A legend in its own right, but is the Patrol a little tired?
THE Nissan Patrol. A legendary name in the Australian 4×4 scene, with the GQ and GU era models among the most favoured cars to hit the tracks in.
It’s all change in 2021 though, with the latest version of the current Y62 offering scoring a much needed facelift.
First launched in 2013, the Y62 Patrol now takes on a more European feel to its styling, along with some new technology. It looks classy, and yet still feels more than capable to tackle the rough stuff.
Spacious and practical for family life, it offers great power and acceleration from the high revving 5.6-litre quad cam V8. Some 298kW and 560Nm are enough to take this massive car from 0-100km/h in just over 8.0 seconds. It’s paired to a 7-speed auto.
Fuel economy is where it falls over though, but only in traffic. Consumption in stop/start slow moving situations is hideous like 20.0-litres/100km kind of ugly, but out on the open road we actually managed to sneak under Nissan’s claimed 14.4-litres/100km.
The large amount of torque comes into its own when pulling something behind it, with a maximum braked towing capacity of 3,500kg. The Patrol redlines at 7000rpm and sounds just as good as it looks. It has a 140-litre tank, that could get pricey to fill though.
It’s packed with standard features like satellite navigation, electric front seats, blind spot warning, around view monitor and autonomous emergency braking. You’ll also find intelligent forward collision warning and leather accented seats.
And while the infotainment system offers a fairly decent amount of technology, including Bluetooth, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, making it feel genuinely dated. The second row scores entertainment screens too.
A driver memory function offers not only seat configuration, but side mirrors and steering column position are also saved. Those front seats we mentioned are heated and vented, and there’s a wickedly good 13-speaker Bose premium sound system.
A sunroof and roof rails also feature on the outside. Interior head and leg room is exceptional, particularly in row two. Even with the front seats back as far as they could go, middle row passengers still had plenty of space.
The rear row (aka row three) seating isn’t horrible, but caters mostly to kids or smaller humans. With that third row dropped down, boot space is decent, at 468-litres. Drop row two and that balloons to 1,413-litres.
The rear glass can be opened separately from the tailgate as well, giving you the ability to access the boot space, without disturbing the cargo you already have onboard.
It’s hard not to talk about the big Nissan SUV without mentioning its LandCruiser 200 Series Sahara rival though.
And while the Toyota might be the better vehicle, or at least the most popular, it has some issues in terms of availability (you can’t buy one, and they don’t make them anymore for starters), and the price is higher than the Nissan.
Even at north of $102,000 drive away for the Ti-L variant of the 2021 Nissan Patrol, it’s still cheaper than the LandCruiser range-topper. Mind you, it can get ugly if you run amok adding options, just like the 200 Series. Both of them have dated interiors too.
Nissan’s largest SUV also comes in just two specifications, the entry level Ti, which offers 8-seats, and the top spec Ti-L, a seven seater. What sets the latter apart is 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, tail lights and daytime running lights, and adaptive cruise control.
It also grabs proximity key entry and push-button start, privacy glass, roof rails and a power tailgate. Inside, there are leather seats, power seat adjustment for driver and front passenger with memory, and heated and cooled seats in the first row.
Tri-zone automatic climate control, a digital rear view mirror, sunroof, satellite navigation and entertainment screens for second row passengers also feature, along with a 20-litre refrigerated centre console box.
There are six colours to choose from, including Moonstone White (as tested), Gun Metallic, Brilliant Silver, Black Obsidian, and Hermosa Blue.
On the road, and off, it’s very capable all round, and while it seems crazy to take such a luxury vehicle and get it dirty on purpose, it will handle anything you throw at it. A locking rear diff and excellent high and low range ensure it can tackle tough terrain with ease.
You will also find four different drive modes (Sand, Snow, Rocks, Road), with each changing the handling characteristics of the car, with notable suspensions adjustments and engine response alterations.
On the black stuff, the 7-speed automatic comes into its own, with the Nissan Patrol Ti-L delivering a quiet, comfortable driving experience. You could be forgiven for forgetting there’s a 5.6-litre V8 under the hood.
Overall, the 2021 Nissan Patrol could be described as the complete package, a rough and tough off-roader, with the style and comfort of a high end luxury car, and all with an aggressive high revving V8 under bonnet.
This story was originally published on Exhaust Notes Australia, and written by Ryan Gilroy. All pricing within this story is based on Australian Dollar (AUD)