The GU series Patrol launched in 2004 is essentially the last major facelift of the venerable GQ model launched back in 1998. Patrol is big with a capital ‘B’ and tough with a capital ‘T’. Available as a 5-door wagon and coilcab chassis ute, Patrols have conquered all over Australia and have an enviable reputation for getting just about anywhere and back. Engines include 3.0-litre and 4.2-litre turbo-diesels and the 4.8-litre six cylinder petrol. Those who like weekend adventures will accept the Patrol’s working-week limitations in the city (parking challenges and a sometimes jarring ride) to enjoy its fabulous off-road ability – massive ground clearance and dual-range 4WD take it places that leave other full-size 4WDs choking in its dust.
Years 2007 –
Doors & Body Type: 5D wagon 2D cab chassis ute
Engine Size: 3.0l (D) 4.2l (D) 4.8l (P)
Dollars and Cents
Poor Condition Average Condition Retail
DX Cab Chassis (D) ’06 $29,500 $34,900 $41,000
ST-S Wagon (P) ’06 $33,000 $39,000 $45,300
DX Wagon (D) ’07 $35,100 $41,500 $48,300
On The Road
The Patrol thumbs its nose at those do-gooders who criticise these types pf vehicles and its sales success (plus that of the LandCruiser and Pajero) indicate that for many Australians, these vehicles meet specific lifestyle needs. Let’s talk about towing: for those who carry two-horse floats, large boats or caravans, the Patrol (and ‘Cruiser and Pajero) are amongst only a handful of vehicles which can legally tow them – and Patrol probably does the best job. Let’s talk about rural producers or city folk with country properties – the Patrol offers the go-anywhere characteristics that can take them out to the extremities of their properties to do essential work (herding stock, fixing fences etc). Let’s talk about large families with children engaged in sports that require a lot of gear to be carried – Patrol does that as well. OK, in the city, Patrol doesn’t deliver great fuel economy, it’s like driving a truck and it’s difficult to manoeuvre – but for those with specific needs, this is one of the best buys in the used car market.
What To Look For
If this is your first 4WD, get an independent inspection and written report. Try to ascertain the service history of any Patrol you are considering. Have a long look underneath for indications the vehicle has spent a lot of time in harsh off-road environments or been used extensively on beaches and boat ramps – Patrol’s chassis is probably the toughest in the business but by its nature it does attract buyers with extreme needs/aspirations. As always, check the tyres for unusual wear (replacement tyres for full-size 4WDs are expensive) and check under the bonnet for signs of oil leaks and the condition of the coolant fluid. Have a close look in the luggage area for signs of wear and tear. Small numbers of Patrols have been sold into the rental market so keep an eye out for those.
The Final Verdict
+ Big enough to fill a suburban block - Uses fuel prodigiously
+ Tougher than tough - Lots of abused examples on sale