1 Feb 1988
Right from its onset the GQ Patrol two-door hardtop and four-door wagon variants shot Nissan into the 4WD big time, capturing hitherto non-4WD buyers, 4x4 buffs and fleet managers alike – along with a swag of awards.
The GQ offered buyers exceptional on-road comfort and refinement combined with excellent off-road ability at a fraction of the Range Rover’s (rising) price, as well as chunky, modern good looks.
New to the GQ was the long-travel all-round coil suspension, 125kW/325Nm 4.2-litre OHV TB42 six-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic option and an 85kW/264Nm 4.2-litre OHV diesel unit.
The MQ’s straight-line 4WD transfer shift pattern was improved and refined, while on-the-fly low to 2-high to 4-high was now possible.
Cabin space increased markedly while comfort features included power steering, radio, clock and a tachometer.
The GQ range consisted of the two-door five-seat Hardtop and four-door wagon in DX and ST guises – with the latter two in six and seven seven-seater configurations respectively.
The MQ-based three-seat GQ Cab Chassis Patrol continued with a revised version of the old semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension for improved suspension travel and ride quality.
In late ’89 the luxury Ti wagon arrived. It included a high-roof body, chrome trim, a rear differential lock and two-way freewheeling hubs, air-conditioning, velour trim, power windows, electric mirrors, central locking and a sunroof.
In early ’90 a retuned version of the ex-Skyline (and Holden VL Commodore) RB30 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine producing 100kW/224Nm was introduced in a seven-seater ST wagon version.
A year later the Ti lost its high-roof body style for the more conventional low-roof wagon body, but gained the two-door Hardtop body.
Meanwhile, the DX Hardtop and ST wagon variants disappeared, although the strong-selling ST 3.0 and diesel wagons were renamed ST-3 and GLi respectively. A facelifted GQ Series II was released in 1992, which included a revised 4.2-litre engine that included fuel-injection and other modifications.
Transmission, suspension, steering and sound deadening refinements were incorporated, along with bigger brakes and wheels and the standardisation of a limited slip differential and auto freewheeling hubs.
New seats, trim and side intrusion bars were also introduced. There was one more GQ facelift from early ’95, which saw the series through to the all-new GU Patrol of early '98.