We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Patrol has excellent off-road ability. Inside, it's spacious and comfortable, too

Against It’s huge and not great on-road

Verdict A strong, no-nonsense off-roader

Go for… 3.0 SE 5dr

Avoid… 2.8 3dr

Nissan Patrol GR 4x4
  • 1. The Patrol is a solid workhorse, and has earned a reputation as a tough and reliable car
  • 2. This is one of the most spacious and practical 4x4s - most comfortably seat seven
  • 3. The Patrol is superb off-road, and will climb obstacles that most drivers wouldn't dream of tackling
  • 4. The best option is a post-May 2000 3.0-litre diesel
  • 5. It's not cheap to run, but it's acceptable considering its size
advertisement

Nissan Patrol GR 4x4 full review with expert trade views

Above all, the Patrol is big: the five-door model is longer than a Range Rover. Some may find that off-putting, but it at least means you get a lot of metal for your money.

There’s loads of room even in the three-door model, and most versions of the five-door have seven seats, with enough room for every passenger. It’s one of the most spacious and practical 4x4s, and it has a certain rugged charm, even if the workmanlike interior lacks the class of, say, a Volvo XC90.

The Patrol is at its best off-road, with the ability and technical features (high- and low-ratio gears, locking centre differential and so on) to climb obstacles that most drivers wouldn’t even contemplate.

However, things aren’t so good back on terra firma. The vague steering and excessive body roll mean it’s nothing like as good to drive as a BMW X5, for instance.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Fantastic for deserts and war zones. Aerodynamics of a fridge. Mechanically bullet proof.

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Nissan played around with the Patrol range throughout its life, but there was only ever one engine at a time. It began with a 2.8-litre turbodiesel, but a 3.0-litre model replaced it in May 2000, and that’s the engine we recommend.

Otherwise, your most major decision is whether to choose the short-wheelbase three-door or the larger five-door. For us, given that either model is pretty huge, the five-door makes the most sense, especially as most versions have seven seats, giving it some useful extra practicality. Besides, from January 2003, the smaller model was scrapped.

It’s also worth buying a model from after January 2002, when the suspension was revised to improve the Patrol’s behaviour on-road.

Avoid the most basic models as they lacked air-con. Instead, go for at least SE, which became the entry-level trim after the basic models were dropped in May 2000.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Commercial rather than private appeal, five-door with 3.0Di SE+ spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The Patrol may not be the cheapest 4x4, but it is an awful lot of metal for the money, and prices are on a par with the likes of the Toyota Landcruiser Colorado.

Likewise, no one can pretend that a Patrol will be cheap to run, but it’s perfectly acceptable. Insurance is in group 14 or 15, and routine servicing is quite dear, but plenty of other 4x4s are worse.

Only fuel economy is a little disappointing. Official figures say the 3.0-litre engine can get 26mpg on the combined cycle, but that compares poorly with the Shogun and Discovery, both of which will return nearer 30mpg.

On the positive side, though, you shouldn’t have to pay too much for unscheduled repairs. Warranty Direct says that Nissan labour rates are among the lowest, and that the average cost of repairs is comparable with other off-roaders.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Fantastic for deserts and war zones. Aerodynamics of a fridge. Mechanically bullet proof.

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The Patrol is a pretty solid workhorse, and has rightly earned a reputation as a tough and reliable car. There has only ever been one recall and that affected just over 100 cars built in 1999, and centred on the brake pedal pivot pin.

Warranty Direct has no figures specific to the Patrol, but its engineers tell us that reliability is basically good up to about 60,000 miles when there is a risk that the head gasket can go and the gearbox can fail. Both will take a four-figure sum to put right.

Similarly, the Patrol has never sold in big enough numbers to feature in a JD Power survey, but if the more recent X-Trail is anything to go by, there’s not too much to worry about. Although it’s no class leader, there have never been any worries about its mechanical reliability.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Commercial rather than private appeal, five-door with 3.0Di SE+ spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014