Nissan in the United Kingdom has announced a raft of updates for its Navara, handing the bakkie increased payload figures and improved connectivity as well as more torque for the base engine.

It’s not yet clear whether Nissan South Africa has plans to tweak its local Navara range with similar updates, but it’s worth noting the bakkie is due to go into local production in Rosslyn in 2020. At that point, we can expect the local offering to expand.

Updates to the Navara include a newly developed six-speed manual gearbox (with longer gear ratios and a shorter shift pattern), revised alloy wheel designs, black bezel inlays for the LED headlamps and the latest in-car connectivity.

Meanwhile, the multi-link rear suspension system has also been revised with new dual-stage coil springs raising the rear end by 25 mm and improving the Navara’s payload by up to 46 kg (dependent on derivative).

The base 120 kW 2,3-litre turbodiesel engine (not currently offered in South Africa) is now fitted with two turbochargers, similar to the higher powered 140 kW version, to produce 425 N.m of torque (up 22 units on the previous version).

The Japanese firm claims safety has also been improved in the form of a reduced stopping distance along with a 40 percent reduction in braking force. This has been achieved by ditching the rear drum brakes for discs and increasing the front items by 4 mm in size.

Inside, the latest-generation Nissan Connect infotaiment system is offered in the UK, featuring an eight-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay. New features include smartphone integration, with owners able to locate as well as lock/unlock the vehicle, plus check fuel and fluid levels, and send a destination to the vehicle’s navigation system ahead of departure.