Web Spin: Nissan
Patrol 3.0 TD ST-L (GU III)
Nissan Patrol ST-L
- 7 Seat Station
- 3.0 Intercooled
- 4 Speed Automatic
Available in Range:
- Satellite navigation
system with reversing camera
- AM/FM radio/cassette
player with in-dash 6 stack CD changer and steering wheel mounted controls
- Electric glass
tilt and slide sunroof
- Steel or Alloy
- Cruise Control
- 5 Speed auto with
- 5 Speed manual
When the term '4x4'
or 'offroad' is used, the common recollection for vehicles is 'Jeep' or
"Land Rover'. But like the words 'Hoover', 'Kleenex' and 'Band-Aid',
they have become generic descriptions today that don't always bear much
resemblance to the original product that spawned the word.
The original Jeeps
and Land Rovers were built for robust military use with little or no regard
for operator comfort. As revolutionary as they were in the 1940s and '50s,
the 21st Century incarnation is far removed from the rough utilitarian
coupes personified in Hollywood wartime dramas.
Today, the most popular
four-wheel-drive RVs (Recreational Vehicles) in this country are almost
unilaterally Japanese, with a smattering of European, Korean and American
vehicles in the mix. Leading the Nippon charge is the ubiquitous Toyota
Landcruiser, long the benchmark for quality, comfort and durability from
the Land of the Rising Sun, but often challenged by Nissan's flagship
4x4, the venerable Patrol.
Patrol is every bit the capable 4x4. With powerplants ranging from 3.0
and 4.2 Turbo Diesels to the massive 4.8 DOHC 6cyl, you're never going
to run out of power for the toughest, dirtiest tasks. Significantly, comparable
Nissan models are usually several thousand dollars below their Toyota
equivalent. If the faithful Patrol suffers from anything at all, it's
simply market perception.
the Patrol and the Landcruiser began production at the beginning of the
1950s, not long after the first Land Rovers appeared. Back then, this
genre of ¼ ton truck all looked very similar to the famous Willys
Jeep (a term derived from General Purpose Vehicle and now a Chrysler Trademark).
In half a century, eclectic car buyers have driven a quantum leap in refinements
to this humble runabout. From auto-locking freewheeling hubs and cruise
control to retracting cup-holders and CD players, the modern GPV is an
ultra high-tech rolling playground and entertainment centre. Enter the
SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle).
Our test vehicle was
a mid-range 3.0 TD ST-L with smooth, delightfully aromatic leather upholstery,
4 speed automatic transmission and seating for 7 adults. Just four of
us and some picnic equipment made the all-day round trip via Lithgow,
Sofala, Hill End and Bathurst including a run along the fabled Bridle
to make sure we gave the Patrol a proper workout, we cut across country
from Wallerawang via Sunny Corner to Wattle Flat through the Turon State
Forest and past the Winburndale Nature Reserve. Several fallen trees and
dead-ends meant the fullest extent of the all-wheel-drive mechanisms were
employed in returning us to our mapped route. The expansive views, photo
opportunities and thrills were worth it even if the our stead was only
Driving a large modern
4WD like the Patrol is now an effortless task thanks to silky smooth automatic
transmissions and power steering. It's now common to see slightly-built
suburban mums ferrying their primary school-bound cargo along suburban
streets or bullying lesser vehicles out of the prime parking spaces at
Coles. Such is the ease now built in to these three tonne chariots that
'P' plates can even be seen.
Our driving impressions
concur with the acclaim already received from the motoring press. The
face-lifted 2005 model and its improved 3.0 litre diesel impressed us
with its relatively quiet operation, ample torque and impressive economy.
When considering a
Nissan Patrol over any of its contemporaries, it's worth noting the 3
year/100,000 kilometre warranty as standard, plus extended packages available
as optional including 24hr roadside assist. Users
report excellent reliability and fuel economy, claims we can verify
immediately. OUTThere had the 3.0 Turbo Diesel for a week, drove it every
day, including our extended day trip out west and never put a drop of
fuel in it. The Patrol comes with two fuel tanks; a 95 litre main tank
and a 30 litre reserve which pumps to the main tank when selected on the
dashboard. Based on the claimed fuel consumption of 10.7 litres/100 km,
we travelled over 3000 km.
cost surveys rate our test Patrol as the cheapest large 4WD to run
when compared to the similar Ford Explorer and Toyota Landcruiser.
In summary, there's
no penalty whatsoever in choosing a Patrol over any of the major SUVs
in the BIG category. You'll get every bit of the space, power and road
respect afforded its competitors and have a few grand to spare.
Report by Rod
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