New Nissan Y62 Patrol for 2013 - all the details
UPDATED 11/10/2012: Nissan’s Y62 Patrol, the successor to the popular GU was released to the world back in 2010. But it’s taken three years to make it to Australia, surprising considering that 25% of all Patrols ever sold have been Australian.
Here’s a brief overview of the history:
- 1951 – 4W60 Patrol, created in post-war Japan
- 1960 – G60 Patrol
- 1980 – MQ Patrol
- 1988 – GQ Patrol, with the incredible coil springs all round
- 1997 – GU Patrol
- 2000 – 3.0 TD engine released, later to be known as the Grenade
- 2001 – 4.8L petrol, 185Kw. Nissan ran adverts saying it was the most powerful 4WD on the market. Now diesels beat 185kw quite comfortably.
- 2003 – 4.2td Patrol – the final run for the much-loved 4.2.
- 2010 – YU62 Patrol launched
- 2012/3 – Australian launch of the Y62 Patrol, engine code VK56D.
So what is this new Patrol? Well, it’s a real 4WD with low range, separate-chassis construction and independent suspension front and rear, and it's clearly designed for serious offroad use. So, let's just stop now and be thankful for that before we go any further.
The new Patrol is petrol only, with a 5.6L V8 good for 293Kw at 5800rpm and 560Nm at 4000rpm, through a 7-speed automatic gearbox. Petrol is 95RON, not premium which is good news. There is no diesel, and unlikely to be one as the key market is the Middle East and they don’t really care about diesel. The costs of putting in an oiler are so high they are unlikely to be recouped as a car this size will never sell in Europe, leaving Australia as the prime market for diesels and we're just not big enough to make it worthwhile. The LC200, the Y62's direct competitor, offers a 227Kw petrol with 439Nm and six speeds, with the sixth gear notoriously high. So despite the extra weight (more on than later) the Patrol should be the quicker car, and have the on-road advantage of full-indie suspension to the LC200's live-axle rear.
Nissan will continue to see the Y61 GU Patrol in Australia, although given its lack of stability control I don’t know how much longer they’ll get away with it. Same deal for Land Rover and the Defender, and Toyota with the 70s.
So on to the specs. The first thing is that this new Patrol iss big (all figures in mm):
It will be a more substantial vehicle than even the LC200. The turning circle is 12.5m which is not great considering the LC200 is 11.8 and the D4 11.4. I can’t see the Patrol being popular as a family daily-drive. But if you want space the Patrol will be a winner. There’s a massive 2130mm depth in the cargo bay and 1110mm in height.
It’s also very heavy, at a minimum 2739, going up to 2829kg. That makes the Range Rover, LC200 and Discovery 4 look thin by comparison, especially as the newest Rangie is down 350kg in weight. Here’s the weights by the three specifications:
Diff to ST-L
As a comparison, the LC200 GXL petrol has a kerb weight of 2660kg, and the Sahara petrol 2665kg.
And now we see another problem. The payload is miserable. For such a giant vehicle only 711kg? And 621kg for the Ti-L? This would be why the ST-L and Ti are 8-seaters (for 8 light people), and the Ti-L is only a 7-seater. At 650kg each of the 8 occupants needs to weigh less than 82kg otherwise you’re over the limit. Add a bar, winch, rack and there’s very little payload left for anything else. This is the same problem Toyota has with the LC200, but it looks just as bad for the Patrol.
The gearbox is a 7-speed automatic. The first gear ratio is 4.887, the diff ratio 3.357 and the transfer case ratio is 2.679 giving a handily low crawl ratio for an auto of 1:43, pretty much the same as the LC200 and D4. By comparison, the GU with its 4-speed auto is a pathetic 1:24.6.
Tyres are 265/70/18. I have a question outstanding with Nissan about whether it can take 17s. Let’s hope so.
The 4WD system is constant 4WD, with an electrically operated centre clutch which can be manually locked. Good on Nissan for that. Normal torque distribution is 50/50 front/rear, which is more good news, no silly on-demand rubbish. Naturally there is traction control and hill descent control. Oddly, the base model also includes a helical LSD. Why you’d want that when you have traction control is something I don’t understand, so have asked Nissan. There’s also a rear locking diff, and again I’m finding out if that’s manual or auto, and if it deactivates traction control on the front axle as per Ford and Mitsubishi. If the underlying electronics are from the same supplier it probably will.
The Ti and Ti-L include HBMC, or Hydraulic Body Motion Control. Think Toyota’s KDSS. It is a system that adds fluid to selected shock absorbers (dampers) to reduce body roll onroad, so you don’t need a swaybar. Offroad the lack of a swaybar is a bonus, allowing more free movement of the suspension and greater overall travel. I am finding out if HBMC is available as an option on the ST-L UPDATE: no, it's not optionable. If you study the offroad photos in this post closely you can see pretty decent flex from the front axle while travelling uphill, which indicates HBMC is working.
Here's a video to explain how it works:
The other offroad addition is a Terrain-Response copy. The modes are just four - Sand, Rock, Snow, Road.
The HDC (Hill Descent Control) works downto 7km/h in high, 4km/h in low range. Should be lower, more like 1 or 2km/h.
Ground clearance is an impressive 283mm, as you'd want from a full-indie vehicle. Approach angle is 34.1 degrees, ramp 25.9 and departure 24.1. You won't be putting six-inch lifts on this Nissan! The LC200's approach is 30 degrees, departure 20.
Fuel consumption, combined ADR81/01 is 14.5L/100km vs 17.2 for the 4.8L GU. The fuel capacity is 140L, appears to be one single tank, which would be good for 900km+ of range with a 50km reserve. Unfortunately for Nissan, the petrol LC200 returns 13.6L/100km, with a total of 138L (93+45 subtank). So no win on the fuel stakes for the Patrol.
Towing weights are 750 unbraked, 3500kg braked but the maximum towball mass is only 140kg which seems very low for 3500kg and such a large vehicle. UPDATE: that is the global figure, the Australia figure will be higher and will be released shortly. Watch this space.
Roof load is 100kg, down from the GU’s 200kg. Wading depth is 700m, which is ok but the Ranger is 800m and the new Range Rover 900. But you'd put a snorkel on it anyway.
The spare tyre is, thankfully, a full-size. Not clear if it’s an alloy spare. The Ti-L has a tyre pressure monitoring system.
The Patrol has a full set of safety features and is ahead of the D4 and LC200 in active technology, at least in the Ti-L spec. There’s Blind Spot Warning to tell you a car is in your blind spot, and Intervention, so if you move towards it the stability control system will apply the brakes to kind of skid-steer you back into line. It’s not actually a skid, it’ll just brake the inside wheels a little. There’s also Distance Control Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control through lasers, and Lane Departure with small camera – visual warning, with a buzzer, operates 70km/h plus, and this too will have the car braking you back into line. And all Patrols have Bluetooth.
Two other literally cool features are curtain vent climate control which blows air down past the windows to create a curtain of cool air, and the same idea but blowing cool air onto dash for when you return to a hot car. Did I mention this car is designed for the Mid-East?
The basic differences between the ST-L and Ti are leather seats, HBMC, speed-sensitive steering, sunroof and rain sensors for the auto-wipers.
The Ti-L is deletes a seat to 7, the front seats are memory seats, adds a hard disk nav & music server, Xenon headlights, TPMS, power tailgate, Intelligent Cruise and Blind Spot control.
No exact prices listed, but so far we know:
- ST-L below $85k
- Ti below $95k
- Ti-L below $115k
Nissan have not stated if this is driveaway or not, but it appears to compare well to the LC200 and D4. As a comparison, the LC200 GX (poverty pack diesel) is around $77k, $84k driveaway, and the GXL petrol is $83k / $90k, the VX $95 / $102 and the Sahara $113 / $122k. Nissan's specs indicate the Patrol is better value at first analysis. There is no GX equivalent in the Y62 lineup, at least not yet.
This pricing is also a sign that Nissan believes it cannot compete on performance or specification, in the same way Jeep's pricing is sharp for the Grand Cherokee, and Holden's for the Colorado.
The new Patrol should be on sale from January 2013.
There’s nothing innovative about the new Patrol, but it might end up being a better LC200 than the LC200, or a better value version of it at any rate.
It'll probably match the 200 offroad and beat it onroad, but it's not possible to say until the car is driven. Certainly the Patrol's safety technologies are ahead of the LC200, but otherwise the specifications don't promise much. There's nothing stand-out innovative about the Patrol - we've seen everything on the LC200, the D4 and other vehicles.
I'm not sure how people will take to the size either. For touring it'd probably be ok, but there's that tiny payload and towball mass, plus lack of a diesel. So there's better touring options.
On the other hand,I really can't see families wanting a car that size as a daily driver either.
Those people looking for high-level refinement will gravitate towards a Lexus, Discovery 4 or other European offroader.
Yes, the Patrol name counts for a lot, but Toyota haven't managed to captialise on the LandCruiser's popularity as much as they'd like with the LC200, and the big-4WD market is under pressure from the increasingly-capable utes and mid-sized wagons. A 3500kg tow capacity for the Patrol isn't a huge selling point when the some Grand Cherokee variants, the Colorado and many others can do that or close. And from the comments on my Facebook page the Nissan offroad loyalists aren't impressed.
I think the next big thing for the offroad touring market will be the wagon developments of the new utes such as Ford's Ranger. I am not hopeful about Land Rover's DC100.
It will be interesting to see how the new Patrol fares in the Australian market, but whatever happens I'm just glad there's another bush-capable wagon available in your local dealership.