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“Usually a company manages its products, however the Nissan Patrol manages us.” That is how Ismail Sethi, the DGM of Product Marketing at Nissan introduced Nissan’s flagship SUV. The Patrol truly has a cult following, especially here in Dubai where size matters more than anything else. In a country where every second vehicle sold is an SUV, while every sixth car comes with a luxury car badge (including the likes of Audi, BMW and even Bentley), the Patrol has managed to carve a niche in the market for itself, which is a tremendous achievement. And we were given a go in the Patrol V8 not only on the streets of Dubai but also on a short desert trail near Umm Al Quwain to find the reasons.
“A short, 30 minutes drive was all it required for us to understand why the Sheikhs swear by this mammoth”
In a city which is fascinated about all things biggest, largest and tallest, the Nissan Patrol does manage to stand out. In fact, nothing except the gigantic pick-ups from America have a road presence like the Patrol does. And similar is the story when you climb into the cabin, literally. You get more space than in a regular Mumbai flat and of course, more leather than you’d spot in Dharavi, be it the armrests or grab handles on the A-pillars. You also get cooled/heated seats, adaptive cruise control, intelligent emergency braking and much required 360-degree camera views.
“The Patrol is over 5.1m long and weighs 2.7ton but it can still do 100kmph in 6.6sec! “
Now, the Patrol has made its way into the Guinness book of World Records twice; once for pulling a 170.9 tonne cargo plane for more than 50m and second for ascending a 100m sand dune in the fastest time possible. The V8 needs to be credited for it heavily. The Patrol is over 5.1m long and weighs 2.7ton but it can still do 100kmph in 6.6sec! The ECU mapped 4WD system varies the power at each wheel, depending on the grip levels for optimal thrust. You get to choose between four driving modes – Sand, Snow, Rock and On Road all of which alter the power as well as the shifts. We tried the Sand mode in the desert with reduced tyre pressures (15psi) and the Patrol behaved like it did on the tarmac. Be it crests or tall dunes, the Patrol manages to tackle the irregularities with panache, which you’ll rarely experience even on full sized SUVs. In fact, a short, 30 minutes drive was all it required for us to understand why the Sheikhs swear by this mammoth.
You pay half the price for fuel as compared to India, so obviously filling up its 140 litres tank isn’t really heavy on the pocket, which is a regular phenomenon if you’ve got a heavy right foot. The trip computer was consistently indicating a figure of 6-7kmpl which equates to a healthy range of 800km plus. This is one of the reasons why the Patrol might never make it to India. However, for an SUV that has been on sale for over 65 years, the Patrol truly defines what the brand stands for. Nissan produces it only in Japan even today, which speaks volumes of the importance this SUV holds for them. The UAE automobile market is expected to grow to over 2 million cars by 2021. The number of Patrols you can spot here is almost equivalent to the Swifts back in India. In the market with maximum GDP per capita spending on a car, you clearly know the Sheikhs aren’t investing in the wrong place.