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Nissan Europe will continue to market its big rugged off-road Patrol as a serious off-roader, leaving the ‘fancy-dan’ electronic gizmos and air suspensions to SUV rivals chasing the lifestyle market.

The latest Patrol, which goes on sale in October, retains a ladder chassis and mechanical four-wheel-drive system while rivals are switching to monocoque and electronic 4×4.

“Right now that’s where we want to be with the Patrol,” said Dominique Thormann, senior executive vice president, finance and administration for Nissan Europe.

Speaking at the European launch of the new Patrol, he said: “We have other vehicles in the Nissan range, such as the X-Trail, with the Murano and Pathfinder joining the line-up next year to take care of the softer off-road and sports utility market.”

Latest changes to the long-running Patrol include a new bonnet, headlamps, grille, bumper and stronger Nissan identity. Side steps are now integrated and at the rear, there are new lights, bumper and a solid spare tyre cover instead of a soft one.

Inside, the Patrol has a redesigned soft-feel instrument panel and soft padding for the upper door trim and inside of the door handles. Rain-sensing windscreen wipers have been added along with electric folding door mirrors.

Other interior changes include the addition of a sliding second row of seats with a three-point centre seat belt. A third row of seats becomes optional in the five door model.

The Patrol’s three litre diesel engine (ZD30) has also been improved with power increased from 156bhp to 160bhp and torque increased from 354Nm to 378Nm.