We drive the Nissan Warrior 4WD vehicles at Mt Disappointment

Are the Nissan Warrior 4WDs any good

Warrior by Premcar – I recently went on a drive program for Nissan and their Warrior series of 4WDs. These vehicles are re-engineered by Premcar in Epping Victoria.

2024 Nissan Warrior Range

There are three Warrior by Premcar vehicles: Navara SL Warrior, Navara Pro 4X Warrior and Patrol Warrior.

2024 Nissan Warrior Production Line Premcar 2

A bit about Premcar

Premcar has its history well entrenched in Australian Automotive industry. The original company was heavily involved in Ford Performance Vehicles. However, when Automotive manufacturing finished in 2017 in Australia, the peripheral companies often went down with the ship.

However out of the wreckage, Premcar emerged and now with over 28 years’ experience behind them, they are integrally involved with a number of engineering projects.

Premcar Warrior – or more correctly Nissan Warrior built by Premcar, is such a collaboration.

I visited the factory facilities at Epping in Victoria. They are first class.

The level of attention to detail in everything  they do is amazing and comforting.

The facilities were spotless, and the workers seemed genuinely happy. The even tolerated a bunch of journalists wandering through their workspace with grace.

Premcar Fast Facts

  • Premcar staff numbers have grown from 25 people in 2012 to around 200 people in 2024
  • Each Nissan vehicle takes one day to travel the Warrior production line
  • Premcar’s total Warrior capacity is 32 vehicles per day
  • Nissan vehicles are delivered at 10pm, and are collected exactly 24 hours later with the Warrior transformation complete
  • Each of Premcar’s manufacturing facilities measure 6500sqm, and are located just 900m from each other in Epping, Victoria
  • Nissan Warrior by Premcar: 10,000 strong and counting

2024 Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior in mud 1

Nissan Warrior Video

Where we went

We took the three vehicles through the Mt Disappointment Satet Forest. Perhaps not the best name for a location when testing 4WDs, but I can assure you it was anything but disappointing. (sorry but I just HAD to make the pun).

The mountain got its name back in 1824 when the explorers Hume and Hovel climbed it and thought they would be able to see Port Philip Bay from the peak. They were disappointed.

Their view was blocked by the forest. That same forest today provides what is a n interesting number of 4WD tracks.

Forest trails are always fun, but add in copious amounts of rain, then slipping and sliding becomes part of the fun.

We based our days drive at the Camp Warrigal Scout facilities. This is a private area of some 70 plus acres that allowed a warm place for coffee and lunch. It was cold and wet, and the heated hall was truly appreciated.

2024 Nissan Warrior Production Line Premcar 1

A little bit about the Premcar enhancements.

There are two important words to use here. Balance and integration. Keep those in mind.

The Warrior vehicles developed by Premcar engineering are quite clever. Usually when a buyer of such a 4WD is serious about off roading or even outback touring, they will head to one of the many aftermarket outlets and start looking through a shopping list.

Usually, the first things are Tyres and a suspension lift kit. Then they may add towing capability, bulbar and driving lights. Sometimes it isn’t unusual for owners to drop between $10,000 – $20,000 in aftermarket accessories onto their car.

Rarely do owners get a GVM upgrade, even though that’s usually needed.

The issue here is that all the aftermarket accessories are designed as individual units. They do what they are designed to do in isolation of another component of the vehicle. That often also is a zero-sum game. For example, a suspension lift kit will often improve off road articulation and ride but at the expense of on road ride and handling. It’s a compromise.

Here is where the clever engineers at Premcar excel.

They take what is already a good 4WD and bring enhancements that don’t have that compromise. Also, every enhancement is designed to be integrated and balanced with the original vehicle specifications.

It shows.

These vehicles feel completely integrated and balanced. The off-road capability in no way seems to compromise on road ride and handling. The opposite in fact, they are improved.

What are the Warrior by Premcar 4WDs like to drive.

We took the three vehicles over some fairly interesting and at times challenging trails. They were made even more so by the rain the area had in the few days before we were there.

4WD enthusiasts will know that a few days of rain can make some track change from interesting to impassable in a matter of a few hours.

This is what we were driving on.

The two Utes performed faultlessly.

2024 Nissan SL Warrior 1

Navara SL Warrior by Premcar

Firstly, the SL Warrior is surprising in its ability to soak up the bumps and corrugations along the dirt trails. Usually such a work vehicle with no load in the back is harsh to ride in. It will be bouncing around over the track and the occupants would feel every bump. Not the Navara SL Warrior. It wasn’t a limousine ride, but it was way better than you would expect.

With a 260mm ground clearance we simply rolled over many a rock and deep rutted water filled tracks. Articulation seemed to be improved and despite thinking we would sometimes end up like an upended turtle with two diagonally opposite wheel spinning furiously, that never seemed to eventuate.

2024 Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior in mud

Next up is the Pro 4X Warrior by Premcar

This obviously is the more upmarket version, so it has more internal luxury and sound deadening. . That makes for a slightly more comfortable ride.

You also feel more cocooned from the outside issues. Capability wise it’s hard to pick between the two.

Again, the 260mm ground clearance meant we rolled over obstacles that may stop other Utes.

As  I have said many times, the key to the Navara Warriors is not that they will go places other Utes won’t go. Its more that they will go with a degree of composure that others simply don’t have.

Navara drivetrain

Both Utes have the same 2.3L twin turbo 4-cylinder diesel engine with 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque. They have a dual range 4WD system and a seven speed AT.

This is about average in the Ute segment. However the maximum torque comes in around 1500rpm, which allows more controlled response in difficult Off-road situations.

2024 Nissan Patrol Warrior in mud 2

Lastly the Patrol Warrior by Premcar

Released late last year this transforms an already excellent 4WD into something special.

This is an altogether different vehicle to the Navara based Utes.

Recent models of the Nissan Patrol have been known for their excellent on road ride. This is mainly due to the Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) system. In simple terms it’s an electronic suspension system that smooths out the road irregularities. It good!

Premcar have tuned this system to make it better and more specific to harsh Australian conditions. This combined with enhanced springs etc. means that the Patrol Warrior is right up there with the Defender for suspension. That is saying something.

The Patrol Warrior is so composed, almost no matter what is thrown at it by the track. The suspension simply soaked all the forest trails without fuss. Deep water ruts were traversed by the Patrol, like they were a trickle across the road.

We drove the Navara Warrior’s and the Patrol Warrior back-to-back and as good as the Utes were, they paled into comparison with the Patrol.

It’s hard to beat that lovely 5.6l V8 engine with the bi modal exhaust note. For enthusiasts, It’s simply music to the ears.

I’m very keen to do a three-way comparison with the LC300 GR Sport and the Land Rover Defender. That will be interesting, and I suspect surprising for many readers.

2024 Nissan Patrol Warrior in mud 1

Nissan Warrior by Premcar – final thoughts

The clever engineers at Premcar have done an excellent job on the Nissans. They are an Australian team that do all their testing in the local area.

All three are composed both on and off road. They bring fully integrated enhancements to the vehicles that are balanced in delivery.

The Navara Warrior are good. Much better than many DIY aftermarket upgrades.

The Patrol Warrior is something else again. Its especially good. And relatively inexpensive compared to what you would need to pay to match the capability.

The other benefit of the Warrior vehicles is the full manufacturer warranty on the additions.

Let’s look briefly at the vehicles

We have driven each of these vehicles before, so let’s recap.

2024 Nissan SL Warrior 001

Navara SL Warrior

Price: $61,250 MLP*

Body Style: Dual cab Navara based on the Navara SL.

Nissan Navara SL Warrior by Premcar enhancements

  • New winch-compatible hooped bulbar with integrated LED lightbar
  • New “Navara” branded under-body black bash plate
  • 275 / 70 / R17 Cooper Discoverer All Terrain AT3 tyres with increased tread depth, and an off-road focused tread pattern
  • Suspension lift (+40mm) increasing ground clearance from 220m to 260mm
  • Towbar
  • A 100kg GVM upgrade with 3500kg braked towing capacity
  • Comprehensive suspension tuning with new springs, dampers and jounce bumpers
  • New spring rate for more front-end support and less body roll
  • Revised front and rear damping for better compliance, sound isolation and reduced float when towing or carrying a load
  • Improved approach angle, from 32 degrees to 36 degrees, and near-identical departure angle, from 19.8 degrees to 19 degrees with tow bar fitted
  • Fender flares and tubliner for better body protection
  • Ready for adventure with easy-clean all-weather floor mats

2024 Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior 001

Navara Pro 4X Warrior

Price: $70,765 MLP*

Body Style: Dual Cab 4WD based on the top spec Pro 4X.

This particular vehicle won the OzRoamer COTY award for its category in 2022.

Nissan Pro 4X Warrior by Premcar enhancements

  • A new Nissan Genuine winch-compatible, Safari-style bulbar and integrated light bar
  • A new Warrior-specific towbar
  • A new ‘Navara’ branded red bash plate and a 3mm steel second-stage under body protection plate
  • 275 / 70 / R17 Cooper Discoverer All Terrain AT3 tyres with increased tread depth, and an off-road focused tread pattern
  • A 100kg GVM upgrade; now 3,250kg
  • A 961kg2payload for vehicles equipped with a manual transmission (952kg2 automatic)
  • Increased ground clearance, from 220m to 260mm
  • Wider track, from 1,570mm to 1,600mm
  • Improved approach angle, from 32 degrees to 36 degrees, and near-identical departure angle, from 19.8 degrees to 19 degrees
  • Revised suspension with new spring rates for more front-end support and less body roll
  • Revised front and rear damping for better compliance, improved isolation from impacts and reduced float when towing or carrying a load
  • New larger, taller jounce bumper for better control of wheel movement at maximum suspension travel, and reduced transmission of large impacts into cabin
  • New Warrior-specific fender flares
  • New Warrior decal pack
  • New Warrior headrest embroidery
  • Full-sized spare tyre with alloy wheel

2024 Nissan Patrol Warrior 001

Patrol Warrior

Price: $104,160 MLP*

Body Style: 7 seat 4WD Wagon based on the Patrol Ti.

Nissan Patrol Warrior by Premcar enhancements

Exterior

  • Warrior-branded front bumper assembly
  • Red Warrior branded bash plate
  • Black fender flares
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Yokohama® G015 295/70 All-Terrain tyres
  • Bespoke towbar with two rear recovery points
  • Bi-modal exhaust
  • Rear bumper assembly with black valance panel
  • Black mirror caps
  • Black grille
  • Warrior decals and badging

Interior

  • Black interior colour theme
  • Alcantara door and dash inlay featuring Warrior branding
  • High-gloss black trim elements (centre console)

Capability

  • 50mm lift (+29mm suspension lift, +21mm wheel and tyre package)
  • 40mm wider track vs. Ti
  • 40-degree approach angle
  • 3-degree departure angle (measured with towbar fitted)
  • Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) system tuned by Premcar
  • Re-developed front springs
  • New progressive rate rear bump-stop
  • New multi-rate rear springs
  • 409 stainless steel side exit exhaust with bi-modal valve and actuator
  • 120 kg GVM# upgrade
  • Maintains the Patrol’s 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity+

2024 Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior new central touch screen

Nissan Patrol 2024 upgrade

Its important to note that the Patrol has had a significant upgrade to its infotainment and connectivity with the introduction of a new central screen.

Don’t underestimate how important this simple improvement is. It’s taken the Patrol from an almost choice to a serious contender in the large 4WD stakes.

Details are below.

  • 1-inch 1920 x 1200 high-resolution central touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay~ and Android Auto~
  • Wireless smartphone charge pocket>
  • IGO Street Navigation *, 30-day trail Hema 4×4 Navigation Ω
  • Two USB ports (A&C)
  • Six speakers
  • Dual-zone climate control air conditioning with second row
  • Intelligent Rear View Mirror
  • First row centre console cool box

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

About Rob Fraser 2508 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.