BUYERS GUIDE - UTES & CAB CHASSIS MEDIUM
The Navara D22 4WD single and dual cab model range was released in early 2002, with power from Nissan’s ZD30 diesel that was subsequently replaced in 2008 by a smaller, more efficient engine.
The engine update for the D22 was in early 2008, when the three-litre engine was replaced by a detuned version of the D40’s 2.5-litre, turbo-intercooled diesel.
The YD25 turbo diesel engine produced a claimed output of 98kW at 3600rpm and 304Nm of torque at 2000rpm, and employed common rail technology and a variable-nozzle turbocharger.
Externally, the 2008 Navara D22 scored a bonnet scoop, to channel air into the top-mounted intercooler.
The dual cab ST-R picked up anti-lock brakes, a sports bar and side steps, and was priced from $38,490.
Delivering 110kW of power at 3400rpm and 314Nm of torque at 2000rpm, the ZD30 engine improved the 2002 Navara’s performance and towing capacity went up to a class-leading 3000kg. Power was up 44 percent on the superseded QD32 engine and torque was up 42 percent.
The standard transmission was a five-speed manual with double-cone synchronisers on first and second gears. Ventilated front disc brakes and rear drums were standard.
Suspension across the range was double-wishbone front with an anti-roll bar and leaf rear. Revisions to the suspension were supposed to improve ride comfort and handling, but the D22 was very stiff in the rear, unless loaded.
In February 2003 the D22 Navara dual cab DX and ST-R models were available with a 3.3-litre petrol engine option. The VG33E from the Pathfinder wagon generated 125kW of power at 4800rpm and 266Nm of torque at 2800rpm.
As with the ZD30 turbo diesel ST-R dual cab, the 3.3-litre Navara ST-R models were fitted with aluminium wheels and 255/70 R16 tyres.
Nissan claimed ‘substantial revisions to the suspension have improved ride comfort and handling’, but we couldn’t pick much difference.
Changes to the range included a single in-dash CD player in all models and the option of dual front airbags.
In May 2004 the Navara ST-R was given an update that included chrome power mirrors, revised interior colours, revised suspension (again) and wider 265/70R16 AT tyres.
Standard driver’s side airbag and seatbelt pretensioners, and optional passenger’s side airbag were available.
The Navara 4WD range remained as one single cab model, the $33,340 DX 3.0-litre turbo-diesel and DX and ST-R dual cabs with the choice of diesel or petrol engines. Pricing ranged $38,840 to $43,490.
In October 2005 Nissan previewed the new D40 Navara and stated that the D22 models would continue in parallel.
Despite Nissan’s best efforts the D22’s suspension is its weak link. Ride quality is poor, so an after-market suspension is necessary. A 50mm ground clearance lift is a bonus.
Like all part-time 4WD utes without stability and traction control the D22 Navara can do with a self-locking rear diff to control wheel spin when in two wheel drive, ideally matched by a driver controlled front locking diff.