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The new-generation Isuzu D-Max has been a smash hit since arriving in Australia a few months back, particularly in flagship X-Terrain guise.

This range-topping variant now has a waiting list of at least a few months, such is the level of customer demand relative to factory supply.

Nissan has decided to go down a similar path to Isuzu with its more rugged-looking updated Navara Pro-4X flagship due in early 2021. It’s an offering with a lengthened list of creature comforts and a tough styling package.

This pair are billed as more affordable competitors to the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Toyota HiLux Rugged X (the latter has a few more underbody changes).

With the cupboard of existing real-world comparison tests getting bare at year’s end, we decided to make an ‘on paper’ specs comparison between this pair to see how the new Nissan stacks up – before we get to test it in the real world.

Price and features

The automatic-only D-Max X-Terrain wears a sharp drive-away price of $58,990. We’re not going to cite manufacturer’s list price because it’s become an irrelevant figure in the ute market.

By contrast the Navara Pro-4X costs $59,790 drive-away as a manual or $61,290 as an auto. Both of these prices are for ABN holders – Nissan is yet to announce any other type of price.

Both come with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with auto function, automatic wipers, roof rails and fender flares, and a tub liner from the accessory catalogue fitted. The Nissan comes standard with darkened rear privacy glass and a sliding rear window.

The Isuzu is fitted with highway terrain tyres (Bridgestone Duelers on the ones we have tested) while the Nissan uses all-terrains (Yokohama Geolanders in the press images).

The Nissan also gets rails running along the tub sidewalls with moveable tie-down points, and a counterweighted tailgate. The Isuzu counters this with a sliding hard tonneau cover.

Inside both come with proximity key access, dual-zone climate control, leather-accented seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat-nav, and a digital speedo.

The Nissan has an overhead-view camera and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, while the Isuzu counters with a remote start function, a larger touchscreen (9.0-inch versus 8.0-inch), and wireless Apple CarPlay.

Isuzu D-Max X-TerrainNissan Navara Pro-4X
Wheels18-inch grey alloys18-inch black alloys
TyresBridgestone Dueler H/TYokohama Geolander A/T
HeadlightsAutomatic LEDAutomatic LED
Privacy glassNoStandard
Auto wipersStandardStandard
Roof railsStandardStandard
Fender flaresStandardStandard
Sports barSail planeStainless steel
Tub featuresTub liner
Hard sliding tonneau
Tub liner
Utili-Track sliding anchors
Counterweighted tailgate
Entry mechanismProximity key fobProximity key fob
Remote startStandardNo
A/C typeDual-zone climate controlDual-zone climate control
Seat trimLeather accentsLeather accents
Rear-view mirrorManual dimmingAuto dimming
Apple CarPlayStandard (wireless)Standard
Android AutoStandardStandard
Satellite navigationStandardStandard
Digital speedoStandardStandard
Camera viewReverseOverhead

Safety tech

Nissan has finally added some active driver-assist features to the Navara, addressing a shortfall for the 2020 model. The Isuzu has key active safety tech covered.

The D-Max was the first ute to get a five-star ANCAP rating against the latest 2020 test criteria, while the Nissan’s five-star rating is date stamped 2015 – when the current generation launched.

Both utes get forward autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping aids, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Both get dual front, front-side, and curtain airbags, plus driver’s knee ‘bags. The Isuzu also has a centre-front airbag.

Isuzu D-Max X-TerrainNissan Navara Pro-4X
Forward AEBStandardStandard
Forward collision alertStandardStandard
Lane-departure warningStandardStandard
Lane-keeping aidSteeringBraking
Blind-spot monitorStandardStandard
Rear cross-traffic alertStandardStandard


Nissan has made some overdue tweaks to the Navara’s interior, headlined by new leather seats with contrast stitching, a new steering wheel, and a 7.0-inch TFT trip computer.

The company has also changed the back seat cushioning, and added a rear-seat USB plug next to the rear vents, and a USB-C point in the centre console.

Nissan has added more sound deadening to the cabin and acoustic glass for a quieter ride at speed, and rear passengers benefit from a new fold-down central armrest with cupholders.

The Isuzu has more screen real estate, and more storage compartments along the dash than the Nissan, and those leather front seats have serious bolstering. Like the Navara, back-seat occupants in the Isuzu also get rear air vents and USB points.


The Nissan’s 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel is unchanged, with outputs of 140kW and 450Nm. They’re identical to the D-Max’s outputs, which it gets from a larger displacement single-turbo 3.0-litre donk.

The D-Max X-Terrain is sold only with a six-speed automatic, while the Nissan flagship can be had with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic. The latter transmission choice uses 0.6L/100km more fuel.

Both have part-time 4×4, with rear-wheel drive on the road and both high- and low-range 4×4. Both have locking rear diffs to allocate torque across the axle.

Isuzu D-Max X-TerrainNissan Navara Pro-4X
Fuel typeDieselDiesel
Power140kW @ 3600rpm140kW @ 3750rpm
Torque450Nm @ 1600-2600rpm450Nm @ 1500-2500rpm
Fuel economy8.0L/100km7.5-8.1L/100km
Fuel tank76 litres80L
Towing capacity3.5 tonnes3.5 tonnes
Transmission6AT6MT or 7AT

Ride, handling and carrying

The Nissan retains its signature five-link, rear coil suspension, compared to more conventional leaf springs for the D-Max. Both have double-wishbone-type front suspension.

Nissan says it has strengthened the rear axle, and as such the payload has grown to an impressive 1095kg (auto) or 1105kg (manual). Its GVM (weight plus payload capacity) is 3150kg. The D-Max can cary 970kg in its tub, and its GVM is 3100kg.

Isuzu D-Max X-TerrainNissan Navara Pro-4X
Length5280mm~ 5255mm
Width1880mm~ 1850mm
Height1810mm~ 1855mm
Wheelbase3125mm~ 3150mm
Front suspensionDouble wishboneDouble wishbone
Rear suspensionLeaf springs Five-link, coils
Front brakes Ventilated discsVentilated discs
Rear brakes DrumsDrums


Nissan covers you with a five year and unlimited kilometre warranty, compared to six years or 150,000km for the Isuzu.

Nissan has yet to publish service prices for the 2021 Navara, but for context the 2020 model’s engine had 12-month or 20,000km intervals, and the first six visits were capped at $526, $563, $727, $585, $570 and $798.

By contrast the Isuzu’s intervals are 12 months or 15,000km. The first six visits cost: $389, $409, $609, $509, $299, and $749.

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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