2010 Nissan Patrol vs 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser | road test
This is surely the Middle East’s ultimate battle. Both the Patrol and Land Cruiser are icons in the region, having traversed the dunes of GCC countries for the best part of 50 years.
As we head into 2011, Nissan has the recently launched Patrol while Toyota’s latest incarnation of the Land Cruiser has been with us since 2007.
The Patrol is powered by a 5.6-litre V8 engine with 400bhp, while the Land Cruiser has a new-for-2011 5.7-litre V8 that makes 362bhp. The Nissan weighs in at 2,785kg while the Toyota tips the scales at 2,600kg.
Elsewhere, things seem pretty evenly matched. Both vehicles are large and heavy at well over 2.5 tonnes, both have full time 4×4 systems and both will seat up to eight, depending on the specification. The Patrol is the larger of the two, however.
The manufacturers have also catered for the demands of modern customers with plenty of technology too, with leather seats, high-end sound systems, DVD players and power cool boxes under the centre arm rests.
Both vehicles also tout their off-road credentials, coming from their rich heritage of dune-bashing n the Arabian deserts. More on that later.
In the Metal
The Land Cruiser looks the more reasonably proportioned of the two to us – the Patrol is simply massive and no amount of curved surfaces will hide that bulk. However, it does look the more contemporary of the two with its clear rear lights and chrome accents.
Inside, the Patrol feels the more premium of the two. Nissan has taken great care with its materials and soft touch abounds. The ambience in the cabin is closer to what we expect from Infiniti, Nissan’s premium brand. In comparison, the Land Cruiser feels well screwed together but some of the materials, particularly the plastics, feel on the cheap side.
Both machines are very spacious and no one should feel cramped, but the Patrol feels the roomier of the two thanks to its larger size.
On The Move
The Patrol continues to feel absolutely massive in comparison with the Land Cruiser. Both have a high, commanding driving position but the Patrol really gives you a feeling of lording it over other cars on the road.
The Patrol, as established, is the larger and bulkier of the two, yet it takes first place when it comes to on-road driving. Although the steering is too light and numb for our liking, it feels more nimble and stable around corners. The ride is excellent for on the tarmac, more wafty than the Land Cruiser, which struggles to disguise its weight through the bends but gives more information on the road surface through its wheels.
As far as engine performance goes, neither car is slow, with solid acceleration whatever the speed from their V8s, but the extra power in the Patrol gives it the edge, feeling more urgent and macho.
We took both machines into the UAE desert and gave them a damn good thrashing. Let us state immediately that both vehicles are very good in the sand, and fans of weekend dune-bashing will not be disappointed by either.
However, while the Patrol makes traversing the sand seem effortless thanks to its higher ground clearance and ample power, we actually had more fun in the Land Cruiser. The feedback through the steering wheel is better, giving you a clearer idea of what’s happening at the front of the car and a general feeling of involvement. That’s lacking in the Patrol, which seeks to detach and insulate you from all the fun.
The Nissan’s clever technology means all you need to do is turn a dial on the centre console to Sand and point the car at the nearest dune, while the Land Cruiser requires a bit more finesse, although it does have its share of tech too – Crawl Control is a sort of off-road cruise control that will modulate the wheels and power to tackle particularly tricky surfaces.
Against the clock
Subjective analysis is all very well, but we wanted to see how our two behemoths fared in quantifiable performance tests. So, using our V-Box, we conducted a series of acceleration and braking tests to see which was the most athletic.
We ran each test three times with each with our testers – Pankaj, Phill and Fadi. The results here are the average times from all nine runs, but we’ve put the full results at the bottom. All the tests were done with all three of us in the car on the same stretch of road.
|Acceleration and brake test results||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser||2010 Nissan Patrol|
|0-60 km/h||5.04 seconds||4.04 seconds|
|0-100 km/h||10.75 seconds||8.82 seconds|
|0-100-0 km/h||15.05 seconds||13.08 seconds|
Clearly then, the Patrol is the machine to go for if you like bragging rights over performance. Its 400bhp V8 is too much for Toyota’s 362bhp and the Nissan is almost two seconds faster to 100kph than the Land Cruiser despite its extra weight.
Overall victory in this test has to go to the Nissan. It’s newer, nicer inside, more powerful and more comfortable on the road.
If we were only venturing off-road, we’d prefer the Land Cruiser however. It doesn’t disgrace itself in any area and is a more than worthy buy, although it’s too expensive at 273,000AED for the top-spec VXR-i, versus 260,000AED for the Patrol LE. But up against a heavyweight bruiser like the Nissan, the Toyota must settle for a valiant second place.
|Specifications||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser||2010 Nissan Patrol|
|Engine||5.7-litre V8||5.6-litre V8|
|Max power (bhp/rpm)||362/5,600||400/5,800|
|Max torque (Nm/rpm)||546/3,200||560/4,000|
|Transmission||Six-speed automatic||Seven-speed automatic|
|Driven wheels||Four-wheel drive||Four-wheel drive|
|Price (AED)||273,000 (top-spec)||260,000|
|Full test results – Pankaj||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 1||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 2||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 3|
|0-60 km/h||5.1 seconds||5.1 seconds||5.2 seconds|
|0-100 km/h||10.9 seconds||10.8 seconds||11.0 seconds|
|0-100-0 km/h||14.9 seconds||14.8 seconds||15.5 seconds|
|Full test results – Phill||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 1||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 2||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 3|
|0-60 km/h||4.8 seconds||4.7 seconds||4.8 seconds|
|0-100 km/h||10.4 seconds||10.4 seconds||10.4 seconds|
|0-100-0 km/h||14.3 seconds||15.1 seconds||14.7 seconds|
|Full test results – Fadi||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 1||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 2||2011 Toyota Land Cruiser – Run 3|
|0-60 km/h||5.6 seconds||5.1 seconds||5.0 seconds|
|0-100 km/h||11.3 seconds||10.9 seconds||10.7 seconds|
|0-100-0 km/h||15.9 seconds||15.4 seconds||14.9 seconds|
|Full test results – Pankaj||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 1||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 2||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 3|
|0-60 km/h||4.1 seconds||4.2 seconds||4.0 seconds|
|0-100 km/h||8.9 seconds||9.2 seconds||8.8 seconds|
|0-100-0 km/h||12.9 seconds||13.5 seconds||13.3 seconds|
|Full test results –Phill||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 1||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 2||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 3|
|0-60 km/h||3.8 seconds||3.9 seconds||3.8 seconds|
|0-100 km/h||8.5 seconds||8.6 seconds||8.5 seconds|
|0-100-0 km/h||12.7 seconds||12.6 seconds||12.4 seconds|
|Full test results – Fadi||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 1||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 2||2010 Nissan Patrol – Run 3|
|0-60 km/h||4.1 seconds||4.2 seconds||4.3 seconds|
|0-100 km/h||8.9 seconds||8.9 seconds||9.1 seconds|
|0-100-0 km/h||13.6 seconds||13.6 seconds||13.2 seconds|