How does the Nissan Patrol drive?
People don’t usually buy a Nissan Patrol purely to commute in. In the confines of the city, its size makes it a cumbersome conveyance that doesn’t fit into parking spaces and occupies more than its fair share of narrow streets.
The driving position is commanding, though, to the point where you’re looking over the top of most soft-roading based SUVs.
The steering is well balanced and the brakes had no trouble restraining the Patrol during simulated emergency stops.
Beyond its obvious competency as a tow rig, the Patrol is in its element when you head off the bitumen.
Hydraulicly linked suspension helps counter cornering lean and body bounce, reducing the risk of motion sickness for those in the second and third rows.
Ground clearance of 272mm ensures the big Nissan can navigate huge ruts without risk of damaging the underbody and the dial at the base of the transmission selector houses all the off-road modes and functions in a smart, centralised location.
The V8 supplies all the torque you need to crawl along technical sections of the track in low range, along with enough power to maintain momentum over sand or mud.
A rear diff lock is standard and the only thing owners who intend to challenge themselves and the car will need is some decent underbody protection and a winch. At that point, not much will stop the Patrol’s reconnaissance of any type of terrain.
Should I buy one?
If you can afford the petrol, yes.
The Patrol has a proven reputation for toughness and reliability that’s evident in the way the big rig drives and feels on the road or in the bush.
Put simply, it is hard to argue against the Patrol as the best petrol-powered off-road machine on the market.
The Toyota LandCruiser is the obvious rival and worth a drive for comparative purposes.
Buyers should also consider that a new Patrol should arrive here around 2024. That will bring big cabin upgrades and a rumoured twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that should improve power and torque while trimming fuel use.