Almost two years ago, we reported that Nissan is working on a Navara-based SUV. AutoIndustriya.com spoke to Takashi Fukui, Chief Vehicle Engineer at Nissan during the global media drive of the NP300 Navara. When asked if Nissan will be entering a challenger in the PPV segment, the engineer did confirm the company's plan to enter the segment, saying that they are indeed in the middle of developing a PPV. The new model was further confirmed during our plant visit in Thailand.
There have been little updates regarding the new, pickup-based SUV from Nissan but now, spy shot agency CarPix has scooped what seems to be a test mule from the said automaker. While heavily camouflaged, one will recognize the V-Motion grill of the NP300 Navara in front. From the A-pillar backwards, it appears to have all-new sheet metal featuring a rather squared-off and upright look. The rear section of the car meanwhile suggests a two way opening tailgate, either with the entire hatch of through the glass. In addition, the rear design is somewhat similar to a D40 Pathfinder.
If this is indeed the NP300-based PPV, it will be the company's first SUV to be based on a one ton pickup after four years. The last PPV Nissan made was the third-generation Terrano which was not sold in the country. Nissan previously sold the second generation Terrano in the Philippines during the mid to late 90's and has not offered a similar vehicle in the country since then. During our interview with Fukui, he mentioned that the Navara-based SUV may be as far as four years away. With the PPV class being one of the biggest sellers in the ASEAN region, it is possible that Nissan will be re-entering the segment sooner than we think.
Based on the images of the test mule, we couldn't help but notice similarities of the rear part to that of the R51 Nissan Pathfinder which they temporarily fused in for testing purposes.
You'll be one of the first to know once we have more info about this new Nissan PPV SUV.