16.4 L/ 100km
Value for money
The 4.8-litre ST Patrol manual wagon costs $52,740; the five-speed automatic Ti is $70,740. The five-speed auto is a $2,800 option on the ST.
Three years/100,000 km/roadside assistance; above average.
Cruise control, air conditioning, a CD player, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking and a pair of third row seats are standard in the ST. A passenger's airbag should be included at the price - it is available, packaged with ABS brakes, as a $2,000 option.
The Ti adds leather upholstery, alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, ABS brakes, a passenger's airbag, side airbags, a rear diff lock, bullbar, power-adjustable front seats, an in-dash six-CD stacker, sunroof and rear air conditioning vents.
63% after three years; slightly below average.
Design and function
The driver's seat has a height/tilt-adjustable cushion and head restraint. Travel may be limited for some long-legged drivers. You sit high above the pack, facing a simple, efficient dash layout, with great vision in all directions. The wheel is height adjustable, but reach is fixed.
The five-speed automatic, with sequential shifting, is a first in the heavyweight four-wheel-drive class.
The Patrol scored only two stars out of five in 1998 ANCAP crash tests.
Remote central locking and an engine immobiliser are standard.
The large driver's seat is luxuriously comfortable, but lacks side bolstering for proper support when cornering. The middle seat is narrower and less comfortable than the Cruiser's. Adults sit knees up with only a lap-belt in the centre. The two rear seats are fine for kids, and adults on a short drive, but again your knees are up around your chin.
Space and practicality
For such a large wagon, the Patrol is not particularly space efficient. Leg room, in any seating position, is at a premium. The 60/40 vertically-split tailgate has its pros and cons compared with the Cruiser's horizontally split arrangement. It's a pity you can't easily remove the two back seats, as in the Toyota, because they severely restrict load capacity.
The 50/50 split-middle-seat backrest double folds for a flat 1.65 metre extended floor, without compromising front seat travel. Two child restraint anchors are located in the floor immediately behind the two outer middle seat positions.
Build and finish quality
On very rough outback roads, there is a hint of body flex and the occasional squeak and rattle from the tailgate. Otherwise, quality is typically high standard Japanese issue.