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2019 Nissan Navara facelift - more payload, more torque, better suspension

  • New engine, gearbox, brakes and rear suspension
  • Big payload increase, improved safety, better driving experience?
  • Enhanced smartphone connectivity, including Apple CarPlay

Nissan's latest Navara pickup truck is getting a facelift with a release date from July 2019, and the firm has now announced more details of the changes under the skin.

For although it might not look much different – eye-catching alloy wheels aside – the upgrades include a new six-speed manual gearbox, more powerful brakes and extra torque for the entry-level 163hp engine, plus an increase in payload up to 1,180kg in Double Cab form.

What’s new for the 2019 Navara?

Quite a lot. Here’s the full list:

  • New six-speed manual gearbox
  • More powerful brakes
  • Increased payload
  • Increased torque for 163hp engine
  • All engines now meet latest Euro 6D Temp emissions regulations
  • Second generation multi-link rear suspension on all models
  • Revised front suspension
  • Minimum 17-inch wheel size
  • New NissanConnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and remote connectivity
  • New alloy wheel designs
  • Black bezel inlays for the LED headlights
  • Trailer Sway Assist on all models

What’s different about the gearbox in the new Nissan Navara?

Although the Navara already had a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, Nissan has replaced this with a completely new unit, with longer gear ratios but a shorter shift pattern.

More recent info reveals that the new gearbox not only has a shorter shift lever, it also features cable operation now. These changes should make the physical act of changing gears easier, as well as meaning you’ll need to change gear less often.

2019 Nissan Navara - Double Cab, blue, front view, new alloy wheels

The longer ratios also improve the Navara's fuel consumption (because you need fewer engine revs for the same road speed), while make the pickup quieter at speed.

Typically, such alternations come at the cost of some performance, but we'll reserve judgement on this until we've driven an updated model.

The optional seven-speed automatic transmission carries on as before.

What’s different about the 2019 Narava’s brakes?

For the first time the Navara now comes with 308mm disc brakes at the back in place of the previous drums – a feature that only a few other pickups offer.

At the same time, Nissan has also increased the size of the front discs from 296mm to 320mm. There is also a larger the brake booster.

2019 Nissan Navara - Double Cab, blue, rear view, new rear disc brakes

As a result, braking distances are reduced (Nissan hasn’t said by how much) even though the effort needed to press the pedal has also fallen by some 40%.

Sounds like good news to us.

What's new for the 2019 Navara's rear suspension?

All models now get the multi-link rear suspension system with coil springs that has always set the Navara aside from most other pickups.

Previously this was limited to Double Cab models, but now the King Cab gets the same set-up, which is more sophisticated than the conventional leaf springs used by most rival pickups and has been updated for 2019 with new ‘dual stage’ coil springs.

This is a world-first for a king or extended cab pickup truck.

2019 Nissan Navara - King Cab, red, rear view showing load bed area

Multi-link suspension gives the Navara more car-like handling (although we’ve always found the ride comfort a little disappointing – perhaps the new springs will help), and fears that some operators have about its ability to handle weight may be put off by the news that the 2019 Navara’s payload ratings have gone up.

The new suspension, which Nissan refers to as the 'second generation' five-link design, also raises the rear of the Navara by 25mm, giving it what's being called ‘an upright and more powerful looking stance.’

These changes sound a lot like the alterations made to Australian-market Navaras back in early 2018, which were designed to improve handling and behaviour when loaded and / or towing. However, we've checked with Nissan, and it says that UK / European models are different to Australian versions, and the two can't be compared.

We look forward to trying the new suspension very soon, either way.

Any other chassis changes?

Nissan has also made some modifications to the Navara's front suspension, which it says makes the steering lighter and 'more comfortable' at low speeds.

On top of this, all Navaras now come with Trailer Sway Assist as standard, too – an enhancement of the electronic stability control system that makes towing easier and safer.

Advanced safety systems such as autonomous emergency braking are already offered on this pickup.

The new smallest wheel size is 17 inches; previously lower spec models came on 16-inch wheels.

Any info on the 2019 Navara's payload ratings?

The maximum payload for a new Navara Double Cab pickup is now set at 1,180kg.

Across the range, Nissan says there's an increase of 54-114kg (depending on model).

Navara King Cab maximum payload is now 1,165kg, an increase of 55-95kg.

How does the 163hp engine make more torque?

That’s an easy one – Nissan’s added a second turbocharger…

Well, it’s really more that it’s now offering a detuned version of the 190hp 2.3-litre diesel engine (which already had two turbos) in place of the previous 163hp single-turbo 2.3-litre diesel engine.

2019 Nissan Navara - King Cab, red, front view, with new twin-turbo 163hp engine

The extra turbo means the new 163hp engine has 425Nm of torque – which is 22Nm more than before.

Both the new 163hp twin-turbo and the latest 190hp twin-turbo now conform to the latest Euro 6D Temp emissions regulations, which come into force for light commercial vehicles in September 2019.

Features of the new Euro 6D Temp engines include steel pistons, 'Diamond-like Carbon Coating' for piston rings (to reduce friction), lower compression ratio and higher fuel injection pressure (2,200 bar instead of 2,000) with a new, more precise fuel pump.

There have also been changes to the water cooling system and the exhaust, which is more compact and efficient than before, reducing harmful NOx emissions.

What’s different about the 2019 NissanConnect media system?

Fitted as standard from the N-Connecta grade, the new NissanConnect infotainment system features an 8.0-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay for the first time.

That's an inch more screen space than before. It also works with Android Auto, and promises to be faster and more responsive, thanks in part to new multi-touch capability.

2019 Nissan Navara - new Nissan Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and increased smartphone integration

What’s more, the 2019 Navara has substantially increased smartphone integration, which means you’ll be able to remotely lock and unlock the Navara, activate the lights and horn, check fuel and fluid levels, pin-point its location and pre-set sat-nav routes all using your phone.

How much is the 2019 Nissan Navara, and when does it go sale?

Updated Nissan Navara pricing starts at £21,850 basic (excluding VAT) for the four-wheel drive King Cab in Visia specification with the new 163hp twin-turbo engine, new six-speed manual gearbox and new multi-link rear suspension.

That’s an increase of £1,350 compared with the previous version with the old specification – not a bad deal for the improvements, we reckon.

At the top of the range, a new Navara N-Guard Double Cab with seven-speed automatic transmission will set you back £31,125 basic, a £950 increase. N-Guard was intended to be a limited edition model originally, but its popularity sees it join the model range full time from now on.

Other trim choices are Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna.

All new versions are on sale from 1 July 2019, and expected to arrive in dealerships soon.

Also read:

>> Nissan Navara full review

>> The Parkers pickup group test – every double cab compared

>> New pickups coming soon – and recent launch round up