1 Jun 1980
The all-new MQ Patrol was a decisive step towards civility.
Improved space and comfort, a less truck-like interior presentation, better handling, ride and braking characteristics and new drivetrain options brought the Nissan back into contention against its rapidly evolving Range Rover and Toyota LandCruiser rivals, as well as new competition from Mitsubishi (Pajero) and Holden/Isuzu (Jackaroo).
Initially only a new manual-only 70kW/215Nm 3.3-litre SD33 six-cylinder diesel engine was available, with a revised (though short-lived) 90kW/280Nm 4.0-litre OHV P40 six-cylinder unit and a car-derived 88kW/201Nm 2.8-litre OHC L28 six-cylinder petrol engine arriving from April ‘81.
The redesigned body styles were a three or four-seater Hardtop, Cab Chassis and utility, with two four-door wagon (including a well-equipped seven seater) variants following from October.
In late ’81 the seven-seat Deluxe wagon became available with a three-speed automatic option.
Two years later a more powerful 81kW/255Nm 3.3-litre SD33T six-cylinder turbo-diesel option was launched, along with refinements to the suspension, the standardisation of a limited slip differential across the range, a five-seat Hardtop and a revised dashboard.
New five-speed manual transmissions were also phased in.
By ’85 there were 21 Patrol variants, including a two-seat Patrol Hardtop for rural use.
An updated 84kW/270Nm 4.0-litre OHC P40 six-cylinder engine debuted.
Nissan also better matched the Patrol’s suspension for Australian conditions, and included power steering as standard on all models.