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2013 Nissan Patrol Y62 First Drive and Review

by Brad Leach -

  • OUR VERDICT: 4/5 rating4/5 rating4/5 rating4/5 rating4
  • PRICE RANGE: $52,300 - $113,900*
  • PROS: Superb V8 ; state-of-the-art technology; massive interior space; refined on-road & competent off
  • CONS: Price, full-on luxury and lack of diesel will alienate some traditional Patrol buyers
  • Safety Rating: 
  • Green Rating: 
  • Fuel Consumption:  11.8L/100km
  • Write your own review

What do a V8 Supercar racer and an SUV have in common? In the case of the all-new Nissan Patrol it’s the V8 engine.

Yep, Nissan’s all-new Y62 Patrol shares its 5.6-litre V8 with the company’s 2013-debuting Altima racer. And it’s this performance focus plus state-of-the art technology and abundant luxury which combine to stamp the all-new Patrol and something special. 


The luxurious all-new Patrol is the hero of Nissan’s significantly changing SUV range. Later this year that range will see the debut of the all-new made-in-North America Pathfinder and the British-sourced Juke…X-TRAIL and Dualis are the other team members.

 

Nissan Patrol Overview


The biggest news for the all-new Nissan Patrol is its shift up-market. While Australia remains the world’s largest right-hand-drive Patrol market, the Middle East is the dominant player in terms of volume so, reflecting customer requirements in that area, the all-new model is now aligned with Nissan’s prestige Infiniti brand.

But don’t for one second think Patrol’s off-road and towing capability has been compromised – the newcomer is just as tough as its predecessors (in fact the new technology aids its off-road ability) and the towing capacity is as good as it gets at 3,500kgs. For those who require a more basic and/or diesel-powered Nissan Patrol, the good news is the current-generation Y61 Patrol will continue and is slated for future enhancements. 



But by any measure, the all-new Nissan Patrol is a remarkable vehicle: 8-seats, that superb 5.6-litre V8 engine driving through a new seven-speed automatic transmission, masses of cargo space and ground-breaking technology including Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC), a new All Mode 4X4 system, Intelligent Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, dual seven-inch rear seat DVD screens and four-camera around-view monitor.

The full range is:
ST-L $82,200
Ti $92,850
Ti-L $113,900

At first glance, that’s a massive step from the current Y61 Patrol which starts at $53,490 and runs to $72,690, but the simple fact is Nissan has taken the all-new Y62 model in a different direction. The Patrol is now a premium/luxury SUV and its list of features/technology and quality interior is a no-compromise package targeting those who shop in this segment.

 

Nissan Patrol Engine


Those who question the lack of a diesel engine in the Y62 Nissan Patrol are missing the point. The new model takes Nissan into the Premium/Luxury SUV segment and the all-new 5.6-litre powerplant is a big part of the story.

Code-named the VK56VD, the new engine comes from Nissan’s state-of-the-art engine plant in Yokohama, Japan. The 32-valve DOHC alloy engine runs direct fuel injection and Nissan’s Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) system with throttle response controlled directly via the intake valve (rather than the normal throttle valve).

Maximum power is 298kW at 5800rpm and peak torque is 560Nm (90 per-cent of that torque is available from 1600rpm). As a comparison, Toyota LandCruiser’s 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine delivers 228kW/439Nm.

Nissan says fuel consumption (combined cycle) is rated at 14.5l/100kms.

 

Nissan Patrol The Interior


All-new Patrol’s alignment with Nissan’s up-scale Infiniti brand is clear when you open the doors. Lots of Infiniti styling cues, premium surfaces and materials and even the switch gear…well it’s clear this Patrol is different. 



Space is…erm…massive. That’s 570mm of knee-room up-front and 721mm of knee-room in the second row (which also gets a recline feature for the seat back). Nissan says the all-new Patrol out-measures its direct rival in all interior dimensions.

Access to the third row is a snack thanks to a clever tumble-fold function for the second row. While leg-room for adults in the three passenger third row is good, we expected a bit more.

The dashboard shows clear lineage to Infiniti with its nicely curved shape, quality timber-look finishes and controls for the audio, climate control and navigation.

Nissan Patrol Ti-L adds a premium BOSE audio system with 13 speakers, an eight-inch colour monitor up-front and dual seven-inch screens in the back of the front headrests for those in the second row to enjoy movies or music. 



ST-L model is trimmed in black cloth, while the Ti and Ti-L grades score nice leather.

A special mention for the climate control system. All-new Nissan patrol debuts a new ‘curtain-vent’ system with vents mounted above each side window which, for example on hot days, directs a blast of cool air downwards to reduce the influx of heat to the cabin. Nissan says the all-new Patrol can reduce internal temperatures from 50-derees to 20-degrees within three minutes.

 

Nissan Patrol Exterior & Styling


There is still a distinctly Patrol look about the newcomer, but it is all-new. For starters the rear tailgate adopts a one-piece design in place of Patrol’s traditional two-door layout and the spare wheel is mounted out-of-sight underneath.

And the all-new Patrol is big. At 5140mm in length, 1995mm wide, 1940mm high and with a wheelbase of 3075mm, the all-new Patrol is not only larger than the previous Y61 model, it is bigger than its direct rival in all dimensions (for example 190mm longer overall). 



A, B and C-pillars are dark coloured, combining with the thick, curved D-pillar and large, integrated roof spoiler to provide a cohesive look despite the large dimensions. Curved wheel-arches and side contours lend a softer touch.

Up front is a large chrome grille, modern headlights and chrome-trimmed fender extractor vents.

All models ride on 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/70R18 Bridgestone tyres.

 

Nissan Patrol On The Road


Over two days Car Showroom drove all-three versions of the all-new Nissan Patrol over varying roads around Millicent/Mt Gambier in South Australia and the bush/beaches of the Canunda National Park.

Nissan is claiming a world-first for SUVs with new Patrol’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) system (fitted to Ti and Ti-L models). First developed for the World Rally Championship, the dual cross-linked hydraulic system replaces traditional shock absorbers and anti-roll bars to flatten the stance during in on-road corners and maximize suspension articulation in off-road going.

HBMC does not use a power source so there is no impact on fuel consumption and its competency is immediately obvious – the all-new Patrol glides over bumps, corners flatter and there is virtually no transverse ‘shake’ (often noticeable in large SUVs). Off-road the lack of anti-roll bars in the double wishbone suspension enables instantaneous adjustment and longer travel – easing the ride, making for easier extrication from large holes and better traction over the crests of sand dunes. 

 



Then there’s the new All-Mode 4X4 system, again straight from Infiniti, with a rotary dial offering settings for Auto, 4WD H, 4WD L (with a lockable differential), sealed roads, rocks, snow and sand. The system drives to the rear (of course) but up to 50 per-cent can be transferred to the front wheels via an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch (no mechanical centre differential).

On-road over the broken surfaces and bumps of the secondary roads around Millicent, the Nissan Patrol ST-L immediately felt more lively – no HBMC so it transmits a bit more of the road imperfections. However there’s no doubt the all-new Nissan Patrol is much more refined and cohesive drive than the previous Y61 model.

And of course overriding everything is the blistering response and performance of Nissan’s 5.6-litre V8. When overtaking the all-new Patrol responds with pace and a glorious exhaust note as the V8 gets down to business.

Naturally our drive didn’t include any CBD congestion or traffic snarls but you are aware of the sheer size of the Nissan Patrol (as you are in rival vehicles) especially when parking – cue that camera system.

All things considered, especially for the ‘grey nomads’ and other recreationalists who tow trailers, the all-new Nissan Patrol makes for a premium long-distance cruiser.

 

Nissan Patrol Challenges


A sliding function for the second-row seats would provide greater passenger/cargo flexibility and leg-room for third-row occupants. Many will lament the lack of a diesel engine for the all-new Y62 range.

 

Nissan Patrol Verdict


With the all-new Patrol, Nissan enters the premium/luxury full-size SUV segment with all guns loaded. Sumptuous inside, bursting with technology and great to drive, the all-new Patrol ticks all the boxes for customers in this league and doesn’t short-change on Patrol’s traditional strengths.

 

Nissan Patrol The Competition


The big ‘L’ looms large. However Toyota LandCruiser in GXL, VX and Sahara grades is a tad more expensive ($83,490, $94,490 and $113,490) and Toyota’s venerable 4.6-litre V8 petrol, with 228kW/439Nm, is outgunned by Nissan’s new V8. As always you need to carefully cross-reference specific specifications and towing capacities across the different variants. 



Mercedes-Benz offers the superb GL-Class starting at $118,770 for the GL350 CDI turbo-diesel. For the one petrol model (GL 500) you’ll need $172,700 which makes the Nissan Patrol Ti-L a comparative bargain. But there’s no denying the brilliance of the GL – still for us the benchmark in this league.

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