Author – Ritin Paul
Intro: We went to Dubai, to get a first hand feel of the Nissan Patrol. The Patrol is a major success in the Middle East. The Patrol has got a mid-life up gradation and what better place to start of our itinerary with the Burj Khalifa at the backdrop. The Patrol has claimed the status of being the “King of the Desert”, and although we do not expect the Patrol to be on Indian shores any time soon, we still decided to enlighten our viewers on the varied capabilities that the Patrol has on offer.
Exterior: On the side profile many things have been retained from the old Patrol. Things like the front grille, the rear quarter glass, the elements over the Chrome and other features. There is a slight bit of change when you see the wheel arches both at the front and rear, the side profile then, looks largely similar to the outgoing model and does carry that massive size appeal. The Nissan Patrol is having a very new design on the front, you can see a huge grille with chrome inserts, there is a horizontal line which is done in chrome, and there is a new headlight treatment which has a C-shaped day time running light. There is a chrome portion on the bumper which goes really well with the imposing size of the vehicle. Most cars in this segment do carry that massive road presence and the Patrol does not fall short on creating one. Even when compared to other cars of this segment like the Land Cruiser, the Patrol does have a massive appeal on account of its high raised bonnet and huge front grille. The rear again does not have a major revamp, but there is an evolution which really reflects on this car, you can see a different tail-light treatment, the line on the top where the chrome element has been retained. Even the top spoiler has been retained, but take a closer look and you will notice a few changes, for instance there is a bulged rear portion that looks amazing, it also has a trailer hook which again looks amazing. The overall proportions of the car make it look like a full-sized SUV. It does carry the characteristics of a proper luxury SUV, and the mid life upgrade is a pleasing refresh and does look amazing.
Interior: Nissan has always laid key emphasis on the interior of its cars. This model has again witnessed a refurbished interior with the two split design where you can control the infotainment and other navigation on the top screen and other controls on the screen below. The cabin does carry better ergonomics and the switches around the screens make for a better user interface. The 4WD system can be controlled via the rotary dial, the multi-function steering has again witnessed an evolution from previous generation Patrol. You get both analog and digital meters; the car we tested had a tan interior and is a great combination with the black cockpit. The interiors feel very plush and very premium. The interiors have continually seen refreshments with every new model, and it remains same with this model. The seats do feel comfortable in this new Patrol, it comes both as a 5-seat and 7-seat configuration. The cabin does feel airy, and there is plenty of room on offer both in the front and mid-row seats.
Drive: It has been a great driver’s car, the car offers a great commanding position, which some SUV’s of today miss out on. The Patrol does carry that laid-back luxury SUV character and has serious off-road pedigree; however on this drive we are not taking this car off-road. This luxury SUV, has a plushy ride, and a plushy feel and that was evident on the previous model as well. The car has got a floaty ride unlike an off-road spec SUV. The floaty feel is also felt in rivals like the Land Cruiser where you get that feel of driving a full-sized SUV having a floaty ride. On offer are three power train options – the V6, the V8 and the V8 with additional tuning. What we are drove is a V6 which churns out 240hp of power and it is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. There is also a 7-speed automatic gearbox along with a 6-speed manual which is unavailable in the UAE market. The car has a proper 4WD system with four different driving modes. The modes are sand, rock, snow and motorboat which can be controlled using the rotary dial. So it is a proper off-roader and it retains the similar character which we had on the previous generation Patrol.
Verdict: We don’t expect to get the Patrol anytime soon in India, we may get it if the market demands. Currently the only rival to the Nissan Patrol is the Land Cruiser. Both these cars are in a niche segment. Nissan so far has not disclosed any plan for the Patrol, but if it is coming to India, it will certainly be a big threat to the Land Cruiser because it has got the same character but on a very different scale, meaning everything feels more up market in the Nissan Patrol. That being said it is too early to comment on how it would fare in the Indian market.