First Drive: 2017 Nissan Armada
The 2017 Nissan Armada has been redesigned for 2017 and is now based on the Nissan Patrol. The Patrol is a full-sized SUV available in the rest if the world for decades, but is a nameplate that hasn’t graced American shores since the 1960s.
My latest experience with a full-sized Nissan-sourced SUV was the 2015 Infiniti QX80, which I spent most of the day driving through Estes Park, CO earlier this year with my family. The QX80 was a comfortable luxo-barge packed with interior amenities, but the handling was a bit disconnected and rubbery, causing passengers in the QX80 to comment that they felt like they were “…riding [in a] giant, wheeled, leather-covered water bed.”
I’m happy to report that the new Armada feels much more buttoned-down and enjoyable in the handling department than the QX80, and the interior accommodations don’t disappoint, making the Armada feel a bit like a luxury SUV in its own right. As you can see in the photo below, the Armada can be equipped with a bevy of luxury amenities, including a backup camera, 360 degree surround exterior cameras, simulated leather interior, woodgrain accents, heated leather seats, and a host of other amenities. While the Armada won’t quite give Infiniti QX80 salesmen a reason to worry about their commissions, it’s a good sign for Nissan that the new Armada can be so well-equipped.
The exterior styling isn’t exactly attractive, but it isn’t entirely homely, either. By their hulking nature, full-size SUVs aren’t expected to be things of beauty, and the Armada likely won’t stand out in the full-size SUV crowd. That’s not a showstopper, however, and the Armada more than makes up for it’s plain jane exterior with an impressive list of standard features, including a 5.6 liter v8 with 390hp and 395 lb-ft of torque that gives the Armada an impressive 8500lb tow rating.
Although my time in the new Armada was limited, it’s safe to say that Nissan’s new for 2017 full-size SUV is a competitive offering that gives other full-size SUVs a run for the money. That’s something that the old Armada couldn’t do so well.