Driving what could be the last of a rare breed
1. DINOSAURS DO LIVE
Despite refreshed models arriving early last year, the Patrol showcases ageing technology. Under the bonnet is a hulking V8 which pumps out ample grunt and offers power on tap. That muscle comes at a cost, draining the bank balance with official average fuel consumption figures of 14.4 litres for every 100km. Our test managed just under that figure courtesy of some highway driving. With a fuel tank of 140 litres it means you don't need to visit every bowser with a range of more than 1000km. When you do reach the servo expect to fork out at least $200 to refuel. More bad news, it's also ranked the worst polluting vehicle in terms of average CO2 emissions. Sales have been slow in Australia (we're not the target market), due to the absence of a diesel option.
2. ROOM TO MOVE
Some inner city flats have less space than the Patrol. There's good reason it has a hulking V8 with a frame 5.1m long and nearly 2m wide. Seven people can be carried in luxury, although the two most aft seats are best suited to the most nimble passengers. Those in the back even get their own air vents.
3. NOTHING ON THE SHELF
Spacious surrounds are matched by luxurious appointments. Nissan throws everything into its range-topping Patrol, including a 13-speaker Bose sound system with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with two eight-inch screens. Other luxuries include a massive console that doubles as a cooler (and you can open it from the front or back), tri-zone aircon, leather trim, along with front seats with cooling and heating. The cabin has refined symmetry, although the woodgrain look would not be to all tastes. One of the key tech upgrades on this variant is the ability to flick the rear vision mirror into camera mode where it can receive a back-end view. Great for lining up a towbar or if vision is impaired by gear in the back.
4. ACCOMPISHED TRAVELLER
Those remaining in city or township confines wouldn't look at the Patrol due to its hefty fuel consumption, but on the open road it's a cushy chariot. It eats up the kilometres with ease with the smooth performance from the bent eight in partnership with the seven-speed auto transmission. Stepping off the bitumen is also within the Patrol's remit. Engage four-wheel drive via the console dial and it'll cut through some of the toughest terrain you'll find.
5. SHADES OF GREY
Conservatism is the Patrol's focus, probably appealing most to grey nomads with a 3.5-tonne towing ability and gross vehicle mass of seven tonne. Extroverts won't find the colour palette inspiring, with options of gun metallic, silver, sand, black, ivory, brown and titanium. Nissan's not alone in that realm, bland colours are the primary choices of most SUV buyers.
AT A GLANCE
NISSAN PATROL Ti-L
PRICE $98,018 drive-away (expensive)
WARRANTY/SERVICING 5 years/unlimited km (good), $1387 over 3 years (OK)
ENGINE 5.6-litre V8, 298kW/560Nm (heaps of grunt)
SAFETY 6 airbags, blind spot, lane departure, auto emergency braking, surround camera (ample)
THIRST 14.4L/100km (super thirsty)
CARGO 468L/1413L, 3.5-tonne towing (good)