The Patrol has just had its 1,000Km service, although it’s done nearly 2,000.

So what’s the verdict?

Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to take it into the sand yet – I think I’ve missed my chance for a proper trip as it’s too hot, though I may try to do a quick half hour or so just to get the chance to try things out. I have taken it over some wadi like terrain.

I am loving driving it. It handles like a barge, has the turning circle of an oil tanker and is hardly a performance vehicle, but it’s still great fun. It’s big, comfy and ridiculous. It should also be extremely reliable…

During the wadi trip, the ride quality transformed as soon as we hit the dirt track – the car seemed far more responsive and ‘assured’. In four wheel drive, things got even better.

Despite having the ‘Safari’ trim, mine came with a retro style cassette-radio and AC with four fan settings, as opposed to the CD-radio and thermostat temperature controlled system other Safaris seem to have. I have a rear diff-lock though – should I ever need something like that. So, in 2011 and at the age of 36 my first ever new car has the same audio features as the car I was driving when I was 17. The speakers are good though, with decent bass.

Can’t wait to take into the desert. I will be terrified, but I really hope I’m lucky enough to really use this ridiculous vehicle to have as much fun as possible doing what it was designed to be capable of.


Whilst I was buying the Patrol I did a test drive of the new 2011 Patrol, just for fun. There is no way I would buy the new one – the older rugged charm and offroad features of my model have been replaced by a hideous Japanese blobby styling disaster that is powerful but which would quickly shed its front and rear bumpers after ten minutes in the desert. Driving it was ok – it clearly had a more modern feel than my Patrol, but I felt the interior was strangely small and restricted for such a big car.

I also got to drive Ronski’s new LR4. Streets ahead of the new Patrol in terms of styling and extremely powerful – flooring a 5.7 litre V8 was great fun.

My overall verdict, in terms of comfort, interior design, power and ride quality, is that Mrs Saul’s 2003 Range Rover still tops the lot. I think it still looks great, has the best driving position, best laid out interior and fantastic drive quality. Even if the LR4 now outguns it in terms of horsepower, the Range Rover still leaps forward when you need it to, as well as handling like a sports car compared to the Patrols.

Let’s not talk about reliability though…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: