Alvin Thomas finds a car to part the traffic with, without hitting your pocket at the fuel pump.
If you’re a daily driver in Oman, you will almost certainly know of the Nissan Patrol. They’re extremely common and more often than not, they’re in your rear view mirror, in the fast lane, flashing their lights at you so that they can get past.
Why the bragging rights? For starters, it’s humungous in size. If anything deserves royalty on the road, it is the Nissan Patrol. And stuffed with a hefty V8 engine underneath the bonnet, there really is nothing else that quite does the job of parting the cars for your benefit.
However, a while back, Nissan was caught testing the Patrol with a smaller and economic V6 engine, in the UAE. It was all a hush-hush affair and nothing was made public, until now.
The new variant of the Patrol, the Patrol V6, was unveiled last month and ever since then, it has slowly been replacing the base variant (SE) of the V8 Patrol.
Visually, there’s no real difference between the two variants. Our tester was the SE Platinum City V6, meaning I received all the visual goodies. But even still, the sole difference between the former and this model is the absence of the “V8” badges on the side panels.
The similarity between the two means you still receive colossal 50cm alloys, daytime running LED lights, tonnes of chrome touches on the window sills, intakes, door handles, side mirrors and even a sizeable strip on the lower portion of the door, for that added premium effect.
Inside, there’s plenty of space, and reaching for things can be quite cumbersome. But I’m not complaining. The added space means you get three rows of seating, with adequate head and floor spacing for third-row passengers. Even I was able to fit myself in comfortably without a hitch.
Keeping in line with the “premium” effect, the insides are garnished in leather all the way from the dashboard and the seats to the well-padded armrests.
The aforementioned seats, apart from being leather-cladded, are extremely comfortable although a little more bolstering would have gone a long way. However, they’re perfect for long road trips and even off-roading.
I also received Nissan’s 20cm LCD screen upfront, and two other 17cm entertainment screens in the rear for passengers. Those accustomed to Nissan’s older entertainment systems will find this one rather easy to use. However, it took me a while to understand the controls (Bluetooth and Audio) but it is simple to use once you figure out where all the controls lie. The standard (in Platinum variants) 13-speaker Bose audio system is extremely easy on the ear, with excellent levels of bass and treble meaning you won’t be looking for aftermarket systems.
Now let’s talk about the biggest change the Patrol receives: the powertrain. The new Patrol comes with a “derived” 4.0-litre V6 engine that produces 275hp and an added 395Nm of twist. While I was afraid the numbers were inadequate for a near-three-tonne SUV, I was quite surprised by the potency of the engine.
Let me put it this way: the Patrol V6 is still fast enough to rule the outside lanes of the highways. Nissan says that the Patrol, with its seven-speed automatic transmission, will hit the 100kph mark from a standstill in 11.5 seconds, which is quite brisk for a vehicle of such sorts.
But as we’ve learned over the years, the Patrol is not for straight-line speeds. It’s meant to rule the highways with its presence. Mind you, that doesn’t mean it’s in any way slow. What the SUV does, is that it picks up to your desired speed and sits there comfortably, meaning you can do 120kph (or the speed you are willing to hit) and sit there all day. The chassis and the body are extremely well laid out and thus there are no vibrations at all from the engine, road or even from the crosswinds.
Even the engine-noise is well dampened, with only a whiff of gruff when pushed hard but because you receive most of the torque low down the rpm range, you won’t find yourself hammering down on the throttle as much.
Unfortunately, I did not take the Patrol off the highways so I could not test out the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. Despite the power drop from its bigger V8 brother, I’m sure the V6 will do just fine. You get the same goodies too: with modes for Sand, Snow, Rock and Road. You can also lock the differentials if need be, and also descend from hills safely using the “Hill Descend” function.
The ride is smooth and well composed, and unlike certain other offerings from Asia, the Patrol is not very floaty.
While I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of a V6 Patrol, a day with the SUV cleared my mind up. Nissan’s move to offer a smaller engine corresponds well to the current market situation, and sits well amid rising fuel prices. I had the Patrol for a whole seven hours and despite my heavy foot, I was still left with three-quarters of a tank. So, folks, the answer is pretty clear: if you want a big off-roader and don’t want to pay for the added fuel expenses then look no further. The Patrol is here for you.
[styled_box title=”2016 Nissan Patrol V6 Specifications” color=”black”]
[styled_box title=”2016 Nissan Patrol V6 Features” color=”black”]