Nissan finally has a contender to tap into the lucrative top-end of the dual-cab ute market.

NISSAN HAS UNVEILED its locally developed Navara N-Trek Warrior to tackle the likes of the Toyota HiLux Rugged X, HSV Colorado SportsCat and Ford Ranger Wildtrak X.

The first production model was shown to media yesterday at a Melbourne facility owned by vehicle engineering specialist Premcar.

In partnership with Nissan Australia, Premcar is responsible for the production of the Warrior, a modified Australian exclusive model based on the Navara N-Trek, itself released in August this year. The Warrior won’t hit showrooms until December, but it brings significant changes that will make the model one of the most capable dual-cab utes on the market.

At a glance, changes include new shocks and springs all round, increased ground clearance over most competitors, redesigned and ADR-approved front bar, large all-terrain tyres, and proper underbody protection.

The project has spurred up to 40 new jobs and Premcar says production capacity at its large 6000 square metre site can produce up to 13 Warrior vehicles a day. Many top-tier suppliers have been contracted for parts including EGR, Hella and Monroe Tenneco, though all development work was carried out by Premcar.

Carryover tough-look parts from the N-Trek model include its black grille, LED headlight bezels, rear bumper, fender flares, door handles, and roof rails, with contrasting orange accents around the body. The Warrior-spec adds 3M decals including Warrior graphics on the side and tailgate. The model is available in white, black or grey paint colours.

Upfront is a redesigned hoopless steel frontbar from EGR fitted with a 470mm Hella lightbar and orange bezel fog lamps. Below the frontbar we can glimpse an additional 3mm steel bashplate from Frontline to protect vulnerable parts of the drivetrain.

Overall, the ride height has increased by 40mm to provide a 268mm ground clearance. This comes from 15mm taller suspension and larger 32.2-inch tyres which add a further 25mm to ride height.

Suspension dampers have been replaced with Monroe Tenneco twin-tube shock absorbers with a larger outer tube and thicker piston rod, surrounded by more oil for better cooling and offroad performance. The valves are specific to Premcar’s requirements and new dual-rate springs are used with a softer primary rate and progressive secondary rate, which Nissan says improves both on- and off-road handling, stability, ride and articulation, and steering response is said to be better than before.

Navara N-Trek’s 18-inch alloys have also been replaced with smaller 17-inch black alloy wheels form Rosta. Each weighs 1kg less and accommodate larger 32.2-inch 275/70 Cooper AT3 LT all-terrain tyres. With the tyres in place, the wheel track is increased to 1600mm both front and rear.

Approach angle has increased by two percent and departure angle by one percent. Using a revised towbar and cross member to accommodate a full-size spare, braked towing capacity remains unchanged at 3500kg, however, payload has decreased from just over 900kg to 724kg.

The drivetrain is unchanged, the Warrior available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission mated to the model’s 2.3-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel producing 140kW and 450Nm.

Inside, the cabin is plush with N-Trek extras including leather-trimmed seats with contrasting orange stitching, heated seats, and leather trims on panels, and the Warrior adds unique headrests and floor mats. Based on the Series 4 Navara upgrade released this year, the infotainment system is improved to a new 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Nissan Australia backs the Navara N-Trek Warrior with its full five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty after undergoing rigorous testing at testing facilities in Victoria and open-track assessment on some of Australia’s most difficult four-wheel-drive trails.

Nissan has not announced pricing yet, but the sum of the N-Trek’s parts – if purchased off the shelf – would total around $10,000. Given the N-Trek base model the Warrior is based on is priced at $56,450 plus on-road costs, we expect the Warrior to land at around circa-$65,000, which is right on the money with rivals.

How well do you think the Nissan Navara stacks up to the competition? Comment below or get involved on our Facebook group page.



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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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