The Nissan Patrol's another formerly indestructible off-roader no longer fit for duty in irregular armies across the globe. That's right, the 2011 Patrol's gone soft. No more AK-47-toting rebels. No more danger-filled smuggling routes. Now, only Neimen Marcus assaults.


The reliable, simple, rugged off-road SUV is on the endangered species list. They're being replaced in name only with soft, leather-lined poseur-mobiles fit for toting curly-haired toy dogs and waiting in mall parking lots for spaces close to the door. We didn't think we'd see the day when the not-for-the-US Nissan Patrol joined the list of the lost, but that day is today.

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The only evidence we need to hear is from Taiji Toyota (not a misprint), Nissan's own product design director, saying this of the new Patrol:

"It's not as edgy and hardcore as its predecessor, the softer new surfaces are beautiful and add a sense of modernity to the design equation, while still maintaining a ruggedness and commanding road presence."

It might be riding on a new chassis with a new 400 HP, 405 lb-ft, 5.6-liter V8, a seven-speed transmission and have a fancy hydraulic suspension system, but that quote is pretty much all we need to know. Another one bites the dust.