Celebrating passion with style with the Magnite and Navara

I was part of a media contingent that was invited to join Nissan in celebration of two of its locally-produced models. The former showcases the valuable lifestyle features that Nissan offers to the B-SUV market.
Image supplied
Image supplied

We started off right from the heart of the city of gold, Johannesburg, and headed out to Hartbeespoort Dam in the Magnite and would later swop to the Navara to tackle the Magalies Meander unforgiving terrain.

The Nissan Magnite is proving a popular choice among South Africans in the market for a compact sports utility vehicle (SUV), and not just for its stylish design, innovative technology and dynamic road presence. It’s also crammed with safety features to keep its occupants comfortable, secure and safe.

Magnite safety features

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) helps prevent the wheels from locking up when the brakes are applied suddenly, allowing the driver steer in emergencies by restoring traction to the tyres. Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) changes the amount of braking power sent to each wheel, providing stronger and safer braking performance in emergency situations. Nissan Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) is the electronic stability control system found on Nissan's vehicles, including the Magnite. It can help prevent under- and over-steer by reducing engine speed and applying the brakes individually on specific wheels.

Shine bright

The Magnite was a breeze to drive in heavy traffic. Comfortable with all the bells and whistles one could ever need. Best in class Bi-Projector LED headlamps to make it easier for the driver to see potential hazards, while LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) make it easier for the Magnite to be seen, whatever the weather.

‘Vara Vara’

The Nissan Navara is packed with Nissan Intelligent Motoring (NIM) features and is built with the capability to withstand the diverse driving conditions of South Africa and Africa. The 5-link coil rear suspension enables drivers to make the most of any terrain, providing a comfortable and stable ride. During his address, Nissan South Africa Marketing Director Stefan Haasbroek, reiterated that the Navara builds on the 60-year heritage of building reliable light commercial vehicles.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

A fact supported by Nissan South Africa managing director Kabelo Rabotho.“With a full product line-up, the Nissan Navara is set to cater to our customers' diverse needs. Furthermore, the local production means we can continue to contribute positively to our communities and country at large,” says Rabotho.

With the Navara being key to Nissan’s expansion strategy across Africa, it will continue to play a role in redefining the continent’s manufacturing landscape.

“With manufacturing hubs in South Africa and Egypt, assembly plants in Nigeria and most recently, Ghana, the light commercial vehicle will reach our markets in West and East Africa. We celebrate the Nissan Navara as a finalist in its ‘Car of the Year’ awards segment,” says Mike Whitfield, Nissan Africa‘s managing director.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj


The Nissan Navara includes developments to styling, technology, safety and overall performance. The result is an improved driving experience, enhanced ride comfort and load carrying capacity that positions the Navara as the leading bakkie in its segment. The Navara is known for its rugged redefined looks, robust capabilities, reliability and versatility, making it one of the most respected and anticipated models within the Nissan line-up and around the world. These qualities have been enhanced across the board, with particular attention paid to engineering for South African road conditions, including off-road capabilities.

Nissan Connect

The all-new Nissan Navara also boasts an infotainment system with NissanConnect and 8” touch screen, modernised styling and high-power specs that are sure to impress both existing customers and those looking for a new workhorse or adventure vehicle. Nissan believes in the new Navara and the warranty plan of six-year/150,000km speaks true to that.

Powered up

The new Nissan Navara is powered by a tried and tested 2.5l turbocharged diesel engine, which allows Nissan to meet their customers’ requirements for low running costs, reliability and performance. The 2.5l power train is available in two levels of output. The high output engine, available on higher grade models, delivers 140kW power and 450Nm torque, while the mid-output engine, delivering 120kW power and 403Nm, the most powerful engine in the entry and mid grades bakkie segment.

Mobility with intelligence

The inclusion of Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) makes this range the most technology-advanced Navara yet – and the safest too. Intelligent driving tools can be paired with additional driver assistance that helps you see more, sense more and take swifter action. One particular feature is Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, which monitors sudden movements of up to two vehicles ahead and alerts the driver of potential collision risk.


I have to say that the ‘Vara Vara’ looks damn good. Invitingly good, in fact. Now here is a ‘bakkie’ that ticks all the boxes. And when we engaged the 4x4 mode to tackle some very rough and tough Magalies Meander terrain, the Navara went through the motions with aplomb. Over steep craggy rocks, stones and small boulders to running flat out, leaving a wake of dirt and dust behind us. You can say we ‘rocked it’ and the Navara kept asking for more. The Nissan Navara certainly did not disappoint. So whether you’re looking for the right vehicle to support your business growth or to explore South Africa’s remote and beautiful wildernesses, there is a Navara model for you. It’s as they say: Rugged, Robust and Reliable.


  • Magnite 1.0T Acenta MT from R287,700
  • Navara 2.5 4x2 MT from R509,500

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on
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