Nissan Navara D40 used car reviewUsed Car Reviews Motor News Motor Reviews
2005 Nissan Navara D40.
- Badge Description
- Engine Description
- Engine Configuration Description
- Gear Num
- Build Country Origin Description
- Overall Green Star Rating
- Fuel Consumption City
- 10.9 L/100 Km
- Fuel Consumption Highway
- 8 L/100 Km
- Fuel Consumption Combined
- 9.1 L/100 Km
- Fuel Capacity
- Fuel Type Description
- Drive Description
- Rear Wheel Drive
- Warranty KM
Within the current cult of the SUV lies a sub-cult that surrounds dual-cab four-wheel-drive utilities.
While the world has been going crazy for compact soft-roaders, the dual-cab off-roader has also quietly been chipping away at the market and making some big inroads in the process.
But the Nissan Navara from the middle of last decade onwards is also a very common sight on roads these days.
The theory is simple enough: Here is a vehicle that is tough enough to pass muster as a tradie’s ute, seats enough backsides to be family transport and has the added bonus of four-wheel-drive for towing or weekend escapes into the bush.
The reality is not quite that simple.
The rear seat is often not up to scratch for adult passengers, the ride can be appalling (especially with no load in the tray) and the handling equally iffy, mainly in the wet where those big wheels and tyres don’t seem to offer much grip.
The Nissan isn’t alone there by any means, but it does suffer from all those things to a certain degree.
The vehicles we’re talking about are the D40 Navara models which launched here in late 2005.
The most popular version was the turbo-diesel model with the dual-cab. A lot of them were silver or white and they sported big, chunky alloy wheels. Doubtless you passed a few on the way to work this morning.
The engine is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder diesel which makes 128kW of power and a decent 403NM of torque.
A six-speed manual was available but many buyers opted for the five-speed automatic.
There was also a four-litre petrol V6 with 198kW on offer, but most people figured the turbo-diesel was the way to go, so the vast majority are oil-powered.
That said, just because the engine was a turbo-diesel, don’t presume it will sip fuel like a modern hatchback.
It’s still a relatively big, heavy vehicle with aerodynamics that owe more to office blocks than wind-tunnels, so it will still slurp its way through plenty of fuel in a fortnight of normal running.
The big advantage of the diesel engine consumption-wise will be felt in the bush where it can just lug along all day at low revs, using about half the fuel the petrol version would in the same conditions.
Like any vehicle built to a price, of course, there was no way the Navara could excel at everything it was aimed at, and there are some important caveats when buying second-hand.
The first is probably that we’d be wary of a Navara that’s been used seriously off-road.
Even though it had the wheel travel and the low-ratios for proper hard-core off-roading, the underbody protection wasn’t really up to the job.
The radiator was mounted below the lowest part of the chassis rails, too, making it a prime candidate to be damaged by rocks.
Check the radiator for dents and bent fins which suggest it’s been clouted at some stage.
The same goes for the driveshaft which was made from aluminium and easily damaged off-road. A well-placed rock could easily bend the driveshaft making the car undrivable, but even smaller hits could leave their mark, so check it out carefully from underneath the vehicle.
Limiting further the Navara’s appeal as an off-road vehicle was the fact that the engine-bay was very tightly packed, leaving no room for an aftermarket dual-battery set-up so beloved of those who take their bush driving seriously.
The other issue for serious off-roaders is that the Navara’s wheel-stud pattern was an orphan.
Unlike the majority of other vehicles in the market which use the same pattern, this meant the Navara owner towing a trailer couldn’t count on having two spares (the vehicle’s and the trailer’s) that would fit any axle on the combination.
We’ve also head of some Navaras giving clutch trouble.
The problem seems to be the relatively small clutch and dual-mass flywheel which just don’t mix so well with towing heavy loads or hard off-road work.
Make sure a manual vehicle engages all gears easily and quietly, especially first and reverse gears from a standstill and when the gearbox is still cold.
On the engine front, the turbo-diesel offers enough performance but it seems to be a bit troublesome as the kilometres add up.
Our research suggests that many of these units develop a rattle from either the timing-chain or the camshaft at around 160,000km. Any Navara that has reached anywhere near this distance needs to be inspected carefully for wear in these critical areas.
Many owners have also reported the standard brake rotors warping very early in the vehicle’s life and brake pads lasting as little as 20,000km before needing replacement.
Finally, make sure that if you’re buying a vehicle that is coming off a working fleet, you know as much before handing over the cash.
Some fleets work vehicles like these very hard, but either way, there should be a complete service record to study and use to help make a decision.
Don’t buy an unloved example unless it’s really, really cheap.
Our rating: 3/5
Nuts and bolts
Engine/s: 2.5 turbo-diesel 4-cyl/4.0 V6
Fuel economy (combined): 10.5 litres per 100km (turbo-diesel)/14.0 litres (V6)
Safety rating (courtesy of www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au): 5-stars
- Genuine off-roader.
- All the dual-cab benefits of load and people space.
- Well-known and popular model; plenty around to choose from.
- Looks tough.
- High-mileage examples suspect.
- Off-road work can damage underbody components.
- Ordinary ride quality.
- Brakes can wear early.
Toyota Hi-Lux – pretty much the default choice in this market segment thanks to mighty reputation. More expensive than some of the competition, but you’ll probably recoup it come trade-in time. 3.5 stars
Mitsubishi Triton – Plenty of these around and while not everybody likes the styling, they seem to do the job. Twin-cab popular. Beware the ex-fleet vehicle that could have been worked hard. 3 stars
Holden Rodeo – Another popular choice for tradies and those with a use for such a thing. Reliability seems good and the rest of the package is competitive. 3 stars
What to pay (courtesy of Glass’s Guide):
Model Year New Now
RX d/cab V6 2005 $38990 $15100
RX d/cab 6 2006 $38990 $16700
RX d/cab V6 2007 $38990 $17100
RX d/cab V6 2008 $39720 $18900
RX d/cab 2.5 2005 $40990 $16400
RX d/cab 2.5 2006 $40990 $17900
RX d/cab 2.5 2007 $40990 $18400
RX d/cab 2.5 2008 $41660 $20800
RX d/cab 2.5 2009 $42660 $21500
RX d/cab 2.5 2010 $42660 $23200
RX d/cab 2.5 2011 $42660 $27200
ST-X d/cab V6 2005 $37990 $16700
ST-X d/cab V6 2006 $37990 $17400
ST-X d/cab V6 2007 $37990 $18100
ST-X d/cab 2008 $38620 $19600
ST-X d/cab V6 2009 $39820 $21100
ST-X d/cab 2.5 2005 $43990 $17600
ST-X d/cab 2.5 2006 $43990 $19300
ST-X d/cab 2.5 2007 $43990 $20300
ST-X d/cab 2.5 2008 $44720 $22400
ST-X d/cab 2.5 2009 $45920 $23200
ST-X d/cab 2.5 2010 $45920 $25600