The Y62 is Nissan’s sixth generation of Patrol wagon and it has finally been released in Australia. Having spent some on-road time with this, the most sophisticated of all Nissan Patrols, I gave it full marks in every department.
It simply does everything so well, from cruising highways, punting through traffic or finding its way sure-footedly off road. It is considerably larger than its little brother GU (the Y61 model). The Y61 model is still being sold alongside the Y62 as there is no diesel option for the newcomer as yet.
The new Patrol is a quantum leap forward in refinement and sheer comfort. Styling is as modern as tomorrow. Although the vehicle was released in overseas markets around three years ago, the Patrol’s design is surprisingly up to date with flowing lines and a freshness about it.
Without doubt this eight seater is the undisputed best Patrol ever: larger, smoother, more luxurious and powered by a direct injection 5.6L V8 engine featuring twin overhead cams, variable valve timing and developing an almost overwhelming 298kW of power, 560Nm or torque. While almost unbelievably powerful, the willing V8, mated to a seven speed gear box, can deliver a surprising 14-14.5L per 100km when driven at speed limits on highways. Only at 110 km/h, at 2,000rpm will seventh gear be engaged, yet that same V8 powered wagon has a feeling of lightness and sure-footedness that completely belies the fact it is 2700kg in kerb weight.
Enough of the superlatives, let’s look at some of the important features.
Three grades of specifications are offered in the Y62 range – St-L, Ti and Ti-L. Even the base St-L, which I drove pampers driver and passengers from start to finish. Overall roominess will be instantly noticed as soon as a door closes, as will be the plush velour upholstery. The Patrol’s wood grain detailing and overall interior trim are very reminiscent of the luxury Nissan Infiniti range of vehicles.
The Patrol’s dash area sports a refined but classy trim with easily identified controls. Highlighted dials are set against the wood grain panels in a brushed alloy fascia for best effect. Controls for the tri zone, climate control, air conditioning are prominent and a 7” touch screen offers information for fuel consumption, radio or other sound system settings in great clarity.
Occupants will enjoy FM/AM radio, CD player, MP3, USB and iPod connectivity, a 2GB music hard drive linked to the steering wheel audio controls with Blue Tooth connectivity for the driver. Six speakers are standard.
The driver will enjoy a stop/start button as well as keyless entry. There’s Cruise Control on the wheel, and powered everything (including side mirrors).
The large driver’s seat is power operated for infinite adjustment. Both front seats are firm and somewhat flat; entirely suited to those long highway runs that have been the forte of the Patrol range in latter years.
The Y62’s head and leg room is far more than adequate, best described as opulent. The second row seating in particular, in this eight seater, offers some considerable extra room over close competitor Toyota Landcruiser’s 200 series and is one of the greatest attributes of the 2013 Patrol. Third row seat occupants will be also comfortable so long as the journey is not overly long with reduced leg room balanced by an ability to recline back rests for best comfort.
The new Patrol’s cargo carrying capacity is cavernous. Even with the third row of seats upright there’s 550L of space available. Folding down the second and third row seats (both offer 60/40 split fold capability)creates around 3107L of cargo space if required.
It’s on the road that the Y62 really shows its mettle. The 18” alloy wheels take the smooth effortless power of the V8 to the road it drives as quietly as a kitten. Treated to some right foot prompting the purr turns to a lion’s roar as that almost 300kW of power unleashes.
With a tow rating of 3500kg (braked) the Patrol is going to make very easy work of towing all manner of boats or camper trailers, horse floats or caravans. Power comes in a seamless stream. On 110km/h limit highways the V8 cruises in seventh gear at 2000rpm, on 100km/h areas fifth or sixth gear will turn the wheels. Fuel consumption on a mix of standard highway and 110km/h limit came in at 14.6L per 100km/h; not at all bad considering the immense power on tap. With 140L of fuel aboard, an open road cruise range approaching 1000 km is suggested.
Sheer driveability is what the Y62 is all about. Road holding is excellent and any undulations or uneven surfaces are totally isolated by the vehicle’s independent double wishbone coil spring suspension front and rear. Wind and tyre noise was also similar to that expected of a passenger vehicle.
Although larger than ever, the new Patrol gives away nothing in off road performance, thanks to its all mode 4x4 system combined with a substantial ground clearance of 283mm.
Options for low range, rear diff lock, driving modes designated as snow, sand and rock are all controlled via the centre console’s rotary dial. Wheel articulation and approach and departure angles are ideal, and with hill descent and hill start assist on tap the big Patrol will take a lot of stopping.
Safety is paramount, with features including six full length curtain airbags, ABS, EBD and brake assist with Nissan’s Vehicle Dynamic Control linked to the vehicle’s traction control system, all inspire confidence.
Front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, vehicle immobiliser are also standard.
To drive it is to love it. In terms of refinement and sophistication it’s light years ahead of its predecessor.
Although a diesel option is not available the V8 can be driven quite sensibly enough to make fuel savings between unleaded fuel and diesel fuel part of the ownership equation.
Drive away cost of the ST-L as reviewed is $89,383.Reads: 2624