Nissan Patrol TI-L – In my younger days the argument between 4WD enthusiasts was between Patrol and LandCruiser, well both have changed for different reasons, but the Nissan Patrol has seemed to lose its relevance to the 4WD fraternity.
This is for many reasons, a poor offer over many years, a petrol only version and the ubiquitous LandCruiser keeps chugging along outselling the Patrol by a factor of 9-10 times. However the recently updated (2017) version has seen the Patrol with a much improved, luxurious vehicle, designed for the oil rich countries of the Middle East and the USA, while we here in Australia take what we can.
The Patrol looks big, and it is. However the MY18 Nissan Patrol has been redesigned, now featuring a more modern, but aggressive, front bumper that includes a new grille with horizontal metallic bars and new fog lamp housings.
With quad style xenon headlights Nissan manages to integrate a reasonably svelte front on appeal. The sides are unusually flat, adding to the sizeable appearance. A fresh set of 18 inch alloy wheels give a more premium look.
From the rear it looks big, boxy and solid. In the world of prestige SUVs the Patrol retains its 4WD DNA. It’s not beautiful, nor is it ugly.
Step up inside the Patrol and the size theme continues. It feels positively cavernous. It also feels a little bit like I stepped back in time to the 1980s. The woodgrain overlays are everywhere and with a circular theme it definitely must be designed for its intended market, just not Australia.
Both the front seats are heated and ventilated as well as multi electrically adjustable with the drivers having additional electronic lumbar adjustment. Siting in them is like being home in the Moran recliner, very comfortable. The driver’s seat is slightly restricted in its length of slide, and for such a huge vehicle, I felt like I could do with a touch more.
Again with the high, curved door sills and the wide centre console, I felt slightly compacted, at odds with the overall feeling. But even with the panoramic sunroof there is plenty of headroom. There is a driver’s grab handle as well as extendable sun visors, always handy.
In front of the driver is a thick, electronically adjustable steering wheel that frames the twin large dial instrument binnacle. White on black dials are crisp and easy to read. They are separated by a smaller MFD as is usual these days. The controls on the steering wheel and spread out in an unusual design and again, something different the top outer edges of the instrument surrounds also house buttons for the MFD. It took a while to figure that out.
With a very unique look the centre stack is a mix of woodgrain overlay and silver dials and buttons. Unusually there is still a CD port, something that is rapidly disappearing from cars and questionable worth. The Satellite Navigation with 3D mapping and 8″ integrated colour display with touch screen also houses the audio system.
The issue is that with the vertical AC vents framing the screen, the 8 inches looks very small, especially when many other SUVs are heading to 10 or 12 inch screens, which could be housed.
There are storage areas everywhere, with a huge lid chilled centre console for drinks to keep the driver and passengers refreshed. Also keeping the occupants refreshed is the tri-zone climate control air-conditioning with Intelligent Key memory along with rear seat controls.
Second row passengers are well accommodated with plenty of room for even longer legs and two 8 inch screens for entertainment as well as rear AC vents and USB ports for the electronic obsessed. These seats fold in a 60/40 configuration to give reasonable access to the rear seats, that are ok for slightly taller kids, but with no foot well. The boot area is huge and with fold flat seats becomes cavernous at 1500 L plus. Even with the third row seats up there is about 500L of space available.
Drive and Engine
The Nissan Patrol boasts a 5.6 litre V8 petrol with 298kW/560Nm helping it perform in the most diverse conditions. A 7-speed automatic transmission with manual mode complements the intelligent 4X4 shift switch (Auto, 4-high and 4-low capabilities) making driving, whether on road, snow, sand or rock, convenient. There is also an electronic rear diff lock. Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) suspension system along with the off road monitor assists with control of all driving situations.
Driving the Patrol is like driving a land yacht. This thing is huge to drive and feels big. This isn’t helped by incredibly light steering that in a way disconnects you from control. It does come in handy though in tight suburban shopping centre car parks.
It’s quiet, very quiet inside, the suspension soaks up every bump possible and it feels like gliding along on air. That is good and bad.
Off road credentials retain the strong DNA of history and even though it is far removed from its ancestors, it will still go where they went, only in luxury and comfort. The towing brigade will love the ease of towing, but the fuel economy, or lack of, will shock them
Even though the Patrol doesn’t have an ANCAP safety rating it is chock full of safety features, for all three rows of seats. There are driver and passenger front and side impact SRS airbags curtain SRS airbags all 3 rows, 2nd row child restraint anchorage points (2 x ISOFIX outer seats, 2 x top tether), 3rd row child restraint anchorage point (right hand seat).
Driving aids include:
- front and rear parking sensors,
- Intelligent Rear View Mirror (I-RVM),
- Intelligent Around-View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection,
- Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) including Traction Control System (TCS),
- Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD,
- Hill Descent Control (HDC) with on/off switch and Hill Start Assist (HSA),
- Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC),
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW),
- Intelligent Distance Control,
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW),
- Intelligent Lane Intervention,
- Blind Spot Warning (BSW),
- Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention,
- Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) and T
- yre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Cavernous interior
- Packed with features
- Value for money
Not so Good Bits:
- Detached steering and handling
- Fuel economy or lack of
- Dated looking interior
For many years the Patrol languished in the wilderness of buyer support. The refreshed version released in 2017 has brought it back up to date. It remains an exceptionally capable 4WD vehicle and can tow almost anything you put behind it, while transporting a family of seven in comfort. .
Amongst the standard wagons it is about the biggest there is, except for the Infiniti QX80 which utilises the same underpinnings. It is comfortable, spacious, and luxurious yet slightly misses the mark. Designed for the Middle East and North American markets, it doesn’t quite fit the Australian market. Also there is the enormous fuel appetite that is exacerbated by a willing V8 engine and a tendency to have a heavy right foot.
Also look at:
Facts and Figures: 2019 Nissan Patrol TI-L
- Engine: 5.6L V8 Petrol produces 298kW/560Nm
- Transmission: 7-speed AT 4WD
- Warranty: 3 Yrs / 100,000 km Optional Roadside Assist
- Safety: TBA ANCAP
- Origin: Japan
- Price: From $88,990 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
Nissan Patrol TI-L
For many years the Patrol languished in the wilderness of buyer support. The refreshed version released in 2017 has brought it back up to date. It remains an exceptionally capable 4WD vehicle and can tow almost anything you put behind it, while transporting a family of seven in comfort.