used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

As catchy as advertising taglines come, they don’t get much better that “Mother Trucker” – which brings to mind just one pickup – the .

Big and capable, across its three-generations, the Nissan Navara has built a reputation as a somewhat inbetween choice between the mainstream workhorse pickups such as the and , and newer lifestyle centric pickups such as the , , and .

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

Macho… and Japanese as it may be, the Navara unfortunately does not have quite the reputation for reliability as the Hilux and D-Max. But is that true or just hearsay? Because at RM 80k, it makes one mother trucking good alternative to the Hilux, so let’s check it out.

The Nissan Navara NP 300 range in Malaysia

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

The (D23 generation) NP 300 Navara was first introduced in Malaysia by distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) at the end of 2015 replacing the D40 Navara which popularized the “Mother Trucker” tagline due to its large size and macho stance.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

At launch, the D23 Navara NP 300 was made available in 6 imported (CBU Thailand) variants ranging between RM 90k for the cheapest double-cab “E” variant up to RM 121k for the range-topping VL variant.

The sole powertrain option was the (YD25DDTi) 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel which developed 163 PS and 403 Nm in the lower variants, and bumped up to 190 PS and 450 Nm in the VL trim.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

Two transmissions were on offer, a six-speed manual (offered on lower/single-cab variants) whilst the V and VL range-topper received a new 7-speed automatic transmission. All models are supplied with all-wheel drive, switchable on-the-fly at speeds of up to 100 km/h.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

A defining feature of the D23 Navara was its multi-link rear suspension, which replaced the commonplace leaf-spring rear setup (although single-cab variants still got the latter).

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

According to Nissan, the new design promised similar load-carrying performance whilst offering increased levels of passenger comfort when unladen – and if you’ve ever driven a Navara, you likely will agree.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

SIngle-vab variants still got leaf-spring rear suspension

As for safety the Navara was equipped with a comprehensive safety kit including 2-airbags, ABS, EBD Dynamic Control (VDC), traction control, brake-based Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC) on the ‘SE’ and up variants.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

In 2017, the Navara also received the Black Series trim level – which an introduced aesthetic package matte front grille, matte fog lamp surrounds, side mirror caps, front and rear overfenders, and sport bar. The interior additionally received leather seats. The Black Series was factory fitted and offered on the SE, V, and VL variants for a premium of approximately RM 5k.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

The next big change for the Navara came in 2018 when ETCM introduced the VL Plus variant. Highlighting increased safety and convenience features – the VL Plus gets the Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM), the Advanced Driver-Assist Display digital instrument cluster as well as a class-leading (at the time) 7-airbags for RM 120k.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

In 2021, the facelifted D23 Navara introduced sweeping changes in design inside and out. A thoroughly redesigned front end highlighted a more aggressive appearance whilst the redesigned rear tailgate and light assembly added a touch of modernity.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

The 2021 Nissan Navara received a comprehensive styling update, although under the skin, the powertrain is the same as before

The big news was the addition of a new top-spec variant, dubbed the Navara Pro 4X which included further blacked out aesthetic components, 17-inch gloss black wheels.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

Elsewhere, the mechanical bits remain as before. Prices of the double-cab variants starts at RM 110k for the 2.5L SE MT and rises to just over RM 142k for Pro-4X (AT).

Market prices and which variant to buy?

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

Between the RM 80k to 90k range, a prospective buyer will have plenty of options of the between 2017 – 2019 models of the Navara. Depending on age, mileage and condition, you will be able to choose between the V and VL variants.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

Thus, in this context, we would recommend going for the range topping VL variant with the full list of safety and convenience features.

Prices typically range between RM 70k and RM 87k for the 2016 – 2018 Navara V variants, whereas the VL variant will typically costs about RM 2-4k more depending on age and condition.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

The D23 Navara was the first in-class pickup to introduce rear A/C vents

Given all Navara variants are the same under the skin, the running cost between V and VL variants do not differ by much.

Here’s a shortlist of the basic running costs of the Navara.

D23 Nissan Navara NP300 basic running cost
Variant 2.5L V 2.5 VL
Road tax (RM) 830
Tyres 255/70 R16 255/60 R18
Tyres/pc (RM) 350 550
Battery (D26L/D31L) 370/450

As always, a comprehensive service history goes a long way in allowing you to properly plan and execute subsequent maintenance.

Common problems of the D23 Nissan Navara NP300

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

Compared to its predecessor the D40, the D23 Navara represented a step-up in reliability and build quality.

Here’s a simplified table of the basic maintenance schedule for the D23 Nissan Navara NP300:

D23 Nissan Navara NP300 maintenance shcedule and cost
Maintenance / Interval Items Cost (RM)
Oil change / 10k km Engine oil, filter, sump washer 220
Air filter / 40k km Engine air filter 30
Fuel filter / 30k km Fuel filter element 200
Cabin filter / 20k km A/C filter 80
Brake service / 20k km Replace Brake fluid 220
Transmission service / 45k km ATF oil and filter 950
Front differential / 160k km Differential oil
Rear differential / 160k km Differential oil
Transfer case / 160k km ATF oil
Coolant / 160k km Replace coolant 250

Besides rountine maintenance, there are a few common issues you must be aware of when buying a used D23 Navara.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

The chief of which are oil leaks, now, these issues are isolated in most cases, and mostly due to irregular maintenance. Additionally, depending on where these leaking seals and gaskets are, repairs can be minor (such as oil sump gasket) or major, like a main bearing seal, due to workmanship costs and not necessarily parts.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

Oil sump leaks are among the more common issues on the D23 Navara. Image

With that said, it is wise to get your prosepctive D23 Navara properly inspected by a experienced mechanic or specialist before purchase. It's also wise to get the car up on a hoist to inspect the undercarriage and ladder frame for signs of damange or rust.

The following are issues to look out for, and their relative repair costs.

D23 Nissan Navara NP300 common issues and repairs
Part Symptom Cost
(RM)
Oil sump gasket Leaking 200
Timing cover seal Leaking 300
Turbo down pipe Inlet flange leaking 900
Rear main bearing seal Leaking 1,400
Transmission sump Leaking (Requires ATF oil drainage) 300
Turbine boost regulator actuator Loss of power / increased fuel consumption 1,100
Rear absorber Noises from rear end / poor ride quality 850

Be advised that overloading and regular haulage of heavy goods have been known to prematurely wear out the rear shock absorbers and suspension links. During the test drive – look out for sqeaky or creaking noises from the rear, as this could be an early sign.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

Aside from this, the D23 Navara is mostly known to be a steadfast and reliable pickup truck with decent build quality.

Conclusion

Given the D23 Navara is the only pickup truck in our market with a multi-link coil sprung rear suspension setup, it offers a comfortable, almost SUV-like, ride quality which is great if you plan to use your Navara mostly on-road, over long distances.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

The D23 Navara is best deemed as a usable and stylish lifestyle-centric pickup which can also handle the rough stuff every once in a while – and if that's what you're looking for, then it is a great option at better prices than the Hilux or Triton.

used nissan navara np300 - 5-year old ones at rm 80k, cheaper alternative to the hilux but is it better?

However, it is wise to note that if you want a extremely tough pickup truck that can handle heavy duty work and frequent offroad excursions, than you're better off with a Toyota Hilux or Isuzu D-Max.

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