Our initial impression of the Nissan Patrol has proven it to be a reliable, capable, and comfortable off-road people mover. For decades, it has had a rock-solid reputation to tackle the toughest of terrains with its petrol-powered V8 certainly having the power to keep going. Add that to the all-round, independent suspension for a smooth ride and a posh interior with wood grain and lots of leather, and you can be sure to be very comfortable inside.
The new Nissan Patrol has been updated with a new front and rear bumper that takes the largest of Nissan vehicles into the new next decade. They did add plenty of safety technology, which is what you would expect from a modern car in that price range nowadays.
The interior is more significantly updated with new digital displays. A new infotainment touchscreen supplements the center control stack, which is surrounded by reconfigured HVAC buttons. The control knob is moved to behind the gear selector to make space for the double-screen arrangement, which also integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A larger display screen is fitted between the instrument dials to show the driver key vehicle information.
Considering the Patrol is over 5 meters long, almost 2 meters wide, and 2 meters high, it’s no wonder there is ample space inside its cabin. The driver and passenger seats are lush and supportive, where second-row passengers (three adults easily) also have nothing to complain about. It gets a bit tight in the third row, but even a tall person wouldn’t mind sitting there for a shorter trip.
How’s the drive:
What else can you expect from a 5.6-litre V8 than an immense amount of torque and power in abundance? Obviously, the Patrol is not a sporty car, weighing in at almost 3 tonnes, but with 298kW and 560Nm, there is very little that will stop you. All of this power is controlled by the seven-speed Auto which does the trick smoothly. If you want, you can put it in manual mode and push the engine just a little bit harder. This also comes in handy when you just want to hear the V8 growl a little bit, as otherwise, the Patrol is comfortably silent.
Whether you’re accelerating from a standstill or have to overtake somebody on the highway, the engine and gearbox don’t hesitate for one moment. Surprisingly, it still drives quite nimble and is easy to maneuver in the city, something you perhaps wouldn’t except such a big car. Its steering is sharp and precise but don’t except a real engaging driving experience. The Patrol is there to enjoy the comfort in silence, not to be pushed.
We tested the Nissan Patrol on some off-road tracks near Shwakah Dam. There were mud trails, rock formations, mud pools, grass – you name it. And the Patrol took it all in its stride, despite some of the sections being pretty hairy indeed.