This will give us the opportunity to get well acquainted with a vehicle that has been built to challenge the likes of Toyota’s Land Cruiser pickup – no easy task.
So far, however, the Patrol has proved very impressive, its obvious strength being its comfort and speed. Despite being a real workhorse the Patrol manages to be remarkably smooth. The combination of a flexible rear-leaf spring-suspension design with longer stroke on the springs is largely what makes this possible and we will be exploring how this is affected by a load when we think of something heavy enough to fill the ample load bay with. We tried hay bales but they were just too light to make a difference, no matter how many we squeezed in.
Nissan changed engines for the latest model, dropping from 4.2 litre turbo diesel to a 3.0DTi. This is in keeping with what manufacturers are doing worldwide to improve emissions numbers.
The local farming community of Skuinsdrif in North West is also watching the Patrol with great interest and we will be asking these Land Cruiser loyalists for their opinions over the review period.
The five-speed manual is powered by a turbocharged and intercooled 16-valve diesel engine, which features common-rail fuel injection and produces 110kW and 371Nm.
Fuel economy is helped by the fact that the transfer box allows for rear-wheel drive only when on the cruise and the front wheels are equipped with free-wheeling hubs.