the PRO-4X.

The ST-X comes standard with a towbar, but the tow ball, safety chain, D shackle are an optional extra and cost $1,070 fitted. Both vehicles have a 3.5 tonne towing capacity for a trailer with brakes. The payload of the Navara may have increased to 1-tonne courtesy of the model’s strengthened rear axle and brake upgrades. However, I measured the width of tray between the wheel arches to be 950mm and therefore not wide enough for a standard pallet. Both of these Navaras have the tubliner, the Utili-Track 2-Channel Sliding Tie Down Hooks on the sides of the bed and four heavy duty tie down points on the bed floor. If the Navara is going to your daily family vehicle then you will also want to option the soft tonneau cover, otherwise your groceries will need to carried on the back seat. A lockable hard cover for the tray bed is not listed on the Nissan Australia website as an available optional extra.

All new Nissan vehicles come with a 5-Year Unlimited Kilometre warranty and five years of 24-Hour Roadside Assistance. Nissan Capped Price Service also means you know in advance the maximum price you’ll pay for the first six services according to your vehicle’s service schedule.

The Navara PRO-4X starts at $60,630 plus on-road costs and as tested with metallic paint ($650) was $62,180 plus on-roads. The Navara ST-X starts at $58,270 plus on-road costs and the as tested price with the Leather Accented Seat Option Pack ($1,500), Tow Kit ($1070 including fitment) and Metallic paint ($650) is $61,490 plus on-roads. Being I drove these Navaras on-road only my pick would be the ST-X over the PRO-4X because of its better daily ride quality. Visit your preferred Nissan Dealer to check out the Navara range for yourself and use the Nissan on-line configurator to design your new Navara.

The safety technology fittedThe jiggly ride
Comes standard with Apple CarPlay/Android AutoConfusing child seat restraint fitment system
Heated seats available in the ST-XVoice control did not work for making phone calls

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine

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