The Nissan NP300 Navara and Toyota Hilux are two of the biggest names on the local pickup market. Toyota launched the 2021 version of its pickup recently, and Nissan is expected to follow suit very soon. Since the 2021 Nissan NP300 Navara sold locally is a carryover 2020 model, will the year model difference automatically make the Hilux the better truck? We find out in this Navara and Hilux pickup truck comparison.
All of the Navara’s 10 variants are powered 2.5-liter diesel engine option that supplies the pickup’s upper range with 187hp and 450Nm of torque. A lesser-powered version of this engine powers the lower trims with 158hp and 403Nm. Nissan pairs this engine with either a 7-speed automatic transmission with manual mode or 6-speed manual, depending on trim.
Powering Toyota’s new workhorse is a pair of GD-FTV engines— one is 2.8-liter (1GD-FTV, 201hp with 420 – 500Nm of torque depending on transmission) for the 4x4 models, and the other is a 2.4-liter (2GD-FTV, 148hp and 400Nm) for the 4x2 variants. Both engines are 16-valve, DOHC diesel engines with variable nozzle turbo and front-mounted intercooler. Transmission varies between 6-speed automatic and 6-speed manual, depending on trim.
The Navara's exterior design is bold and composed, with confident testosterone-filled stance, delivering the right mixture of muscular and sleek design. Up front, it comes with Nissan's V-motion chrome-plated grille, sweptback LED headlights with daytime running lights (DRLs), halogen foglamps, and wide fender flares. At the sides, the Navara’s style is enhanced by chrome door handles, roof rails, and side step. You also can't miss this pickup's distinctive character lines, which adds to the Navara's muscular yet sleek appeal. The rear gets a tailgate-mounted spoiler, which further lends the Navara a touch of sportiness.
The tough and rugged exterior that the Hilux is known for is ever present even in the pickup’s latest version. The 18-inch alloy wheels (17-inch on 4x2 models) give this mid-size pickup truck the beefy stance it deserves, with a wheelbase of 3085mm and dimensions that max out 5325mm x 1900mm x 1845mm. Other notable exterior features include outside steppers, bi-beam LED headlamps, front fog lights, power adjustable mirrors, sports bar, power antenna, and outside rearview mirror turn indicator.
Winner: Nissan NP300 Navara
Inside, the Navara features a plush black surfaces with the center console standing out from the dashboard due to its glossy black finish. Silver highlights give the interior a smart and stylish accent. The pickup also offers a choice between leather and fabric seat upholstery. Other quality interior furnishings include a 3D TFT drive computer display, 8-way power driver seat Intelligent Key with Push Engine Start/Stop, auto dimming rearview mirror with compass, illuminated vanity mirrors, and 8-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Behind the steering wheel of the new Hilux lies a 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display that also comes with tabs that indicate shift range indicators, outside temperature, an “Eco” monitor, and other important trip information. To enhance the driving experience, the Hilux has modern features like hands-free Bluetooth mobile device connectivity, accessed via the large 8-inch touchscreen (6.75-inch on lower models) that also comes with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and Smart Device Link capabilities, as well as AM/FM/ Bluetooth/USB compatibility. The Hilux infotainment system boasts six speakers to handle the audio output (only four in lower trims).
Winner: Toyota Hilux
Safety-wise, the Navara comes standard with anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger airbag, brake-limited slip differential, vehicle dynamic control (VDC), and ISOFIX. Nissan's pickup is equipped with the brand's Intelligent Mobility technology, and advanced safety package that includes an around view monitor, which gives you a 360-degree bird's eye view of the truck that will come in handy when you're parking. The said tech, available in the Navara’s upper trims, also includes hill start assist and hill descent control.
The new Hilux retains its Auto Disconnect Differential and Differential Lock of the 4x4 models for better road grip. Likewise, Toyota increased the pickup’s relative ease of operation with the better-placed drive mode selection switch on the dashboard. Complementing the differential enhancements is an Active Traction Control (A-TRC) system that delivers power to the wheels with traction using brake fluid pressure and engine control. Other noteworthy safety enhancements include hill-start assist control, downhill assist control, vehicle stability control, and the signature Toyota Vehicle Security System (TVSS).
Winner: Toyota Hilux
Great strides were made to ensure the Navara’s cabin feels as sedan-like as possible. And thanks to a fully boxed ladder frame, high strength chassis, and multi-link coil-spring suspension system that breaks away from the traditional leaf spring mold, this pickup has arguably the best ride comfort than any other option out there, if reviews are to be believed. Add a 3500kg towing and 1315kg payload capacity to the equation, and you’ve got an entirely enticing pickup truck prospect in your hands.
The body of the eighth-generation Hilux is made sturdier by an improved ladder chassis and reinforced deck structure that imbues the construction with a 20-percent increase in torsional rigidity. This, along with other reinforcements, elevates the Hilux’s payload capacity to a maximum of 1115kg. Towing capacity maxes out at 3175kg.
Winner: Nissan NP300 Navara
Pricing and options
The 2021 Nissan NP300 Navara is available in 10 different trims, with a price range of PHP929,000 to PHP1.71 million. Five paint color options are on the table for the Navara buyer, including Alpine White, Galaxy Black, Brilliant Silver, Earth Brown, and Savanna Orange.
The 2021 Toyota Hilux offers a whopping 13 variants in all. Priced between PHP843,000 and PHP1.85 million, there are eight color options to choose from for the 2021 Hilux, including a new signature color, Emotional Red.
Winner: Toyota Hilux
Truth to tell, it’s hard to choose between these two formidable pickup nameplates. With their respective advantages just slightly edging out the other, it would appear that these workhorses are evenly matched. While the Navara has the larger capacity numbers, the Hilux has the more powerful engine. Likewise, the Navara may be cheaper range-wise, but the Hilux offers tons of options, especially with a cab and chassis version. Ultimately, the choice between the two will fall on an owner’s hauling needs. Choose the Hilux if you’re looking for more variety. If you’re tired of the usual pickup suspension system, then you might want to give the Navara’s coil-centric suspension a try.
Want to see more pickup options out there? Check out our selection here at Carmudi.
Photos from Nissan, Toyota