2002 Nissan Patrol
|The Good: |
– Tough image
– Huge interior
– True off-road ability
|The Bad: |
– Tipsy on-road handling
– Aging platform
– Big as a house
The Nissan Patrol is a 4×4 that’s not easily overseen. The Nissan Patrol never fails to create an impression. For the driver and passengers, it is a feeling of effortless power and utter comfort from the driveway to the desert.
The commanding driving position is quite a draw. It yields good forward and side vision, but rear visibility is a bit limited. Height-adjustable steering wheel and seat on all models. The five-door has plenty of room and, because of it’s length, it offers an outstanding amount of legroom in the back. Seats are good enough for long trips. Trim is tough but luxurious. The three-door model offers good front seat room but tight rear quarters.
The Patrol has a large, more curved body with improved interior space and switchable suspension system. Revised models were launched in 2000 with restyled bumpers and grille, upgraded interior, uprated rear suspension and improved security. Super Safari models have automatic air-conditioning, CD autochanger, dual airbags and ABS. Options include side airbags, an electric sunroof, leather trim and heated front seats. Revisions in 2002 included uprated suspension on all models to improve ride comfort and handling, deep-dished 16-inch alloy wheels, detailed changes to seats, head restraints and dashboard controls.
Launched with an old fashioned engine in 1998, there were eventually three inline six-cylinder engine choices. The are noisy and hard- working, but provide loads of low-down power for towing and serious off-roading, and reasonable fuel economy for a 4WD. These engines have leisurely acceleration due to their relatively low horsepower, but torque figures are massive, with the 4800 cc engine in the Super Safari producing up to 46 kg-m of peak torque.
The three-door is surprisingly manoeuvrable and is okay to drive in town. The five-door is hard to park because of its size. Bodyroll and ponderous steering make on-road driving a chore.
There is good access to the luggage compartment and a split-folding seat means you can carry some really large loads. Plenty of space is available to put large boxes on the seats.
The Nissan Patrol is smooth, convenient, and easy to drive on the highway. It’s hard to find faults with the ride.
A favourite in danger zones, deserts and the tropics. It’s proven, tough has an unblemished reliability record and is highly unlikely to let you down. Construction is solid. Driver and passenger airbags are standard except on early basic models. The Patrol is less expensive than the Land Cruiser but not cheap. Nissan dealer servicing tends to be good value, but parts can be expensive. Insurance is high.
The power steering is somewhat heavy, but provides a nice feel without being too stiff. The suspension has been tuned to give a smooth ride, which is helped by a relatively long wheelbase. The vehicle feels secure and stable at highway speeds. The suspension is soft and does a good job of soaking up bumps and road vibration, giving a smooth ride that we really liked.
Nissan Patrol is the car to consider if you’re looking for a sophisticated and utterly reliable large four-wheel-drive.