Mater Cars for Cancer is giving you the chance of choice; if you win the latest lottery, you’ll have the option of choosing a 300-series Toyota LandCruiser Sahara or a Nissan Patrol Ti. Worthy adversaries, but is one actually better than the other? Find out for yourself by winning, then choosing.
It could be argued that our society is built on rivalry. Sydney vs Melbourne. AFL vs NRL. Kylie vs Danni. Holden vs Ford. We’ve always loved a great pub debate, and the LandCruiser vs Patrol situation is no different. They both have their attributes; both are dependable, both can tow over three tonnes and both are king off road.
But is one more ‘king’ than the other?
Like any decent rivalry, there’s a deep history between these two, in this case stretching back to the late 1950s; even earlier than the Holden vs Ford rivalry many of us grew up on. While it probably surprises no one that the first shots were fired by Toyota, it was actually the US government that sparked the fire that set the flame.
Barely five years after the devastating end to World War II, the US placed an order for 100 Jeeps to be built by Toyota and by 1951, the industrious Japanese had a prototype. Toyota’s Jeep BJ was larger and more powerful than the Willys-type Jeep and in the hands of Toyota test driver Ichiro Taira, was the first car to reach the sixth stage of Mount Fuji, achieving the record height in July 1951, despite the lack of a low-range transfer case. Shots fired…at who, though?
Just a couple of months later, Nissan birthed their first-gen Patrol, plonking their own Jeep copy in dealerships in September 1951, powered by a big, 3.7 litre straight six, some 100ccs more than the largest LandCruiser engine. Shots returned. The rivalry was on.
As robust, ground-breaking, and important as these Jeep-derived first-gen fourbies were for both Toyota and Nissan, it took until each model’s second generation for them to truly hit their slow, steady but ultimately unstoppable stride. For Toyota, that came in 1955 with the introduction of the FJ20-series, most famously imported for the Snowy Mountains Scheme by Thiess Constructions in 1957. One of the largest infrastructure projects in Australia’s history, it created jobs for over 100,000 workers many of whom, like the Land Cruiser itself, were recent migrants to our shores. More shots fired.
But the engineers at Nissan weren’t sitting around; their 60-series Patrol took a little longer to boil before a 1959 release in Japan, the following year becoming the first Patrol model sold in Australia. In 1962, it’s claimed that the Nissan Patrol was the first vehicle to cross the Simpsons Desert; and although it was a private achievement and not a marketing stunt, it put the Toyota LandCruiser squarely in the Patrol’s sights. At least it would have, had rumours not abounded that a LandCruiser support vehicle had reached the rendezvous point before the Patrol. It’s hearsay, but still easy to get caught in the crossfire.
The great LandCruiser vs Patrol rivalry reached fever-pitch throughout in the 1980s, and spilled into the 1990s and 2000s, when both teams added turbo diesels to the mix, then replaced them all with big, fat turbo diesel V8s. The bent-eight mixture gave these off-road emperors not only significant four-wheel-driving capabilities, but a degree of alacrity that their ancestors just couldn’t muster.
The latest 300-series LandCruiser Sahara has done away with the V8, the engine that made the outgoing 200-series such a legend. Its new 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 has both the old Toyota V8 and the current Nissan Patrol covered in terms of power, response, and economy. But is it a legend? Is it as robust and unstoppable as the LandCruisers of yore? That’s a tough one, because only time will tell if its worthy of the accolade, ‘legendary’.
Throughout the decades, the GQ and GU Patrols put the good fight to the LandCruiser and the Y62, initially released in 2010 and upgraded significantly since then, represents the last of the old-school. The Y62’s 5.6 litre V8 is certainly up to the task of crossing the Simpson without concern, tried and true.
Perhaps it’s Dutch website Expedition Meister who sums it up best, having pitched the protagonists on paper as recently as January this year. They found that the LandCruiser and Patrol have been swapping blows – power, economy, reliability, towing, acceleration, features, build quality – you name it, for decades. Where the LandCruiser triumphs in one area, the Patrol triumphs in another, and vice versa, as it has been since time immemorial. Their verdict, phrased as only the Dutch know how, “Both are excellent vehicles for overlanding”.
So, grab a ticket today. Should you win, you’ll be able to make another entry in the generations-long fight between Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol, and not only that, you’ll be helping in the generations-long fight against cancer, as well as those living with it. Plus, Mater Cars for Cancer will throw in a 2022 Hurricane RV Family Tuff Rider caravan worth $97,990 and add the balance to $300k in cashable gold bullion. That’s worth settling an argument over, that’s for sure.