Nissan has finally announced the anticipated upgrade to the Navara pick-up for the Philippine market. With 8 variants spread out amongst 6 distinct grades, the Navara should give Nissan a good boost in the sales charts especially in a much more competitive pick-up truck category.
During the premiere held for members of the press last March 8, Nissan gave us a run down of those many mechanical upgrades, design updates, and new features for the 2021 Navara, but we still had questions particularly with price.
No, Nissan Philippines president Atsushi Najima didn't make any price announcements during the event or during our long drive to and in Ilocos Norte. But from the indicators we gather, the pricing still needs finalization because of problems brought about by the safeguard bonds being imposed by the government on imported vehicles. The Navara, being a vehicle meant for cargo, will be affected by a PHP 110,000 safeguard bond because it is imported from Thailand.
Still, we were assured that the new Navara will be very competitively priced versus pick-ups of similar grades from other automakers, and that's with safeguard bonds imposed. As to how competitive, we will have to wait and see on March 21.
Unlike the 2015 launch of the Navara as a new generation model, 2021 will see it being launched as a facelift upgrade. Three of its leading competitors – the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, and Mitsubishi Strada – also received facelifts as well, but perhaps the most significant competitor is the Isuzu D-Max which is a new generation model. And Isuzu went all out with the features, particularly with the LSE variant.
While the Navara has been upgraded, the rest of the class is also stepping up. So Nissan thought they'd do something different, and that's why the company will implement a new 5-year warranty for the Navara.
That means the truck will have the longest bumper-to-bumper warranty in the class as the competition mostly have a 3-year warranty. Mazda has a different strategy with the aging BT-50 (which is due to be replaced with an all-new model too); it also has 3-year warranty, but they do have a 5-year free PMS plan. Ford offers a 5-year warranty for the Ranger but we're not sure if that's an optional extra. Nevertheless, this generation of Ranger has been around much longer than the Navara as Ford first launched it in 2011.
Will an extra 2 years of warranty coverage for the 2021 Navara make it more attractive to customers? Let us know what you think in the comments below.