Facelifted Nissan Patrol Y62 on the way
A revised Nissan Patrol Y62 is on the way, and it could be here as soon as 2018…maybe before?
THE NISSAN PATROL is one of the all-time classic Australian 4X4s, deserving of that much-used but rarely-deserved description of ‘iconic’. However, that reputation was largely built on the back of the G60, MQ, GQ and GU (Y61) models which together may well lay claim to being the most-used offroad tourer in Australia.
But then came the Y62 Patrol; much bigger, petrol only and with fully-independent suspension, all anathema to the Patrol faithful which served to sully the vehicle’s reputation from the start. As a result, the Y62’s sales figures have never come close to challenging its great rival, the Landcruiser, now in 200 Series form. This is a shame because the Y62 is a hugely capable offroader, towcar and all-round 4X4, and the fact it is petrol-only looks to be a smarter and smarter decision as every month goes by. That’s because the modern diesel’s viability is slowly being eroded through complexities such as DPFs and SCR (AdBlue), with the days of the “simple diesel” long behind us. There are quite a number of very happy Y62 owners who can see past diesel and live rear axles, but not enough to make the Y62 the sales success it could have been.
Now Nissan dealers are being told that there will be a hiatus in Patrol deliveries, and owners are telling Practical Motoring 4×4 that they are having difficulty placing orders.
We have spoken to Nissan and can confirm that a “facelifted” Patrol is on the way. Here’s what Kara Leach, Nissan’s PR boss had to say to Practical Motoring 4×4:
“The Patrol Y62 SUV is a popular Nissan model in many markets, including Australia. This strong global demand means local new-vehicle stocks of this model are currently limited.
Nissan’s commitment to continuous improvement means an update for the Patrol Y62 is planned, details of which will be the subject of a future announcement.”
Not much there, although we’ll leave aside the description of the Y62 as an “SUV”.
Our guess as to what this means is that the V6 Patrol will be introduced, which looks set eventually replace the V8, and this will be for the 2018 model year or maybe even late 2017. There are reports from the mid-east that the V6 has replaced the V8, which makes sense as the market volumes do not seem high enough to support multiple engines and the world is moving towards smaller engines.
The V6 is already sold overseas, and offers 205kW / 394Nm, quite a drop on the V8’s 298kW and 560Nm. Both have a 7-speed gearbox. We also guess the Patrol will pick up some safety aids such as forwards collision warning.
This move will not help Patrol sales, which were already slow. At least with the V8 you had some very serious grunt delivering a 0-100 time of under 7 seconds. In isolation, the V6 is unlikely to feel underpowered with a 0-100 of around 11 seconds. However, the LC200 petrol V8 drives well, and makes 202kW and 410Nm, not far off the V6’s figures, and the Patrol has a seven-speed gearbox whereas the LC200 has six. But compared to the V8 the V6 will feel slower, and we’d expect a run on Y62 V8s if the V6 is the only option for the future.
We haven’t seen any evidence of a diesel engine for the Patrol, and it wasn’t diesel in the first place as its core market of the mid-east preferred petrol.
So that’s one potential path for the immediate future of the Patrol, but what about the long-term?
What might the future of the Patrol be in Australia?
We speculate there’s three options for the Patrol in Australia:
- A new Patrol will emerge – a totally new design, replacing the Y62.
- The Patrol is killed- Mitsubishi killed the Pajero…it’s not out of the question that Nissan has will drop the Patrol here to focus on other vehicles.
- A ‘wute’, wagon-ute offroader will appear, based on the NP300 Navara. The previous-gen Pathfinder was based off the D40 Navara…maybe Nissan will do the same again for a wagon version of the NP300. That may or may not carry the Patrol name. Other wagon-utes are Pajero Sport and Ford Everest.
Let’s look at the options. The Y62 was first sold in 2010, and it’s 2017 so there’s a bit of life left in the design yet. Land Rover are just replacing the Discovery and that platform ran from 2005 to 2017 as the Discovery 3 and 4, and the LC200 was first seen in 2006, so over ten years old and still going strong. The Y62 is already fully-independently sprung too. The next-gen Infiniti QX80 has just been released in the USA and shares the same platform. So we are unlikely to see a completely new Patrol any time soon, and if a brand new model was on the way then there’d be much more rumour…but the wires are dead. Also, giant offroaders are not top of anyone’s development list these days, as emissions force carmarkers into hybrids.
It is unlikely Nissan will kill the Patrol plate any time before it has to. Why would you, when it still sells well in some markets and has all that history.
Perhaps the most likely future for the Patrol is that there is a wagon development of the NP300 ute. The Pathfinder has moved down to the Kluger-level market, leaving a gap for a heavy-duty wagon.
Something else to throw into the mix is the Nissan-Renault Alliance. This is a strategic partnership, not a takeover by one or the other…but in October 2016 the alliance bought a $2.3bn stake in Mitsubishi. As we know, Mitsubishi has killed the Pajero, but maybe it could bring it back, sharing a platform with a future Patrol? In this age of cost cutting and design-sharing it is not out of the question.
We’ll track this story closely. In the meantime, what do you think will happen, and what would you like to happen?