Finally retired after 13 000km a month - for 12 years.
Bakkie brand durability claims can be a touch ‘creative’ when they source them from a company’s marketing department. Far more credible, are real customer experience stories.
Nissan is the latest beneficiary of extreme customer satisfaction as American Navara driver, Brian Murphy, has set some staggering driving records in his bakkie.
Brian is an independent courier from Chicago, which means long hours on the road and a bakkie that works hard for a living. He bought his Navara back in 2007 and has done some extraordinary mileage with it.
Averaging more than 3 000 km a week, Brian managed to roll his Navara’s odometer over 1 600 000 km before the global lockdown started. That is an incredible mileage target to achieve for this D40-series Navara, still marketed as the Frontier in America – which never received the current global third-generation Navara bakkie.
Graded as a ‘small’ bakkie in the American market, Brain’s Navara is also quite an unusual specification. It is powered by the D40 Navara’s entry-level 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (113 kW/232 Nm) and shifts via a manual gearbox. This is in stark contrast to most American bakkies, which are either V6/8 powered and have the convenience of automatic shifting.
Beyond the sheer assembly quality this Navara represents, by staying together for a driving distance of more than 1 600 000 km, some of the individual components have also proved notably tough.
How many bakkies do you know that will run 720 000 km on their original factory radiator and alternator? At 1 120 000 km its four-cylinder engine received a new timing chain and the clutch was only replaced at 1 300 000 km, which is perhaps a credit to Brian’s tidy driving style.
After a great experience with his D40 Navara/Frontier, Brian is getting a new one – for free. Nissan is doing the honourable thing and rewarding a loyal customer who has delivered it a product marketing opportunity more authentic than any other.
Brian’s new bakkie is a still an ‘old’ specification Navara/Frontier, but it has a significant upgrade in terms of drivetrain, being powered by a 3.8-litre V6 engine and shifting automatically, via a nine-speed gearbox.