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