- More modern looks
- Should be fairly quiet
- Ready power
- Likely thristy
- Big and heavy
- Return of the behemoth
The 2017 update for the Armada should make it more competitive with a relatively new fleet of truck-based full-size SUVs.
Nissan introduces the second generation of its Armada full-size SUV as a 2017 model. Unlike the first generation, which was based on the Titan pickup, the new Armada is basically a U.S. version of the global Nissan Patrol SUV. It retains its body-on-frame design and its eight-passenger seating, but gets new styling and new engineering, plus additional safety features.
The new Armada rides a wheelbase that is 2.1 inches shorter than the outgoing model, yet it is 1.2 inches longer, 0.6 inch wider, and it sits 2.2 inches lower. Under the hood it features the new 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 making 390 horsepower (up from 317) and 401 pound-feet of torque (from 390). Compared to the outgoing 5.6, this engine features direct injection and Nissan's VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift), which has variable valve timing and variable valve lift for both the intake and exhaust sides. It is mated to a new seven-speed automatic transmission (instead of a five-speed) with downshift rev matching. Nissan says acceleration is expected to be among the best in the full-size SUV segment. Fuel economy ratings are not yet available.
Rear- and four-wheel drive will be offered. The 4WD system has low-range gearing and can send 50 percent of the torque to the front wheels when it detects slip. Properly outfitted, the 2017 Nissan Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds.
We have not yet driven the 2017 Armada, but Nissan promises an excellent balance of ride and handling thanks to front and rear independent double-wishbone suspensions. Given the Armada's size and weight, that should help but handling will likely be cumbersome.
The styling features a bold, chromed version of Nissan's "V Motion" grille. LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard, and fog lights are standard on higher line models. The taillights are also LEDs. Functional air intakes are located in the front fenders, and all four fenders have contrasting paint on the wheel flares. The overall look is predictably macho, though it also adopts some of the soft, organic shapes of the Infiniti QX80.
Inside, the Armada offers seating for eight with second- and third-row bench seats. The second and third rows fold in a 60/40 split. Second-row captain's chairs are available that reduce seating capacity to seven. Nissan says an acoustic glass windshield and additional sound deadening material give the interior "library levels" of interior noise.
Nissan will offer SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels. Standard features on the SV model include cloth upholstery, four-way power-adjustable front seats, an 8.0-inch dashboard screen, a navigation system with traffic and weather information, heated front seats, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, roof rails, side steps, and 18-inch wheels. The exterior mirrors also have "hospitality lighting," which turns on the puddle lights when the driver approaches the vehicle, then turns on the interior lights when the vehicle is unlocked.
The SL adds leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless access and starting, remote starting, a power third-row seat, Nissan's Around View Monitor, a power liftgate, fog lamps, and 20-inch wheels. The Platinum get a sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear DVD entertainment with two 7.0-inch screens, and a suite of safety features that includes with forward collision warning, backup collision intervention, and an Around View Monitor with moving object detection.
Options consist of a sunroof, second-row captain's chairs (for the Platinum only), a Driver's package, and a Technology package. The Driver's package comes with fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a universal garage door opener, the power third-row seat, the power liftgate, a trailer towing harness, and pre-wiring and a connector for a brake controller. The Technology package adds adaptive cruise control, distance control assist, forward emergency braking, predictive forward collision warning, blind spot monitors, blind spot intervention, and backup collision intervention.
Other safety features include the usual airbags, a rearview camera, front and rear park assist, and active front head restraints.
The 2017 Nissan Armada will go on sale this summer.