Nissan’s Diesel Dilemma

Nissan Y61 Patrol

Nissan’s rugged old faithful Y61 Patrol might be not long for this world when it comes up against the next generation of EU emission regulations in 2016.

The aging Y61 live-axle Patrol is still sold alongside the new generation Y62 and is still the choice for owners wanting an affordable, off-road capable Nissan 4x4, and the only choice if you want a diesel Patrol. The luxurious Y62 is only available with a thirsty 5.6-litre petrol V8 engine.

Speaking at the launch of the NP300 Navara this week, Nissan Australia CEO Richard Emery told 4x4 Australia that the future of the old workhorse was still undecided.

“To continue with it (Y61) beyond 2016 would mean meeting EU5 emissions and that would require considerable investment,” he said. “It would really be for us (Australia) only so it’s a very limited market. A decision on whether to go ahead with it will have to be made by the end of this year (2015)”

Emery told us that there are no plans to fit any other diesel engine to the Patrol and meeting the future regulations would mean cleaning up the aging current four-cylinder ZD30 turbodiesel. He also went on to say that there are no plans to fit a diesel to the current generation of Y62 Patrol.

Updated -Navara -NP300

“There’s no diesel in the pipeline for the current vehicle and if anything were to change it wouldn’t be until the next generation due in 2018-19,” he said.

This leaves the potential that Nissan could have no diesel Patrol and no diesel 4x4 wagon in its line up for the last part of the decade. If Y61 were to disappear in 2016 and with no possibility of a diesel Y62 until 2019, Australian Nissan buyers looking for an outback touring vehicle will be left wanting and looking elsewhere.

One possible solution would be a 4x4 wagon based on the new NP300 Navara ute, but again Emery hosed down that prospect for the immediate future. “It (a Navara-based wagon) is being talked about but there is nothing locked in at this point,” he said. “And if such a vehicle was to be built we (Nissan Australia) would have to look very hard at it as that is a very small segment of the market.”

A Navara-based wagon could be seen as true successor to the earlier Nissan Pathfinder models as the current US-sourced Pathy is more people mover than 4x4 SUV. It would join other ute-based wagons already on sale including the Isuzu MU-X, Holden Colorado 7 and the Mitsubishi Challenger, which itself it due to get a new model before year’s end.

Updated -Patrol -Y62Also soon joining the class will be Ford’s new Ranger-based Everest wagon (September launch expected) and Toyota’s new Hilux-based Fortuna (early 2016), so it will become quite a competitive, if relatively small, segment.

Y62 Patrol will get a model re-alignment in the coming months when the next shipment of vehicles arrives with the current three models cut back to two and sharper pricing. The Y62 has been a slow seller and there are still ‘new’ 2013 plated Y62s available if you look around. Getting rid of them has meant some heavy discounting by Nissan dealers. The new pricing and specification is expected to better reflect what the market is prepared to pay for a large, luxury, but petrol-only, 4x4 from Nissan.

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