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Nissan Patrol 2019 review: Ti-L

The Nissan Patrol keeps its passengers happy on road trips.

With three rows of seats, acres of space and seat-back TV screens to banish backseat boredom, the Nissan Patrol keeps its passengers happy on family road trips. And with its big V8 engine, the driver will be smiling, too.

Remember that bumper sticker that said something like "only milk and juice come in 2.0 litres"? It was the battle-cry of just about every hardcore fan of the big V8 engine. And while I used to scoff at the claim, I am at last ready to admit that I can see where they were coming from. 

  • The Nissan Patrol keeps its passengers happy on family road trips. The Nissan Patrol keeps its passengers happy on family road trips.
  • The exterior of this 2019 model is largely unchanged from the previous model. The exterior of this 2019 model is largely unchanged from the previous model.
  • The Patrol measures 5.1m long, a smidge under 2.0 metres wide and close to 2.0 metres tall. The Patrol measures 5.1m long, a smidge under 2.0 metres wide and close to 2.0 metres tall.
  • It has a large and brawny profile. It has a large and brawny profile.
  • With its big V8 engine, the driver will be smiling. With its big V8 engine, the driver will be smiling.
  • It's incredibly comfortable and easy to drive on short hops. It's incredibly comfortable and easy to drive on short hops.
  • The Patrol has the ability to shift its weight with considerable urgency.  The Patrol has the ability to shift its weight with considerable urgency.

Enter the Nissan Patrol Ti-L 2019; our V8-powered family chariot for a week that included suburban driving and a five-day road trip down the coast.

Priced at $90,939, our top-of-the-range Patrol came with a factory tow bar kit ($1354) and bodywork dressed in Brilliant Silver (a $595 option). It also came fully loaded with standard kit, including leather interior trim with heated and cooled electric front pews, two smart keys, memory-function seats, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, adaptive cruise control, an electric tailgate, an intelligent camera rear-view mirror, and a cooled centre console/fridge. And plenty more.

It came fully loaded with standard kit, including leather interior trim. It came fully loaded with standard kit, including leather interior trim.

So, how will this monster-sized SUV handle life as a suburban taxi and as an open-road holiday hauler? My kids and I had the week to find out.  

Suburban family taxi

Before setting off on our holiday road trip, I had a couple of days to test the Patrol on my local roads, taxiing kids, shopping, bikes and assorted gear around the 'burbs.

The exterior of this 2019 model is largely unchanged from the previous model, with a design that appears to be trying its best to soften an otherwise large and brawny profile.

There's 550 litres of space in the boot. There's 550 litres of space in the boot.

On the whole, though, it's not much of a looker.

Sitting on 18-inch rims, this big unit measures 5.1m long, a smidge under 2.0 metres wide and close to 2.0 metres tall. Parked in the driveway, it cuts an imposing figure and looks like it will drive up and over anything put in front of it.

The Nissan Patrol Ti-L sits on 18-inch rims. The Nissan Patrol Ti-L sits on 18-inch rims.

There’s a vast expanse of space inside, which my three kids were super excited about - what with three spacious rows of leather-bound seats to choose from.

All seats provide acres of head and leg room and are incredibly comfortable to spend time in. All seats provide acres of head and leg room and are incredibly comfortable to spend time in.

The 8.0-inch screens embedded in each front-seat headrest were the next items to catch their attention, followed by a predictable fight to sit in the middle row. All this despite having no media to plug in (USB / HDMI) or DVD to play.

Embedded in each front-seat headrest are 8.0-inch screens.
Embedded in each front-seat headrest are 8.0-inch screens.

All seats, regardless of the row, provide acres of head and leg room and are incredibly comfortable to spend time in. The dash layout is an interesting one, peppered with various buttons and switch gear and framed in a high gloss timber that looks more plastic than wood. Despite its dated design, it was easy to navigate and simple to operate.

The interior is framed in a high gloss timber that looks more plastic than wood. The interior is framed in a high gloss timber that looks more plastic than wood.

Parking was less stressful thanks to the ‘Around View Monitor’, and parking sensors front and rear. The large wing mirrors were handy when parallel parking, providing a good view of the kerb.     

Across two days of suburban driving we covered around 100kms with the trip computer displaying a fuel consumption reading of 17.5 litres / 100km. Which is.... rather a lot. 

Holiday Hauling

The three-hour road trip to our destination included motorway and regional back roads towing a 350kg cage trailer containing our bikes and boards.

With the third row folded forward, the Patrol can swallow a generous 1490 litres of luggage. And that came in handy as we filled every last inch of it with bags and food supplies for the week. Even with the third row upright there’s 550 litres of space in the boot.

With the third row folded forward, the Patrol can swallow 1490 litres of luggage. With the third row folded forward, the Patrol can swallow 1490 litres of luggage.

There’s a decent payload capacity of 734kg, with an additional 3500kg of tow capacity (750kg unbraked) making the Patrol an incredibly useful holiday hauling companion. Storage is plentiful throughout the cabin, too, with the chilled console bin aft of the gearshift proving a family favourite and keeping the assorted BBQ meat cold for the duration of the trip.

The chilled console bin is a family favourite. The chilled console bin is a family favourite.

The two kids in the second row were in their element with acres of space to relax in. Other features include air vents along the roof covering all three seating rows and two rear USB points which they used to charge their devices. The third-row seats were used on short hops around our holiday destination, with easy access in and out. One useful feature noticeably absent, though, was Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  

Under the enormous bonnet there’s a 5.6-litre V8 making 298kW and 560Nm, and feels ready-made for family trips. Matched with a seven-speed automatic transmission with ‘Adaptive Shift Control’, gear changes were silky smooth, especially the responsive downshifts when overtaking. The way the power was delivered, in such an effortless and relaxed manner, was wonderfully addictive.

Cruising the open road in this car was an immensely satisfying experience with 350kg of trailer weight barely noticeable. I ended up looking for any excuse to plonk myself behind the wheel over the course of our stay.

The Patrol has a 3500kg of tow capacity (750kg unbraked). The Patrol has a 3500kg of tow capacity (750kg unbraked).

As yet, the Patrol has not been awarded an ANCAP rating but does come with a solid list of safety kit including, Brake Assist, and Cross-Traffic Recognition, Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Distance Control Assist, Forward Collision Warning and Intelligent Cruise Control, but misses out on AEB

There’s driver and front passenger head and side airbags, as well as side curtain airbags covering all three rows. For parents with young children, there are two ISOFIX child restraint anchor points and top tethers included in the outer second-row seat positions, with a further tether hook in the third row.

Over the course of the five days we covered around 500km of holiday driving, most of which with the 350kg trailer in tow. After which the trip computer displayed a fuel consumption reading of 14.7 litres/100km - on par with Nissan’s claim of 14.4 litres/100km (combined).

Not a bad result considering the extra weight. What's more, the hefty 140-litre tank that drinks 95RON unleaded should help give your credit card loyalty points a boost, too....


The Wrap

The shortcomings in navigating the Patrol on suburban back roads were many, but were more than compensated for when experiencing it on the open road. This V8-powered SUV is built for long-haul family trips, able to carry passengers and tonnes of gear in absolute calm comfort, and with enough grunt to put a smile on anyone’s face. It’s hard not to like.

Likes

Long-haul comfort
Open-road performance
Well priced

Dislikes

No AEB
No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
Lack of steering feel

Scores

Dan:

3.9

The Kids:

4.3

$88,990

Based on new car retail price

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