I know it's a matter of opinion, but many four-wheelers across the rest of the world would agree with me. The Nissan Patrol is the best truck that was never sold in the United States. Well, not exactly--there was an earlier version available during the sixties and a later version known under the name the QX56. However, the best models of this legendary vehicle didn't make it to the U.S.
I would go out on a limb and say that maybe, except for the Toyota Landcruiser, no match for the Nissan Patrol as an off-road vehicle has been seen in the United States. The Nissan Patrol was famous for its rugged construction. In the '80s it came with leaf springs in both front and back and solid axles as well. It was a mid-sized vehicle in its day, and it had no match in its class. It was even built as heavy-duty as some one-ton trucks. Off-road it was almost unstoppable. It was immensely popular, and continues to be even to this day, in the Australian market and in places where good roads are the exception. It is very popular in the United Arab Emirates, where it is modified for races in the dunes.
The following were the most popular versions of this legendary truck:
These engines were literally bullet-proof. For many owners, upwards of 300,000 miles was not uncommon with the diesel engines, and that's before a rebuild. The 160 came with a four- or five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic, which was an option in the petrol versions.
This model came with a 4.2-liter naturally aspirated straight 6-diesel. It also came with a 4.2-liter petrol with the same configuration as the diesel. These engines were tough, and like the SD33 diesels, many owners drove over 300,000 miles without problems. The diesel was quite strong and torquey for its day. The TD42, as the diesel was known, was immensely popular. To this day, many owners are still driving them in the Y60 configuration daily. Other engines in the Y60 were the 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder petrol and the 2.8-liter inline 6-cylinder turbodiesel.
Transmission options for this Patrol were a four- or five-speed manual and a three-speed automatic, which was an option on the petrol engines. In Japan, the domestic market got the Nissan Safari, which had as standard what the Patrol had as options. Some TD42 engines came with a turbocharger and automatic transmission.
The model that eventually made it to the United States, the latest Patrol or Infiniti QX56, was built in 2010, although the Y61 is still being built in some markets. Off-road performance has suffered a little in comparison to previous Patrols, and is similar to most four-wheel drive trucks being built these days. The comfort levels and on-roadability have improved tremendously. This SUV comes with a powerful 5.6-liter V8 engine.
To date, no diesel options are available. This Patrol comes with the option of four transmissions:
The Infiniti QX56/Patrol is a bit larger than its closest competitor, the Toyota Landcruser, and also more powerful. It also competes against the Ford Expedition, the Chevy Tahoe and the Dodge Durango.
The Patrol has had legendary status in the countries where it has been sold. The parts have even been used in lesser vehicles, for those enthusiasts who need extreme off-roadability. I believe that at its best, this is the best truck that the U.S. never got--do you agree? Let me know in the comments.