The promised, toughened-up Nissan Navara SL Warrior was revealed today ahead of its arrival in Australian showrooms in August.

    It’s the second member of Nissan’s locally developed Navara Warrior range, coming in beneath the more luxurious Pro-4X Warrior reviewed here.

    Like its more expensive big brother, each Navara SL Warrior is kitted out with off-road accessories in Melbourne by Nissan’s engineering partner Premcar – which also conducted a testing, tuning and localisation program before the builds.

    Premcar is currently running a recruitment drive and adding production shifts to match expected demand increases.

    The Navara SL Warrior costs $58,000 before on-road costs with the base manual gearbox, or $60,500 for the automatic.

    These prices are $10,090 cheaper than the Pro-4X Warrior, and $11,400 greater than each regular Navara SL 4WD on which the Warrior is based.

    In return for this outlay you get mostly familiar extras including the following, all of which are tested and tuned as a holistic package and backed by Nissan’s regular five-year warranty – a key benefit to these sort of OEM-sponsored programs designed to fight the aftermarket.

    • Winch-compatible hooped bullbar (Pro-4X has a hoopless bar)
    • Integrated LED lightbar
    • Branded underbody black bash plate
    • 275/70 R17 Cooper Discoverer All Terrain AT3 tyres
    • Suspension lift of 40mm
    • Tow bar
    • 100kg GVM upgrade
    • New springs, dampers and jounce bumpers
    • Fender flares and tub liner
    • All-weather floor mats

    The SL Warrior also offers up to 1035kg payload, which is 74kg greater than the Pro-4X version. Both offer 3500kg braked towing capacities.

    Unchanged is the 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel offering 140kW and 450Nm, mated to a part-time 4×4 system with low-range, and either six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmissions.

    Existing standard features on the SL grade include: an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six-speaker sound system with USB-A and C connections, manual air-conditioning, vinyl floors, seven airbags, reverse camera, and autonomous emergency braking.

    The SL Warrior does lose some key features found in the Pro-4X Warrior of course, including: leather seats, carpet floors, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, rain-sensing wipers, satellite navigation, DAB+, a 360-degree camera, rear sensors, LED daytime running lights and headlights, privacy glass, side steps, roof rails, and Utili-Track tub tie-down rails.

    “We’re thrilled with the response to the Premcar Warrior program to date, and we want as many people to experience these made-for-Australia products as possible,” says Nissan Australia managing director Adam Paterson.

    “With the new Navara SL Warrior by Premcar, a new and more accessible entry point to the Warrior family has been developed, but one that’s no less comfortable on the road, and no less capable off it.

    “The SL Warrior will add to Australian Navara sales, rather than subtract from it, with Nissan Australia securing additional units to meet demand. It is further proof of how highly the Warrior program is regarded.”

    The Warrior program extension was confirmed at a Nissan dealer event on May 9, where the company also said the Patrol Warrior is still under study – but held back by supply constraints.

    Premcar has now produced more than 1000 of the gen-two Navara Pro-4X Warrior, and has a current run rate of around 40 per week. This figure will of course jump with the introduction of the SL base grade.

    Nissan is not alone in offering an Australian-designed and engineered ute flagship here.

    Toyota finishes the HiLux Rogue and Rugged X (soon to be replaced by a new ‘apex’ model) in Melbourne; Volkswagen Australia has a deal with Walkinshaw for Amaroks, and Mazda Australia sells the BT-50 Thunder.

    Meanwhile, Ford designed and engineered the Ranger in Australia for the world, and also offers locally-created ARB accessories for the vehicle at its dealers.

    MORE: 2023 Nissan Navara SL Warrior countdown is on

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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