Rate It: The Smaller Nissan Truck That Is Too Good for North America, Apparently

Even though we have been stuck with the Nissan Frontier since 2005, the rest of the world got this, the Nissan Navara, back in 2014.

Named for the Navarre region of Spain, the Navara can be had in both gasoline- and diesel-powered versions paired to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, depending on the market.

Speaking of markets, if you want a Navara, but don't want a Nissan badge on the hood, you could also buy one of its badge-engineered cousins, the Renault Alaskan, Dongfeng Rich 6 or the Mercedes-Benz X-Class:

So why doesn't Nissan replace the long-in-the-tooth Frontier with the Navara? We're sure there is a boardroom full of reasons, but it's still a shame the more modern Nissan truck isn't an option for our neck of the woods.

Would you be interested in the Navara—or even any of its badge-engineered cousins—or would you still rather have something like a Ford Ranger or a Chevrolet Colorado?

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View comments on the GRM forums
Vajingo New Reader
9/22/20 4:20 p.m.

Face looks like...

Error404 Reader
9/22/20 4:24 p.m.

I'm not in the market for an oversized, mall-cruising truck with a pointlessly short bed, so no. Same goes for any late model pickup. 

If they made it more "aggressive", and "masculine", and sold it with "off-road" wheels then they could probably do fairly well against the F150s and 1500s rolling around suburbia. 

jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/22/20 5:51 p.m.

Mercedes-badged vanilla Nissan pickup with a CVT?

jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/22/20 6:01 p.m.

I’d have the Dongfeng Rich 6 EV though, just to confuse people at the charging station...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/22/20 8:12 p.m.

Saw a ton of these in Hanoi (Vietnam) last year when i was there. Still far less than Ford Rangers, but Navaras were probably the 2nd-most populous trucks I saw there. All of them had all kinds of aftermarket stuff on them too.....bumpers, racks, covers, etc. 

Hanoi was full of interesting late-model midsize pickups, which is pretty curious since it's a very difficult city to navigate in anything larger than a subcompact or 2-wheeler (we were in a Land Rover Prada, which was way too big for many areas it seemed). 

Also saw these Ford Ranger "Hi-Riders" which looked very similar

and a lot of these Mazda trucks of some sort...

And wierd Mitsubishi Tritons


nocones UltraDork
9/22/20 9:13 p.m.

I'm assuming we don't get these because if the chicken tax?  It makes no sense to build this in nafta and export. I'm always suprised though that it makes more sense to engineer a completely different vehicle for US use.  Our (midsize/compact)  truck requirements simply can't be that different then the rest of the world.  Why they don't tool up an existing world design for build in nafta for sales in the Americas is wierd.  

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/22/20 9:47 p.m.

Most likely due to the Tax.  Doesn't nissan have plants here in North America?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/22/20 9:53 p.m.
Vajingo said:

Face looks like...

Can't argue with that. 

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/23/20 12:05 a.m.

Premise is flawed. It's not smaller than our Frontier. And 'designing a midsize just for the US' starts to make more sense when you design it in 2004 and then continue making it largely unchanged for 15 more years!  A lot of stuff that isn't sold here is because it would fold up ugly-like in a US crash test. I don't know if thats the case for this vehicle. I sort of doubt it as i remember some talk of MB trying to bring the X truck here a while back. A lot of them (foreign market midsize trucks) also don't have any drivetrains that would fly in the US since their bread and butter is their diesels which dont meet our emissions regs and their gas options tend to be pretty weak. We live in a country where people complain about 300hp 4 cylinders.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/23/20 3:02 a.m.

I'd much rather have a Frontier. 1.) all the bugs are worked out and/or well documented after so many years. 2.) it's a really good truck, drives nice, and gets ok fuel mileage. 3.) it's pretty damn cheap for what it is.

Mazdax605 PowerDork
9/23/20 8:00 a.m.

Toyota sells a mid-sized (like the Tacoma) truck called the Hilux pretty much everywhere other than North America. I personally think it looks better than the Tacoma, but maybe I'm odd. Mitsubishi sells a cool truck like this as well, but we don't get it here.

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
9/23/20 8:14 a.m.

The reason we do not have these Nissan trucks is because of the threat that this represented:  

to this back in 1964:  

otherwise known as The Chicken Tax.

noddaz UltraDork
9/24/20 6:59 a.m.

Nissan has pretty good products.  Not great, not bad.  Just pretty good.  But for the fact that Nissan corporate and Nissan North America would be involved, no.  No Nissan for me.

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