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Nissan Patrol 2020 review: Ti-L

The Patrol is big, really big, and the Ti-L grade is the top-of-the-range.
EXPERT RATING
7.6
Nissan's Patrol is probably the only thing stopping Toyota's LandCruiser getting a good night's sleep, but could you live with one if most of the time it's going to be on the bitumen?

The Nissan Patrol is the iconic go-anywhere rival to the equally legendary and off-road-tough Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series. Like the ‘Cruiser the current Patrol is aging, having been around for a decade now. So, did the late-2019 update to the Patrol wind back the clock with new styling, tech and safety?

What’s it like to live with on-the-road when it’s not adventuring through the desert? And is that petrol V8 thirsty?

I found the answers to all these questions and more when the top-of-the-range Patrol, the Ti-L, came to stay for a week.

Nissan Patrol 2020: Ti-L (4x4)
Safety rating
Engine Type5.6L
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency14.4L/100km
Seating7 seats
Price from$92,790

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

The Patrol line-up consists of two grades: the $76,990 Ti and the top-of-the-range $92,790 Ti-L we’re reviewing here.

The Ti and Ti-L were upgraded at the end of 2019 with new safety tech and some styling tweaks, which I’ll take you through in the sections below.

But for now, let me tell you about the Ti-L’s features.

Coming standard on the Ti-L is leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, heated and cooled front seats which are also power adjustable, a 6.0-litre cooler box, sat nav, proximity unlocking, power tailgate, sun roof, LED headlights with washers, LED fog lights, puddle lights, and a digital rear-view mirror.

The Ti-L also has a DVD entertainment system with an 8.0-inch screen up front and two more seat-back 8.0-inch screens in the second row, and a 13-speaker Bose stereo.

The Ti-L has a DVD entertainment system with an 8.0-inch screen up front and two more seat-back 8.0-inch screens in the second row. The Ti-L has a DVD entertainment system with an 8.0-inch screen up front and two more seat-back 8.0-inch screens in the second row.

Roof racks are standard on the Ti-L, so is the dark-tinted rear glass, while wheels are 18-inch alloys, and there’s a full-sized spare.

The only optional equipment fitted to my test car was a dealer-installed tow bar kit ($1374) and electric brake controllers ($618). The 'Moonstone White' premium paint it wore is also optional and costs $595.

Is the Patrol Ti-L good value? Yes, but it’s beginning to feel a little dated – a lot like its rival the Toyota LandCruiser LC200 GXL which lists for $89,222.

The Patrol Ti-L wears 18-inch alloy wheels. The Patrol Ti-L wears 18-inch alloy wheels.

For similar money you could get into a more modern feeling Land Rover Discovery SD4 SE for $88,421, and if that’s got you thinking then the entry level Range Rover Sport is $105,759.

Something you may not have considered is the Ford Everest, which is extremely capable off-road, comfortable to drive and a whole lot more affordable at $72,590 for the seven-seat Titanium grade.

How practical is the space inside?   9/10

The Patrol is a seven-seat, large SUV and in the words of our five-year-old son, “This is a good car because it’s big, but also it’s too big.”

He said that as he made a second attempt to scale the entrance into the second row, and that time didn’t fall out. It’s a long way up and while the doorways are tall and wide, it’s not just my kid who’s going to need the side steps to climb in, everyone will. I did, and I’m 191cm (6'3") tall.

The Patrol’s cabin is enormous. I mean Land of the Giants enormous. So, for somebody with my 2.0-metre wingspan it felt great to have so much shoulder, elbow, and headroom up front.

The second row doesn’t slide forward. The second row doesn’t slide forward.

Leg and headroom in the second row is also excellent. There was about a 100mm gap between my knees and the seat back.

The third row is tight, and the second row doesn’t slide forward to offer more room. Still, I could sit back there for a short trip, but those two seats are really for kids. Do the airbags cover the third row? I’ll get to that in the safety section below.

The third row is tight, but I could sit back there for a short trip. The third row is tight, but I could sit back there for a short trip.

Lets’ talk about cabin storage and then the boot.

Under the centre armrest between the driver and front passenger is a fridge large enough to cool six 600ml water bottles or my wife’s large handbag, and the clever lid means it can be opened from the front or the back.

Door pockets are seriously big, there are two cupholders up front, another two in the second row and the third has four.

When all three rows of seats are in use the boot space left is still impressive at 468 litres, and with the third row folded flat there’s 1413 litres of space, and that opens up to 2623 litres if you fold the second row down, too. Huge.

  • When all three rows of seats are in use, boot space is rated at 468 litres. When all three rows of seats are in use, boot space is rated at 468 litres.
  • Even with the third row of seats in place, the Patrol can easily accommodate the CarsGuide pram. Even with the third row of seats in place, the Patrol can easily accommodate the CarsGuide pram.
  • Fold the third row of seats flat and cargo capacity grows to 1413 litres. Fold the third row of seats flat and cargo capacity grows to 1413 litres.

The boot load lip is pretty high compared to less hardcore SUVs such as a Mazda CX-9. So, if you’re just using the Patrol daily and never head off-road you may quickly get over hoisting your shopping bags into the boot like you’re competing in a hammer throw event.

For devices you’ll find five USB ports (three are in the second row, the rest up front), four 12V outlets (two up front, one in the second row, and a third in the boot), and there’s a HDMI port in the second row, too.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

Large. Enormous. Big. Some of the words I’ve used so far to describe the Patrol, but they aren’t going to help you when it comes to knowing if it will fit in your garage or the shopping centre car park.

So, here are the Patrol’s dimensions. The Ti-L measures 5175mm long, 1955mm tall and 1995mm wide. It’s the height which was the primary concern for me because I live in the city and many multi-level carparks have maximum clearances of 1.9m.

The Patrol’s styling doesn’t exactly try to hide its size. The thing looks like it’s been chiseled out of sandstone, with a face that looks like a wall, a high and broad bonnet, and a flat roofline leading to a sheer drop at the tailgate like the Nullarbor meeting the ocean.

The Patrol is confronting and modern looking, but with a high-end air. The Patrol is confronting and modern looking, but with a high-end air.

In late 2019 the Patrol received styling tweaks with the bonnet, front wheel arches, and grille given a redesign along with both bumpers. Nissan says the Ti is the sporty looking one while the Ti-L we’re reviewing here has a more premium look.

I’d agree with that; premium but with a bit of Robo Cop thrown in. It’s definitely confronting and modern looking, but with a high-end air.

The prestige feel continues inside but it’s less futuristic with all that wood, and the tech is beginning to date. Still, this is a plush cabin, with a good fit and finish to it.

The Patrol’s cabin is enormous. The Patrol’s cabin is enormous.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

The good news is the Patrol isn’t powered by a hamster on a wheel. Nope, the engine perfectly matches the macho look and feel because it’s a 5.6-litre petrol V8 making 298kW/560Nm.

So, if you’re worried that in these days of fuel consciousness the Patrol would have something less beefy, fear not.

The not so good news is that you can only have a petrol V8 and there’s no diesel alternative. That’s not great news for fuel economy as you’ll read below.

The 5.6-litre petrol V8 produces 298kW/560Nm. The 5.6-litre petrol V8 produces 298kW/560Nm.

If you’re not fussed by how much fuel you’ll use, then in return you’ll have a petrol V8 which is lot quieter than a diesel while the seven-speed automatic transmission is smooth making for a refined and effortlessly powerful driving experience (read more about that below too).

The Patrol is four-wheel drive with 4H and 4L gears, plus an Auto (AWD) setting.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

For this review the Patrol Ti-L stayed firmly on suburban roads and city streets and wasn’t taken off-road. If you’re keen to find out how the Patrol fares over tough terrain then read Adventurer Editor Marcus ‘Crafty’ Craft’s off-road review here.

Suffice to say, it’s extremely capable off the road. Essential figures for the Ti-L include a ground clearance of 273mm, an approach angle of 28.0 degrees (34.4 degrees in the Ti) and a departure angle of 26.3 degrees.

And if you’re planning to tow, then read Crafty’s tow test here where he compared the Ti-L with the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series GXL from what it’s like to drive with a van on the back to the fuel economy.

What you need to know here is the Patrol has a maximum-braked towing capacity 3.5-tonnes, a Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of 7000kg and a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 3500kg.

So, as much as the Patrol is as happy as a pig in mud when it’s in mud, this large SUV will no doubt spend a lot of time on the bitumen as well, where the it's also an accomplished beast.

The Patrol is four-wheel drive with 4H and 4L gears, plus an Auto (AWD) setting. The Patrol is four-wheel drive with 4H and 4L gears, plus an Auto (AWD) setting.

Ride and handling are shockingly good for something nudging three tonnes. There’s independent rear suspension and 'Hydraulic Body Motion Control' which keeps the Patrol flatter in the corners.

Dampers have been retuned for better on-road comfort and while the ride may be firmer than many large, floaty-feeling SUVs, it’s still enjoyably comfortable.

A turning circle of 12.5m and fairly slow geared steering saw me feeling a bit like a hand-shuffling bus driver doing three point turns in my street. No biggie, though the steering is pinky finger light and makes for easy work.

Around town at lower speeds the steering is accurate and great for piloting through traffic, but on motorways and fast country roads I felt a little disconnected from the front wheels at times, so more feeling in the steering would be an improvement.

Parking obviously was harder in the city where finding a seven-metre space is near impossible, but thanks to the great visibility, both in terms of the ride height and the enormous windows and wing mirrors, maneuvering into tight spaces and navigating city streets was easy.

How much fuel does it consume?   6/10

Nissan says that after a combination of open and urban roads the Patrol Ti-L will have used 14.4L/100km. In my fuel testing I started with a full tank (140 litres) and then after 103.3km of city streets, suburban roads and motorways I needed 19.57L to fill it back to capacity which comes to 18.9L/100km.

That may sound like a lot, but until I hit the motorways the trip computer was saying the average fuel consumption was 30.1L/100km after about 50km of only inner-city suburb driving.

The Patrol needs a minimum of 95 RON premium petrol, too.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

The Y62 Nissan Patrol first came out in 2010 and despite many safety upgrades over the years since it hasn’t yet been given an ANCAP rating.

The 2019 upgrade saw more advanced tech added and the Ti-L safety features include AEB, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane keeping assistance, and blind spot warning which will intervene to steer you back into your lane if needed.

For child seats you’ll find two ISOFIX points and two top tether anchor mounts in the second row. Only the right-hand seat in the third row can have a child seat installed and it’s a top tether anchor point.

Nissan says curtain airbags cover all three rows in the Patrol.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

The Patrol is covered by Nissan’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Servicing is recommended every six months or 10,000km and the first six services are set at $376 for the first service, $577 for the second, $392 for the third, $860 for the fourth and $407 for the fifth and $624 for the sixth.

Verdict

The Patrol Ti-L is a go-anywhere beast but as my test showed anywhere can also mean the upmarket end of town on city streets where its on-road manners are refined, composed and comfortable, with looks that border on prestige. The Patrol might be getting on, and the interior design is starting to age, but this is still a superb vehicle for the money.

Pricing guides

$84,890
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$76,990
Highest Price
$92,790

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Ti (4x4) 5.6L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $76,990 2020 Nissan Patrol 2020 Ti (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Ti-L (4x4) 5.6L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $92,790 2020 Nissan Patrol 2020 Ti-L (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.6
Price and features8
Practicality9
Design7
Engine & trans8
Driving8
Fuel consumption6
Safety8
Ownership7
Richard Berry
Senior Journalist

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