In December I spent some time with Toyota’s Land Cruiser Prado, and although the Prado is not an absolute direct competitor to the Nissan Patrol, (the slightly bigger Land Cruiser 200 is more the nemesis of the Patrol) it did give me a bit of insight into what these full house, luxury, go anywhere SUVs are about.
Nissan say “The Patrol is Nissan’s premium flagship model aimed at people with a distinctly affluent taste. It’s for the sophisticated buyer who requires an SUV that’s big on features, big on opulence, big on style and big on exclusivity.”
And I can’t disagree with them, and just like their Toyota competition, they too have a bullet proof reputation and legacy across Africa.
The Nissan Patrol is far from subtle and small, but it is not just some huge brain-dead bully that can simply stomp all over anything in its way. Thanks to a range of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features the Patrol is said to be the epitome of Nissan’s most advanced technology.
This means you get Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Distance Control, Intelligent Driver Awareness, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control, Intelligent Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Smart Rearview Mirror and Around View Monitor.
Basically, what this means is that a range of state of the art cameras and radar sensors continuously monitor the traffic and road conditions, and then warn you and even intervene when things start to go wrong, to keep you and your passengers safe and accident free.
Talking of you and your passengers, you will want for nothing inside the Patrol, there is space aplenty from the front right to the third row of seats.
The standard feature list is extensive as to be expected with premium leather, eight-way power adjustable, climate-controlled front seats, heated steering wheel and dual-zone automatic temperature control system including 2nd row “curtain” vents for better ventilation.
You also get an exclusive Bose audio system that features AM/ FM/MP3/CD with 13 speakers, a subwoofer and digital amplifier to provide rich acoustics, along with a 3D Nissan navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free phone system and a multi-screen DVD entertainment system with screens fitted into the headrests of both front seats.
At the heart of the Patrol is a proper 5.6-litre V8 petrol engine that develops 298kW of power and 560Nm of torque that runs through an easy shifting seven-speed automatic gearbox with Adaptive Shift Control and Downshift Rev Matching.
What this means is that you have enough go for any situation and can lug around up to 3.5 tons behind you like it’s not even there.
I am not going to lie, the urge does not come for free, with an average of 15.6 litres per 100km during the week I had the big SUV, means you can get through the 140-litre fuel tank quite quickly.
On the go anywhere side, the All-Mode 4-wheel drive system features Auto/4H/4LO modes and an electronically controlled parttime transfer case.
Under normal driving conditions, the system operates in two-wheel drive mode, but it can distribute torque to all four wheels when road conditions warrant it (up to 50 percent of torque can go to the front wheels on demand).
Stopping is courtesy of big brakes with Anti-lock braking, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist along with active brake limited slip and a Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system.
Added to this is Nissan’s Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and front occupant classification sensor; roof-mounted curtain supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for side-impact and rollover head protection in all three rows; front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags; and front seat Active Head Restraints.
So, in my opinion, the Nissan Patrol ticks all the boxes it should in this segment, I just don’t get why the Patrol does not sell better than it does.
It should be on your shopping list if you want to go anywhere in absolute luxury.
The suggested retail price is R1 299 000 and this included a class-leading six-year/150 000km warranty and a comprehensive three-year/90 000km service plan.