Driven: Nissan Navara 2.3d Stealth 4x4 Auto Double Cab By Vishnu Singh & Mieke Oelofsen
Our two maniacs were asked to drive a friends Navara through Groenkloof Nature reserve…
Vish: If we were surfing Zermatt mid-winter at an altitude of 3 kilometers above sea level, then a white bakkie with black decals with ‘Stealth’ embossed on the sides would make sense. Crawling through mid-summer in Tshwane got more than a few raised eyebrows - whether good or bad remains to be seen. It’s not a limited edition, it just blinged out a bit like Joanna Lumley back in the day.
Mix: The Navara model has always attracted a peculiar type of yuppie; think gym selfies with a weight in one hand. That hand which over time grows bigger than the opposing limb. Sound familiar?
Vish: There are hints of hidden attitude that allow the Stealth to stand out from the standard…Navara, Orange accents and stickers, lots of stickers give it a capable appeal for a people elsewhere in the world, not our rugged bakkie lovers. It has dark rims and darker aspirations which add to its attention grabbing appeal.
Mix: Like all aging models, the Navara underwent a much-needed nip and tuck, but if you squint even a bit, the D40 lines are still there. Other brands sport a large and bold 4X4 decal, on the Navara the space is occupied by “Stealth”, which - when you are the obstacle that is blocking the 4X4 route - is exactly what you’re not.
Vish: It’s competent, practical and has bits of flamboyant design aspiration lurking in the cabin. More leather and stitching complete a happy space for drivers.
Mix: The family trait immediately noticeable as you settle into the driver seat, is the dash it seems to share with its siblings; the Qashqai and X-Trail. A welcome sight is the actual curves on the steering wheel – finally! – But isn’t the bold orange material inserts and stitching already synonymous with another ‘wilder’ brand?
Vish: With proper multilink rear suspension bolted onto the chassis, the Navara keeps you settled through the rather rocky dust bowl that is Groenkloof. A 140 kW of power serves to keep you concentrating on the obstacles with maniacal obsession. The gear box is lazy and the engine lethargic, it’s not bad at speed though. It hides its size well and the switchover 4 X 4 works effectively while multiple cameras help with those jutting outcrops.
Mix: I had to step out into the sweltering heat a few times to guide my intrepid co-driver out of some hairy spots, but to be fair, premium all-terrain rubber would have gone a long way to improve the going and my mood.
Vish: The Navara Stealth is like watching a well-produced action sequence slowly grind away at you with burlesque like enthusiasm until the funny parts start to get boring. There is nothing wrong with the Stealth (well apart from the fact that it is white…google F117 Stealth). It drives effectively, handles well on road and adequately off-road with thirsty habits. The interior is dated but in a retro appealing fashion. Power delivery is generous but tapers out quicker than expected. There is still something missing in this segment for Nissan.
Mix: On paper the Navara looks like a worthy competitor in the elite 4X4 arena, with even its price tag eliciting less gasps from the crowd these days. Definitely not the most popular bakkie on the South African market, you don’t need a daisy to help you decide whether you like it or not.
Nissan Navara 2.3d Stealth 4x4 Auto Double Cab
Price R647 500.00 (on special)
Engine 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel, inline 4cylinder
0-100 > 10s*
Top Speed <190km/h