New Aussie developed tough ute launched

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The Japanese brand’s latest tough dual-cab ute has been worked over by Aussie outfit responsible for making fast V8 Falcons.

There’s no such thing as a ute that’s too tough. With that in mind, Nissan has released a bolder and burlier version of its popular Warrior 4WD.

The premise remains the same: take the top-of-the-range dual-cab 4WD in the Navara line-up and infuse some Aussie know-how to lift its credentials in the carpark, the suburbs and the bush.

Nissan says the new Warrior has been “locally developed … to handle Australia’s harshest terrain”.

The local development program has once again been led by Melbourne-based engineering firm Premcar, best known for making Falcon V8s faster.

The Warrior starts life as a Pro-4X, the new hero in the Navara line-up. It gets all the features of that model, including partial leather, dual-zone ventilation, a powered driver’s seat and tyre pressure sensors, as well as some styling extras such as Warrior embroidering in the headrests. The 360-degree camera is handy, the low-resolution image on the 8.0-inch display less so.

In line with updates to the Navara there’s more safety equipment, including camera-based autonomous emergency braking and blind-spot warning.

The updated Navara’s bluff grille cements the Warrior’s chest-beating persona. There’s also a new winch-compatible steel front bullbar with integrated LED lights (for terrific high beams). A red bash plate underneath provides protection and bling, something reinforced by red springs.

Chunky 17-inch Cooper Discoverer all-terrain tyres are back for duty (including the spare) and springs and dampers have been revised.

New wheel arch flares showcase the rubber, which sits prouder than a regular Navara due to a wider track. As with all mods on the Warrior the flares have five-year warranty backup, something you won’t necessarily get from aftermarket suppliers.

The chunkier tyres raise the ground clearance by 40mm, in turn improving the approach angle so there’s less chance of a scuff.

The load capacity has also increased to 952kg (for auto versions) courtesy of a 100kg overall load update. The Navara still has among the best load tie-down points in its tray and it can tow 3.5 tonnes.

The suspension tweaks translate to more sure-footed responses through bends. For a large ute that can lift heavy things there’s decent control, although the off-road focused tyres can be slippery when it’s wet. Vague steering needs a decent input for the desired result.

The suspension is a little harsh at low speeds, too, where the Warrior shudders over short, sharp bumps. Around town, it’s a reminder the focus is on control over comfort.

At speed, or with more weight on board, it steps up to the challenge. Potholes become a ripple rather than a jolt. The rare-for-utes coil spring rear suspension deals admirably with multiple hits.

It gets better on gravel, too, with above-average grip that adds to driver confidence on rough roads. The suspension may be tiring in town, but in rougher going there’s little need to back off over bumps.

The extra clearance and control in the suspension gives you confidence to thunder into a washout or bound over rocks. It not only copes better with the initial bump but settles more adeptly. In more challenging terrain the steel front bumper is nicely protected from hits and the underbody protection is a reassuring final line of defence.

As with many utes, the standard tow bar is the first thing to scrape at the rear, requiring finesse over drop-offs.

The 2.3-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel is unchanged and does an acceptable job mustering torque to keep things motoring in a relaxed but efficient way. There’s 450Nm to play with and it’s always easily accessed, the seven-speed auto smoothly shifting between ratios.

Perhaps the Warrior’s biggest appeal is its price. At about $73,990 drive-away for the manual (another $2500 for the auto) it costs a lot less than a Ford Ranger Raptor.

And what it lacks in the finer details it makes up for with rugged tough truck ability backed by local engineering nous.


Tough truck looks with added capability, the Warrior relishes rough terrain.


Price: From about $76,500 plus on-roads

Warranty/servicing: 5 yrs/unlimited km, $2847 for 5 yrs/100,000km

Safety: Seven airbags, blind-spot and lane-keep assist, auto emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert

Engine: 2.3-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder, 140kW/450Nm

Thirst: 8.1L/100km

Spare: Full size

Payload/tow capacity: 952kg/3500kg (auto)

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Fast Legal Services in Dubai

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