Our current vehicle
We have a 2012 Nissan Navara 4x4 Crewcab utility. It has a 2.5 litre Common Rail Turbo Charged Intercooled diesel engine and with its 400 nm of torque is is quite capable of towing our 2 tonne caravan. Fuel consumption is somewhat disappointing however: without the caravan this vehicle achieves around 10 - 12 litres/100km, quite good but once the van is hooked on this figure jumps dramatically to around 17 litres/100km!.
Why this happens is quite easy to explain: firstly, adding two tonnes of square brick (caravan) hanging on the back is of course going to add to the amount of fuel required but what also increases this usage is its automatic transmission, it is a 5 speed tranny and 5th gear is over-drive, all is well when traveling along a flat highway, at 90 - 95 km/hr (our usual speed) the tacho is sitting on around 1700 RPM in OD, problem is that as soon as the slighest hill is encountered the transmission will drop back to 4th and the revs jump to 2500 or more!, and there goes economy.
In hindsight perhaps a manual transmission would have been a better choice. I also had issues with the suspension...you can see more of that in the slideshow.
Update note....the vehicle has now travelled over 20'000km and the fuel consumption seems to have improved, it was suggested to me that this would happen...a recent check returned 11.12L/100km in a mixture of city and country driving, with the caravan 15.2L/100km was gained on our western trip so while this improvement is welcome it does show that a diesel engine equipped with modern refinements such as turbo charged induction and a common rail will not necesarily be frugal on fuel.
Update...our ANZAC trip of 2015 recorded an average consumption of 14.76L/100km, this compares to 16.03L/100km averaged on our maiden trip over roughly the same route, the latest check on city driving resulted in 9.97L/100km, the vehicle has now traveled 30'000km.
Update. July 2018....the Navara has now travelled over 70'000 km and I have to admit I have become quite attached....those 70K km have been absoultely trouble free!....since the last update we have installed a canopy which has made a major improvement, the standard tyres were replaced at 67'000 km. A snorkel has also been fitted.
Fuel consumption average hovers around 15 L/100km and given that most of our travels include towing the caravan I consider this acceptable.
I am not however completly satisfied with the automatic transmission's performance; this five speed unit spends too much time in 4th, 5th gear is an overdrive and the slightest hill or head wind will cause it to downshift, this results in driving along what appears to be a level road at 90 km (our usual touring speed with the 'van) at 2500 - 3000 RPM rather than the 2000 RPM in 5th.
Other than that all is well, sadly I would not contemplate purchasing another Nissan product due to the very poor servicing experience I had earlier on. The latest photo can be seen below.
Crew-cab utility, four wheel drive. Our tow vehicle.
Click photo for a slideshow...navigate via the arrows.
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