Car review: 2020 Nissan Patrol in the UAE
Starts from Dhs199, 900
WHEN IT COMES to massive 4x4s in the UAE a slight modification of the famous Orwellian line is perhaps apt: "all SUVs are equal, but some SUVs are more equal than others." The majority of observers are aware most of the brands offer much the same experience, especially when it comes to the premium end of the market, but for some reason there are always a couple of models which transcend niche interest and whose release becomes a genuine water cooler moment. The Nissan Patrol is just such an example. In a land practically founded on the back of desert-capable machines, the appetite for the grandest specimens around remains heightened and the queue we saw at the Nissan showroom when we went to collect our test-drive would suggest the 2020 Patrol has once again hit the mark. Let's see if it lives up to the hype.
What's new in 2020?
This car is a refresh, which means it's not going to be drastically different from the previous incarnation both inside and out, but what Nissan have changed they have improved. Look at it. The new Patrol captures the modern elegance demanded from these vehicles without compromising any of the exterior ruggedness. For example, there are two options when it comes to the bumpers. One is the city style possessing chrome highlights, and the other the off-road kit, which sits higher for improved clearance. We've also got an improved V-motion grille giving the car a little more edge and LED headlights and tail lights, which we're never that impressed with on any car, but for some people mean a lot. For all you enthusiasts, these ones are in a boomerang formation. Okay, stop salivating.
Inside it's all about supreme comfort swaddling you in the cavernous amount of space (three-rows of seats plus boot) you will enjoy. Diamond-stitch quilted leather sitting positions with added padding should satisfy anyone on a long trek into the dunes, or more likely when you're stuck in mall traffic. The hand-stitched steering wheel also presents a distinctly upper-echelon feel which, after mainlining episodes of The Crown, will suit you down to the ground. We could go into all the climate control and improved airbag technology, but we know you really want to hear about...
What do we really want to hear about?
...the power and off-road capabilities. That's a Patrol's bread and butter and this version does not disappoint. All-terrain power is provided by the most durable V6 and V8 engines in the segment. The base four-litre V6 produces 275hp and 394Nm of torque. The 5.6-litre V8 produces 400hp and 560Nm of torque. All that grunt is put to good use and translates into getting you and the potential football team you're carrying up any hill or down any valley. Assisted by the various driving modes, the mere flick of an ankle can have you clambering over surfaces you wouldn't believe. The Patrol even has Hill Descent Control that maintains a low speed when pointing down a steep or slippery slope, eliminating the need for braking. While in the real world this may be witnessed on the rarest of occasions (we're looking at you Mr. or Mrs. "right, we're finally going camping this Friday."), it's still reassuring to know it's there if you need it despite that wilderness weekend never materialising.
What else did you like?
Overall, just the well-built quality feel of the automobile is worth the money itself. Obviously it's huge, but you soon get used to manoeuvering about - a benefit of the light steering, not to mention the two the sensors and all-seeing cameras. Two touch screens up front were more than we were expecting and an upgrade from shiny chrome to matte chrome matched with wood trim finishes have elevated the interior. Jolly good show.
. Engine: Four-litre V6 (base)
. Power: 275hp
. Torque: 394Mn
. Starting price: Dhs199,900