Pa­trol’s a real trooper

Old enough to get a li­cence it­self, Nis­san’s ven­er­a­ble 4WD soldiers on

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Bush & Beach - JOSHUA DOWLING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDI­TOR

THE Nis­san Pa­trol heavy duty four-wheel-drive is ap­proach­ing its 18th birth­day — the equiv­a­lent of three life­times in the car world — but the com­pany in­sists it will re­main on sale at least un­til next year.

The clas­sic Y61 Pa­trol, in­tro­duced in 1997, is still made in Ja­pan along­side the Y62 ver­sion re­leased glob­ally in 2010 and in Aus­tralia in 2013.

Nis­san is with­draw­ing the Y61 from other over­seas mar­kets but Nis­san Aus­tralia fought to keep the Pa­trol in pro­duc­tion as there are still no plans to in­tro­duce a diesel ver­sion of the newer model, which is sold pri­mar­ily in North Amer­ica and the Mid­dle East.

“The Y61 Pa­trol is here to stay. There is no date set to end pro­duc­tion,” says new Nis­san Aus­tralia boss Richard Emery. “It’s here for at least an­other year, if not longer.”

Nis­san is said to be con­sid­er­ing a Cum­mins diesel V8 for its US-only Ti­tan pick-up, leading to spec­u­la­tion the same en­gine could be adopted for the Y62. But Nis­san says there are still no firm plans for a diesel.

Cars­guide un­der­stands Nis­san ini­tially con­sid­ered adapt­ing a Re­nault-built 3.0litre turbo diesel for the Y62 but those plans were put on hold.

De­spite the Pa­trol’s pop­u­lar­ity among 4WD en­thu­si­asts, the Toy­ota LandCruise­r out­sells it five-toone and Mit­subishi’s Pa­jero tre­bles its sales.

Nis­san had a rel­a­tively good month for Pa­trol sales in May with sales of 210, up slightly from 200 in the same month last year.

Pa­trol sales are be­ing buoyed by drive-away deals: $58,600 on the ba­sic DX and $62,800 on the bet­ter equipped ST.

Part of the ap­peal is the Y61’s 3200kg tow­ing ca­pac­ity for man­ual mod­els (the auto is 2500kg). Its 125L long-range fuel tank can deliver up to 1000km be­tween re­fills.

Mean­while, Mit­subishi is hav­ing a crack at the tow ve­hi­cle mar­ket with deals on the Pa­jero start­ing at $54,990 drive-away for the ba­sic model and $59,990 drive-away for the lux­ury ver­sion.

The Pa­jero has 3500kg tow­ing ca­pac­ity, five-year war­ranty and cheaper capped­price ser­vic­ing than the Pa­trol.

The only downside for Pa­jero is the 88L tank, for about 900km be­tween re­fills in ideal driv­ing con­di­tions.

Mit­subishi says a new­gen­er­a­tion Pa­jero is still at least two years away and there are no plans to dis­con­tinue the cur­rent model. It will con­tinue with a diesel ver­sion in the next gen­er­a­tion.

There also may be a plug-in hy­brid ver­sion of the next Pa­jero.

Peren­nial Pa­trol: Y61 has been around since 1997; petrol-only Y62 (in­set be­low) de­buted in 2010

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