Toyota Landcruiser versus Nissan Patrol

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 21:33
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Hi all. We're just starting out, about to take 3 mths off (May-July) doing part of WA and NT (if we get that far in the time we have). Total newbies and a family of 5 - kids 11 down to 4. It seems from all we've read that the 2 vehicles of choice - we're towing a Jayco Swan - for off road in particular and outback in general, would be the Nissan Patrol (cheaper) and the Toyota Landcruiser, both turbo diesel. We will probably sell the thing on our return (unless Julia falls in love with camping and the vehicle itself), as it seems wasteful to use such a specialised vehicle for dropping the kids off at school and doing the shopping. Given the price difference, is there any reason we shouldn't go with a Nissan Patrol, and if a Patrol, what recommendations around the 35-40K? Many thanks in advance, Michael and Julia.
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Reply By: Rock Ape - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 21:42

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 21:42
One wears black and one wears white depending which side of the fence you are on. Both are good units and as long as you look at low k's and late models both will do the job easily.

AnswerID: 287147

Reply By: Outbacktourer - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:05

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:05
Michael and Julia,

Being newby's you probably didn't realise the hand grenade you have dropped in here, the Toyota vs Nissan debate is the hottest around. In fact there have been 19 people look at your post before me and no one has touched it!

At the risk of not providing enough detail (just about off to bed) I'd give you the following advice.

1. Landcruisers and Patrol's are arguably the two most capable off road vehicles around in standard form and can both be modified readily to be much more so.

2. Patrol 3.0Di Turbo Diesels should be avoided prior to mid 2002.

3. Both of these vehicles will keep going (off road) long after your experience and desire to continue has been exhausted.

4. Numerous (perhaps less capable) vehicles will do much more than you require, demand far less of an investment and perhaps be better suited to what you will be doing most of (formed road touring). Pathfinder, Prado and Pajero come to mind.

5. Stick to major brands for dealer backup.

6. Fit decent new All Terrain tyres and protect the Jayco from stone damage no matter what you buy.


AnswerID: 287154

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:15

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:15
Excellent, unbiased advise. Listen to it and you shouldn't go wrong!


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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:28

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:28

Well written. I fully agree.

It is good that someone has written factial and unemotive information on this issue.

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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:26

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:26
Maybe do some research like an archive search on here for 3.0 litre Nissan and see if it helps you to make up your mind.
I would hate to see a young family suffer the problems particularly the financial implications of investing in the wrong car.
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Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:49

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 22:49
Hey Michulia.

I have had 12 Toyota's over 26 years, each has given me what I needed in a 4wd, be it work or play.

In other jobs I have done (surveying ) we have always used Toyota's, we used to put these things through HELL and always drive them back.

My family have always had Toyota's from my grand father, uncle my father even my sister.

Toyota's has never let me down, having said that I have never driven a Nissan so I will not compare, all though I do believe that Toyota holds it's value better, I will stand corrected.

My guess is you won't sell it you will continue to have fun with it, I would look at it as if you were keeping it, buy it like it's an investment.

Have fun drive safe.

Cheers Steve.

AnswerID: 287166

Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 23:26

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 23:26
A 3rd option would be a Toyota Prado 120 TD. They are of a similar size to the Patrol & would tow A Jayo easily with better road handling, comfort, features & econemy as well as being $5K cheaper as well. They are not a soft option in the offroad department either with much of the mechanicals sourced from the 80 series Landcruiser. (gearbox/diffs)
With 180L fuel tanks standard and a far greater payload, I would go as far as to say they are a better outback tourer than the current model 200 series. If selling after the trip resale is always good on the Landcruiser & Prado diesels unlike the 3L Nissans.
All 3 would do an excellent job towing for an around Oz trip. Take them for a drive.
Cheers Craig..................
AnswerID: 287174

Reply By: Anglo - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 23:36

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 23:36
Congratulations on your decision to take some time off.

Its the same as the one my fiancée and I are taking as well. We're taking a bit longer (8-9 months) and we're planning a big loop, but we looked at the same choices as you did. Well we started off looking at dual cab utes, before upping the budget and looking at the bigger wagons.

IN the end we went for a 2004 auto Patrol. Our reasons? Price was the big one, when you look at comparable Cruisers and Patrols, you will add at least 10K to the price to get a similar age and k's for a cruiser.

Maybe the cruisers are better, but the money saved for us meant an extra couple of months on the road, and that was the big clincher. I must also admit that the sheer number of variations of the landcruiser and the investigating each type to discover things to look for daunting! With the patrol you just need to make the decision between a 4.2 or 3.0, and make sure that you go for a 2003 onwards if you choose the 3.0.

I know that the problems with the engine were sorted with the 2003 release, but I have heard some reports that there were some older 3.0 sneaked into this release...

I think they are both the great options for a long trip around Oz purely for their innate toughness, and ability to get out of most of the situations you're likely to put yourself.

Things that we found whilst looking are that there an awful lot of dodgy examples out there, and a good service history, independent inspection and a test drive are essential! Don't buy the first one you try. We nearly bought an ex-rental lemon that way. Check out for price guides, but expect to pay a couple of K more than their guide for a good example.

Good hunting, and hope you have a great trip

AnswerID: 287175

Follow Up By: Anglo - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 23:38

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 23:38
Sorry meant the 2002 update of the Patrol was the one with the stronger engine, but I have heard rumours that some of the older model engine did make it into that release. Hope that clears it up a bit!

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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 00:02

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 00:02
Dont Think you will get a TD cruiser in decent nick for 35-40
while TD nissans are a dime a dozen the TD cruiser is not as common and holds its value far better
AnswerID: 287178

Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 06:43

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 06:43
Congratulations to all of you who have responded so far!!
When I first read the heading of the post, I thought WOW, this will make for some interesting & volatile reading!! What a well behaved mob you are. LOL
Happy travelling Michael & Julia, sounds like you are in for a great trip & the vehicle advise seems pretty unbiased to me. Good luck.
AnswerID: 287194

Reply By: meandet - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 08:54

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 08:54
Hi Michael and Julia

You lot will have a ball.. You might just find that it gets into your blood and there will be no selling anything when you get back.

I don't know anything about Jayco Swans. If perchance the wheels of the Swan match one vehicle or the other it would probably tip me one way or the other. To be able to mix and match wheels can be an advantage for spare wheel changes, ie less spares you may need.

You have lots of things to think about between now and May as to what you will need for the trip. I suggest that you don't ask a fridge question on this forum unless you want a million conflicting responses.

We have done 6 big trips since 2001 and we are still adjusting, adding' deleting things we take.

Have fun.


AnswerID: 287209

Reply By: zook - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 11:00

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 11:00
I know this says Landcruiser vs patol and other people have made some valuable suggestions like prado and pajero BUT

What about the the Landrover Defender - arguably the best stock 4x4 and reasonably comfortable as a tourer - but they might not come standard with 7 seats.

Otherwise the discovery comes with seven seats and is very good stock as well

Both are much cheaper then landcruisers and the defender is similar to the patrol in price.

my 2c worth

AnswerID: 287233

Reply By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 13:22

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 13:22
If you can afford the difference get the Toyota if not the Patrol, both are good at what they do. Why should you pay the difference for the Toyota..? Truthfully , because they worth every cent you pay for a good one. Why and this is the touchy subject when you compare the 2..? If my life depended on it and if I wanted to minismise the percentage of a breakdown the Toyota is the better built all round product, thats not to say the Nissan isn't good at what it was designed to do, but because there is a sublte difference.
AnswerID: 287247

Follow Up By: michulia - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:17

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:17
A sincere "Thankyou" to all those who have pitched in with advice and comments, and also for all the words of encouragement. It is certainly helpful and empowering to know you guys are all out there and that there's a whole community of knowledge and experience to tap into. No doubt some of our paths will cross in the future. In the meantime, happy touring to all and we'll post a note when we've made a purchase (if not before). Kindre'ds, M&J.
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