As a convert to utes I was looking forward to getting my hands on the Nissan Navara! The dual cab Black model I was given to test was a fabulous looking beast of a machine!! I totally get why people are attracted to their rough and rugged looks!! With SO many people driving utes as family cars I wanted to find out if it is also a good BabyDrive!
The Navara interior cab storage was average. Square cup holders in the central console meant anything you put in there rattled when driving because it wasn't gripped in any way. No storage areas are lined, which means more rattling, especially on the rough terrain the Navara is designed for! And there are no cup holders in the back at all?!
I will let Nissan off though, as the Navara has my favourite the cup holders at the ends of the dashboard!! l LOVE them as you can easily cool your drink with the aircon vent and it's easy to reach your drink while driving!
The tray had unlimited storage really! It held 24 shopping bags when empty and within the reachable area from the tailgate, I could reach the first two rows of bags. I could get the Mountain Buggy Duet twin stroller with four shopping bags beside it.
The Britax Flexx stroller fits with 8 shopping bags beside it and the Britax Flexx tandem stroller with six shopping bags beside it.
The Britax Holiday compact stroller is so small it would fit in the tray with the 24 bags or I put it in the footwell in the cab!
There is no ISO Fix in the Navara so you need to use the seatbelts to attach child seats. There are three top tether webbing loops behind the headrests of the three back seats.
I fitted two child seats in the Navara, the Britax Unity infant capsule (rear facing) in one outer seat and the Britax Graphene (rear facing) in the other outer seat.
The fastening method for the top tethers is passing the top tether strap under the headrest, through the loop behind that seat and then across to the central seat's loop where it clips on. It means both outer child seats end up clipped onto the central seats's webbing loop.
Now there is a lot of discussion about the installation of child seats in the Navara and all utes.
I asked the salesmen if the webbing loops were safe to have three child seats installed but could not get a concrete answer. Nor from Nissan themselves.
The Navara interior feels hardwearing and durable, like it was designed for off-roading and working rather than the comforts of family life as it just lacks a little of the softer touches that some utes have to make them feel more family friendly.
The media system does not have Apple Car Play or Android Auto, but it does have sat nav. Unfortunately, I could not work out how to mute the sat nav voice!
I found driving the Navara was enjoyable, it feels like a work horse though, the engine is very noisy especially accelerating and going up hills which would definitely disturb a sleeping passenger!
The Navara has seven airbags and scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2015.