There’s a whinge emanating from the Arabic corner of the wheels cubicle. Editor Fadi, after having driven our Patrol Nismo once again, feels the changes aren’t substantial enough considering it is the handiwork of Nissan’s performance division.
His contention is that the difference between, say, an X5 and an X5 M, or indeed a GLE and a GLE 63, is far more sizeable and immediately noticeable. The hopped-up Patrol, he reckons, feels a bit half-hearted in comparison.
He may have a point — yes, there is extra go, but dropping 28 more horsepower in a car that weighs as much as a townhouse is like adding an electric pencil sharpener to the QE II to boost performance. It is only ever so slightly quicker than the standard V8 Platinum trim. That said, the Storm Trooper body kit does make it look much, much more special than the regular version. And if you’re planning to buy one, then white is undeniably the colour to have it in — the black and red trim pieces contrast nicely. We’ve driven one finished in black too, and it doesn’t have nearly as much visual chutzpah.
There are some minor annoyances, which I also faced with our long-term Nissan GT-R a few years ago. You have to press the brake pedal really hard to start the engine. Anything less and you merely end up turning on the ignition, which means you have to turn off the car and restart the process again. It’s irritating. Also, on cold mornings the starter motor sometimes whirrs much longer than you’d expect before awakening the engine from its slumber. Practicality-wise, this car is next to none, though. Even with all the seven seats in place there is enough room in the boot for a week’s groceries and, gosh, it’s comfortable, too.
Fuel economy isn’t exactly improving, so if you buy one of these then be prepared to make friends with your local petrol station attendant, because you are going to see him a lot more than you’d like.
However, when all is said and done, having driven it for a month, I can confirm that I now get the appeal of the Patrol.
The Patrol, especially in Nismo guise, just drips presence on the roads; it parts traffic like a minor miracle. Fuel economy isn’t impressive, though, with our long-termer clocking about 20 litres per 100km. It’s gruff off the line too.
Highs: Huge amount of presence
Lows: Gruff off the line; almost like it’s a CVT
The Patrol once again reminds us of its gargantuan dimensions by almost getting wedged in an underground car park. However, the upside is acres and acres of space in the cabin. Bluetooth audio streaming works flawlessly, too.
Highs: Great Bluetooth audio connectivity
Lows: It is not happy in tight underground car parks