We have waited more than 15 years for Nissan to replace its flagship Patrol. And now that it is finally here, it will be available only with a 5.6-litre V8 engine and will cost at least $82,200 plus on-road costs.
There is no diesel option. But Nissan claims its new luxurious four-wheel-drive is better value than its diesel rivals.
At the release of the big 4WD at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney this week, Nissan chief executive Bill Peffer said the Patrol was more than $6000 cheaper than the similar specified Toyota LandCruiser GXL V8 turbo-diesel.
He followed up by saying the Patrol would be cheaper to own and run for the first 110,000km, or 5 1/2 years, of the car's life.
The Patrol's 5.6-litre petrol V8 produces 298kW and 560Nm of torque - 90 per cent of which is available from 1600rpm - and consumes 14.5L/100km of premium unleaded fuel.
By comparison, the diesel LandCruiser 200 is powered by a V8 that generates 195kW/650Nm and uses 10.3L/100km.
Nissan buyers who still want diesel will be catered for with the old-model Patrol that was launched in 1997 but, with the $70,490 top-spec Ti variant to be deleted, there will be a massive gap between the petrol and diesel models in pricing, technology and features.
Mr Peffer said his company had adopted a similar marketing philosophy with its Navara dual-cab and it had proved quite successful. But he also admitted he would like a diesel for the Australian market and was hopeful that a new oil-burner would eventually be available, although there was no time line in place.
The new Patrol is available in three trim levels.
The base model is the ST-L, which starts at $82,200 plus on-road costs. It's equipped with Bluetooth phone connectivity, a DVD player, 2Gb music server, iPod connectivity, a smart key with push-button start, power driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.
Six airbags are standard.
The mid-range Ti is priced at $92,850 and gains leather, electric seat adjustment for the front passenger, auto headlights and wipers and a sunroof.
It also has a high-tech hydraulic body motion control system which replaces shock absorbers and anti-roll bars with liquid-filled cylinders which the company says give it better off-road and cornering capabilities.
The range-topping Ti-L gets a number of additional items, including a memory function for the driver's seat (plus steering wheel and mirror positions), a central cooler box, satellite navigation, a Bose audio system with 13 speakers, twin DVD screens for rear-seat passengers, xenon headlights, a power tailgate and Nissan's Around View multi-camera system for parking and off-roading.
The Ti-L has seven seats - the ST-L and Ti have eight - but safety is well taken care of with adaptive cruise control with braking, a forward-crash warning system, blind-spot warning and intervention and lane-keeping assistance.
It's priced at $113,900.
All three models come with a seven-speed auto transmission and a terrain selection system that programs the traction control to cope with different conditions (snow, sand, rocks and on-road).
Towing capacity for the new Patrol is rated at 3.5 tonnes.
It goes on sale in February.Nissan buyers who still want diesel will be catered for with the old-model Patrol.
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