The traditional off road battleground in the ‘Large SUV’ segment (which has now morphed into ‘Upper Large SUV’ believe it or not), has for decades now boiled down to a two-way stoush between the Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol. It’s been quite some time though since Nissan fans have been able to enter that stoush on even terms.
When Nissan finally released a new (Y62) Patrol locally in 2012 – in the sense that it was actually a new model rather than yet another revision of a badly ageing platform – it looked like the fight for off-road dominance was back on in earnest. The lament came when it was made official that there would be no diesel engine – at any point. Seems the only other market that really wanted the Patrol is the Middle East, where fuel is ridiculously cheap and diesel isn’t the ‘smart’ buyer’s choice like it is in the rest of the world.
You won’t question our logic then in taking entry level 2016 Nissan Patrol into battle against an entry level 2016 Toyota LandCruiser 200-Series. What you might question is why the LandCruiser tested here has a diesel engine when the Patrol doesn’t. The reality, or at least the way we see reality, is this. If you truly want to engage in remote area off-road touring or long distance towing, your ideal choice will be a diesel-powered 4WD.
In that case, if you’re on a budget but you can still stretch to a 200-Series, you’ll go for the entry-level diesel LandCruiser. Nissan buyers don’t have that choice however, so they are forced down the naturally aspirated petrol path whether they like it or not.