Something like 30 years ago I drove my first Nissan, a Nissan Patrol. Itwas a brute. It was ugly to drive, ugly to look at and my then 5 yearold daughter named it, “the big bumpy car”! But it had one redeemingfeature, it never stopped. As I was travelling long distances acrossdesert areas on unsealed roads, this was very important and why Icame to love it!With the latest test drive by Hua Hin Today of a current model (600 kmon the clock) Nissan Navara Calibre, I’ve come a long way towards amore civilized choice of Nissan, but I suspect one thing hasn’t changed………..it’s also unlikely to stop!
Nissan has manufactured strong and dependable pick-upsfor more than 80 years, with more than 14 million sold across180 different countries so the new Navara has a lot to live upto. There’s also a lot of competition in the four door pick-uprange of vehicles in this very popular genre in Thailand.Our Nissan was supplied by Cha-Am Nissan with ManagingDirector Khun Phawin Sittiyanurux, or ‘Sam’ as we knowhim. Sam is a young, affable, efficient and importantly forforeign customers he’s fluent in English.
We took the testvehicle for an easy run from Cha-Am to visit RatchapakdiPark to check out Hua Hin and Thailand’s latest stand-outattraction; the statues of seven of Thailand’s auspiciousmonarchs.If you’ve yet to make a visit please follow PetchakasemRoad about seven kilometres south from Hua Hin; youwon’t miss the Park or regret the effort.With dimensions of 5255mm (L), 1850mm (W), 1840mm(H), 3150mm (WB), the Navara is not a small vehicle.However this is where differences between the ‘old’ andthe new become dramatic. This is an agile, responsive anduncomplicated drive unlike the clumsy, cumbersome and‘hard work’ drive of years gone by.Of course creature comforts and features have comea long way.
I didn’t bother to reset the GPS , so I wasregularly told how to return to base by a pleasant Thaivoice advising me to “bai sai” or ‘bai kwa“ (go left or right)before the relevant intersections. But then I realised thaton a small corner of the rear vision mirror, a small lettershowing the compass direction was also available. I hopeSam wasn’t worried that I wouldn’t know the way back!Our drive past the crowds at Ratchapakdi Park attractedmany admiring glances. This is a stylish vehicle and thesomewhat unusual ‘Earth Brown’ duco also made us standout from the more mundane.
At A Glance NP300Navara Double Cab
Engine\TransmissionA 2.5-litre intercooled turbo-diesel engine with increasedhorsepower and torque increases fuel efficiency by morethan 19%. Also available in a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrolversion that pumps out gutsy power and torque, with acompact balancer system to deliver the smoothness of aV6. Featuring a two-stage turbocharger, 200 MPa injectorsystem, thermal management system and electricalvariable displacement oil pump, it produces a maximum140 kW of power, with 450 Nm of torque available at a low1500 to 2500rpm.A wide-range 7-speed automatic transmission helps toensure fuel efficiency and a smoother ride, regardless ofthe job.
NP300 Navara serves up a stylish first impressionwith its signature standard LED Daytime Running Lights,allowing others to see you better on the road. Andwhenever your headlights are left on after you’ve left thevehicle, NP300 Navara will automatically turn them off foryou.Navigation and bluetooth system with audio DVD /MP3 with 7” Touch ScreenDual Zone Auto Air ConSupport Front Seats designed to reduced fatigueduring long drives.
Body pressure is spread over theseating surface through the middle section in the foldingseat back, promoting a ‘neutral’ posture to reduce pressureon the spine and muscles, while in the rear, there is anoptimum balance between knee room and torso angle, aswell as ample head room.Price DC CALIBRE V7 at 897,000 THB starting price.Our thanks to Khun Sam for the opportunity to experiencethe latest Nissan has to offer. We would have to call itthe ‘big smooth car’!