On the eve of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan unveiled a redesigned version of its full-size SUV. The 2017 Nissan Armada brings all-new styling, more horsepower, a host of new comfort and safety features, and a quieter cabin, all while maintaining the heavy-duty body-on-frame design of a traditional large SUV. Unlike the previous-generation Armada, however, that rugged chassis is no longer based on the Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck–the new Armada shares its basic platform with the Nissan Patrol (a large SUV sold in various global markets) and the luxury-grade Infiniti QX80 SUV.
The new Armada will offer rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive and seat seven or eight passengers (depending on whether captain’s chairs or a bench seat are selected for the second row). Trim levels ascend through Nissan’s typical SV, SL, and Platinum models. Nissan says it focused on the new Armada’s cabin quietness, utilizing acoustic glass on the windshield and front side windows and stepping up the use of sound absorption materials. Quick heating and cooling of the cabin was also a priority–the standard dual-zone climate control system uses direct/indirect airflow and a second-row “curtain” vent to quickly distribute air to all rows.
A new direct-injection 5.6-liter “Endurance” V8 engine puts out 390 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque—both healthy increases from the previous 5.6 V8’s 317 hp and 385 lb-ft. A new 7-speed automatic with adaptive shift control and downshift rev matching is the lone transmission. Nissan didn’t release fuel-economy estimates, but those numbers are certain to be an improvement over the previous Armada (which isn’t saying too much). When properly equipped, the new Armada’s towing capacity is 8500 pounds.
Among the Armada’s available comfort and convenience features are remote engine start, power rear liftgate, front/rear park assist system, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual screens built into the front-seat headrests. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitor with warning, rearview camera, and a surround-view monitor.
The 2017 Nissan Armada is slated to arrive in dealerships this summer.
The traditional truck-type SUV market has been losing ground to smaller, more-efficient crossover SUVs in recent years, but there is still a place for “real” SUVs that can haul eight people, tow a trailer, and/or handle challenging off-road terrain that a crossover SUV can’t quite hack. The 2017 Nissan Armada looks to be credible entry in this segment, providing a worthwhile alternative to the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition, and Toyota Sequoia.