1 Mar 1997
The D22 was a significantly revamped version of the D21 released in 1986, and the 11th generation Nissan/Datsun utility.
Built on the same 2950mm wheelbase as the previous model, the D22 sported a completely new nose and cabin, as well as a revised engine line-up.
Changes to the 2.4-litre SOHC four-cylinder petrol engine resulted in 93kW of power and 198Nm of torque.
A revised version of the nine-year old 2.7-litre diesel ‘four’ delivered 64kW and 180Nm, while a big QD32 76kW/220Nm 3.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine was also added to the D22 range, while the V6 disappeared temporarily.
Nissan did not have a suitable large turbo-diesel at the time, so it had to make do with this normally aspirated unit an all-new 3.0-litre TD motor was ready in 2001.
A larger fuel tank was fitted when a small facelift was implemented in August ’99’s Series II update.
Look for a chrome front bumper, a revised instrument panel, improved ergonomics and better refinement were also part of the tidy-up.
Nissan also upgraded the base 2.4-litre engine with a twin-cam multi-valve version, which boosted power and torque to 110kW and 208Nm respectively.
Other changes included a four-speed electronic automatic transmission for petrol models and a range of interior and exterior titivations.
In August ’00 the D22 Series III lobbed in, with the return of V6 power in the form of a 120kW/248Nm 3.0-litre unit. Giving away the changes are a new front grille and headlights, a revised tail-light look and minor trim alterations.
From December 2001 Nissan, unexpectedly, started a trend with the release of its D22 Series IV ST-R.
Aimed at the private buyer, it combined a sporty appearance with a rugged light-truck presentation, and consequently far-outsold its initial expectations.
Central to the Series IV’s appeal was a belated 110kW/314Nm 3.0-litre twin-cam ZD30 turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine option.
Revised suspension tuning, to improve the D22’s ride qualities, better refinement properties, another interior upgrade and a significant frontal makeover also helped.
A larger V6 petrol – a 125kW/360Nm 3.3-litre unit – usurped the 3.0 V6 in early ’03.
In May ’04 Nissan had another go at improving the D22’s ride attributes, and added new trim and features to the very popular ST-R model, which accounted for more than half of all Navara sales.
The D22 Navara ran co-currently with the next-generation D40 Navara launched in late ’05, as Nissan only brought in the top-line dual-cab 4x4 models.