What you need to know:
While the Cruiser might be new, the Patrol is more than 10 years old now and even though there has been a few facelifts and upgrades over that time, it is still essentially the same package.
The Toyota Land cruiser and Nissan Patrol are icons of the fiercest Japanese sports utility vehicle rivals since the 1950s. As they celebrate 70 years, Toyota has released the new Land Cruiser L300 while Nissan still rocks the Y62 Patrol, which has undergone updates, upgrades and face lifts, a preamble to the promised Y63 Patrol expected in 2024.
The 2022 L300 and updated Patrol Y62 both adorn sharper bolder front looks, have modern interiors fully furnished with the latest comfort features and electronic toys. They also both share legitimate off road and on road credentials. As they lock horns on the Ugandan market, you cannot help but acknowledge their differences and similarities.
Looks do not lie
The Toyota Land Cruiser L300 looks leaner, bolder and elegant. Stylish, wide powerful horizontal lines run from the constantly illuminated daytime running lights, on top of the tall chunky chrome grille to the unusually vertical ‘Pro box’ like rear housing sharp Light-emitting Diode (LED) taillights and impressive sequential blinkers.
Nissan Patrol Y62 is like old wine; improved with time and presented in new wine skins. The Patrol Y62’s front end is updated, well sculpted with stylish boomerang-shaped LED headlights straddling a deeper, more aggressive looking front chrome grille and air dams. These complement its imposing size and thicker looking skin under the smooth lines running across to the modern boomerang shaped tail lights and rear sequential indicators.
Toyota’s L300 offers the flexibility of petrol and diesel engines, ample power and better fuel economy and torque. The L300’s downsized twin turbo charged diesel 3.3L V6 plant delivers 306 horsepower (Torque: 700 Nm) while the twin turbo charged petrol 3.5L V6 delivers 415 horsepower (Torque: 650Nm).
The L300 has enhanced low speed power and smooth acceleration, courtesy of twin turbo charging which reduces turbo lag to augment the faster thinking 10-speed automatic transmissions.
The Nissan Patrol Y62 boasts a bigger gutsier petrol 5.6L V8 engine, which delivers less power (400 horsepower) and Torque (560Nm) but it is enough to confidently cruise on the highway or traverse the upcountry off road trails.
The thought of holding reins to a locomotive sized engine thrills the Patrol Y62 faithful and prospective buyers.
The Patrol Y62’s lower price tag $10,000 (approximately Shs36m), bigger size and good engine power seems to justify the consideration of spending a few more shillings on petrol per day.
Handling on the road
The Land Cruiser L300 is a polished on and off roader. Its leaner light weight Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) frame makes it nimble while it manipulates smarter dynamic technology to manoeuver easily through sharp turns and corners.
On the highway, less steering wheel input is required. The innovative multi-terrain select, Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension (EKDSS) combine to passively ensure stability and all terrain drivability. The all-wheel drive integrated management and speed adjustable crawl system locks rear wheels and ensures good off-road ground contact, long wheel articulation and reduced turning circle.
The L300’s multi terrain monitor gives you a real time view. The heftier Nissan Patrol Y62 feels planted to the road and inspires confidence. The Y62 makes up for absence of newer intuitive passive dynamic electronics with its sheer weight, size and good old fashioned double wish bone and coil springs, hydraulic adaptive suspension system. This tailors the Patrol’s ride to all terrain conditions.
The Y62 is a big contender off road thanks to a stronger under body metal cladding, better ground clearance and departure angle, low range transfer case and rear lockable differential. Nissan throws in some dynamic electronic goodies such as the multi terrain selector, electronic differential lock and hill descent control to help the faint hearted off roader.
The interior for both the Land cruiser L300 and Patrol Y62 are modern and impressive. The L300 centre console is decorated with chrome spats while Y62 has new wood trim. The switch gear and controls are also easy to find. The L300’s carbon fibre knobs and buttons are stylish and modern while those of the Y62 are classy and reminiscent of the older models. L300’s infotainment system boasts an advanced looking 12.3 inch tablet touch screen display while Y62 spots a smaller but effective eight inch touch screen.
Both infotainment systems offer interactive navigation, climate control, Apple car play and Android. The L300’s leatherex upholstery has a comfortable modern ergonomic design, while the Y62’S leather seats are wider and cushy. The Y62 has a more spacious sitting room.
It is hard to choose between L300’s JBL 14 speaker system and Y62’s BOSE Premium 13 speaker systems whose crisp clarity and fidelity will lull the sense of disquiet in any mind.
The safety credentials of the 10 airbag kitted L300 have a five-star endorsement by Australasian New Car Assessment Programme, while those of the six-airbag equipped Y62 are rated four star by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The two rival SUVs offer emergency autonomous braking with collision warning, blind spot warning, active cruise control, lane keep, change assist as well as driver attention monitoring.
The Toyota LC300 and Nissan Y62 are available on order from their dealerships in Uganda CFAO and Motor Care respectively. These dealers provide three-year warranty and after sales parts/service support. As long as you service and repair them with genuine parts and reputable fluids, both vehicles will give you reliable trouble-free motoring. The Toyota L300 costs from $145,000 (about Shs530m) upwards while the Nissan Y62 costs $135,000 (about Shs493m).