The asphalt is finally over. Stony roads with ledges and ditches, abundantly sprinkled with volcanic rock, are very suitable for assessing the merits of one of the last real off-road vehicles - with bridges in the front and rear suspension and a full arsenal of increased cross-country ability.
Even having the habit of driving four-wheel drive vehicles, I am pleased to note how calmly the Nissan Patrol GR / Patrol steps over the cobblestones, and soon, having completely believed the car, I completely stop reducing gas. It seems that the only thing that limits the speed of the potholes is the physical endurance of the driver and passengers.
Rain intensifies - it's time to turn to the special features of the machine: block the rear axle differential, disconnect the rear anti-roll bar (the rigidly connected lower transmission row is already engaged).
Although familiar in slushy weather, there is no such native mash under the wheels, help on special vehicles is noticeable in slippery areas. When you add gas to climb another hillock, the car executes a command with energetic acceleration. Yes, and less often responds by slipping the wheels to a little bust traction.
Oddly enough, in such conditions, the "machine" is especially good. Where the desire to drive slower requires a car with a manual gearbox to go to the lower row, the torque converter often allows movement on the top. Something similar was noted when “Nissan” and I were spinning “mother tongues” on asphalt. "Automatic" mitigates the lack of thrust of a supercharged engine at speeds below 2000.
TRADITIONS OR FASHION
It is worth saying "Sicily" - in response you hear about the Italian mafia. Meanwhile, this island is not a field of gang warfare, but a very attractive place, for example, for automobile presentations. Long serpentines allow you to grow together with an unfamiliar car very soon, rocky mountain trails help to evaluate all-terrain abilities, and the temperamental (but not arrogant) local drivers quickly set you in a creative mood.
The volume of changes to the Nissan-Patrol is not so great as to talk about a generation change, but the restyling has been fully implemented. Designers touched on all the main body parts, except for the roof, although it seems less novelty to the eye. The most noticeable lighting equipment, bumpers, grille, hood. Added power and torque to a 3-liter supercharged diesel engine.
The interior is also not overlooked. The shape of the front seats has been changed: lateral support has improved - in such a car it will come in handy. The two-color instrument panel has become available, and trim options have appeared not only in dark or beige leather, but also in Alcantara. Anyway, the materials in the cabin have become more expensive in appearance and touch.
As before, the car offers enough space both front and rear, has not only folding in parts, but also rear seats that move forward (except for the three-door version). By the way, the boot volume is more than 600 liters. For this, special thanks to another solution traditional for an all-terrain vehicle - a spare tire on the fifth door. But sometimes a huge wheel is found a place under the floor - it is clear due to what.
The loyalty of the Patrol to traditions deserves special mention. Where else in the official materials you will find a section devoted not to novelties, but, on the contrary, to that which they did not change for reasons of principle! Nissan is one of the last adherents of the classic all-terrain canons, according to which a powerful frame and long-stroke dependent suspension are required. This combination predetermines worse handling on the highway than competitors who turned to the new faith. But the "classic" gives them a head start on the road. Add to this a few more pleasant numbers: ground clearance - 220 mm, angles of entry and exit - 37 and 31 °, the depth of the ford to overcome - 0.7 m, the weight of the towed trailer - up to 3.5 tons.
Usually marketers, commenting on the general gravity of modern off-road vehicles to asphalt, refer to the tastes of consumers. Against this background, the statistics of repeated purchases of "patrols" is very interesting. Among the owners of three-door versions, the commitment of the model reaches 43% - this is a lot! Those who know the taste of full-fledged all-terrain qualities do not agree to sacrifice the strength of the car and the energy intensity of its suspension for the sake of better handling - still not a sports car.
FOR US FAVORITE
Starting November this year, the car will be delivered to the Russian market in two configuration options - Luxury and Elegance (prices have not yet been announced). The first option offers a traditional set of electric drives (except the steering wheel and seats) and heating, 17-inch alloy wheels, front airbags, ABS, parking sensor, radio with CD changer. The second, in addition, a leather interior, side airbags, electric sunroof, radio control on the steering wheel, etc.
With a 3-liter turbodiesel, three- and five-door cars with a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic will be available. Longbase at the request of the buyer will be equipped with folding seats for two more.
It is equipped with a 4.8-liter gasoline engine (in-line “six”), but only for five-door cars in seven-seater versions, exclusively with a five-speed “automatic” and in a rich configuration Elegance.
It is possible that the prices of the updated Nissan Patrol GR / Patrol will be slightly higher than its predecessor. But this is unlikely to confuse those who were asking the price of the car: after all, the car was added.
(Pierre Loing), Nissan Europe General Manager for Strategic Planning
Offering its cars in major world markets, Nissan, of course, takes into account their specifics. Moreover: machines sold in the USA, Europe and Japan embody a different philosophy, since the nature of their operation is also very different. Small runs are typical for Japan: here, a car that flaunts in front of the house is, first of all, a symbol of the status of its owner. The USA is a country of long highways, cheap fuel and low speeds. The field of activity of our branch - Europe puts forward the most contradictory requirements: daily trips in crowded, densely populated cities are combined with hours of motorway trips, and the speed is sometimes unlimited. About 700 million dollars are allocated for the development of the European model program, which will allow launching six new models on the markets in 2005-2006. Some are shown at the Paris Motor Show.
For the Old World is characterized by the requirement of increasing universality, vehicle utilitarianism while maintaining a compact size. This is the Ton concept car shown in Paris: in fact, this is the prototype of one of the cars in the family that will replace the Almera in 2006. We tried to combine multifunctionality with sports notes in road behavior in order to interest young families first of all.
In the popular SUV class, the Passfinder will debut, sales of which will begin in the spring of 2005. The all-wheel drive station wagon with a new generation of turbodiesel will be mastered in Barcelona instead of the well-worked Nissan Terrano II / Terrano II.