After a nearly two-month stay, our long-term Nismo Patrol has made an exit from the wheels garage. This means it’s now time for our final verdict on the most powerful version of Nissan’s full-size SUV.
The standard Patrol is hardly a shrinking violet, but with its pumped-up body kit, the Nismo version boasts even greater road presence. You watch in bemusement as other motorists scamper out of your intended travel path as soon as this car appears in their rear-view mirror. If, for some reason, you’re keen on fast-lane supremacy then there are few vehicles out there that can trump the Patrol.
However, it’s not merely the image that makes it one of the most popular SUVs in our region, it’s the fact that it is indeed a very, very good family car. The Nismo version only gets a token 28bhp boost, and some suspension tweakery, and to say that it makes a noticeable difference would be inaccurate. It’s still a roly-poly old thing and doesn’t dynamically do any justice to the Nismo badge. That said, it does feel more surefooted than the standard car — although the new Toyota Land Cruiser is still more stable around corners.
There is plenty of kit in there, too, and refinement is on a par with some premium 4x4s that cost more than twice as much. There are some drawbacks though. The fuel economy, for instance, isn’t the greatest and you can literally see the needle on the gauge plummet as you drive along in the city. During long-distance cruises it’s admittedly not as thirsty. Over the past seven weeks it has been completely reliable with stray minor hiccups during cold start-ups in the morning, when the starter motor whizzed and whirred longer than expected.
As a family wagon it is superb and does every thing you’d expect from a car of this type. So, does it justify the premium over the regular, ‘full-options’ Platinum trim? The answer would rather depend on what you’re looking for: as a statement the Nismo ups the Patrol’s already massive street cred, otherwise the standard car is just as good. Me? I’d take the Nismo every time.
The Nismo Patrol surprises with its unprecedented frugality on a long-distance drive to Fujairah and back. Body control isn’t, however, the most reassuring on twisty mountain roads.
Highs: Comfortable, surprisingly fuel efficient on a long highway cruise
Lows: There’s plenty of body roll on bendy roads
wheels Arabic editor Fadi reckons the Nismo touch to the Patrol isn’t as obvious as in, say, an AMG or an M vehicle.
The Storm Trooper body kit lends it even greater on-road presence than the standard Patrol.
Highs: Hugely practical, looks rather good for an SUV
Lows: Not as focused as a performance SUV ought to be