2010 Patrol

Gulf News has a picture of the new 2010 Patrol.

Yuck. It looks like an even more blobby and style-free version of the current Land Cruiser. Still, it’s specifically aimed at the Middle East and this sort of design seems to sell.

The article mentions the usual ‘extensively tested in the desert of the UAE’ line – something that Range Rover also trot out, even though you’d be nuts to take your Rangie into anything more than very gentle dunes. Whilst a lot of the desert safari guys here seem to have happily embraced the new Land Cruiser, I don’t believe that either the Toyota or this new Nissan have the approach and departure angles to make adventurous desert driving practical. The large, integrated bumpers have nothing that can just snap off, as with previous models. Come down a steep dune in this and any bumper to sand contact looks likely to shove the front up in such as way as to damage the body work.

Given the regularity with which this happens to the older models I’ve seen out and about, which had better approach and departure angles, I predict some healthy business for Toyota and Nissan bodyshops. It also looks like a much bigger job to customise the front of back to make it more desert friendly. Granted, most of these vehicles are just used as super comfy road vehicles, but you do see plenty offroad – a lot of the younger local lads love the entry level Patrol. Fitted out with sand tyres it’s pretty unstoppable.

If Nissan or Toyota would like to lend me a mode to test their desert-worthinessl, I’d be happy to test this theory!

I also wonder about the direction these vehicles are going – more electronics, more to go wrong. There’s obviously a market though and this is what customers must want. I have no doubt that all the electronics make the cars very capable on rocks and in mud. Every article you read about the Range Rover, for example, claims it’s as capable, if not more so, than the Defender. They would certainly leave my Wrangler behind on most non-desert terrain, reliability and ease of repair aside.

I’d also love to know what the UN and other organisations, currently big users of the previous, more practical Patrol, will make of this new model. Toyota are still in the rugged game, with their ‘chunky’ utility oriented Land Cruiser 70 range. The new Patrol seems to signal an end to participation in this market, unless they plan to keep the older version going to compete with Toyota in this market – a market Land Rover seem to have completely given up on.

When daydreaming about what to get after the Wrangler gets too old, or if Mrs Saul’s Rangie (currently in the garage having a new height sensor fitted!) needs replacing, it’s a toss up between a secondhand, older shape Land Cruiser or the 2009 Patrol. Then again, cash allowing, would it be nice to go the whole hog and have a big, new, Patrol or Land Cruiser, decked out in the classic Gulf stripes, possibly with some Sheikh Decals on the back?

Ideal world – 2010 Range Rover for Luxury on road and in Wadis, 2009 Patrol or previous shape Land Cruiser for desert driving and camping with a full car of friends, keep the Wrangler as a classic of its genre and throw in either an Audi R8 or a convertible Galliardo. All very achievable – I just need to earn about ten times more than I do. And not think about the environment too much.

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One Response to “2010 Patrol”

  1. Hardened User Says:

    Toureg…..easy

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