Despite its tough-guy image, the Patrol actually makes for decent family wheels given its optional eight-seat layout. There’s plenty of on and off-road performance and the Nissan makes a great tow-vehicle.
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The Y62 Patrol is a big, comfy family wagon with lots of luxury gear, so that plays in its favour right form the start.
But the vehicle’s off-road abilities are pretty amazing, too, as is the mechanical layout that makes it a very serious tow-vehicle.
For some buyers, that big, petrol V8 will be a highlight, also.
And if you buy the Ti-L model, the standard cool-box is a really nice touch.
For the Y62 model, Nissan listened more closely to what its North American and Middle East customers were telling it, and fitted the vehicle exclusively with a 5.6-litre petrol V8.
While the engine certainly made lots of power – 298kW or almost 400 horsepower in the old money – and plenty of torque – 560Nm – the vehicle’s thirst for fuel was a major drawback.
The engine itself was a modern, quad-cam unit with four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing and fuel injection.
It was smooth and made a great noise, but against a modern turbo-diesel, it just couldn’t compete for hard-nosed off-roaders who needed fuel range above all else.
Even with the standard 140-litre fuel tank, range could be an issue in the outback.
As with any off-road capable four-wheel drive, one of the first things to check is whether the vehicle has been used and abused in the scrub.
A look underneath will tell you lots bout the car’s previous life, as will a quick inventory of the accessories fitted.
A Patrol, for instance, with a winch, mud tyres, a snorkel and lifted suspension has probably seen its share of off-road action, and should be assessed accordingly.
Most of the suspension components were pretty well protected by factory bash-plates, but check the condition of the sills, side-steps and even the floorpans.
Speaking of lifted suspension, don’t forget that modifications such as this can seriously affect the vehicle’s legality and roadworthiness, not to mention how your insurance company will react to it.
The independent suspension layout also means that lifting a Patrol is not a simple matter and can also lead to all sorts of tyre wear problems.
These are big, heavy vehicles and even without using their off-road capabilities, they still require lots of maintenance and can be very hard on consumables such as tyres and brakes.
Check the service record closely to see what sort of preventative maintenance has been applied to a particular example and be prepared to reject a vehicle with no formal record of correct servicing.
The seven-speed automatic transmission was a good unit, but it’s also one that has split the industry when it comes to maintenance.
Nissan said at the time that the gearbox would never need periodic changes of the fluid inside, making it virtually a maintenance-free unit.
Experience in the field has suggested otherwise, however, and many Patrol specialists believe the transmission needs new fluid as often as every 30,000km, particularly if the vehicle has been used in hot conditions or has regularly towed a big trailer.
Early versions of the Y62 were recalled by Nissan to check a fitting in the fuel system which could, over time, loosen and cause a fuel leak with the obvious potential for a fire.
A Nissan dealer will be able to identify if a particular Patrol was affected and whether the recall has been carried out.
The whole reason the Y62 Patrol exists is to cover ground in an off-road scenario.
The four-wheel drive system was permanently engaged, but instead of a centre differential, the Nissan used a clutch pack to vary the amount of torque being sent to each axle.
When you needed even more grip, the rear differential could be locked and the four-wheel drive system had different modes for different conditions (sand, snow, rock).
The vehicle’s stability-control system could be shut down when in low-range and the Patrol also featured hill-descent control.
All up, the Y62 was a serious off-road weapon and will go further into the wild than most owners will ever require it to.
Not great, to be honest.
Throw even a small amount of suburban work into the driving mix and the Y62’s fuel consumption average could blow out to 20 litres (or more) per 100km.
Hook a decent sized caravan to the rig and tow it at open-road speeds and that number could easily become a 30.
Even the notoriously optimistic official government numbers credited the Patrol with a combined (urban/highway) figure of 14.5 litres per 100km.
To make matters worse, the high-tech V8 needs premium unleaded which is not only sometimes unavailable at remote roadhouses, it’s also more expensive day-to-day.
The must-haves creep in if you intend to use the Patrol in a serious off-road manner.
At that point, you need a decent set of off-road tyres (and possibly bigger rims to mount them) as a minimum.
For water crossings, a snorkel is also essential and if you plan on tackling the rough stuff, a winch and bull-bar are a good idea.
The proper tow-hitch will also maximise the vehicle’s huge towing capacity.
None. The vehicle is a four-door, station-wagon or nothing.
Nissan had phased out the short-wheelbase version for Australia by this point in Patrol history.
Nissan continued making cab-chassis vehicles, but this role was more or less taken over by the Navara range.
If you see a Y62-based dual cab ute on the road, it’s been modified by its owner, not sourced that way from Nissan.
The Y62 was bigger in every direction compared with the model it replaced, so interior space is actually pretty good.
As with any three-row layout, though, the third row is really for smaller folk and, when all seats are occupied, there’s not a whole lot of space for luggage.
A roof rack is a common fitment for this reason, and many owners make use of all that towing ability by hitching up a trailer at holiday time.
The Nissan has held on to residual value pretty well, despite being much more of a niche model than any Patrol before it.
You’ll need a budget of at least $30,000 for the earliest (2013) version, but even that price can blow out to $45,000 for a nice example.
From there, prices only go one way and if you want a late-model, low-kilometre Y62, you can easily pay between $70,000 and $80,000 for a 2018 or 2019 example.
All Patrols featured the big, station-wagon body, and while the ST-L and Ti had eight seats over three rows as standard, the Ti-L had just seven due to the more luxurious third row seats fitting only two passengers.
Standard equipment included 18-inch alloy wheels, a DVD player, iPod connectivity, dual-zone climate-control, reversing camera, Bluetooth, power-adjustable driver’s seat, remote central locking, side steps and a trip computer.
The Ti model also got leather trim, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and a sunroof. The Ti-L added a mega Bose stereo system, an 8.0-inch colour monitor, Xenon headlights, DVD screens in the front-seat headrests, a seat/mirror/steering column memory function, chilled centre-console, powered tailgate, tyre pressure monitoring and 360-degree parking cameras.
The interior is a pretty nice place to be with a quality feel and look.
You also sit high and mighty with a terrific view out for the driver.
Most factory four-wheel-drives come with just one battery and the Y62 is no exception.
But modern camping with fridges and laptop chargers often demands a second battery, so there are plenty of aftermarket versions around.
In the Y62, the most common place to mount the second battery is on the firewall on the passenger’s side.
The answer is no and this was a major deal-breaker for some buyers.
The petrol V8 in the Y62 is good, but it’s not perfect for outback touring where fuel consumption and range are critical.
Nissan actually extended the life of the older, GU Patrol in turbo-diesel form to cater to those customers, continuing that model for a full three years after the Y62 was launched.
With the correct tow bar and a braked trailer, the Y62 Patrol can legally tow up to 3500kg.
While this is the same as many modern dual-cab utes, the Patrol’s extra mass and grunt means it will do the same job much more easily.
Expect fuel consumption to go through the roof, however.
The Y62 was a bit of a foot-in-each-camp exercise in terms of the actual driving.
The body-on-chassis construction and kerb weight north of 2800kg meant it was heavy and reasonably slow to change direction.
But countering that was rack-and-pinion steering which sharpened up the picture as well as sophisticated hydraulic anti-roll technology on the Ti and Ti-L versions.
The suspension, too, was a more modern take on a full-sized four-wheel-drive than the vast majority of the competition, and included not only an independent front end but independent rear suspension, as well.
Of course, while that made the car ride more comfortably on the bitumen, it also put off a few off-roaders for whom only live axles will do.
In truth, the independent suspension probably did put a small dent in the Patrol’s off-road credentials, but this was still a vehicle that would go way beyond the bravery limits of most operators, and it remains an accomplished bush truck.
The fact that you see any in the outback (and you do see the odd one or two) is proof of that.
The Y62 has a 140-litre fuel capacity as standard.
While that would be an adequate size in most situations, if you’re using low-range and driving in sand or on really rough tracks, the Patrol will gurgle through that pretty fast.
Even towing a camper-trailer at highway speeds can see it use those 140 litres in a lot less than 700km.
The Patrol’s design is just old enough to have missed out on these features.
Instead, you get MP3 and iPod compatibility, Bluetooth connection, a DVD player, music hard-drive and in the Ti-L, twin DVD screens in the back of the front seat headrests.
The Ti-L also got a better, 13-speaker Bose stereo system.
The Y62 was automatic only. In this case, a seven-speed unit that was smooth and works beautifully off-road.
The transfer-case was a two-speed unit, offering high and low gear ratios.
The Patrol is a big unit by any measure.
It’s 1940mm high, 1995mm wide, is more than five metres long at 5140mm, and has a long wheelbase of 3075mm.
Its weight is pretty hefty, too, and at 2829kg in Ti-L form (the heaviest version) it’s a fair lump.
The Y62 colour palette was very subdued.
There were three shades of silver/grey, white, black, gold and a deep metallic red.
For a four-wheel drive with proper off-road smarts, the Y62 was very quick on the bitumen.
That’s where that big V8 engine came into its own and Nissan claimed a 0-100km/h time of just 6.6 seconds, which is hustling along for any car, let alone an off-roader of almost three tonnes.
The trade has a pretty positive view of the Y62.
The engine seems solid and provided it (and the transmission) has been maintained properly, problems seem very rare.
Again, though, the big caveat is that these are not low-maintenance cars, even more so if they’re actually been used off-road.
A complete service record is crucial when shopping.
The Patrol was not independently tested in Australia for a crash rating, but its sheer size and mass means it has the potential to protect its occupants.
It also has dual front and side air-bags and full-length curtain air-bags which protected all three rows of passengers.
The ST-L and Ti models also got anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake-assist and stability control.
If safety is really your thing, then the Ti-L is the one to look for as a second-hand buy.
On top of the standard safety kit, that model also added active cruise-control, blind-spot warning, active lane-keep assistance, forward collision warning, and a basic form of autonomous emergency braking.
It’s a very good car and a very good off-road car, not to mention a great vehicle with which to tow a caravan or boat.
It’s big and roomy, safe and reliable over the longer term.
And if you’re one of the new breed of modern camping families, the Patrol will really take some beating.
The only condition is that you don’t mind putting up with the fuel costs, as these (and running costs generally) will be much higher than for a conventional family car.
On the flip-side, the petrol engine itself (thirst from aside) should be cheaper to maintain than some modern turbo-diesels, so it isn’t all bad news on that front.
Based on 72 car listings in the last 6 monthsVIEW PRICING & SPECS
Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.
Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.
Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'
$24,990 - $59,000
Based on 72 car listings in the last 6 months