The Patrol is a full-sized SUV made by Nissan since the early 50’s. They are were offered in a three or five door configuration and were sold all over the world in pretty much every continent. North America has been getting Patrol based vehicles since 1969, the most notable being the Nissan Armada. Starting in 2011 the Patrol received a luxurious makeover and was sold under the Infinity badge as the QX80 to North American countries.
- Pros and Cons
- Common Issues
- Average Prices
- Comparable Alternatives
- Models and Specifications
- First Generation (1951-1960)
- Second Generation (1959-1980)
- Third Generation (1980-1989)
- Fourth Generation (1986-2002)
- Fifth Generation (1997-present)
- Sixth Generation (2010-present)
- How to Import a Nissan Patrol
Most recent versions such as the Y61 and Y62 have been used by several armed forces around the world. Most notably, the United Nations and the Irish Army. Over its 70-year lifespan, the Patrol has been revised over six generations, each one getting more and more luxurious and powerful.
Pros and Cons
- Comfortable interior
- Good engine performance
- Great off-roading capabilities
- Timeless looks (the older models)
- Poor fuel economy
- Dated interior
- Newer models aren’t the best on rough terrain
- Certain diesel engines were known to fail prematurely
- Not very stable at highway speeds
As we all know by now, no car is perfect and issue-free, especially once they start aging. Fortunately, older cars were made to last, but nothing lasts forever. This section is dedicated to the most encountered issues that Nissan Patrol owners have documented.
Differential seals. It’s well known in the Patrol community that the differential seals are prone to cracking and eventually make a mess. The solution to this problem is quite easy, replace them.
Engine management warning light. The dreaded “check engine soon” light often pops up on the Patrol’s dash due to poorly built MAF or TPS sensors. A simple diagnostics check will tell you exactly which one it is, and you can then proceed with changing the faulty sensor.
Blocked EGR valve. This is a common problem on many of todays diesel-equipped vehicles. The EGR valve is put on a diesel engine for better emissions. The problem with that is that they often get clogged up from the exhaust smoke as their main role is to burn a portion of the expelled gasses for a second time making for a more environmentally friendly exhaust gas. The simple’s way to take care of this is to remove the EGR valve and clean it. In some extreme cases the valve is so blocked up that replacement is the only option.
Cracking noise from steering area. If you hear a cracking noise when turning the wheel at lower speeds, it most likely means that the stop caps are no longer doing their jobs. Replacement stop caps are cheap and they will likely fix your issue.
Lack of acceleration. For the Patrol’s equipped with a turbocharged engine that experience a drop in power, it could mean that the turbo hose may have come off or cracked. This usually happens as the hose gets old and brittle. A new turbo hose should get you back up and running.
The Patrol was also known as the Nissan Safari in Japan. Due to their great reliability record, the Patrol/Safari hold its value extremely well. Prices start from just under $7,500 and go all the way up to $16,000. Here is a list of the cheapest and most expensive models currently offered by dealers on JDMBuySell.com
In the world of full-size off-road SUV’s, the customer has the upper hand. With so many models to choose from and more being added on a regular basis, the Patrol is one of the best choices. It has been in production for nearly 70 years and has even been used in military applications around the world.
We have compiled a list of some comparable alternatives to the mighty Patrol in order to get an idea for yourself on what Nissan’s star SUV is comparing itself with.
- Toyota Land Cruiser (Landcruiser Buyers Guide)
- Mitsubishi Pajero (Pajero Buyers Guide)
- Nissan Safari (Safari Buyers Guide)
- BMW X5
- Isuzu Bighorn
- Jeep Cherokee
Models and Specifications
First Generation (1951-1960)
After witnessing the success of the Willy’s Jeep, Nissan introduced their version of it in 1951. The first Patrol was initially sold with a 3.7L gas engine, four-speed manual transmission and part-time four-wheel drive.
In 1955 and 1958 new grills were introduced alongside a few other cosmetic changes. By the time this generation was through, Nissan used a total of four engines. This consisted of two 3.7L and two 4.0L engines. All four were offered exclusively in a gasoline configuration.
Second Generation (1959-1980)
The second-generation Patrol was sold for just over two decades. This time around, the only engine available was a 4.0L inline-six gas engine and a three or four speed manual transmission. From 1962-1969 you could get the famous Patrol in North America under the Datsun brand.
Throughout its 21-year manufacture history, the second gen Patrol was available in a small, medium, or long wheelbase, and later in its lifecycle, a genuine hardtop was introduced alongside the classic canvas soft top.
By this time, the long wheelbase version could fit a total of eight people inside and it was slowly gaining notoriety as a hard-to-kill, go anywhere vehicle.
Third Generation (1980-1989)
For the first time ever, we see the Patrol offered in a five-door configuration. Additionally, Nissan added a line of diesel engines as well. Each continent that the Patrol was sold in got slightly different variations of the SUV, but no matter where you went in the world, one thing was clear: thanks to its amazing capable 4WD system and great reliability record, everyone loved the Patrol.
The third generation received a total of six engine or which three were gasoline and three were diesel versions. The gasoline engines ranged from 2.4L-4.0L in displacement, while the diesel ones had 2.7L-3.2L displacement range, with the biggest one being a turbocharged version. To top things off, a four or five-speed manual as well as three-speed auto were available depending on the configuration the customer chose and where it was sold.
Fourth Generation (1986-2002)
This generation is probably the most recognized and sought-after Patrol. In addition, the fourth generation brought with it a slew of upgrades that made it far superior when compared to past models. For example: coil sprung suspension and sway bars were available to increase comfort and driveability.
On the drivetrain side, Nissan offered four motors of which two were diesel and two gasoline powered. Two five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic were also available depending on the trim level.
To make them even more appealing, dealers started offering goodies such as sunroofs, roof racks, tow bars, etc. so that the customer could have a unique vehicle before ever leaving the dealer lot.
Fifth Generation (1997-present)
Appearing in late ’97, the new design brought with it some new engines and body styles. The newly redesigned patrol was offered in a three and five door SUV alongside a two and four door truck. In addition to minor transmission and drivetrain changes, the customer now had six engines to choose from. These included a 4.5L and 4.8L gas engine and four diesels starting from a 2.8L and going all the way up to a 4.2L turbocharged version.
Around the early 2000’s is when the tuning community started realizing that these trucks were able to make huge power, with some having as much 2000 horsepower from the TB48DE motor.
In 2014, the fifth gen Patrol was discontinued except for South Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Bolivia, Sri Lanka, and some African countries. These were left in production for these countries as an alternative for the Toyota Land Cruiser.
Sixth Generation (2010-present)
Unveiled in early 2010, the new Patrol was significantly improved, both cosmetically and mechanically. For this generation, Nissan cut the diesel engines out and now only offered three gasoline engines that included a 4.0L V8 and two 5.6L V8’s.
In North America, the Patrol was known as the Armada and its luxury brother from Infinity was known as QX80. Furthermore, the Nismo version increased the power by almost 30 horses. In the last 10 years, the world-famous patrol underwent two facelifts, with the last one being in 2019.
Yes. It was sold in North America in one form or another since 1968. If you are in the market for one, we suggest looking at a JDM one as the came packed with more goodies.
Absolutely. The Nissan Patrol was sold all around the world, including LDH countries.
Of course! It is well known that the Patrol will go in the harshest climates without many problems. You need a tough truck if you want to operate in the dessert.
Not at all. The Patrol has been sold in North America since 1968 in one way or another, meaning that there are plenty of parts; stock, or aftermarket available.
The right car is out there for everyone. The reasons one should buy a Nissan Patrol are because they are reliable, very dependable, and are a very good all around 4×4 that will withstand pretty much any terrain thrown at it. Plus, it’s not a Toyota.
How to Import a Nissan Patrol
Read our ultimate guide, How to Import a Car from Japan.
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