NEW PATROL DITCHES

20 March 1998




NEW PATROL DITCHES

PETROL AND BOOSTS DIESEL

Nissans Patrol has finally

been modernised, with new

engines and clever

suspension features.

Geoff Ashcroft checked

out the main changes

WATCH out Discovery, Shogun, Monterey and Landcruiser Colorado – the big Nissan Patrol GR is back, with a vengeance.

This big 4×4 has been dragged kicking and screaming towards the next millennium offering the space and specification to put it close to a Range Rover, but at the price of a Discovery.

Gone are the boxy body lines and square profiles of old. Gone is the flat fascia and spartan interior. And gone is the 4.2-litre petrol engine and the underpowered 113hp turbo diesel of old, making way for a more powerful turbo diesel engine only.

In come three- and five-door variants with modern styling to boot, and an interior trim level more usually found on high calibre saloon cars.

Designed almost from a clean sheet of paper, the new Patrol is aimed squarely at the large 4×4 leisure market; this 4×4 will look as good on any driveway as it will up to its bumpers in a raging mountain stream.

Nissan says the new Patrol has more leg room, shoulder room, elbow room and an increase in luggage space. It is more like a minibus with off-road capability.

&#42 Six cylinder growl

On road, the new 2.8-litre turbocharged and intercooled TD6 engine is smooth and quiet, and its characteristic six-cylinder growl is one you could listen to all day. But even with 130hp at 4000rpm and 252Nm of torque as low as 2000rpm, the Patrol is a vehicle for the patient-minded.

There is no urgency, no rush of turbo boost (just a light whistle), but a constant smooth delivery of power. But, then again, this is no

WATCH out Discovery, Shogun, Monterey and Landcruiser Colorado – the big Nissan Patrol GR is back, with a vengeance.

This big 4×4 has been dragged kicking and screaming towards the next millennium offering the space and specification to put it close to a Range Rover, but at the price of a Discovery.

Gone are the boxy body lines and square profiles of old. Gone is the flat fascia and spartan interior. And gone is the 4.2-litre petrol engine and the underpowered 113hp turbo diesel of old, making way for a more powerful turbo diesel engine only.

In come three- and five-door variants with modern styling to boot, and an interior trim level more usually found on high calibre saloon cars.

Designed almost from a clean sheet of paper, the new Patrol is aimed squarely at the large 4×4 leisure market; this 4×4 will look as good on any driveway as it will up to its bumpers in a raging mountain stream.

Nissan says the new Patrol has more leg room, shoulder room, elbow room and an increase in luggage space. It is more like a minibus with off-road capability.

&#42 Six cylinder growl

On road, the new 2.8-litre turbocharged and intercooled TD6 engine is smooth and quiet, and its characteristic six-cylinder growl is one you could listen to all day. But even with 130hp at 4000rpm and 252Nm of torque as low as 2000rpm, the Patrol is a vehicle for the patient-minded.

There is no urgency, no rush of turbo boost (just a light whistle), but a constant smooth delivery of power. But, then again, this is no carbon-fibre bodied street racer. In three-door guise, it tips the scales at a shade over 2t, the five-door is nearer 2.5t.

Once rolling, it will cruise all day without losing speed. But whether you would get into top gear pulling a 3.5t gross trailer weight remains to be seen.

Off road, the Patrols automatic free-wheeling front hubs, electronic rear diff-lock and low ratio transfer box combine to give the vehicle tremendous traction. But on steep slopes, the TD6 engine dies off quickly unless revs are kept about the 2000-mark.

&#42 Axle articulation

Where Nissan appears to have excelled is in the development of a rear stabiliser bar on the five-link suspension, which can be deactivated from the drivers seat. The result is massive amounts of axle articulation for off-roading, while keeping body roll firmly under control.

When switched on, the stabiliser bar then keeps the rear axle taut to the body, maintaining firm on-road handling.

And with a wider wheel track, you can now negotiate crossing a 48í slope before the big Nissan rolls over and lays down.

Few will want to fill the vehicle with tools, fuel drums and a rain-soaked collie, and the less-plush three-door is more akin to this type of treatment than the leather-clad five-door SE Touring version.

With prices lower than expected, Nissan should grab a fair slice of the UKs big 4×4 market.

Right: Interior of the new Patrol is less spartan and revised dash layout is more typical of saloon car comfort.

Left: Nissans new Patrol GR gets all new body styles in three- and five-door variants.

Patrol GRdata


Body Engine Price

3-door 2.8 TD6 £21,150

5-door 2.8 TD6 £24,650

3-door SE 2.8 TD6 £24,125

5-door SE 2.8 TD6 £28,125

5-dr SE Touring 2.8 TD6 £30,650

NISSAN DATA

&#8226 Model: Patrol GR.

&#8226 Body: 3-door, 5-door.

&#8226 Trim: Standard, SE and SE Touring.

&#8226 Price: From £21,150-£30,650.

&#8226 Engine: 2.8-litre, in-line six cylinder turbocharged, intercooled diesel engine (130hp @ 4000rpm/252Nm torque @ 2000rpm).

&#8226 Top speed: 96mph.

&#8226 0-62mph: 17.5sec.

&#8226 Manufacturers fuel figures: Urban 19.48mpg; extra urban 29.74mpg; combined 25.22mpg.

&#8226 Insurance group: n/a.


See more