Nissan Navara King Cab Review - Return of the King (Cab)


Nissan’s King Cab Navara has come and gone from the range over the years, but it’s back once again.

Words: Kyle Cassidy   |   Photos Tom Gasnier
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For those unaware, the King Cab is a cab-and-a-half design, one with extra room behind the front seats, where you’ll find a pair of fold away pews, accessed by reverse-hinged doors. One thing you may find odd is that the King Cab is around about the same price as the double cab equivalent and, in the case of this ST-X, is actually $1000 more expensive.

You’d think because there was less cab space, it would be a few grand cheaper, but they say it’s down to the build process and the complexity of the roof and freestyle rear door. It’s why the King Cab option has been an irregular feature in the past but the way the ute market is going ahead at present, Nissan NZ is giving it another nudge.

The powertrain is still one of the better options in the ute-sphere.

It’s the 2+2 of the ute world, the cab-and-a-half design seeing a couple of seats in the back, although a perch would be a more apt descriptor. You wouldn’t really want to be sat back there for any lengthy period as the seat back is bolt upright and leg room is scant.

It might be doable for the ride down to the pie shop at smoko but really they are occasional seats for kids. There are two three-point seat belts and the side air curtain extends back as well. Those seats are likely to spend most of their life compacted up and out of the way, creating a storage space with a reasonably flat floor for your more precious stuff to be locked away securely.

Access to this storage area of the King Cab is via rear-hinged freestyle doors, which open up wide (after opening the front door that is) and there’s no pillar to obstruct entry.

And if you should shut the front door prior to closing the rear one first, you’re not going to dent the paint work as the freestyle door is lined with plastic in the right place to ensure there is no clash of metal.

The King Cab has the same 5255mm overall length as the ST-X with four proper doors, but with less space given over to passengers, there’s more room in the tray, where it’s nearly 300mm longer. Measured at the base it extends to 1788mm. The quoted payload is 961kg, 30kg more than the ST-X double cab, and the tow rating is the same at 3500kg braked.

On the go you notice more of a jiggle to the progress and that’s due mainly to King Cabs being fitted with leaf springs on the rear in place of the more supple coils of the double cab. Over short frequency bumps, like those awkward corrugations that can form on uphill metal gradients, it can get a bit bumpy with nothing on the back.

Peugeot 508 GT

But then you’ll probably opt for the King Cab because you’re the type that needs the tray space, so you’ll likely have a load on more often than not to help settle things. The rear end is not so stiff that it upsets the demeanor of the chassis, the Navara King Cab still steering well.

We just wish they’d sort that steering wheel; it’s too easy to bump the horn when you’re turning around with the button extending down the middle spoke right to the rim.

The powertrain is still one of the better options in the ute-sphere. The twin-turbo 2.3-litre gives a good serve of surge from 1500rpm and has a healthy pull through the mids to just past 4000rpm. Its seven-speed auto can either be left in Drive or manually persuaded through its gears, if you must.

There are no drive modes or idle stop features to worry about here, so that’s good. This ST-X grade gets all the same goodies as the double cab with leather-trimmed electric and heated seats, a smart key, sat nav, and a 360 degree camera.

The King Cab is available in three spec variants priced from $48,990 but only available as a 4x4.

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