Nissan dilemma

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:13
ThreadID: 20282 Views:2316 Replies:14 FollowUps:8
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I started the day 100% sure that I wanted to buy a new 4.2 litre t/d DX Patrol (the DX being easier to keep clean than the ST and not having the 17 inch wheels). After discussions with the Nissan dealers I now am considering the 3.0 litre as the performance at face value appears to be equal. Also I am being strongly advised that the re-sale value will be better on the ST than on the DX.

As I may in the future buy a small caravan, has anybody found the 3 litre under powered etc ?

Are there any concerns with the off -road performance of the 3 litre compared to the 4.2 l especially in soft sand ?.

Is there a significant trade in advantage of the ST over the DX when the time comes to sell.

Thanks for your help


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Reply By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:29

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:29
Hi Paul,

enjoy buying your new car. It's great fun. Don't get overly stressed, try and enjoy the experience and definately DON'T make emotional, on the spot decisions.

Others will answer the questions about the cars, but I thought I would make a couple of points:

1. Find out what they have in stock and ask to see them. Dealers will ALWAYS try to steer you to something they have in stock and also are more willing to do a deal. If for example, you know they have 3.0L in stock and no 4.2DX, then you know what value his advice has.

2. If at all possible, try to go to 3 or 4 Nissan dealers + a Toyota dealer. Get advice from the Nissan dealers and don't tell them what you know. Also, tell the Toyo dealer that you strongly considering the Patrol and why in his opinion should you consider an LC. (He'll probably say resale, but ask anyway.) I found this useful when I bought my Rodeo. It was very interesting what I found out about the Rodeo from the Nissan and Toyo dealers. Then I took this info back and asked the Holden dealer some direct questions and used this research to get a better deal.

3. Don't bother looking at the resale value of the Nissans in a Nissan yard. They're inflated figures. Maybe find a specialist 4wd dealer if you can and check out his prices if this is important to you.

Anyway, as I said, good luck and I'm sure whatever you get you will be happy. You're bound to get plenty of good advice from the Nissan owners.


AnswerID: 97512

Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:07

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:07
Excellent advice there Smocky.
Really well thought out AND very true.

For what its worth, really the resale value means nothing if its damaged or full of scratches. They tell you that with the intention that the car will be looking as new condition at time of sale. I have learned from many bush trips expierences that weather its a DX, ST or TI, It means nuttin if its bush bashed. I am refering to visual here. So unless you know for sure that you will NOT put scratches on it, then go for the one that gives you better resale value.
Personally, Thats the last thing i think of when i buy cars, because at the time of purchase, im thinking of getting dirty and having fun NOT thinking of selling it.
just my shillings worth.
FollowupID: 356084

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:46

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:46

Go with your first choice.

There is no substitute for cubic inches

How do you think they get that motor to go so hard to produce the same performance.
Also ask yourself, why was he pushing the 3.0lt.They are too hard to sell!!!

AnswerID: 97516

Reply By: Len52 - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:17

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:17

Given that either way you go you are looking at a significant outlay, I think you are doing the right thing. I faced the same choices, although I had made up my mind that I wanted an ST when I went serious shopping in early to mid 2004.

I went in knowing that I needed to tow a horse float (and two nags) and / or a bloody big and heavy 6 metre tinnie with a 140HP donk on it, as well as the usual sorts of pranks one gets up to offroad.

I also had in my mind the fact that you may need some serious techo knowledge to work out why a 3 litre diesel might stop going, and what you might sensibly do if that occured given its obvious high tech nature. The 4.2 TD6 gave me an assurance I understood from my GQ days, because with the exception of the bolted on turbo and intercooler and its newer electronic fuel pump, the thing is unkillable and could still be coaxed into life by anyone who had a reasonable understanding of 'right arm over' diesel motors. I worried that this might not be the case with the smaller oiler.

In the end, it came down to a drive to the boatramp to tell me that for my needs I wanted the bigger motor.

Having made that decision, the rest was relatively easy. I am happier knowing that I don't need to be an diesel engineer to fix the engine if forward progress is impeded in the scrub, and I promptly went out and told them I wanted the TD6.

I was counselled at length by the Nissan dealer, who clearly had a number of different coloured smaller engined ST's he wished me to take.

I stuck to the decision and am seriously in lust with the TD6.

I will now get creamed by 3 litre owners, but you need to make the choices that best suit what you need.

Enjoy the experience!

AnswerID: 97520

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:15

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:15
G'day Len and Paul,

Same story when I went to buy my new GU in 2000. The dealer only had 1 demo and it was a 3L auto. I didn't want an auto under any circumstances, although I acknowledge they are great at everything except steep downhill engine-braking. I was driving a 1993 GQ with aftermarket Turbo at the time. I took the 3L for a test drive and the dealer was went like a cut cat and made my old GQ 4.2 TD feel VERY agricultural indeed. There was also the promise of better fuel economy, cheaper purchase price etc.

The dealer thought I was a stubby short of a 6 pack when I insisted on getting the 4.2TD. I got it in ST form because I thought I was gunna need one of the back dicky seats when I had my eldest sone for the weekend access visits I was enduring at that time. (never happened anyway and I wish now that I'd bought the DX, although I do like the electric wing mirrors on the ST).

The 3L will do everything the 4.2 can do....and some things it will actually do BETTER. But I never regret buying my 4.2 cos of what I said earlier about "bushability". My boy racer days are long gone and I'm happy to be a tad more sedate (not a whole lot in it anyway). The 4.2 has a lot of truck characteristics and that's why I refer to it as a "truck", while I refer to other 4x4s (cruisers and 3L patrols for example) as "cars".

That's just me. I'm not perfect and I don't try to push my views down anybody else's throat.....I just like to make others aware of how I arrived at my decision. There is no right or wrong 4x4 to buy, you have to weigh up the features and benefits of what's available in your price bracket and outlay your hard-earned dough.

Good luck mate.
FollowupID: 356122

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 20:24

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 20:24
The only concern I would have.... and the 3L owners can verify this (or crucify me! LOL).... that when you are off road and revs are "underneath-the-turbo" the 3L motor is trying to push a +2T truck...... the 4.2 develops bucket loads of torque low down... off road its a gem! As I understand it the 3L is a great tourer, but if you are heading off road, the TD6 would be my choice.....

I have my heart set on one when the time to upgrade from the mighty GQ comes around..... :-)

Hope this helps mate... and good luck!
AnswerID: 97535

Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 21:53

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 21:53
I've got a 3.0 DX and love it but would definaately have preferred a 4.2. In the end it comes down to dollars and the 3.O for me represented better value for what I wanted. It's my work vehicle so is easier to clean, don't need or want 7 seats.
AnswerID: 97556

Reply By: muzzimbidgie - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:00

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:00
From someone who has a 3.0 patrol, I don't find it under powered. For off road work, or towing my Jayco wind-up camper full of all the crap we fill 'em with when going away, it's not a drama. You just have to change your style of driving to suit the car, and this doesn't take very long at all.

In sand the 3.0 auto is no worries at all, however, the manual can be a pain in the neck, so I've heard ! (constantly changing up and down because of no power under 1800 rpm)

BUT, I have always been a fan of grunty six pot turbo diesels, I just couldn't afford one at the time, and the 3.0 auto is absolute joy to drive around town.
AnswerID: 97560

Reply By: Chaz - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:02

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:02
I understand your delema, because I too went through the same exercise some time ago. I chose the 3.0 litre, mainly because I wouldn't have anything but an auto and the 4.2 isn't available in auto. The choice was made a bit easier by the $7000 difference in price. The only negative issue with the 3.0L is it's reliability, although those problems seem to have been solved. Only time will tell.
If you'll be keeping the car for 400,000 plus kilometers, then get the 4.2, but if you intend to update after a few years, because your concerned about resale, the 3.0 is IMHO the better option.
Buy the 3.0 liter ST and put the money you save towards a Dtronic and auto trans. Take a close look at the power and torque figures with the dtronic, and the running costs.
Easy choice!

AnswerID: 97561

Reply By: Phils - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:07

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:07
Make sure you test drive each one before you buy.
I've driven the 4.2td GU and I think it was a slug compared to my 80 series 4.2td.
I now have the Navara 3.0td and tow a Jayco Eagle Outback and it does it quite easily.
Good Luck.
AnswerID: 97564

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:23

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:23

I agree with you, the 4.2 GU T/D feels like a slug until you get used to it and also until it's done about 35,000 to 40,000klm (when it can truly be said to be "run-in"). It's running gear is built more like a truck and it's not meant to be a scorcher at the traffic lights.....but it'll pull all day like a 12 year old school boy and never complain. It won't need a rebuild until well beyond 500,000klm if it's serviced correctly etc.

As I said above, it's a case of what's "right" for the bloke whose money it is that's being shelled out.

Cheers mate....
FollowupID: 356124

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:09

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:09
You are taking advice from a car dealer? LMAO

I have some swamp forsale...
AnswerID: 97565

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:16

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 22:16
PS Im sure this has been done 209342039802394023984 times before
FollowupID: 356123

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 20:47

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 20:47
T-man I have told you 209342039802394023985 times not to exaggerate
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history

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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 23:36

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 23:36
I dont care.
headin to JohnR's tomorrow for weekend... AWAY FROM HOUSE.


FollowupID: 356332

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 23:39

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 23:39
Hi Paul,

I went through a similair decision when I ugraded my 1HZ 80 series. At the end of the day, you will be happy with either choice, but I am glad I went the 3.0TD.

As for the DX vs ST, I reckon resale price will be the same % wise considering it was cheaper in the first place. Plus I MUCH prefer the 16" rims, only advantage for 17" is marginally improved on-road but disadvatage offroad with higher cost and less choice. However, I wouldn't be without my power antenae, windows and mirrors etc... after so many years with a standard 80 series. Must be getting soft as I get older...

As for 3.0TD vs 4.2TD, well there is SO much talked about here but basically everyone is happy with what they chose for their own reasons. The 4.2TD has a proven reliability record, while the 3.0TD is probably just as good now (waiting for the response to that!!!), just the series II was questionable. But drive the 3.0TD and 4.2TD back to back and you will see there is no comparison.

The 4.2TD has oodles of bottom end umph but hasn't much puff as the revs rise. In comparison the 3.0TD has soft bottom end but certainly gets up and boogies. If you are going to be towing, get the auto 3.0TD, add a Dtronic and you will have one of the best tow vehicles around (and thats BEFORE price is taken into account).

I have a manual Dtronic 3.0TD and still amazed at how well it tows my 1.6T offroad van. Being a manual, I notice the lack of bottom end, but with the Dtronic you have over 350Nm at ~1250rpm, and a peak torque of 420Nm at 2,000rpm. Thats stump pulling torque in anyones books. And once you are travelling at 100km/hr, floor tha accelerator and you will overtake with ease. Its something that the 4.2TD cannot do (in standard form).

Factor in better fuel economy for the 3.0TD and one wonders why anyone buys the 4.2TD! But thats because once you are in 4WD low range territory the bottom end of the 4.2TD is legendary. While I reckon the 3.0TD is good, the 4.2TD is better the worse the terrain gets. But put them side by side on the beach and the 3.0TD is in its territory.

As for reliability, while the 4.2TD has the runs on the board, the latest incarnation the TD6, now has electronic control on the fuel pump, EGR valve and an intercooler smaller than the 3.0TD (from the 2.8TD). But still, I cannot think of a more reliable vehicle. But while many have an unnatural fear of airflow meters, electronic fuel pumps, ECU's etc... they are very relaible, but not bush fixable. I reckon you have more chance of a 2 cent widgit that is common to both vehicles breaking than a major electronic failure, but thats just my opinion. Ultimately you have more chance of repairing a 4.2TD in the scrub than a 3.0TD.

Now unfortunately virtually all of us spend out time dreaming how we want to be offroad while driving to and from work. Most people spend at least 80% of their kms on-road, and I'm talking about us here, not the shopping trolley 4WD's that that do 99.999% on-road. One thing that I think just about everyone agrees on is that the 3.0TD is much more responsive for the daily grind.

Anyway, after this long winded reply, I reckon you will be happy what ever you choose and thats all that really counts.



PS. Go the white!!! While the metallic colours look great, they are a bugger for scratches in comparison.



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AnswerID: 97582

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 10:47

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 10:47
G'day Captain,

For once in my life (hahahahaha) I agree with EVERY word you have said...

Good one on.


FollowupID: 356189

Reply By: pauls - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 10:13

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 10:13
Thank you everybody for your opinions. After dissussions with the Nissan dealer I was beginning to feel a moron for even considering the 4.2 DX. Obviously I now have a little more informed opinion and advice on which to base my choice.


AnswerID: 97624

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 15:32

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 15:32
>> I was beginning to feel a moron for even considering the 4.2 DX

Why is that? I reckon they are great.. and as Flappan says, its your coin, dont worrybleepabout what the dealer says.. or anyone.

If you drive it and your happy with it, then buy it, trip round aussie etc and show the prick in the dealers the photos!
FollowupID: 356232

Reply By: flappa - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 10:27

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 10:27
At the end of the day its YOUR money , YOUR vehicle , and YOUR choice.

DONT buy what he wants you to buy m buy what YOU want to buy. If he doesn't want to play . . . go elsewhere.

I've been told a number of times , its better to buy a vehicle from the bush dealers. More willing to deal.
AnswerID: 97625

Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 18:42

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 18:42
I haven't got a clue and only read this thread out of interest.

I will say this, it is probably the best selection of sensible, informative responses to a question without some of the infantile squabbling that goes on all too often, that I have seen. Very enjoyable read.


AnswerID: 97696

Reply By: Kumanara (SA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 23:36

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 23:36
The final choice is up to you.

I have a 4.2TD and after doing my research decided to get this rather than the 3.0 litre. The Nissan Dealers push the 3.0 litre in preference to the 4.2.

Have a think. Why is the Nissan cab chassis fitted with a 4.2 and the 3.0 litre unavailable in that model. It is because if you are going to do work the 4.2 is the better vehicle. If you are going to cruise the highway the 3.0 litre is the better vehicle.
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