It's not only quiet and fast; it even handles after a fashion too. Okay, there's body roll and float, remote disconnected steering and plenty of pitch under hard braking, but it does get along a winding country highway at a decent, composed rate. No doubt the shift to a far more modern independent suspension setup is key, along with the influence of the hydraulic stabilizer system. Called Hydraulic Body Motion Control, it is a development of the Land Cruiser's KDSS.
Nissan claims similar cornering ability to a BMW 5 Series or some such nonsense. The reality is it does a good job of shepherding and corraling a massive, tall, unwieldy vehicle with the same natural affinity to fast cornering as your grandma.
HBMC not only aids behavior on-road, but off-road too. It needs to because the shift away from live axles brings with it potential wheel articulation and ground clearance issues. HBMC locates hydraulic cylinders over each wheel. Connected by cross-piping and two accumulators, they generate variable roll stiffness depending on the driving conditions. The system does this by transferring oil between the upper and lower sections of each cylinder, according to road conditions. The big advance from the Toyota system is that HBMC dispenses with stabilizer bars altogether, rather than only temporarily disabling them.
Our Omani drive gives convincing evidence that the Patrol remains a true heavy-duty 4x4. Jeep tracks, goat tracks, rock-strewn creek crossings, mountain climbs so steep you can hear the All-Mode system shuttling drive on tight hairpins even though they are concrete-surfaced. Then down again, using low range and hill descent control to prevent an unfortunate expedition into inner space.
The wrap-up comes with a dash along a sandy beach track, the chassis soaking up all the hits and shocks, the absence of suspension, tire, or gravel-splash noise still quite extraordinary. All this in a plush leather, wood, and chrome interior, riding on man-size seats, stretching legs out salubriously, and viewing the world from on high.
So sorry, Australia and bad luck, Russia. Click your jaws back in and suck it up like men. Your pain is the USA's gain. The new Patrol isn't what you might have expected or wanted, but America's going to like it as the new QX56.
| 2010 Nissan Patrol |
| Base Price || N/A |
| Vehicle layout || Front-engine, 4WD, 8-pass, 4-door SUV |
| Engine || 5.6L/400-hp/413-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8 |
| Transmission || 7-speed automatic |
| Curb weight || 6150 lb (mfr) |
| Wheelbase || N/A |
| Length x width x height || 202.4 x 78.5 x 76.4 in |
| EPA city/hwy fuel econ || N/A |
| On sale in the U.S. || Late 2010-Early 2011 (As 2011 Infiniti QX56) |