PO­TENT PA­TROL

THANKS TO A HUGE PRICE CUT LAST YEAR, NIS­SAN’S UNLOVED V8 PA­TROL NOW LOOKS LIKE GOOD SHOP­PING.

4 x 4 Australia - - Driven -

LAST year Nis­san slashed nearly $30K off the top-spec TI-L model in its Y62 Pa­trol V8 range, which had been on sale for a few years and not im­pacted the sales charts. At the same time the base-spec ST-L was dropped and the price of the mid-spec Ti, ef­fec­tively now the new base model, was cut $24K to $69,990. That puts the Ti $23K cheaper than a petrol 200 VX and $28K cheaper than a diesel 200 VX (the VX be­ing the clos­est 200 Se­ries spec-level to the Pa­trol Ti).

Put an­other way, $69,990 for the Pa­trol Ti makes it $3K to $4K cheaper than a petrol or diesel Prado VX, which is as­ton­ish­ing given what the Y62 of­fers.

First up, the Y62 is a big 4x4. Drive it back-to­back with a 200 and the Y62 al­most feels like a big­ger class of ve­hi­cle. The sec­ond-row seat is es­pe­cially gen­er­ous com­pared to the 200 and its lug­gage space is also no­tably larger.

The Y62 of­fers a 5.6-litre V8 that makes the 4.6-litre (petrol) V8 in the 200 seem a bit limp-wristed. The num­bers tell part of the story (298kw/560nm ver­sus 228kw/439nm), but the other part is that Nis­san’s V8 comes from an en­gine fam­ily with se­ri­ous mo­tor­sport cre­den­tials. This in­cludes the V8 used by Nis­san in its lo­cal V8 Su­per­cars and the V8 that dom­i­nates the LMP2 class in in­ter­na­tional sports car en­durance rac­ing (Le Mans 24 Hour, etc).

The Y62’s 298kw makes it one very po­tent 4x4 on-road, and for those who like V8s it’s a much more vo­cal en­gine than the 200’s rather sub­dued 4.6.

To help keep all this per­for­mance and a fair bit of weight (2800kg) in check, the Y62 has some­thing very spe­cial in the sus­pen­sion de­part­ment: Hy­draulic Body Mo­tion Con­trol (HBMC). HBMC is a far more so­phis­ti­cated sus­pen­sion sys­tem than what’s un­der a 200, even one with KDSS.

HBMC is a fully in­de­pen­dent coil-spring sys­tem with ac­tive dampers that limit on-road body­roll but also max­imise off-road wheel travel, and all with­out me­chan­i­cal sway bars. The sys­tem works bril­liantly. The Y62 cor­ners much flat­ter than a 200 on-road yet can still keep up with a 200 off-road, even if it needs more un­der-en­gine pro­tec­tion for very rocky go­ing.

At $69,990 the Ti is very well-equipped, but the big down­side is that the Y62 is thirsty. The al­ways-con­ser­va­tive of­fi­cial ADR fuel num­ber, 14.4L/100km in this case, prob­a­bly tells you all you need to know. On our last test we av­er­aged 17.7L/100km. The time be­fore that, with more low-range work, it reg­is­tered 21.3L/100km.

The up­side is that there’s a 140-litre tank, so the range is still okay. And with the $23K to $28K sav­ing over a 200 VX, that’s a lot of free fuel be­fore you hit price par­ity.

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