There’s still some life in the Nissan Patrol.
Now 11 years old in Australia, the V8 four-wheel drive continues to defy expectations by setting records on the VFACTS sales charts.
It’s been updated a couple of times times, with a tweaked design and revised pricing, but for the most part the Patrol has remained the same old dinosaur under the skin… until now.
Like the Navara Warrior, the 2024 Nissan Patrol Warrior has been comprehensively overhauled by Australian engineering specialists Premcar.
Overhauled suspension, new wheels and tyres, new bodywork, and extra protection against rock strikes all feature, along with new details inside. There’s also a new exhaust system with side pipes designed to free up a louder V8 battle cry, and inject a bit more emotion into the mix.
The tougher new Patrol is built by Nissan in Japan and shipped to Melbourne, where it runs down a new production line at Premcar’s facility and is remanufactured to Warrior specification using parts sourced from a range of Australian suppliers.
The Warrior is designed to be a more stable, confidence-inspiring vehicle on the blacktop than the standard model, and a more capable explorer off-road. That’s a tough balance to strike, especially when you consider the Patrol is officially an old car.
Have Nissan Australia and Premcar managed to teach this old dog some new tricks?
The Warrior is the most expensive model in the Patrol range, sitting $3560 above the more luxurious Ti-L model at $101,160 plus on-road costs.
It’s $16,660 more expensive than the Patrol Ti on which it’s based, although a look at its specification sheet quickly reveals where that extra cash has gone.
As for rivals? Nissan and Premcar have made no bones about the fact it’s designed to play in the same sandbox as the Toyota LandCruiser 300 GR Sport, which has a sticker price of $142,100 before on-road costs.
The equivalent LandCruiser 300 based on list price is the base GX ($94,300) or the GXL ($106,100). If you’re not an off-roading fiend, you could also look at a Volvo XC90 B5 Bright ($100,990).
2024 Nissan Patrol pricing:
- Nissan Patrol Ti: $84,900
- Nissan Patrol Ti-L: $97,600
- Nissan Patrol Warrior by Premcar: $101,160
Prices exclude on-road costs
Save for the Warrior stitching on the dashboard, the Alcantara inserts, and the extra V8 rumble on the open road, this is the same Nissan Patrol cabin we’ve come to know and… tolerate.
It’s a bit of a time machine, with a button-heavy dashboard, generations-old infotainment system, a foot-operated parking brake, and pleated leather seats. Apple CarPlay? Not here!
With that said, the fundamentals are still solid. The seating position is commanding and the front seats are well-stuffed armchairs that offer plenty of support on long trips. Although it’s based on the entry-level Ti, the Warrior is a luxurious enough place to spend time with plenty of leather trim.
It also feels bank vault solid from the second you drag the hefty door shut.
Pride of place on the dashboard goes to a matte-finish 8.0-inch infotainment system. Although it lacks CarPlay and Android Auto, you get Bluetooth to hook your phone audio up and factory satellite navigation.
Once you’re familiar with the combination of screen and physical controls it’s easy enough to navigate, but there will be tech-savvy buyers who are immediately turned off by the lack of polish to the Patrol. Also worth noting is the lack of a digital speedometer readout.
Storage space is solid up front, with a pair of cupholders and a deep storage bin between the front seats, but there’s no wireless phone charger – or any great open spaces to store an oversized modern phone. We’d recommend investing in a phone mount for one of the air vents if you plan to charge up on the move.
Space in the second row is generous, as you’d expect from a car this big. The floor is nice and flat, the windows are tall, and the bench itself is cushy enough to keep the kids comfortable for long stints. It’s also wide enough to house three kids, although three bigger adults might be fighting for elbow room.
Air vents on the roof above the windows and embedded in the back of the transmission tunnel keep things cool in summer, and there’s acres of legroom, knee room, and headroom back there.
Two USB-A ports and dedicated climate controls are both welcome inclusions.
The second row of seats tumble forward to allow for access to the third row, which also has three seats.
Roof-mounted air vents, cupholders, and recline functions are all welcome, but it’s still a space best suited to kids or younger teenagers – adults will feel pretty cramped back there, with very little legroom or space for feet under the second row.
We’d caution anyone planning to use all eight seats regularly, too. The rearmost bench is too narrow to comfortably house three people for more than a few minutes.
Claimed boot space behind the third row is 467 litres, expanding to 1413L when it’s folded into the floor. Flatten the second row and you’re left with a whopping 2623L.
There’s a trio of top-tether points on the second row for child seats, along with a pair of ISOFIX points. Premcar’s redesigned rear bumper leaves space for a full-sized spare tyre mounted beneath the car, rather than in the boot.
The 2024 Nissan Patrol range uses a naturally-aspirated 5.6-litre V8 engine producing 298kW of power and 560Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
All models offer full-time four-wheel drive with low-range gearing, along with a rear differential lock. The Warrior breathes through a unique bi-modal exhaust designed to free up more noise when you’re in a hurry, without droning on the highway.
Ground clearance is 323mm in the Patrol Warrior. Departure angle is 23.3 degrees in the Ti and Warrior with a tow bar fitted, and approach angle is 40 degrees.
Its maximum braked towing capacity is 3500kg and maximum unbraked towing capacity is 750kg, with a maximum tow ball download of 350kg. Payload is 828kg in the Warrior, and GVM increases from 3500km in the Ti to 3620kg in the Warrior.
On the road, the Warrior has been tightened up compared to the standard Patrol.
Where the base car can feel a bit floaty, wandering around in its lane on cambered highways, the Warrior is firmer and more direct.
At low speeds, that means it isn’t quite as comfortable. It’s still a plush, capable family car, but you’re slightly more aware of pimply road surfaces and speed humps in the cabin – as is the case in the Navara Warrior relative to more mundane versions.
Otherwise, this is the same Patrol we’ve come to know in tight spaces. It’s still a big old barge (the Warrior is close to 100mm longer than the base car), but vision out the front and sides is decent, and the pixellated surround camera is a handy addition to stop you scraping bumpers.
Although there’s more weight to the steering than in say, a Qashqai, you don’t need biceps like Popeye to manoeuvre in underground carparks.
The smooth-moving V8 engine is effortlessly torquey around town, lugging around what’s a seriously heavy beast without much fuss. You get a bassy background burble, but for the most part the engine is subdued; Premcar has tuned the new exhaust to roar when you put your foot down, or when you slip into manual mode.
But it feels more at home on the open road. At higher speeds the retuned suspension makes for a rock solid grand tourer.
The Warrior deals with big crests and dips on the highway in one fell swoop, and although there’s some body roll in the corners you can tip this 2884kg (!!) off-roader into sweeping corners with way more confidence than you’d expect.
The naturally-aspirated V8 engine has enough torque to get around without working too hard, even at highway speeds, so it’s a shame the transmission is a bit busy going up and down hills. It can be too keen to drop a gear on mild throttle inputs, making the car feel automatic.
Flick the transmission selector into manual and there’s a NASCAR-style roar from the side exhaust that strikes exactly the right balance between being raucous and fun, but refined enough to suit a $100,000 family four-wheel drive.
Even though this is an old car, it has a reasonably modern suite of driver assists for long trips. The adaptive cruise control smartly keeps a gap to a lead car, and there is lane-keeping assist to nudge you back between the white lines if you stray.
It’s not the most subtle system out there, but it’s a welcome inclusion regardless.
Off the beaten path, the Warrior is every bit as capable as you’d expect. Often, off-roading on new car launches is a carefully stage managed event involving shallow water crossings, a few moguls, and… not much else.
Nissan didn’t go down that route with the Patrol Warrior, instead letting us loose on Climies Track near Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.
With lots of awkward rocky ruts and ridges, steep climbs, and narrow water crossings, our army of Warriors emerged from battle with a few scrapes from overhanging trees, but nothing more serious.
The combination of a torquey V8 engine, low range gearing, and a locking rear differential was already potent – as we learned in our off-road mega test – but more ground clearance, off-road oriented rubber, and underbody protection in case you overestimate that ground clearance make this even more capable.
It’s easy to feed in the right amount of throttle, even in low range, and the new suspension setup makes the Warrior feel nicely controlled when the going gets tough. It doesn’t bounce around, instead feeling like you’re able to actually get the most from whichever of the four tyres is in contact with the ground.
Engaging low-range is easy enough, although the rear differential lock can take a moment to activate. Lights on the dashboard make it simple for nervous off-roaders to know what’s going on under the skin, and the ability to flick from road to rock mode for a duller throttle is welcome.
The only real knock on its off-road intuitiveness is a soft, dead brake pedal that makes it tougher to precisely control the car’s significant mass over drops or awkward descents.
Patrol Ti highlights:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Satellite navigation
- Eight seats
- Six-speaker sound system
- Keyless entry and start
- Tri-zone climate control
- Leather upholstery
- Ten-way power driver’s seat
- Eight-way power passenger’s seat
- Tyre-pressure monitoring
- Automatic headlights
- LED headlights and front fog lights
- Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
- Hill descent control
- Rear differential lock
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter
Patrol Warrior by Premcar adds:
- 29mm suspension lift
- Retuned suspension system
- 120kg GVM upgrade
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Yokohama G015 295/70 AT tyres
- Stainless steel side-exit bi-modal exhaust
- Warrior-branded front bumper, front bash plate
- Bespoke tow bar and rated rear recovery points
- Black interior trim finish
- Alcantara door and dash trim with Warrior branding
The current Nissan Patrol doesn’t have an ANCAP safety rating.
All models come with the following safety features:
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Forward collision warning
- Blind-spot assist
- Lane departure warning
- Lane keep assist
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Adaptive cruise control
- Front, front-side airbags
- Curtain airbags for all three rows
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Surround-view cameras
The 2024 Nissan Patrol range is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
In 2022, Nissan extended the servicing intervals for the Patrol from six months or 10,000 kilometres first to 12 months or 10,000 kilometres.
Nissan offers a capped-price servicing program, and the first six services are capped at $452, $581, $559, $916, $509, and $741, respectively. For the first six years or 60,000 kilometres of capped-price servicing will set you back $3758.
Premcar and Nissan Australia haven’t made what’s fundamentally an old car feel brand new, but they have unlocked new talents.
If the ancient interior, thirsty petrol engine, and sheer bulk of the standard car were turn-offs before, the Warrior isn’t going to change your mind.
If you were flirting with the idea of a Patrol though; the new Warrior looks tougher, sounds better, and handles more confidently than the standard model – and it’s more than handy off-road as well.
We’ll need to hook up a trailer to see how it tows, but the promise of better performance than the already capable base car with a heavy caravan attached is appealing as well.
Flaws? The fact you can’t have the more luxurious Ti-L interior in tandem with the Warrior hardware is a shame, and although you don’t strictly need it, the idea of even more grunt from the V8 engine is tantalising.
Even considering those flaws though, it’s hard to argue with what’s on offer in the Patrol Warrior for the money.
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