By: IOL Motoring Staff

Pretoria - Nissan has given its Patrol Pickup something of a refresh to bolster its battle against the Toyota Land Cruiser PU, which has undergone a facelift and received a V8 engine option in recent years.

The latest Patrol bakkie remains true to its go-anywhere workhorse origins, but adds a fresher look and a new diesel engine.

The 3.0 DTi 16-valve, commonrail oil burner is turbocharged and intercooled, and boasts outputs of 110kW at 3600rpm and 371Nm between 1800 and 2400rpm. As those figures show, it's more about lower-speed load lugging than sprinting between robots and Nissan also claims a class-leading towing capacity of 2500kg.

According to its maker, the Patrol Pickup drinks 10.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, but you won't be stopping to fill up very often as the two fuel tanks have a combined capacity of 175 litres. That means 1600km between fill-ups if you manage to match Nissan's claimed consumption figure.

A five speed manual gearbox, complete with a low range transfer case, links it all up to a traditional four-wheel drive system and its off-road ability is furthered by a rear diff lock and manual hub locks. Old fashioned, but effective.

MORE COMFORT

Its road manners have been improved though. Wider tyres and a wider rear track are in place to improve road holding while the longer stroke on the rear leaf springs is aimed at providing a more comfortable ride.

Some new features also improve comfort inside the cabin, these being electric windows, intermittent windscreen wipers and warning buzzers for open doors and keys left in the ignition. Other standard kit includes air conditioning, two airbags and ABS brakes.

The Patrol Pickup costs R476 900 in standard form, but your local dealer will be happy to spruce it up with items like cattle rails, winch, snorkels and spot lights - just a few items that form part of Nissan's full range of accessories.

ALTERNATIVES

Land Rover Defender 110 pick-up E (90kW/360Nm) - R453 200

Toyota Land Cruiser 79 4.5 D-4D V8 (151kW/430Nm) - R543 100

Toyota Land Cruiser 79 4.2 D (96kW/285Nm) - R476 900