Will the Nissan Navara NP300 and Mercedes Trucks Come to the USA? [Preview]

2016 Nissan navara np300 driving off-road
2016 Nissan Navara NP300

The Nissan Frontier midsize truck has not seen a major update for the United States market in many years, and its quickly declining sales reflect the fact that new competitor trucks are more advanced and attractive.

Nissan showed the updated Navara NP300 pickup truck at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show this week. This is a follow up to the new Navara that was shown last year and is also available in the Asian markets.

The NP300 has fresh exterior and interior styling as well as mechanical changes. The NP300 now uses a five-link rear suspension that saves some weight (around 44 pounds) when compared to the leaf spring configuration of the previous model.

Under the hood is the 2.3-liter turbo-diesel engine that is available in two versions: 160 hp and 190 hp. It is said to be 24% more efficient than the predecessor. All these specs refer to the European version of the truck.

The other news is that Mercedes will use the NP300 chassis for its own “one ton” midsize pickup truck. Renault will also sell a version of the truck as previewed by the Alaskan concept.

The “one ton” designation on the midsize trucks refers to the actual maximum payload capacity of the trucks. It does not reference the terminology that is used for HD trucks in the United States.

Mercedes midsize pickup concept
Mercedes midsize pickup concept

The big question is: when will the NP300 become the next Frontier for the American market? The NP300 truck is being built in Spain, Mexico, and Argentina. So, it has import difficulties related to the “Chicken tax”.  The same problem exists for the Mercedes version of the truck.

Naturally, the next Nissan Frontier will not use the same engine lineup as the European version. The 2.8-liter Cummins turbo-diesel is still a possibility, but there is no official word on this yet.

Here is the first drive of the Nissan Frontier prototype with the Cummins four-cylinder diesel.