The 2017 Nissan Armada has slimmed down and beefed up at the same time when compared to its predecessors. The last Armada that I reviewed was a 2010 model in Titanium trim. Its engine was a 5.8-liter V8 that produced 317 horsepower and 385 pound feet of torque that delivered power to all four wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. It had a longer wheelbase, but was slightly shorter in overall length, and tipped the scale at 5,841 pounds. The 2010 version carried 2 more gallons of fuel, was narrower and was taller.
The all-new, full size, 8-passenger Armada for 2017 is based on the heritage of the globally acclaimed Nissan Patrol, which has been around for decades. It draws its motive force from a 5.6-liter direct injected Endurance V8 that delivers 390 horses at 5,800 rpm, while developing 395 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. Energy reaches the wheels either the rear wheels or all four through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The new Armada is available in three trim levels – SV; SL; and Platinum – and is capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds when properly outfitted.
Visually, this latest iteration Nissan Armada displays an overall athletic stance, starting up front with Nissan’s signature V-motion grille and standard low-beam headlights and familiar LED running lights that contribute to a more contemporary image. The boldness continues in the rear with combination lights including LED taillights.
The Armada’s interior blends tasteful styling, ample space and luxurious comfort. Cabin noise levels are library quiet at idle, thanks to acoustic glass and extensive use of sound absorption materials. Second row headroom is best in class at 40 inches, as is the legroom at 41 inches.
The Armada provides an impressive suite of available advanced safety and security systems, including the Predictive Forward Collision Warning system, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist and Forward Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Prevention and Lane Departure Warning. Other available features include Blind Spot Intervention and Blind Spot Warning, RearView Monitor, Around View Monitor, power liftgate, 20-inch wheels and tires, remote engine start system and a power 60/40 third-row seat.
The Platinum trim level adds a power sliding roof, front climate controlled seats, Family Entertainment system along with Nissan Safety Shield technologies. Only four option packages are offered: a Driver’s Package, Moonroof Package, Technology Package and second row Captain’s Chair Package.
Oddly, the Armada does not offer Hill Start Assist or Hill Descent Control, as does the new Pathfinder, which are beneficial in off-road operation. The supposition that more Pathfinder consumers will go off-roading than Armada customers was given as the reason.
My pre-production model Nissan Armada came in Platinum trim with a Forged Copper exterior finish and a Tan and Charcoal interior treatment. The base price was set at $44,400. While the as tested price totaled $45,395.
The full sized Nissan Armada SUV has managed to stand out in a crowd since its 2004 introduction, and while many Nissan admirers tend to think of it as an enlarged Pathfinder, it is actually a good deal more.
The Armada is high, wide and handsome and the power is plentiful from the potent 5.6-liter, Endurance DOHC, 32-valve V8 with direct injection. Acceleration is instantly responsive, and handling is surprisingly nimble, despite the Armada’s bigger-than-a-breadbox mass. It corners well, with minimal body roll, and the ride quality is extremely comfortable.
The functionality and versatility of the Armada are impressive, as is the standard inventory of equipment and features. It serves as a most worthy flagship SUV. Both rear- and all-whee- drive configuration Armadas are assembled by Nissan Shatai, Kyushu, Japan, while the Endurance V8 engine is assembled in Decherd, Tennessee.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Nissan Armada Platinum
Base Price: $44,400.
Price as Tested: $45,395.
Engine Type and Size: 5.6-liter, Endurance® DOHC, 32-valve V8 with Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 390 @ 5,800 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 394 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: Seven Speed automatic.
Drive Train: Longitudinally-mounted front engine / 4-wheel drive
Suspension: Front – Independent double-wishbone with 36 mm stabilizer bar and Hitachi twin-tube shock absorbers.
Rear – Independent double-wishbone with 26.5 mm stabilizer bar, automatic self-leveling and Hitachi twin-tube shock absorbers.
Brakes: Hydraulic power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD, BA and TPMS.
Tires: Bridgestone Dueller H/T 275/ 60 R20 BSW All-Season, mounted on 6-Tri-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 121.1 inches
Length Overall: 208.9 inches
Width: 79.9 inches
Height: 75.8 inches
Curb Weight: 5,963 lbs.
Turning Circle: 41.3 ft.
Approach Angle: 20.9 degrees
Departure Angle: 22.3 degrees
Breakover angle: 20.7 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 26 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 13 mpg city / 18 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.37
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.