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Meet a well-respected warrior by name and nature

Your Life

Meet a well-respected warrior by name and nature

BRUCE McMAHON considers the advantages of a ‘warhorse’ wearing the Nissan badge of honour.

Could this be the last season of cruising the back country in a V8-burbling SUV? Toyota’s been moving away from V8 motivation, with the LandCruiser 300 wagon now arriving with a twin-turbo diesel V6.

Meanwhile, the next Nissan Patrol –arriving in 2025 – reportedly will run a twin-turbocharged petrol V6 to replace the current 5.6 litre V8.

Plus, there’s the to-and-fro about the New Vehicle Efficiency Standards proposed which may not play well with petrol or diesel V8s (among other internal combustion engines).

Australia has lagged behind most of the motoring world on quality, generally cleaner-burning fuels and, at some stage, there was always going to be a price to  be paid.

Still, the sounds and punch of a big V8 wagon will be missed in many quarters and Nissan’s 5.6-litre petrol powerplant has long been a fan favourite.

This version arrived in 2010 and still delights with smooth power delivery and a very handy 298kW of power and 560Nm of torque. Big numbers, but then these are needed to push the blunt-nosed Patrol along at a fair clip.

It does this with a reasonable amount of sophistication through a seven-speed auto transmission. Fuel consumption (it can be in the high teens per 100km) is not overly thrifty but it’s a price to be paid for a big and very capable wagon.

Besides, some V8 diesels aren’t much better on fuel.

Anyway, the Patrol’s long been a decent tourer and four-wheel drive, let down to some degree perhaps by lack of ultimate chassis finesse.

There’s a good bit of bulk to a body that weighs in around three tonne and sits just over five metres long by  1995mm wide and, in standard form, rides 1940mm tall with 273mm of  ground clearance.

Last year, Nissan sent the Patrol, nearing the end of its model life, off to Premcar’s finishing school, following the success with that Victorian mob’s version of the Nissan Navara. And what a top job.

The Patrol Warrior drives better over indifferent Australian roads and is an even-more-confident off-roader than its donor wagon.

There is still some thump and bump if collecting major potholes at speed.

There remains a load of bulk to push through tight turns but, in the main, this is a wonderful touring wagon for all manner of roads – from highways to back-country dirt roads.

The Warrior is quick and competent and forever sounds good.

Maybe the eight-seat interior’s a bit dated (there’s still a CD player among the comfort and convenience gear), but it’s a generous and comfortable cabin.

Plus, there’s no doubting this Patrol’s excellent off-road ability – helped here by Premcar’s suspension work and 18-inch tyres which give another 50mm in ground clearance.

Okay, the Nissan Patrol Warrior by Premcar is not cheap, from $101,160. Okay, so the Warrior is big and thirsty.

And the standard Patrol will be superseded in the new year.

None of these detract from a well-mannered, uber-competent and fabulous-sounding V8 SUV.

It will be missed.

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