With gas prices low, big SUVs are back in vogue. At this year's Chicago auto show, Nissan is showing off its latest large sport-utility vehicle--one with a global reputation for toughness--as it unveils the 2017 Nissan Armada.
Until now, the Armada has been a spin-off of the big Titan pickups Nissan builds in Mississippi. Scratch that. Now the Armada hails from Japan, just like the world-famous Nissan Patrol, just like the Infiniti QX80 that's a near-twin to the Armada.
Even though it's completely different, some things haven't changed. The Armada is still a body-on-frame SUV, still seats up to eight passengers, and is still powered by a big V-8.
Under the hood, the Armada sports a 5.6-liter V-8. Here it's rated at 390 horsepower, and it's teamed with a seven-speed automatic transmission. With available four-wheel drive, the Armada can now tow up to 8,500 pounds.
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The new Armada is about an inch longer than before, but the wheelbase is about two inches shorter. We've spent a lot of time in the Infiniti version, and the Armada should fit about the same--with plenty of room for adults in front and in the second row, enough for kids in the way-back.
Nissan promises an excellent balance of ride and handling thanks to front and rear independent double-wishbone suspensions. But it hasn't said anything about fuel economy, which as you might guess, will probably settle in the mid-teens.
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Safety gear will include some of the latest technology, from blind-spot monitors to forward-collision warnings. Other features will include surround-view cameras, Bose audio, and leather.
There's no word on pricing, but the 2017 Nissan Armada will go on sale this summer.