We Never Got the Base Nissan Patrol V8 With a Manual and That’s Tragic
Ever wanted an Armada with a manual? Well, that used to exist—just not in the U.S.
Nissan's American-market trucks like the Frontier and Pathfinder have both gotten updates recently, but the Armada, also known as the Patrol in other markets, is currently on its second facelift after being introduced way back in 2010. It's a pretty good truck in its own right, but in other markets, it used to be even better. Before 2017, Y62-generation Middle Eastern market cars could be had with a 5.6-liter V8 and a six-speed manual transmission.
We never got this base-trim combination of parts, though a Patrol dressed in this spec recently popped up on the Base Model Only Facebook group, and the pictures are pretty wild. If you've ever seen the interior of a Nissan Armada, well, prepare to be a little confused.
For those unfamiliar with the Patrol/Armada, it's one of the classic Japanese body-on-frame 4x4s like Toyota's Land Cruiser and Lexus LX in the United States. Production of the first-generation trucks started in Japan in 1951, and the nameplate has been going strong ever since. The first Patrol to get a V8, either the VK56DE with 320 hp or the VK56VD with 400 hp, is the current generation, and it's the one that's equipped with a six-speed here in the lower hp guise.
In the U.S., the Armada has only ever been available with an automatic; of course, the fancier QX80—Infiniti's version of the truck—isn't manual-equipped either. That's pretty typical when it comes to 4x4s, although the new Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler are both available with a clutch pedal. The optionally open-air American trucks aren't quite the same thing as their more sophisticated Japanese counterparts, though.
In any case, these Patrols were available with the V8-manual combo starting in 2010, so if you want to import one to the States, it's just a short wait until 2035 to get one here. Or if you don't want to wait, you can always attempt to get the parts and do the swap. It might be more trouble than it's worth, but hey, where there's a will, there's a way.
Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: firstname.lastname@example.org