Nissan's Nismo Navara is the real deal

2020 Nissan Frontier Front 3 4

Nissan is refusing to allow the previous (D40-generation) Navara to fade gracefully into retirement and has given its ageing double-cab "the Raptor treatment". 

The bakkie, which established Nissan’s reputation across the global double-cab market, is still on sale in North America, despite having been discontinued in South Africa. In fact, many bakkie fans still regard this D40, with its handsomely proportioned design and responsive V6 petrol engine, as the best Navara that Nissan makes.

To reward those customers who have remained loyal to Navara, despite it being a generation older than any of its rivals, Nissan has now revealed some exciting new Nismo parts for the double-cab.

Nismo has branched out into off-road accessories, principal of which is the approach-angle-reducing front bumper.

Although Nissan fans most readily associate Nismo with the company’s Z-cars and GT-R products, the performance sub-brand is now branching out into off-road accessories.

Nismo has done a great job with its debut attempt at creating a Navara to rival something such as Ford’s Ranger Raptor. There is a new off-road specification bumper up front, which has mounting points for individual spotlights or an LED light bar.

This new bumper reduces the Navara’s approach angle in technical and steep off-road terrain and also has 2 heavy-duty recovery points and room for a winch. It does make the Navara 47 kg more nose-heavy, but most off-road bakkie enthusiasts would be willing to make that compromise.

Nissan has equipped the Nismo Navara with a bespoke Bilstein suspension and large BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres.

Nismo’s engineers know that suspension upgrades make a significant difference to any bakkie’s off-road performance and the upgraded Navara benefits from Bilstein dampers at all four corners, which results in a 50-mm lift in ride height. Complementing the improved suspension and better clearances, are huge BF Goodrich All-Terrain tyres, rolling on 17-inch grey alloy wheels, with red Nismo centre caps.

Powering the Nismo Navara is Nissan’s latest 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine, which cranks 230 kW and 380 Nm of torque. It is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

The Nismo Navara looks fantastic and proves that Nissan’s designers got things very right with its D40 double-cab, something they have arguably not managed to achieve with its successor.

Related content:

Navara to get X-Class Upgrades

Toyota GR Hilux To Fight Next Ranger Raptor, Amarok R

Ford Ranger FX4 Max Gets Raptor Genes

Isuzu D-Max Arctic AT 35 (2019) Launch Review