The night before the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the upcoming 2017 Nissan Armada, a full-size sport utility vehicle. The new Armada comes with sharper looks, a new drive-train and rides on a new platform. It was a bit perplexing to see Nissan unveil a full-size SUV in a market where many automakers are focusing on the smaller crossovers.
To justify their move, Nissan claims there is still money to be made from full-size SUVs and that the company needs a more affordable SUV than the Infiniti QX80.
Unlike the outgoing model which was based on the Nissan Titan pickup platform, the 2017 Nissan Armada will be based on the Infiniti QX80 Platform which sells as Nissan Patrol in other markets.
2017 Nissan Armada Exterior
The 2017 Nissan Armada has adopted most of the Nissan Patrol cues. The vehicle overall looks macho but soft touches adopted from the QX80 are also visible. The Armada sports the gallant V-Motion grille with a chrome accent. LED encrusted projector-beam head lamps and LED DRLs are offered as standard on all models. The platinum trim comes standard with fog lights. Its taillights are redesigned and also feature LED lighting.
The vehicle also features functional air intakes in the front fenders. The four fenders feature contrasting paint on its wheel flares. Other features include a redesigned tailgate (a power lift-gate is optional on SL and Platinum trims), rain-sensing windshield wipers which feature a de-icing function and Nissan’s 360% Around View Mirror which together with a radar-based parking sensors help maneuver the vehicle.
The SUV stands on 18-inch wheels but there is an option for either 19-inch or 20-inch wheels. Buyers will chose among 7 exterior colors which are Pearl White, Mocha Almond, Forged Copper, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic and Hermosa Blue.
The vehicle has been enhanced to tackle the off-road terrain. Under its body, it features underbody skid plates and four-wheel independent suspension. It also features an optional 4WD with low-range gears which complement its break-over and departure angles.
2017 Nissan Armada Interior
The Nissan Armada interior is ultramodern with high quality materials and latest technological features all which are neatly arranged. The cabin is more spacious and comfortably accommodates 8 passengers in a 3-row seating arrangement. All passengers will have plenty of head room, legroom and shoulder room.
The Base S trim features heated front seats and a curtain vent for rapid heating and cooling the rear part of the cabin, push-button ignition, a standard navigation system, a rearview camera as well as a 13-speaker Bose sound system. The mid SL trim adds leather seats, a 60/40-split power folding rear bench as well as remote engine start.
The top-of the-range Platinum trim on the other hand adds heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, a moon-roof and two 7.0-inch rear entertainment screens mounted on front seatbacks.
Adaptive cruise control, emergency auto braking , blind-spot warning, predictive forward collision warning, rear collision warning are offered as standard on the Platinum trim but as options for the SL trim. Buyers also have a choice to order second-row captain chairs which reduce seating capacity to 7 passengers. They also come with a removable second-row center console.
Engine Specs and Performance
Under the hood of the Armada is the same 5.6 L V-8 engine but has been tweaked to produce more power. This is the same engine found on the QX80. The engine has been revised and uses direct injection which helps provide a better performance, better fuel economy and cleaner emissions. The new engine produces 390 hp @ 5200 rpm and 401 lb-ft of torque @ 4000 rpm. This presents an increment of 73 hp and 16 lb-ft of torque compared to the outgoing models.
The engine is paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission system that features Adaptive Shift Control as well as Downshift Rev Matching which replaces the outgoing 5-speed automatic system. The vehicle also features Nissan’s All-Mode 4WD system. The system has four settings which are Auto, 2WD, 4WD High range, and 4WD Low range.
Official EPA ratings are yet to be released but the automaker estimates the numbers to match those of the Infiniti QX80 which returns 14 mpg, 20 mpg and 16 mpg on city, highway and combined drives respectively.
Price and release date
During its debut at Chicago, Nissan remained tight lipped about its price. However, due to the upgrades the model will likely cost more than the outgoing Armada. Currently the Armada has a base price of $ 38,510 with the top platinum trim starting at $ 49,980.
Expect the 2017 Nissan Armada to have a starting price of around $ 42,000 while the top Platinum trim could fetch as much as $ 55,000 MSRP. New Nissan Armada 2017 should be in showrooms in summer 2016.
The Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, Mazda CX-9 and Chevrolet Tahoe will be the 2017 Nissan Armada’s biggest rivals.