I was actually multi-tasking when I took delivery of Nissan’s ‘17 Armada…lunching with a client and talking on the cell, so I took a real quick look…grabbed the keys of this big, blocky SUV and thought, “Great…another Infiniti QX80.”
Oops….I later realized it was a Nissan Armada. Same family, but five figures or more less expensive.
And that almost sums up the Armada. Darn near everything that big brother has….for less.
You still get the “family’s” big 5.6 liter V8 punching out 390 Horsepower and 394 lbs of trailer-towing torque. Enough to tow 8,500 lbs, in fact. And it all flows through Nissan’s 7-speed automatic to squeeze out an extra MPG or two.
The EPA says you’ll get 14 city and 19 highway MPGs….with AWD costing just a one mpg penalty.
This is the new-in-’17 Armada body style. If you still think of the previous generation’s “two different vehicles glued together” look, think again. This ’17 has that “carved out of granite” look favored by most other of today’s high-end luxury SUVs. It looks like the automotive equivalent of a Linebacker….yet its’ 4-wheel independent suspension handles bumps and dirt roads well…delivering more of a luxury experience than you might expect.
Armadas come in three versions….”SV”, “SL”, and “Platinum”….all with increasing levels of luxury…..and they can all be configured to seat either 7 or 8…depending upon whether you choose a second-row bench, or captain’s chairs.
An SV will start in the mid $40’s…and even the entry-level gets you 18” alloys, Bose audio, and front and rear sonar.
A little less than 5K more brings the “SL” version with heated leather, 20-inchers, remote start, around-view monitors with moving object detection, power and heated folding side mirrors with puddle lights, a power rear lift-gate, rain-sensing wipers, and power 60 / 40 folding third-row seats. In other words, an SV Armada doesn’t leave out much.
Want to go all the way? Our loaded test Platinum AWD version didn’t break 62K on the sticker, and included a moonroof, climate-controlled front seats and heated rears, Nissan’s Tri-Zone entertainment which offers two independent monitors for the second-row occupants, and every electronic driver-assist and warning on the market today.
As for the All-Wheel-Drive, Nissan’s Armada will start you out with power going to all four wheels for maximum traction in any condition….then it shifts to rear-wheel drive for economy. And the computer-controlled system will seamlessly shift back to then power any wheels needed for maximum traction and safety….as conditions dictate.
If you want it all…luxury…towing capability…seating for 7 or 8…..or just room for five and a whole lot of their gear…but you don’t want to shell out the extra 10-15K that today’s luxury SUV would command…Nissan’s ’17 Armada might be worth a look.