During our recent trip to Cascais, Portugal for “Nissan 360” (see related story-Around the World in Two Days!), we had the opportunity to drive scores of Nissan products from their worldwide portfolio. We were not familiar with many of the nameplates or body styles, but one stood out, even though you can’t buy it in the United States. On a specially built off-road course at the famed Estoril racetrack, we fully exploited the 2008 Nissan Patrol’s surefooted capabilities.
The Nissan Patrol (known as SAFARI in Japan) is an off-road workhorse with a Land Rover-like reputation for conquering difficult terrain. Nissan calls the Patrol “the definitive, authentic and original off-roader.” There may be a lot of truth to that, as the Patrol was originally introduced in 1951.
Patrol is powered by a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 with a four-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive. Horsepower is a modest 160, but with 261 pound-feet of torque, road acceleration and off-road hill climbs will be no issue for Patrol’s drivers. Patrol’s chassis features a surprisingly compliant suspension, with on-point axle articulation and long wheel travel to soak up even the worst road imperfections, all while keeping Patrol under control. And though this is a true, purpose-built SUV, Patrol occupants are treated to leather seating, navigation and climate control air conditioning.
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