2017 Nissan Armada: Once a Beast, Now the Beauty

2017 Nissan Armada: Once a Beast, Now the Beauty
2017 Nissan Armada. (Courtesy of Nissan News)

The powertrain that powers this Armada beauty is completely new. This year’s standard 5.6 L V8 Endurance engine provides 390 hp (up from 317) and 394 lb-ft worth of muscle. Coupled to a 7-speed automatic transmission in two-wheel drive mode, it is rated at 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.

The gear ratios, ATF (automatic transmission fluid) warmer, and shift change response improvements increase its gas mileage over last year’s model. The 4-wheel drive model drops only one mile per gallon from the 2-wheel drive model.

The 8-passenger Nissan Armada has three trim levels—SV, SL, and Platinum—in both FWD and 4WD configurations.

If you are into towing, Armada has a best-in-class capacity of 8,500 lbs for both 2- and 4-wheel drive models. The weight is better in some cases by 2,000 lbs over what Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, and Chevy Tahoe offer.

After receiving my Armada, my job was to drive around the community of Monterey, California and up the Pacific Coast. Then up into the high country to the east.

Armada fit right in along narrow roads that posed a view of some of the most beautiful beach homes, enchanting gardens, and estates in the country. With the Pebble Golf Course in the background, morning walkers and joggers gave friendly smiles of approval and even stopped me to talk about the Armada.

Whether up mountain back roads and trails, or along sharp curves, or around breath-taking cliffs, I found Armada to be naturally quiet and spacious. Kingly front seats with a power lumbar support added to the comfort.

The 60/40 split fold-down second-row and third-row bench seats flatten for extra cargo space. Power fold-down third-row seat is standard on SL and Platinum trims. Cargo capacity is 16.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 49.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and 95.4 cubic feet with second and third rows folded down.

My favorite feature was the Around View Monitor. With its Moving Object Detection smart, it provided full 360-degrees awareness, especially handy when backing up. The Armada is equipped with both front and rear sonars as well as blind spot warning. All this is part of Around View Monitor system.

Nissan’s new innovation, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, monitors the speed and direction of the two vehicles ahead and warns the driver of risk beyond where the eye can see. It works with Emergency Forward Braking which can bring the vehicle to a stop if it senses possible collision ahead—an excellent precaution assistance for the driver.

Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, Backup Collision Intervention, Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, and Lane Departure Prevention are also available to fortify the peace of mind.

Armada has some attractive standard features as well, such as the Nissan Navigation System with 8.0-inch touchscreen monitor and Voice Recognition. The Platinum model also comes with a 3-month trial subscription of SiriusXM NavTraffic and NavWeather, which is great for our recent bad weather.

The interior of the Armada. (Courtesy of Nissan News)
The interior of the Armada. (Courtesy of Nissan News)

Other standard features include 4-sensor front and rear sonar system, intelligent key with push button start, rear view monitor, heated front seat, and 13-speaker Bose Audio System with steering wheel controls.

Armada is built rugged. Yet, even with those characteristics and stamina, it is still a beautiful vehicle.

The redesigned body stands bold with its muscular front grille joined on both sides by the signature LED line, which serves as daytime running lights and wraps around the LED low-beam and halogen high-beam headlights.

You have had a chance to read a little about a large, comfortable, technologically laden SUV that rides like a poised and graceful marvel. But are you aware that the price for Armada begins at only $44,400? This is a superbly priced vehicle that is beautifully designed, gets respectable mileage for its class, and is ready to travel.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at [email protected]