2008 Nissan D40 ST-X Navara Review
Owner review by: Aiden
Model: D40 Navara
Spec level: ST-X
Engine capacity: 4.0-litre
Fuel type: Petrol
Owned: 1 year
Uses: Family car | Off-road | Touring and camping
PROS: Looks | Practicality | The engine
CONS: Reliability | Gear change | Running costs
Would you buy this car again? YES
The 4.0L V6 Navara is quite a capable 4×4, with more power and no turbo lag like the 2.5L TD has, the engine makes the ute a joy to drive.
As a 4×4, the D40 comes out above its competitors. Recently, I went on a trip with a 2014 D-Max and a 2009 Triton. On this one piece of rocky, rutted track, the triton snapped a CV. After spending an hour pulling the broken CV out and parking the triton on the side of the track, it took half an hour of packing rocks under the wheels of the D-Max to get it up the track. The D40 however showed no trouble of making its way up. In low range, the D40 crawled it’s way up with no additional assistance.
Reliability is a major issue though. In one trip I managed to pierce my fuel tank (unprotected) and snap an ABS sensor cable. The major problem with the ABS fault is that it locks you out of 4X4. Without being in 4×4 while the fault appears, there is no way of engaging it without manually pulling the electronic actuator off the transfer and turning it manually. I did have a 2.5L D40 beforehand and managed to damage an ABS sensor in it as well so it is a regular occurrence.
The 197kW engine provides massive amounts of power for the D40. Compared to the 2.5L TD D40 the petrol variant feels like a completely different vehicle. No waiting for turbos to spool up, just push that accelerator and off it goes.
Another bonus with the petrol engine is it costs less to maintain. Services are required less frequently and if something does go wrong it’s cheaper to fix. The price of a whole VQ40 engine is almost the same price of a double row timing chain fix required for the YD25.
Not only that, but, you don’t have to worry about the fuel system failing as much due to dirty fuel; another few thousand dollars down the drain.
Economy is not as bad as you may think. I have got the economy as low as 10.5l/100k however the average is around 13.7. I say it isn’t that bad as my 2.5L TD D40 I had previously was consuming 12.8. For the extra power the V6 brings, it’s worth it.
One complaint I have about my D40 is the gear changes. It takes a while for the revs to drop to make a smooth gear change. It feels like I need to keep my foot on the clutch for an eternity before the revs drop enough to make a smooth gear change. It’s not something I have been able to get used to. If you release the clutch too early the whole car jerks and all your passengers look at you like your the worst driver in the world.
Also, when the engine is cold, it likes to keep the revs at 1,100rpm rather than the 600rpm idle level. You could be on the brakes going around an intersection at low rpm and the ecu will be trying to accelerate to maintain the 1,100rpm minimum. This does disappear once the engine is warm but I’m impatient and just want to get in and drive.
Overall the 4.0L Petrol D40 Navara is a great vehicle. Great for weekend touring and 4x4ing as well as having the ability to be a great everyday drive. If your after a 4×4 ute with loads of power and adequate 4×4 abilty, this is the one.