The all-new Nissan Patrol petrol V8 has finally gone on sale in Australia after an extended wait; the holdup being chiefly due to the lack of Patrols with steering wheels on the correct side for us folks downunder.
New Patrol has been criticised for only being offered with a V8 petrol engine, whereas diesels have been available for decades in older Patrols. Nissan Australia has countered this by keeping the old Patrol on the market to sell alongside the new one.
Explore the 2013 Nissan Patrol Range
The Patrol Y61 comes with a diesel engine. The Patrol ST-L and Ti both offer eight seats while the top of the line Ti-L is a seven-seater aimed at comfort for all aboard.
The new Patrol Y62 series is powered by a 5.6-litre V8 petrol engine and is aimed unashamedly at the upper luxury SUV market. It is a high-tech unit featuring direct injection and Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) as found in the Nissan 370Z sportscar’s engine.
The big engine produces up to 298 kW of power. Around 90 per cent of the 560 Nm of torque is there from 2500 rpm so there’s no shortage of grunt. Nissan has measured fuel consumption at 14.5 litres per 100 km using 95RON unleaded. Hardly a giant in the economy stakes, but not too bad considering the performance and the sheer size of the Patrol.
The new Patrol has a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes and uses Nissan's All Mode 4X4 system. In Auto mode there’s torque split between the front and rear wheels on a 50/50 variable basis depending on road surfaces. The switch then activates 4WD high and then 4WD low.
Drivers have four terrain options: Sand, Snow, Rock and On-road at the touch of a button. All models have hill descent control and rear differential locks, also selected with the push of a button.
The Nissan Patrol V8 range starts with the ST-L at $82,000 (rrp) $90,500 (driveaway), moves onto the Ti at $92,850 (rrp) $101,680 (driveaway), and tops out with the Ti-L at $113,900 (rrp),$123,780 (driveaway).
Inside, the new Nissan Patrol is pure automotive luxury, with wood grain finishes and an upmarket dash layout. Nissan has used high quality finishes and the inside feel is one of comfort and space.
There’s Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming, a large format DVD player, 2Gb music storage, iPod connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, smart key, trip computer and eight-way power assist to the driver’s seat.
The Patrol Ti has Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) which uses hydraulic cylinders to reduce body roll; leather upholstery, four-way electric adjustment for the passenger seat, automatic headlights, automatic wipers and a sunroof.
The top of the range Patrol Ti-L gets memory function for the driver's seat, steering wheel and door mirrors; centre console cool box; satellite navigation; Bose audio with 13 speakers; dual, but independent, seven-inch DVD screens in the rear of the front seat headrests; surround-view monitor; intelligent cruise control; xenon projector headlamps with auto levelling; power operated tailgate; and tyre pressure monitoring.
Active and passive safety equipment includes six airbags, with the side curtain airbag covering all three rows of seats; front and rear parking sensors and rear view camera.
We were able to carry out significant testing both on-road and off-road in the new Nissan Patrol V8 Y62 model at Brisbane's Mount Cotton Driver Training Centre a few weeks back.
During our initial drives we took the big Patrol V8 onto steep, rutted bush tracks as well as on road on a typical bitumen highway, even onto a skid pan to test braking, body roll, acceleration and handling.
Patrol has plenty of wheel travel to overcome washouts, all the while having the rear diff lock as a backup. Even over the rough terrain the body absorbs a lot of the rocking and rolling making for a comfortable passenger experience.
On road we drove Patrols with Hydraulic Body Motion Control, and without. We found the standard 4WD cornered fairly flat and little seemed to change with the HBMC.
Can the new Nissan Patrol tackle the luxury SUVs from Toyota, Land Rover and Range Rover? Only time will tell, but the interesting combination of the old and new Patrol models should manage to carve out a significant slice of the sales tree.