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Used car: Nissan Patrol 2003-on

Patrol is the vehicle for anyone looking for a no-nonsense, go-anywhere, near-unbreakable 4x4.

Early versions were utilitarian, although this generation – launched in 1998 – is more comfortable, featuring a ride stabilization system, a more powerful intercooled diesel engine and more modern looks. It’s not fast, it doesn’t handle on the road, but you wouldn’t want to get in its way. It’s a true off-roader.

Driving and performance
Launched with an old fashioned 2.8TD unit. Noisy and hard work, but provided loads of low-down power for towing and serious off-roading, and reasonable fuel economy.

The 160bhp 3.0Di replaced it in 2000 and is a vast improvement. Acceleration is leisurely (0-60mph in around 15 seconds) but, once there, it’s happy to cruise.

Comfort
The view from the driver’s seat is excellent, with good side and forward vision from the commanding driving position.

The dash layout is old fashioned, but with large, chunky, buttons, it’s easy enough to use on the move.

There’s loads of room inside and five-door versions can seat seven. Later cars come with excellent standard equipment and top models get a user-friendly sat-nav system and heated leather seats.

Safety
Hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but it has size, weight and solidity on its side.

Safety features include standard driver and passenger airbags on all but early basic 2.8 TD models. There’s also side bags on SE+. All cars have an immobilizer and remote central locking.

Top SE+ models also have an alarm and it is worth considering a tracker system.

Fast movers
All models after 2000
More kit, better engine and uprated rear suspension.

Patrol 3.0 Di
Top spec adds great equipment to this capable performer.
Trade 0303-0454: £13,500-16,500. Retail 0303-0454: £16,000-19,600.

Ones to avoid
S Specification
Lacks the little luxuries that make life with this workhorse more comfortable.

In the workshop
Extremely tough. Only one small blip in 1999 to replace a brake pedal pivot pin.

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