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