Watch: With its arrival, the new Nissan Navara kicks off the 2021 pickup battle royale

We get to drive it to Ilocos Norte before its official PH launch
by Sharleen Banzon | Mar 15, 2021

So, midsize-pickup buyers, are you experiencing choice paralysis yet? Updated and new Ford Ranger variants, a complete redo of the Isuzu D-Max, and now, a facelifted Nissan Navara—there’s a lot of new metal to choose from. And that’s just from this month—remember, the refreshed Hilux already entered the market a few month ago.

But today we’re here for the latest entry to the segment. The 2021 Navara is now available locally in Pro-4X spec, and you’ll know it when you see it: It’s got a massive Titan-esque grille, intricate quad projector LED headlights, and pops of orange throughout the exterior, including on the Nissan badges adorning the wheels and both ends of the vehicle. This styling treatment looks especially dramatic against the Stealth Pearl Gray paint job.

Our version of the Navara now also gets dual-rate rear coil springs—these were first introduced in the Australian and New Zealand markets a couple of years ago, to beef up the truck’s load-bearing capabilities. Other changes include an upgraded eight-inch multimedia head unit with improved Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a lift-assist mechanism that allows you to pull down and push up the tailgate with ease.

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The 187hp, 450Nm 2.5-liter turbodiesel engine remains, as do most of the mechanical bits from the pre-facelift version. Does this put the Navara at a disadvantage versus other new competitors packing more significant upgrades? Not necessarily, as we’ve come to conclude after recently driving the 2021 model all the way to Ilocos Norte.

Click play on the video above to get our initial impressions on Nissan’s updated truck. And if you haven’t already, do check out our Launch Pad feature on the Navara here.

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