The Nissan Patrol is 2.75 tons of rolling steel and aluminum that epitomizes the saying “bigger is better.” Everything about this SUV is big. From its heft, stance, engine power and on-road presence, the Patrol is all about excess. If Moses were alive today, he would have crossed the Red Sea driving the Patrol.
Recently, Nissan Philippines organized a ride and drive with select members of the motoring media to experience the Patrol lifestyle. Driving off from the convoy’s point of origin at the Nissan PH headquarters in BGC, Taguig City, traffic literally stopped at the sight of white and black Patrols driving along the stretch of the SLEX. With the theme “GoAnyWhere,” the event organizers led by veteran racer George Ramirez of Ramirez and Cutter took the convoy for a scenic drive through the back roads of Cavite and Batangas. The long stretches of pavement provided the lead-footed participants some downtime to experience the power of the 5.6-liter V8 engine lurking underneath the hood.
You get a lot gear for the money, which includes heated/cooled leather seats with a driver’s memory seat function, wood grain panels with hints of aluminum, twin headrest mounted eight-inch rear LED monitors, smart keys, electric tailgate, 360-degree camera and a dash mounted stereo system that pumps out music through its 13-speakers BOSE system. For those late-night drives, you can activate the moonroof for a spectacular view of the stars on a starry night. Head and leg room was so generous that average-height Filipinos like this writer can stretch out or lay comfortably in the patrol’s sofa-like interiors. Maximum payload is 750 kilograms that can come in handy during out-of-town weekends with the family.
Immediately after lunch at an exclusive restaurant in Tagaytay, the Nissan convoy then drove to Tagaytay Highlands, which was to be our home for the next few days. Here, participants were taken on an adventure to showcase the Patrol’s top-notch sophistication and off-road capabilities. Ramirez and his crew carved out an adventurous off-road trek on a jungle trail in Tagaytay Highlands that showcased the vehicle’s hill descent control and hill start assist features. A day after this off-road experience, the intrepid members of the media got to enjoy the waters of Taal Lake by way of sailing.
The best and arguably the worst feature of Nissan’s flagship SUV is the thirsty gasoline V8 engine that sends 298 kW and 560 Nm of torque down to its all four wheels, which is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The power is superb with immense pulling power from the lower point in the rev range all the way to the top of the tachometer. The engine feels like you are driving a muscle car, although one is wise to plot the number of gasoline stations along the way towards your destination.
“The right vehicle is a must for adventurers seeking high-adrenaline experiences. Our Go Anywhere campaign enables adventurers to pursue the adventures of their dreams and literally, go anywhere. Taal’s breathtaking scenery with its luxurious activities offer a great backdrop to display Nissan Patrol’s premium luxury and comfort, peerless off-road capabilities, and cutting-edge technology,” said Nissan PH President and Managing director Atsushi Najima, who drove to the venue behind the wheel of a GT-R.
The test drive demonstrated how the Nissan Patrol has evolved over 65 years to become one of the most iconic off-road vehicles ever built. With it, Nissan has constructed a worthy truck heritage that stretches back more than 80 years. And it is this history that has allowed Nissan’s practical and robust pick-ups and SUVs to empower their owners to GoAnywhere with power, confidence, and ease.
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