In most places the 2015 Nissan Patrol is a close cousin of the Infiniti QX80 we have now in America; lots of curves and luxury accessories. But a few markets are holdouts for the old bodystyle; taking us to simpler time when SUVs were square and having two temperature control knobs was a privilege not a right.

The fifth-generation Patrol is still new in parts of Africa, the Middle East and into the south Pacific region where it competes with the equally stubborn 70-Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

These two trucks are sort of like the ones we had in America as the world rang in Y2K. And of course, now these primitive staples of rough-country transportation are moving upmarket with the luxury features purists saw as the “beginning of the end” when the first Toyota Tundra Limited came out.

The 2015 Nissan Patrol 3.0 TD GL 4x4 Station Wagon, which sells for the equivalent of about $38,000 is South Africa, has just been introduced to the world as a new off-road luxury standard for the model.

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That means it gets a USB plug, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, and leather “on all five seats!”

Fortunately for the adventurists it’s keeping the locking rear differential, 3.0 liter diesel engine, five-speed manual and true low range. Nissan reports 158 horsepower and 274 lb-ft of torque, 37º approach and 31º departure angles, and an extremely impressive 27º breakover angle for a 117” wheelbase truck. Water fording depth is a little over two feet without a snorkel.

It’s too late for the American SUV market; our off-roaders are getting softer and softer in the name of “safety” and “practicality.” I mean, that makes sense. But for some reason I like that somewhere out there, mainstream automakers are still building truly rugged 4x4s for mass consumption.

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Will trucks like South Africa’s “new” Patrol always be around, or is this fancy new leather interior the beginning of the end for hardcore off-road SUVs all over the world?

Images via Nissan


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