2017 Nissan Armada First Look Review: Better Late Than Never

First Look

The Patrol finally comes to American Shores as a Nissan.

Introduced in 2003, the Titan based Nissan Armada is finally getting asecond generation. The 12-year-old SUV has long been Nissan’s stagnant entryinto the full-size SUV category. The Nissan Titan, the Armada's sibling, justunderwent a full redesign, so logic suggests the updated for 2017Armada would share the same underpinnings and powertrain. Logic is wrong, andthis is good. The updated Armada is now based on the Nissan Patrol – the Toyota Land Cruiser rival seen most frequently under UN banners and flying up Saudi sand dunes.

The US gets the Patrol already,though under the Infiniti flag as the QX80 – meaning that the updated Armada isthe first state side incarnation of the Patrol wearing a Nissan badge. Basing the updated Armada on the Patrol means the Armada has gained afew pounds – around 125 to 300-lbs over the previous generation according to Nissan. Equating to a portly 5600 to 6000-pound curb weight. Luckily the Armada will share some powertrain options from the Titan. The 5.6-liter direct-injection V8 touts up 390 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a seven speed automatic transmission.

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No word as of yet if the Titan’s 5.0-liter twin-turbo Cummins Diesel V8 will make an appearance but we are keeping our fingers crossed. Lengthhas gone up by 1.2 inches for a total of 208.9 and width increases by just 0.6inches. Being based on the Patrol wheelbase has shrunk 2.1 inches and theArmada now sits 2.2 inches lower. Being based on the Patrol chassis, theframe-rail width has dramatically increased from 2.4 to 3.9 inches resulting ina 20% increase in torsional rigidity. The new Armada could not be more timely, as low gas prices in the US means SUV sales have surged.

The previous Armada only etched out a 1.5% share of the full-size SUV market. 2015 saw Nissan sell only 13,000 Armadas, down 15% over 2014. No word on pricing as ofyet though we expect it to be more competitive with Chevrolet’s Suburban andTahoe and less so with the $83,825 Toyota Land Cruiser. The Patrol based Armadashould easily outclass the GM Suburban family off-road. With a 3.35:1 crawlratio, off-road capability is more inclined toward the aforementioned LandCruiser.The 2017 Armada will be offered in three variants starting with the base trim SV model. Navigation, heated seats, and a rearview camera all come standard. The SL and Platinum variants feature a further list of amenities including a tech-packed safety arsenal.

Adaptivecruise control, blind spot monitoring, predictive collision assist, andemergency automated braking are just a few of the new features. The Armadafeatures three rows of seats, housing up to eight people and has a towingcapacity of 8500 lbs. Seeing a variant of the Patrol on American shores iscertainly something to be excited about, though we seriously hope Nissan considersputting in the Cummins V8 for proper trail-adventuring goodness. Expect to see the all new Armada in super market parking lots this summer.