Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The tough ladder-frame chassis, combined with relatively short overhangs and long travel in the suspension, ensure that the Nissan Patrol should conquer almost whatever off-road track is thrown at it.
Not so good The platform & body design dates back to the GU series, which first went on sale here back in December 1997 (that’s a very, very long time in car years). However, we should make mention that Nissan have facelifted the exterior a number of times and the interior has also been significantly upgraded. Whilst the engines are also different to those fitted back in 1997, they are still looking decidedly old against the competition.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The thin front pillars mean there's excellent visibility all 'round. The seats are big and comfortable; overall dash design still looks fine and most of the knobs are large & logically arranged. The luxury Ti spec has standard piped leather seats - you’ll pay over twice the price for a Range Rover Vogue with piped leather! Conveniently, the second row seats offer a slide function to increase legroom.
Not so good It's showing its age (the cassette player (in all grades bar the DX) is a dead giveaway). Forget Bluetooth connectivity or the ability to connect your iPod player. Trip computer doesn’t record fuel economy. Third row seats don’t fold into the floor to increase the cargo area; however, they are removable.
Performance

Performance

Good The current 3.0L Turbo Diesel was high-tech back in 2000 but today’s is less so...however, considering the live real axle, high profile tyres & ladder-frame chassis the performance is satisfactory.
Not so good Both the Petrol & Turbo Diesel engines are well behind the Land Cruiser and Land Rover Discovery in both power and torque outputs; additionally, the fact that the Patrol engines are less economical is further disappointing. However, to Nissan’s defence the Patrol is priced significantly less (when comparing competing grades) than either of these models. The four-speed auto fitted to the Turbo Diesel Patrol variants is at least one gear short of what’s expected in a vehicle of this price in 2010.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good Off-road the Patrol is still excellent - it's got a ground clearance that would shame any "soft-road" pretender. A live axle may translate to agricultural handling on the ride, but it is still the real deal when off-roading.
Not so good It looks like a truck and yes, it also handles like a truck. If you’re going to spend 90% of your time on suburban streets take a look at Nissan’s more refined Murano. If you’re time is split 50/50 between road & dirt we’d still possibly point you elsewhere (maybe towards Nissan’s Pathfinder); however, if it’s predominantly dirt tracks and rougher stuff, you're in the right place!
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Priced thousands of dollars below the arch rival LandCruiser. Tried and tested on Aussie roads for many years now...
Not so good The 4.8L Petrol is a serious drinker of fuel, and considering that it’s definitely no sports-car-rivalling off-roader on the performance front, it is even more frightful. Check out the Turbo Diesel for more acceptable fuel economy; however we are relatively speaking, as it is also high. Thanks to its old age the Patrol misses out on an important 21st Century safety feature – Electronic Stability Control. Lack of a second-row centre headrest is another 'not so good'.