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NISSAN PATROL ST 4.2 litre turbo diesel

April 2003

Report No. 685, by Andrew Skidmore, Project Engineer, NRMA Consulting

LIKES

Good level of standard equipment Comfortable front seating and ride Robust feel Back in 1999, Nissan got the jump on its opposition when it released a turbocharged version of the 4.2 litre diesel Patrol. At that time, it was the only large four wheel drive wagon that offered a large capacity turbocharged diesel engine. The Patrol was well suited for rugged off-road work and heavy duty towing applications, and it was very competitively priced. More recently, there has been a new wave of `high-tech' turbo diesel variants released by most manufacturers that produce very impressive power and torque. Nissan's 3.0 litre four cylinder turbo diesel engine that forms part of the Patrol range is one of the new technology diesel powerplants. In contrast, Nissan has also retained the larger capacity (but somewhat dated) 4.2 litre six cylinder engine in its Patrol line-up. For 2003, Nissan has updated the Patrol wagon range and added an intercooled version of the 4.2 litre turbo diesel engine. The addition of an intercooler and an electronic timing control for the fuel pump has improved the efficiency of the engine and reduced the emissions that it produces. While peak power remains unchanged at 114 kW, Nissan claims a 30 Nm increase in torque (to 360 Nm) over the previous engine. Additional changes for 2003 include revised interior trim and some minor specification changes to certain models. The intercooled 4.2 litre turbo diesel engine is quite a basic design. The engine uses an overhead valve (OHV) arrangement and just two valves per cylinder. In comparison, the same capacity turbo diesel engine found in Nissan's main rival, Toyota's LandCruiser, is a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) design that uses four valves per cylinder to produce 151 kW of power and 430 Nm of torque. While the performance of the Patrol engine is obviously inferior to the LandCruiser, some rural pundits may prefer the simplicity of the older engine. Nissan's new 4.2 litre turbo diesel engine is available in both DX and ST variant Patrol wagons, while the range topping Ti is offered with the 4.8 litre petrol engine only. The Patrol range has always been competitively priced for its class, with the station wagon models starting at $46,540 for a 3.0 litre diesel DX, while the range topping Ti is priced at $71,740. The 4.2 litre ST evaluated for this report is priced midway through the range at $58,990. There is no automatic transmission option available for the 4.2 litre diesel engine. The ST Patrol wagon is fairly well specified for a mid-range variant in terms of the standard equipment fitted. Some of the items include

DISLIKES

Third row seating has limited space Basic engine is quite dated Lap belt only for the centre rear position power steering, air conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, cruise control, limited slip differential, remote central locking, four speaker single CD player, side steps and 16 inch alloy wheels. While a driver's airbag and an engine immobiliser are standard safety and security features, Nissan does list an optional passenger airbag and anti-lock brake (ABS) package for an additional $2000. There has been no change to the interior space on offer, as the body of the Patrol remains unaltered. Front and second row seating positions enjoy quite good head and leg room, but space is very limited in the third row positions (suitable for small children only). Storage space behind the third row seats is quite small; however, they may be folded up against the sides of the vehicle when not in use to provide increased load area. I found the driver's seat to be fairly comfortable and the height of the vehicle and large areas of glass do allow an excellent view of the road ahead when in traffic. Considering the size of the Patrol, the control layout and their ease of use help to make it a pleasant and relatively simple vehicle to drive under most conditions. Low speed manoeuvring is the exception, as the Patrol's large turning circle does tend to highlight its bulk. As the new intercooled engine produces the same power and marginally more torque than the superseded engine, vehicle performance is largely unchanged. Like most diesel engined vehicles and considering the mass of the Patrol is nearly 2.5 tonnes, acceleration is a little slow off the mark. However, once the Patrol gains some momentum, the engine is quite responsive and performs reasonably well. Our tests revealed the new engine to be marginally quicker through the gears than the 3.0 litre turbo diesel Patrol previously tested by NRMA. The Patrol uses a live rear axle set-up front and rear, with coil springs. Generally, the ride quality is reasonably good and the Patrol has quite a robust feel on the road. Considering the vehicle's high centre of gravity, cornering and handling is satisfactory. Our test vehicle was sensibly fitted with the ABS brake option that provided stable emergency braking. SUMMARY: Nissan has updated the Patrol wagon range for 2003 with an intercooled version of its 4.2 litre turbocharged diesel engine. While peak power remains unchanged, maximum torque has increased by 30 Nm and engine emissions have been reduced. The Patrol remains well equipped and reasonably comfortable, but the engine falls short on offering the sort of performance available from other manufacturers.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE Type............... Six cylinder, OHV, 12 valves Capacity in litres .................................. 4.169 Induction...............Mechanical fuel injection Fuel recommendation .........................Diesel Claimed max. power .... 114 kW at 3600 rpm Claimed max. torque.... 360 Nm at 2000 rpm Specific power output ..............27.3 kW/litre TRANSMISSION Type................................ Five speed manual Driving wheels.... Part-time four wheel drive Speed per 1000 rpm in top gear ....44.2 km/h WHEELS ......................... Alloy, 8.0 JJ x 16 Tyres ........................................... 265/70R16 Spare .......................................Full size alloy STEERING Type...........Power assisted recirculating ball Turns lock to lock .................................... 3.8 Turning circle (measured).......... 13.3 metres DIMENSIONS Mass................................................. 2440 kg Length............................................ 4930 mm Width (incl. mirrors 2115 mm) ...... 1930 mm Height ............................................ 1855 mm Ground clearance (measured) ..........212 mm Seating capacity .......................................... 7 Fuel tank capacity (sub 30 litres) ..... 95 litres TOWING Max. towed mass (trailer plus load)... 3500 kg Max. towball download (laden trailer) ...350 kg NRMA THEFT RATING Points on 0-120 scale (high score best) .........50 WARRANTY ........Three years, 100 000 km MANUFACTURED IN ...................... Japan

TEST RESULTS

ACCELERATION 50 - 80 km/h (in 3rd).......................... 5.9 sec 60 - 100 km/h (in 3rd)........................ 9.7 sec 0 - 80 km/h....................................... 11.0 sec 0 - 100 km/h..................................... 17.3 sec 0 - 400 metres .................................. 20.3 sec FUEL CONSUMPTION (litres/100 km) Best recorded during testing .................. 11.7 Worst recorded during testing................ 13.8 Average on test ...................................... 12.9 BRAKING Distance to stop from 80 km/h... 30.2 metres NOISE Interior at constant 80 km/h ...........69 dB(A) Test vehicle supplied by Nissan Australia

Call Technical Advice on 1300 655 443 for additional information on this vehicle, and for other automotive advice. Report by NRMA Consulting, a business unit of National Roads and Motorists' Association Limited. Call NRMA Consulting on 1300 657 087, or visit www.nrmaconsulting.com .

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