If you’re after a fearless, sturdy off road 4WD SUV, then look no further. One of the forebears of 4 wheel drive history, the Nissan Patrol has a proven history of off road capability, with ample space for camping equipment, fishing gear, and a large ice cooler or two.
1. Plenty of cabin and boot space – it’s almost a tiny house on wheels
2. Rugged and ready for off road adventure
3. Different seated space divisions with split-fold ability in the second and third rows
4. The 4 cylinder, 3 liter diesel option has more economy and better performance
5. Great for towing heavier loads like caravans or horse floats
6. Big areas of undercarriage and under-the-bonnet space making it easy to work on
7. A solid, reliable long term option
8. Available in 2 and 4 door wagons, and in a 2 door cab chassis
9. There are social media fan groups dedicated to the Patrol, and they offer great insights or advice if needed
1. Gas guzzler – the 6 cylinder, 4.8 liter or the 8 cylinder, 5.6 liter petrol engines will go through the gas like anything. Be sure to keep an extra tank of petrol in the back
2. A lot of the earlier models lacked in creature comfort, safety, and updated features while contemporaries like the Toyota Land Cruiser kept up and put out new models each year or two
3. Not built for city driving
4. Parking could be an issue on inner city streets
5. Automatic transmission can be temperamental at times
Make sure when looking to buy a Nissan Patrol that you check for any off road abuse. This involves a thorough check under the vehicles chassis all along the bottom as well as the wheel axles. Suspension is also a crucial check, so make sure to look at the spring mounts for cracks. Keep an ear out for any rattles or squeaking from the front end, and noises from the manual gearbox as you move through the gears.
After a long days travel or off-roading, let the engine and turbo (if it has one) cool down for a couple of minutes before turning the engine off.
Toyota Land Cruiser (2005-2020), Mitsubishi Pajero (earlier models until 2006 unless imported)
If you’re looking for top notch comfort or the latest in technology, then look elsewhere as this isn’t that sort of vehicle. Unlike the trend towards city orientated SUV’s, this is a tried and tested straight forward 4 wheel drive that is aimed at the adventure-driven person for going off road, towing caravans, or hauling boats. As long as you get a thorough check done, and that the vehicle has a proven, comprehensive service history to show it has been treated well, you should be able to pick up an older model with even a few more miles on the clock that will last you a few years more as long as you keep it well maintained.