Nissan SUV – A 65-Year Legacy Journey from Japan

Having traveled a 65-year journey of inheritance and development, the renowned legacy in the 4WD field has played a significant role in shaping Nissan's SUV lineup. Starting from the Jeep-inspired first-generation Patrol in the 1950s to the contemporary models like Murano, Juke, and X-trail, Nissan's heritage in the SUV segment has evolved remarkably. Let's take a closer look at Nissan's journey in the SUV domain and discover some fascinating insights below.


Ignited by passion

65 years ago, at a small factory in Japan, Nissan brought to life the 2-door drivetrain system in the legendary Patrol 4W60 prototype. Set in the historical context after World War II, the 4W60 was created based on the specialized features of military vehicles, hence the car has a similar appearance to the American Willy Jeep but with superior power.

SUV Nissan – A 65-year heritage journey from Japan Nissan-Patrol-1951.jpgImage of the 1951 Nissan Patrol 4W60

Just four years later, Nissan developed the technology and introduced the 4W61 version with completely new abilities. Instead of the split windshield and two equally sized seats in the front row like the 4W60, the 4W61 is equipped with five horizontal bars similar to a grille, in which the second and fourth bars are chrome-plated, the hood is designed higher, and the windshield is a single piece, creating a more distinct space for the driver.

Leading the modern trend

The next version in this product line was the 4W65 Patrol, introduced in 1959. The three-loop bumper guard, flat front hood design, and five chrome-plated horizontal bars helped the latest Patrol model achieve a more modern shape.

SUV Nissan – A 65-year heritage journey from Japan Nissan-Patrol-4W65-1959.jpgThe Nissan 4W65 Patrol with a more modern shape.

In the 1960s, the Patrol appeared with a new, more distinctive personality, breaking away from the Jeep-shaped model. The three-loop bumper guard was attached to the body, while the front design was wider and the rear was narrower, giving the Patrol a strong and imposing image.

In the mid-1980s, Nissan brought a new breeze to the SUV concept with the introduction of the Terrano – considered as the “sibling” of the Pathfinder. The large luggage compartment design increased the interior space for passengers; the modern and stylish exterior were the advantages that the Terrano fully met the increasing demands of consumers at that time for SUVs.

SUV Nissan – A 65-year heritage journey from Japan Nissan-Terrano-1980s.jpgTerrano from the 1980s is considered as the “sibling” of the Pathfinder.

Not satisfied with themselves, at the beginning of 1988, Nissan continued to improve the GR Patrol version with central locking, power windows, headlights, windshield wipers, and separate air conditioning for the front and rear seats to provide the most peace of mind for users. In addition, the full-time 2-wheel drive system helps the car conquer many roads, even the most rugged terrains. 10 years later, in 1998, Nissan focused on safety features on products, specifically, the safest features that many drivers at that time recognized in the 98 Patrol such as: anti-lock braking system, front-rear balance, airbags.

65 years – The heritage journey continues

“Innovation that excites” – This simple yet meaningful slogan has become Nissan’s global commitment in the 65-year journey of the SUV line, and the entire more than 80-year history of Nissan in general.

Nissan always diversifies your experiences with the SUV line through “passionate ambassadors” such as: Murano, X-Trail, Pathfinder, Rogue, Qashqai, Juke. These are not only the technological achievements of a car brand from the land of the rising sun but also seen as symbols that create personality and style for owners. With a focus on safety, efficiency, and sustainability, Nissan has achieved many successes, being the most popular Asian car brand in Europe – considered the most demanding market – where the brand’s main markets include the UK 34%, Spain 18%, and Germany 11%.*

In Vietnam, Nissan’s SUV line has also gained trust from customers thanks to its strong chassis system, powerful engine, simple yet modern design, convenient interior space with many high-end features, providing a comfortable driving experience, meeting the diverse needs of customers in terms of quality, needs, and finances. Aiming to bring more choices to Vietnamese customers, Nissan will officially introduce a new crossover model with more distinctive features and details – more superior in this segment in particular and the automotive technology field in general.

Let’s look forward to a masterpiece from the 65-year heritage journey from Nissan – The brand of the land of the rising sun!

*Source: Automotive News Europe, July 2015

Duc Hai (Trithucthoidai)