The first Nissan Patrol went on sale in Japan back in 1951.
Like a lot of Japanese utility vehicles of the time, it closely resembled a Jeep. Fast forward nearly 70 years and the only thing Nissan’s largest SUV shares with Jeep is off-road ability.
Almost two million Patrols have been sold across 150 countries, and the rugged SUV has maintained a reputation for relentless reliability and a go-anywhere attitude.
The 2020 Nissan Patrol has seen significant design changes to its front and rear, plus a host of additional safety features and revised suspension settings. It’s one of the best value upper-large SUVs on the market, but it’s not without faults.
The interior of the car remains unchanged, which is a shame as left-hand drive vehicles have had major interior revisions.
Prices for the 2020 Nissan Patrol start at $75,990 before on-road costs for the base Ti and jump a hefty $16,000 to $91,990 before on-roads for the top-spec Ti-L.
That’s a big gap, and makes the higher-spec car hard to justify, even though the Ti misses out on some basic specifications that really should be standard.
The eight-seater SUV in its base trim gets synthetic leather trim, with eight-way power front seats. There’s tri-zone climate control, which Nissan says has been improved to offer better airflow to the rear seats.
A very dated 8.0-inch navigation screen with Bluetooth connectivity powers a rather ordinary six-speaker audio system. There is the addition of auto folding door mirrors plus a host of new safety systems, and cruise control is standard.
Step up to the Ti-L and you lose a third-row seat but gain memory for the driver’s seat, electric steering wheel adjustment, two 8.0-inch second row entertainment screens – which only shows how dated the interior is, as they really could just be iPad mounts for the kids.
There’s a cooled console box, plus a decent 13-speaker Bose speaker system.
Nissan has also included its camera-based smart rear-view mirror, a powered tailgate, roof rails, a sunroof, and heated and ventilated front seats.
Interestingly, the front bumper of the Ti-L has a ‘premium’ design with an approach angle of 28 degrees, compared to the ‘sport’ design of the base Ti and its approach angle of 34.4 degrees.
If you’re serious about off-roading, stick with the base model.
There are also three new colours for the 2020 update: Moonlight White, Galaxy Gold and Hermosa Blue.
There is currently no safety rating from ANCAP for the Y62 generation of the Nissan Patrol, even prior to the facelift.
Nonetheless, with the update Nissan has included a host of active safety systems as standard to the Ti, which is a welcome bonus.
This brings the likes of autonomous emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert to a car that really needs it. The full list of updates is below:
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Forward collision warning
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane-departure warning
- Lane-keeping assist
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane-change assist
- Rear cross-traffic alert
It’s relatively outdated. The overseas 2020 Nissan Patrol has seen major revisions inside, with a more modern infotainment and instrument cluster, but Australian models maintain the button-heavy setup unveiled in 2010.
There are minor revisions, but it feels a generation (or two) old now.
On the plus side, what you get inside is an enormous amount of space. As a family of four the car initially felt almost too big, but with our boys always at each other’s throats on long drives it was amazing to have that third row – which they fought over, of course.
Over the weekend we embarked on a 180km drive from Brisbane to Warwick and back, and the Patrol proved an excellent family hauler. We threw everything at the car and there was still room for much more.
So much room...
A seemingly endless amount of space within the Nissan Patrol
This is the perfect car if you have two or three kids with a lot of stuff to carry, and you tend to go on long drives. There are so many cup holders and storage spaces around the cabin you’ll end up putting things places you probably won’t find again.
Over the course of the week we got to love the vastness of space, and going back to our regular large SUV afterwards felt like a downgrade.
There are four or five USB-A points in the Patrol pending on the grade, but for us at least the rear ones didn’t charge iPads at full speed.
The lack of USB-C points is a downer considering where the world is going, too.
The cabin total has a total load space of 3170 litres. Of that, there is 550L of boot space with the third-row seats up.
There are three top-tether child anchorage points and two ISOFIX points as well.
Most importantly, the car is so wide (almost two metres, to be precise) you can fit three child seats in the second row without issue. Not that you’ll need to with the third row in use.
Both variants get the same powertrain, a 5.6-litre naturally-aspirated V8 with 298kW of power and 560Nm of torque. The engine pushes its might through all four wheels using a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Whilst the performance figures look good the Patrol is a thirsty thing, with an official fuel economy figure of 14.4L/100km, which in reality is closer to 18L/100km if you do a bit of city driving.
It could certainly do with a diesel, but that simply isn’t happening this late into the car’s lifecycle – this is merely a facelift to the Patrol revealed in 2010.
It’s a big thing, the Patrol, and feels its 2.8-tonne kerb weight. Nonetheless, Nissan has made noticeable changes to the dampers and suspension tune for the 2020 model, which has seen some minor improvement compared to its predecessor.
It’s not the sort of car you would drive with any sort of enthusiasm, but it’s so damn comfortable you can basically cruise over anything and not feel it.
The V8 engine and seven-speed automatic work well together to smoothly deliver torque and power around town.The sound is even decent for those moments when you have to floor it. If you were a little wild you would modify the exhaust for the full aural experience, as this engine is a cracker.
Though we didn’t really do its capabilities justice, the Patrol maintains a high degree of off-roading ability. Nissan’s four-wheel drive system has three basic modes – auto, 4H and 4L – in addition to software-driven on-road, rock, snow, and sand modes.
Given the nature of the vehicle and its target market in the Middle East, the Y62 Patrol to date has been tested extensively doing ridiculous things off-road, many of which we would not recommend. You won’t find yourself stuck on a beach any time soon.
In addition to its five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, the Y62 Patrol comes with the reassurance of having been around for a decade. But it has short service intervals of six months or 10,000km, with costs for the first five services broken down below:
- Six months/10,000km: $376
- 12 months/20,000km: $577
- 18 months/30,000km: $392
- 24 months/40,000km: $860
- 30 months/50,000km: $407
These don’t include consumables like tyres or brake pads.
The only issue with the Nissan Patrol is the fuel consumption and its outdated interior.
A diesel would be nice, but it won’t happen. Apart from that, there aren’t many options offering this much space and practicality with such a powerful engine for the price.
We wouldn’t bother with the high-spec car and negotiate hard to get the Ti under $70,000 drive-away.