Nissan has given its Navara and Pathfinder a mid-life facelift. The Navara is basically the pick-up version of the Pathfinder SUV and vice versa. It’s somewhat like the relationship between the Triton and the Pajero Sport, or the Hilux and the Fortuner.

Nearly all body on frame pick-ups have body on frame SUVs as counterparts, including the Isuzu D-MAX. It’s just that the Pathfinder and the Thai-built D-MAX-based Isuzu MU-7 are not sold here in Malaysia.

The ‘mother trucker’ is the largest and most powerful body on frame pick-up you can buy here in Malaysia. The facelift gives it a more powerful engine. The 2.5 litre turbodiesel engine which already packs 174 PS and a massive 403Nm of torque in its current incarnation has actually been upgraded to 190 PS and 450Nm of torque with this new facelift, yet still consumes just 8.5 litres per 100km on the combined cycle while hauling around such a heavy vehicle.

Overseas, there is also a new more powerful diesel option – a new turbodiesel 3.0L V6 with 231 PS and a mind-boggling 550Nm. The V6 engine is quiet and refined and idles at a low 650rpm. As much as 500Nm starts to kick in from 1,500rpm before peak torque of 550Nm is reached at 1,700rpm. You can ride on this 550Nm peak all the way to 2,500rpm. Now that’s a seriously nice engine to be having but I suspect it’s actually a very new and modern engine that needs ‘modern diesel’ so I don’t think it will be available here. In fact it sounds exactly like the new 3.0 V6 that’s going into the European market Infiniti SUVs. But who knows, Tan Chong might surprise us!

And of course you have the cosmetic changes. The overall bumper design remains similiar but if you notice the new bumper is now more rounded and the edges rise up and blend into the wheel arches as one single piece while with the pre-facelift that’s sold here, there seems to be a ‘lower bumper’ piece and another upper piece which joins with the wheel arches.

There are also changes on the inside – revised door trims, new seat fabric, larger storage areas, the addition of chrome highlights, and revised dials. There is also the option for a touch screen system called Nissan Connect Premium complete with a 40GB hard drive for data storage. Our Navara currently uses a 6-CD changer.

Other than the new more powerful engines of course, something else that’s interesting to me is that the Electronic Stability Control that was previously only available on the Pathfinder has now been added to the Navara. The ECU uses feedback from wheel speed sensors, steering angle, and longitudinal and lateral G and yaw rates to anticipate and control wheel slippage.

This means that if Tan Chong’s product planners tick the right boxes on the option sheet, we could potentially have the only pick-up truck in Malaysia with stability control, which would be very good and increase appeal if it were to be used by an average Joe as a lifestyle vehicle.

Look after the jump for a full gallery of the new facelifted trucks.

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