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Nissan Patrol diesel: what happened to it?

The Patrol is dead. Long live the Patrol.
Tom White
Journalist
CarsGuide

9 Nov 2018 • 6 min read

If you’re wondering why all the Nissan Patrols you ever see on the road are old ones, it’s for one very good reason: The diesel Patrol is long-dead.

If you’re out of the loop, there is a current ‘Y62’ Nissan Patrol, but it is only sold with a petrol-powered 5.6-litre V8 engine, limiting its appeal to Australian customers.

The beloved in-line-six diesel models (and manual gearboxes) all died with the previous ‘Y61’ Patrol, which lasted for a whopping 19 years before finally being axed in Australia in 2016.

To give you an idea of how this has changed the fate of the Patrol badge, 20 years ago, just after the Y61 had launched, it was selling 900+ units a month, for a total of over 10,000 a year. The Y62 currently sells less than 90 a month, and just over 1000 units in the last year.

So, why did Nissan dump the diesel if it was so popular? The simple truth is – and this goes for more than just the Patrol – Australia is a relatively small market that has different demands to larger markets around the world.

The death of the Y61 Patrol was postponed for a long time in Australia. The death of the Y61 Patrol was postponed for a long time in Australia.

The Y62 Patrol was designed primarily for the US (where it is called the Nissan Armada) and Middle Eastern markets (it was launched in Abu Dhabi). Both markets have a taste for large luxury vehicles with petrol engines.

While Nissan’s local operation lobbied heavily for a diesel engine to be fitted for our market, the Japanese behemoth couldn’t make the numbers work to develop a new diesel engine powerful enough for the almost three-tonne SUV.

As to the future, it is not likely that the Y62 will get a diesel engine. Nissan has teamed up with Cummins in the US to place a 5.0-litre turbo-diesel engine in the Nissan Titan truck with which the Y62 Patrol shares a chassis, although it is unlikely the brand could make a business case to have that engine developed for right-hand drive markets.

A Cummins diesel V8 may yet be fitted to the Titan truck in the US market. A Cummins diesel V8 may yet be fitted to the Titan truck in the US market.

The next-best bet for a diesel patrol replacement is the currently Asia-only Nissan Terra SUV which shares its underpinnings with the Navara ute. While it is smaller than the Y61 or Y62 Patrol, it is exclusively powered by the Navara’s 2.3-litre diesel engine. The Terra has been under consideration for the Australian market for some time.

The Nissan Terra bears similarity to the old Navara-based Pathfinder, and is a much more likely fit for Australia. The Nissan Terra bears similarity to the old Navara-based Pathfinder, and is a much more likely fit for Australia.

Would you consider a Y62 Patrol if it were available with a diesel engine? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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