Car reviews - Nissan - Patrol - Ti-L
Strong and smooth V8, decisive seven-speed auto, comfortable and composed ride, spacious first- and second-row seating, fit and finish, towing ability, cargo space
Room for improvement
Foot-operated park brake, driver assistance gremlins, high fuel consumption, outdated infotainment tech, tight third-row seating, feels big in town/slow steering ratio
Mildly refreshed looks can’t disguise the Nissan Patrol’s aged design
14 Jun 2022
By MATT BROGAN
NISSAN updated its venerable Patrol earlier this year with a bit of a nose job, a couple a technological additions, some new-look wheels and, well, that’s about it.
To be fair, the Patrol wants for very little and represents rather impressive value for money when one considers the breadth of the SUV’s capabilities. However, from behind the ‘wheel, there’s little to disguise the (now 12-year-old) Y62-series Patrol’s age.
From a mechanical point of view, the Patrol remains unaltered. It’s powered by Nissan’s proven 298kW/560Nm 5.6-litre quad-cam V8, which is paired exclusively to a seven-speed automatic transmission (with manual mode and adaptive shift control). The Japanese off-roader’s braked towing capacity is also unchanged (3500kg).
Over and above an Intelligent 4x4 system with electronic mode selection and a rear Helical limited-slip differential, the Patrol comes with an off-road monitor, hill-descent control and hill-start assist.
The seven-seat Patrol Ti-L on test is priced from $95,115 (plus on-road costs), but does not offer simple inclusions such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibilty… and still features the clumsy foot-operated park brake.
It does, however, offer leather upholstery, a centre console cooler box, heated and cooled front seats, LED headlights, an electrically powered tailgate, DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system, satnav and a 13-speaker BOSE audio system.
The cabin’s first and second rows are properly spacious and feature enough storage cubbies, cup holders and power outlets to facilitate almost any off-road adventure. The third-row seats are best considered a temporary solution (for transporting small children – or people you really don’t like that much), but at least it gets air-conditioning outlets...
There are two top-tether and two ISOFIX child-seat anchorages in the second row and only one top-tether mount in the third row. Nissan’s spec sheet says the curtain airbags cover the third row of seats.
Further back, the Patrol avails 468 litres of cargo space with all three rows deployed, as well as 1413 litres in five-seat mode and a generous 2623 litres in two-seat format.
Of course, all that space means the Patrol is a big unit and by that we mean “American pick-up truck” kind of big. The Ti-L measures 5175mm in length, 1995mm in width and stands 1995mm high. It’s also weighs close-as-makes-no-difference to 2800kg, which means that when it’s fully loaded (or when towing at capacity), the Patrol may require a light truck licence to legally operate in certain states and territories. The GCM is 7000kg.
The Patrol is backed by Nissan’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Service intervals are pegged at six months or 10,000km (whichever comes first), with the first six services capped at $376, $577, $392, $860, $407 and $624 respectively.
The extended dimensions of the Patrol are pretty evident when tootling around suburban and inner-city streets. However, to manoeuvre Nissan’s sizeable SUV around town isn’t as daunting a task as you may imagine… The squared-off proportions of the vehicle, coupled with a handy 360-degree camera system, mean the Patrol is easy to place and relatively easy to park – apart from its 12.5-metre turning circle, of course.
The Patrol’s light, but somewhat slow-geared, steering makes easy work of narrow car parking bays and those big mirrors certainly prove their worth when you back the SUV into tight spaces. The Ti-L’s large glasshouse and high seating position also give the driver a commanding view of the road ahead, which helps when you’re manoeuvring the Nissan around tight roundabouts, restaurant drive-throughs and so on.
In fact, all the Patrol’s controls are simple to use and wonderfully assisted. The brake pedal offers car-link feel and assistance (courtesy of a powerful action) to bring the Patrol to a halt with ease. And a prod of the long pedal will soon let you know just how energetic Nissan’s V8 can be – while sounding pretty damn glorious at the same time.
Of course, when you’re thrusting the Patrol through congested traffic, it’s easy to give that loud pedal a workout which, of course, costs you heavily at the bowser. During the test, which included a mix of city-, urban- and country driving, we managed an average of 17.5 litres per 100km, and would expect more off road, when towing, or when driving fully loaded. The Patrol requires 95 RON premium unleaded and boasts a 140-litre fuel tank. With today’s petrol prices, that means a full tank will set you back around $330.
Despite its prodigious thirst for unleaded, Nissan’s Japanese-built VK56-series V8 is a glorious powerplant that is both wonderfully free-revving and buttery smooth. There’s ample torque available right from the get-go – as is to be expected from a naturally aspirated, large-capacity engine – with a total of 560Nm arriving from 4000rpm.
The peak power output is listed at 298kW at 5800rpm, but with a smart seven-speed transmission keeping a watchful eye on proceedings, it feels like the Patrol has more to offer than its numbers suggest. The 0-100km/h dash is dispatched in around 7.5 seconds.
On road, the Patrol is quiet and comfortable with adequate capabilities at hand for jaunts off-road. The big ol’ Nissan stayed on the black-top during its tenure in our test fleet, because we recognise that is where most examples spend will most of their time; the family-hauler usually doubles as a weekend toy or tow rig only on the odd occasion.
All of which makes it even more difficult to get your head around the fact the Patrol is just so well sorted. Nissan’s independent rear-end and Hydraulic Body Motion Control work wonders at keeping the off-rpader’s body well-controlled in flowing corners while, at the same time, soaking up lumps and bumps in the road without a second thought.
Past experience tells us the Patrol is eminently capable off road and its specifications underline the fact that Nissan got so much about its flagship SUV right the first time. Ground clearance is listed at 273mm, while approach, break-over and departure angles are 28.0º, 24.4º and 26.3º respectively. Water wading is rated to 700mm.
On the open road and at highway speeds (110km/h) we did find the steering a little ponderous, so much so that it often called the lane-keeping nannies into action. We found Nissan’s driver assistance system would occasionally jump at shadows, triggering brake application for no apparent reason. The cruise control also tended to run away on steep descents, which means you’ll need a keep a watchful eye on the speedo.
With good road manners, a breadth of capabilities that few models in its class can match, and a quiet and comfortable ride, there’s very little about the Patrol we don’t like. Pop in an aftermarket head-unit, fit some more purposeful all-terrain tyres and aim that big square bonnet at the horizon and the Patrol would just about make the ideal outback tourer… just so long as you have a light right foot and a nice thick wallet.
6th of April 2022
Patrol Legend series: Doug Sprigg
70 years after the Patrol’s debut, Nissan celebrates the people behind the 4x4 legend
10th of February 2022
Nissan set to axe V8 Patrol: report
Next-gen Patrol may offer GT-R twin-turbo V6 power, but still no diesel
7th of February 2022
New for ’22 Patrol revealed
Nissan Patrol sports new frontal design, now priced from $82,160
All car reviews
Click to share