After 12 years on the production line, rumors swirled in 2015 that the Nissan Armada would be put to rest. But instead of killing the Armada, Nissan decided to revive it. The second generation is much better than the first and unlike the original, the new Armada is based on the Nissan Patrol.
“The Nissan Patrol nameplate goes back to 1951 and its reputation as a global workhorse is unparalleled,” said Michael Bunce, vice president of product planning for Nissan North America, Inc. “While the new Armada is intended primarily for family adventures here in North America, Armada owners will benefit from its underpinnings as a strong, durable and authentic full-size SUV with ruggedness to spare.”
The 2017 Armada features a powerful V8 engine, has plenty of room for the family with space for eight and comes equipped with advanced safety technology. It’s available in SV, SL and Platinum models in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations.
Many consider the 2017 Armada’s top trim equal to the popular luxury-class Infiniti QX80. The major difference comes in price. The 2017 Armada’s Platinum trim has a base price of $57,590. The 2017 Infiniti QX80 Limited starts at $89,450.
Like the previous generation, the 2017 Armada features rugged body-on-frame construction. However, its side rails have been expanded in key areas to enhance handling and ride comfort. It’s also 1.2 inches longer on a slightly shorter wheelbase.
The 2017 Armada maintains the previous generation’s rugged, athletic image with added style. It features a bold V-motion grille and standard LED low-beam headlights.
“The look of the new Armada is instantly recognizable as a Nissan, with its wide V-motion grille and distinctive boomerang-style LED Daytime Running lights,” said Bunce. “In addition, the dark painted overfenders give it an added upscale, two-tone appearance.”
The roomy Armada offers 40 inches in second row headroom and 41 inches in legroom. There are two bucket seats in the front with a large center console, a second row fold flat 60/40 split bench and third row 60/40-split folding bench seat. Customers who purchase Platinum models have the option of switching out the second row bench seat with two captain’s chairs.
All grades feature heated front seats. Platinum models also come with heated seats in the second row and a heated steering wheel. Leather-appointed seating is standard on SL and Platinum grades.
In the dash you’ll find an 8.0-inch touch-screen monitor. The Nissan Navigation System comes standard on all Armadas and features real-time traffic information. The Bose audio system’s 13 speakers, subwoofer and digital amplifier provide rich sound throughout the vehicle. Platinum models also come with a standard DVD family entertainment system with 7.0-inch monitors in the front row seat backs. It’s perfect for keeping the kids entertained on long trips.
It’s also easy to fall asleep in the vehicle as it’s climate-controlled and quiet. Acoustic glass on the windshield and the front side windows help reduce wind noise.
“By their nature, large SUVs are notoriously difficult to cool and heat due to their large window expanses. With the new Armada, we’ve taken extra steps to mitigate that issue, providing a comfortable environment for all passengers in both winter and summer,” said Bunce. “We’ve also addressed the intrusion of outside noise into the cabin, enhancing the ability to both have conversations with family and friends and to enjoy the premium audio experience provided by the standard 13-speaker Bose® audio system.”
All models are powered by a 5.6-liter direct-injection V8. While the new Armada features the same 5.6-liter displacement as the previous generation, it packs 390 horsepower instead of 317. The company says that’s thanks to the addition of several advanced technologies. It also features an advanced 7-speed automatic transmission over the previous generation’s 5-speed. The new transmission enhances fuel efficiency. Two-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional on all grades.
Towing is far from an issue with this full-size SUV. Both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions of the new Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds. The company says it’s just what adventurers need.
“While most SUVs and crossovers have moved to a sedan-like unibody construction, when you want to tackle big adventures with big groups of family and friends, there’s no substitute for a sturdy steel frame,” said Bunce. “We’ve found that families enter the full-size SUV segment before they fully need one. As their needs grow, Armada has more than enough room and strength to meet both current and future family demands.”
Nissan says another way the Armada stands out from other full-size SUVs in the market is its “extensive suite of available advanced safety and security systems.”
“For this next-generation Armada, we’ve raised the bar, offering technology usually reserved for much higher priced luxury sedans or premium SUVs,” said Bunce. “It’s an ‘all-around the vehicle’ – front, rear and sides – approach to enhancing driver confidence, from highways to back roads to parking lots.”
In the front, forward collision warning is available. It warns the driver of risks that lie beyond their forward field of vision. There’s also intelligent cruise control, distance control assist and forward emergency braking. On the sides, lane departure prevention, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and blind spot intervention help keep the driver and their occupants safe. Rearview monitor and around view monitor come in handy when backing out or parking.
Other safety features include an advanced air bag system, child safety rear door locks and vehicle security system.
The 2017 Nissan Armada packs power and luxury without the Infiniti price tag. It’s a definite step up from the previous generation. With room for the whole family and excellent towing capacity, the full-size SUV may just have what adventure enthusiasts are looking for.
It comes in SV, SL and Platinum models in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The SV model starts at $44,900.