2024 Nissan Patrol Warrior Review

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2024 Nissan Patrol Warrior Review



Overview

 

THE Y62 Nissan Patrol needs no introduction – GoAuto first drove this generation of the Japanese off-roader in 2010, more than two years before it finally reached Australia with its steering wheel on the right – but the Australian-developed Warrior iteration tested here remains fairly fresh.

 

In a world where everything seems to be getting more expensive, the Patrol has bucked trends as its pricing has reduced significantly since February 2013, when the exclusively V8 petrol-powered beast rumbled into local showrooms.

 

The ST base grade – $82,200 before on-road costs back in 2013 – is long gone and what used to be mid-spec Ti trim now represents Australia’s entry point to Patrol ownership at $87,900 + ORC.

 

Since the Warrior arrived in October 2023 – based on Ti donor vehicles – the Ti-L becomes mid-spec. Considering this richly equipped grade was $113,900 + ORC in 2013, today’s $100,600 + ORC sticker looks like good buying.

 

But if you can go without the bling and want a more capable (or just meaner-looking) Y62 Patrol, the Warrior is there at the pinnacle of Nissan Australia’s range at $104,160 + ORC.

 

A lot less than you’d have paid for a Ti-L back in 2013, even without taking inflation into account.

 

It carries over all features found in the Ti – as well as its standard 298kW/560Nm 5.6-litre petrol V8 engine, coupled exclusively to a seven-speed automatic transmission – and has been recently given a locally developed-and-fitted tech lift that seems to address most criticisms levelled at the facelifted Y62 that arrived in late 2019 with dated carryover dashboard and infotainment tech compared with the resigned dash offered in left-hand drive markets.

 

Australian outfit Premcar developed a Nissan-backed upgrade package that went through OEM levels of development testing and validation to create the Patrol Warrior, meaning it is available from Nissan dealerships, carries a factory warranty, and can be insured and financed as a regular Patrol variant.

 

Four Patrol Warrior colours are offered, comprising Brilliant Silver, Moonstone White, Gun Metallic, and the Black Obsidian of our test vehicle.

 

Apart from Warrior decals on the vehicle’s flanks, the variant is identified by black 18-inch wheels wrapped in Yokohama all-terrain tyres, chunkier guard flares, chrome trim replaced by gloss black and a bi-modal exhaust system with side-exit outlets.

 

The Warrior rides 50mm higher than the derivative and retains a Premcar-fettled version of Nissan’s complex Hydraulic Body Motion Control suspension system.

 

Inside, Alcantara upholstery with Warrior branding on the passenger side dash adds some premium flair, replacing the dated fake wood look of lesser Patrols.

 

GoAuto spent 10 days off-road and off-grid with the Patrol Warrior – camper trailer in tow – to find out how the upgrades stood up to the travails of travel with three generations of one family aboard its eight-seat cabin.

 

Driving Impressions

 

When driving a Nissan Patrol Warrior along the same chopped-up inland track of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) as we’ve experienced numerous ute-based 4×4 wagons it quickly becomes clear that we’re in a vehicle of a different league. They were mere toys by comparison.

 

The extra spend on Patrols and LandCruisers is justified by more than just the extra power and physical size. It’s another level when it comes to a depth of engineering that is only truly tangible when the going gets tough.

 

Emphasising this point is the fact we’re towing an 1800kg camper trailer and the petrol V8-powered Warrior still feels more comfortable and capable in this environment than the crop of four-cylinder diesel off-roaders we have tried here with nothing hitched to the back.

 

Nissan’s prodigious 5.6-litre petrol V8 still needs revs to maintain momentum here but Premcar’s side pipes reward us with a glorious eight-cylinder blare and, with our wheels sinking into deep ruts, a comedic puff of sand as the Patrol noisily exhales like a powerlifter as it hauls its way out of the dip.

 

Along for this island adventure are three generations of family members, the Patrol carrying three adults and two children plus possessions with ease. Its sheer breadth provides three-across comfort even with the youngest member of our travelling troupe taking up extra space courtesy of their chunky child seat.

 

Distributed between the SUV and trailer are sufficient clothing, supplies and equipment for the five of us on this 10-day off-grid adventure without compromising too much on creature comforts.

 

Talking of which, Nissan based the Patrol Warrior on the entry level Ti variant but who needs the massive sound system of a Ti-L when you have those side pipes and the great outdoors?

 

Perhaps the range-topper’s cooled front seats would have helped reduce the thigh-searing effect of our black-over-black test vehicle’s upholstery (to avoid this we draped beach towels over the leather).

 

Since returning from the island, Nissan has announced an update to the Patrol that addressed one of few criticisms we had about the car; the dated media unit and CD player have been ditched in favour of a fully integrated aftermarket type system with smartphone mirroring, DAB+ digital radio and much more.

 

The addition of a digital speedometer would be nice and was seemingly a step too far but some navigation apps accessible through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – both wireless in the MY24 Patrol – can provide this.

 

We can’t yet comment on the quality of the new media unit or how seamless its integration is, but Nissan and its partner Directed Technologies seem to have gone to town on it. It’s a good way of staying relevant as the Y63 Patrol nears (although given the almost three-year wait for Y62s to arrive in Australia following its overseas debut we’re not holding our breath).

 

Nissan asking $3K extra for MY24 Patrols with this tech lift seems modest in percentage terms compared with how the cost of living has changed since MY23 Patrols arrived.

 

The advent of the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series has put the Y62 Patrol in the shade somewhat but Nissan counters with a long standard equipment list on the Ti at similar money to a hose-out-spec GX ’Cruiser.

 

Since switching from V8 to V6 diesel power, Toyota has gained a real-world fuel-efficiency advantage (in our experience the consumption was similar between diesel 200 Series and petrol Patrol) but environmental considerations aside you can buy a lot of fuel with the difference in cost between the big Nissan and its equivalent Toyota.

 

During a month with the Patrol Warrior that likely has a greater thirst owing to its lifted suspension, all-terrain tyres and font bumper designed more for approach angle rather than aerodynamics, we averaged 18.0L/100km including a lot of towing, 10 days on a sand island, suburban errands and a six-hour round trip on country roads and highways without the trailer that likely brought the average down a fair bit as the V8 was able to lope along.

 

Nissan recommends the 98 RON good stuff, so you are looking at close to $300 per tank. It’s a considerable running cost. Maybe put the money you saved over a LandCruiser toward a small electric car or hybrid for local journeys?

 

Anyway, the Warrior. Comfort and capability wise, this is a vehicle that kept everyone happy. That’s quite an achievement with three generations onboard for hours at a time.

 

Premcar’s suspension witchcraft has delivered a big off-roader that doesn’t lollop around town, rarely feels baggy on twisty roads, is compliant on dirt tracks and pockmarked country lanes and provides smooth, stable progress on the motorway whether towing or not.

 

They admittedly had a pretty user-friendly vehicle as their basis – the Patrol’s fancy hydraulically linked dampers were tweaked as part of Premcar’s Warriorisation programme, which you don’t get with an aftermarket lift kit – but the extra off-road capability has not come at the expense of on-road chops. If anything, the latter has also been improved.

 

We were even cynical about the choice of Yokohama tyres – the Navara Warrior’s Cooper rubber being another rather leftfield selection – but in both cases Premcar seems to have made the right decision in the context of the other changes made. Grip, braking and traction impressed, including during the extreme weather that lashed Southeast Queensland during our time with the Patrol.

 

Another aspect we came to admire about the Patrol Warrior was the visual tweaks. In photos it looks like quite a meek makeover compared with the job they did on the Navara but in the metal Premcar has lent the Patrol a classy and purposeful look, especially in the context of the over-wheeled, garishly modified Y62s found from sand islands to suburbia.

 

To nit-pick, we might prefer a slicker, more flush-looking finish to the Warrior decals on the Patrol’s flanks; then again this was an early build car, and more recent examples might be better in this regard.

 

But again and again, we found ourselves confounded that Nissan and Premcar could have delivered such a comprehensive upgrade package for the money – and kept their respective accountants happy.

 

It’s not just what you get for the extra $16K and change compared with taking a Patrol Ti to the likes of ARB or TJM with a cheque of similar size but the completeness, the cohesiveness of the result and how it simultaneously makes the Patrol better in several dimensions that conventional wisdom would deem as conflicting really is the crowning achievement here.

 

Whether it’s appropriate to buy a huge snarling V8-powered 4×4 for more than a hundred grand in 2024 is debatable but one thing’s for certain: the Patrol Warrior’s fit-for-purpose score is off the charts.

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