REVIEW | The 2020 Nissan Patrol is unapologetically old school

16 October 2020 - 11:31
The 2020 Nissan Patrol in its natural habitat.
The 2020 Nissan Patrol in its natural habitat.
Image: Supplied

The concept of luxury motoring in 2020 is different to what it might have been five or even 10 years ago.

Today, technology is an important metric: autonomous functions and the extent of connectivity features. So too is innovation in the powertrain department, where electrification has the potential to not only ensure a silent cabin, but blistering performance.

And customers want to see diversity in the selection of materials used. Bring on the environmentally-friendly, recycled textiles from ocean-derived waste.

The Nissan Patrol's interior is comfortable and well equipped.
The Nissan Patrol's interior is comfortable and well equipped.
Image: Supplied

The new Nissan Patrol straight up ignored the memo. For 2020, the revised model is giving consumers exactly the same deal delivered by its predecessor. That means a great big V8 engine, swathes of soft leather, acres of faux wood trim and a driving experience akin to steering a tank.

All this with a (slightly) more attractive exterior package. Face it: there is only so much a designer can do with a template as hefty this. The Patrol is not going to win any beauty pageants, but it will make obstinate Polo Vivo drivers in the right lane give way more readily.

The vastness and plushness of the interior remains one of the best calling cards of the Patrol. You climb up and into it as if you were entering a treehouse. A sumptuously-upholstered one at that. Those quilted leather seats are sunk into.

And even though the main infotainment system has a decidedly outmoded look and feel; there is no denying the amenities throughout are plentiful. The list includes a Bose audio system with 13 speakers and an entertainment system for the rear passengers which includes a DVD player. When was the last time you heard that acronym?

We mentioned the great big V8 engine a little earlier. Its 5.6-litre displacement is good for 298kW and 560Nm, accompanied by a hearty rumble in the background. And it hustles along with more vigour than you might expect of something weighing as much as a small petrol station, thundering over everything in its path.

Nissan says the suspension was improved and vibrations were reduced – not that these were areas lacking in the former car. Occupants can expect vault-like insulation from exterior stresses. The Patrol is truly an empowering brute to be seated in.

The Nissan Patrol is big on space but don't expect it to be light on fuel.
The Nissan Patrol is big on space but don't expect it to be light on fuel.
Image: Supplied

And it really is a sport-utility vehicle you would have no qualms tackling severe off-road conditions in either. Remember that the Patrol nameplate is nearly seven decades old, with a heritage rooted in adeptness on the rough stuff.

Downsides? Well, the monthly fuel bills are going to be wild and buying one would mean overlooking a raft of more progressive, sophisticated and efficient alternatives from Germany, the UK and Sweden.

But maybe you never wanted those to begin with. In which case, you will be glad that the Nissan Patrol – and its direct rival the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 – continue to exist.

Pricing starts at R1,515,700


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