Nissan and engineering partner Premcar introduced us to the Warrior concept with the Navara ute in 2019 and now they’ve had a crack at the Y62 Patrol wagon. Is it any good, or just big, heavy, noisy, thirsty and – at $101,160 plus on-roads – expensive?
It’s not like the Patrol is a struggler when it comes to heading off-road. The Y62 might not have a diesel engine but its big petrol V8 and competent 4×4 system do offer plenty of compensation.
As per the Navara Warrior, what Nissan and Premcar are trying to deliver is an even better off-roader that looks aggressively good doing it.
What they are trying to circumvent is someone buying a stock Y62 then kitting it out with a shopping list of aftermarket gear. To that they add a joint five-year warranty that covers the original equipment and the modifications.
What I like about the Nissan Patrol Warrior
- It’s undoubtedly more capable off-road than before
- It’s undoubtedly more capable on-road than before
- It sounds fantastic when that bimodal exhaust opens up
2023 Nissan Patrol Warrior by Premcar problems
- That V8 engine has a massive thirst for 95 RON
- It’s got a 3500kg braked towing claim, but payload isn’t great
- If you care about things like being able to hook up Apple CarPlay, look elsewhere
Nissan Patrol Warrior changes
On top of the base Patrol Ti – you can’t get a Warrior in more luxurious Ti-L spec – Premcar retunes the hydraulic body motion control dampers, softens the front spring and instals a progressive triple rate rear spring, adds taller jounce bumpers and whacks a set of 295/70R18 Yokohama Geolandar GO15 all-terrains on a set of unique two-tone alloys.
All that results in 50mm more ground clearance (+29mm suspension, +21mm tyre and wheel) and 40mm wider tracks (wheel offset) and a 40 degree approach angle (up from 34.4 degrees).
Reprofiled front bumper valances also help with the approach angle, while the departure angle is actually reduced because of a new tow hitch and bar that allows a full-size spare tyre and alloy wheel to be fitted under the floor.
There’s also a red 2.5mm steel Warrior bash plate, injection moulded fender flares that help make the Warrior 84mm wider, overall a black grille and Warrior decals and badging to remind you what you’re driving.
Drivetrain and interior stays the same
There’s no modifications to the VK56DE engine, seven-speed auto and 4×4 system. But you do get a bimodal exhaust that makes the Patrol sound like a NASCAR when activated.
Inside the cabin you’ll find a bit of piano black and some Alcantara instead of the standard woody trim. But there’s no equipment upgrades and only one subtle Warrior badge.
So if you want Apple CarPlay connection or a USB-C plug this is not your vehicle. The infotainment system is straight out of 2012, when the Y62 first launched!
Nissan Patrol Warrior off-road
Climies Track is one of those legendary places everyone who enjoys off-roading should visit. It’s on the south-west Tassie coast so it’s got spectacular views, it’s rocky, it’s technical and it’s slow. It took our convoy 90 minutes to go four kilometres.
And the Patrol lapped it up. The Y62 base is already pretty sound and by adding ground clearance and traction, the Warrior inevitably builds on that.
The Warrior’s substantial torque and muted throttle delivery in rock mode was right for the condition and the light and slack steering aided manoeuvrability.
Except for the time our Warrior refused to lock the rear diff there’s wasn’t any issues tackling any obstacle.
The primary challenge was the sheer size and width of the Warrior. Every vehicle emerged with a pin strip suit at the end of the drive.
Nissan Patrol Warrior on-road
While there was plenty of emphasis on off-road improvement, the Patrol’s chassis changes delivered just as much on-road as well.
It was more secure and stable when cornering than the stock Y62, while also retaining decent ride comfort. The retuned suspension and wider track no doubt helped there.
The engine is a beaut, full of grunt and flexibility. It does a commendable job hauling nearly 2.9 tonnes – yep you read that right!
The downside is, of course, fuel consumption. This things claims to burn through 14.4L/100km of 95 RON and we were seeing 22L/100km across our day of high and low range running. All of a sudden that 140 litre tank doesn’t look that big…
The transmission isn’t as enthusiastic as the engine. Any time we encountered corners it was time for more immediate manual mode, which also delivered both a throttle blip on downchange and a switch to the raucous bimodal exhaust as well!
Commendably, the Warrior retains the full 3500kg braked towing capacity of the standard Y62. There’s even been a GVM bump to help maintain payload.
But even so it’s a mere 386kg when towing at full capacity. That’s less than any other Patrol, but still 86kg more than the $40,000 more expensive Toyota LandCruiser GR Sport can manage in the same circumstances.
2023 Nissan Patrol Warrior by Premcar conclusion
The Nissan Patrol Warrior is a specialised vehicle aimed at people who want to get out and explore the vast tracts of Australia on offer beyond the black top.
To achieve that it has excellent off-road capability and comfortable on-road behaviour. While we tackled Climies, it’s just as easy to envision the Warrior blasting along the Oodnadatta Track, red dust billowing out behind.
If that sort of driving sounds like you and you have the budget to afford to buy it and run it, then the Patrol Warrior is a capable Aussie back-of-beyond tourer ready for some adventures.
2023 Nissan Patrol Warrior specs
Engine: 5.6-litre petrol V8
Power Figures: 298kW at 5800rpm
Torque figures: 560Nm at 4000rpm
Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic transmission
Towing Capacity: 3500kg
Front Track Width: 1735mm
Rear Track Width: 1735mm