Things are about to get a whole lot more interesting in the full-size SUV sector for 2017 with the introduction of the all-new Nissan Armada. Nissan's flagship SUV, the Armada launched way back in 2003 as a rival to the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Toyota Sequoia. It was based on Nissan's half-ton pickup truck.
The new second-generation Armada keeps its name, but everything else about it has changed. It now rides on Nissan's international large SUV platform which is shared with the Infiniti QX80 and is produced alongside these it in Kyushu, Japan rather than Canton, Mississippi. Overall, the new Armada is slightly longer and wider than the vehicle it replaces, but its lower overall height gives it a less bulky appearance. The chunky chrome V-motion grille, oversized LED headlamps, and available two-tone paint give this big SUV an imposing appearance.
The move to this new platform will certainly benefit Nissan customers looking for a more luxurious ambiance. The cabin's styling and materials are a big step up compared to the truck-like interior of the previous Armada; we'd go so far as to say the leather and wood-trimmed design is a carbon copy of the Infiniti QX80. Like the QX80, the Armada has acoustic glass throughout for a hushed ride.
Powering the Armada is Nissan's Endurance V8 engine which features standard direct injection. The big 5.6-litre makes 390 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque, and drives through a seven-speed automatic. This powertrain is a big step forward in terms of performance; the previous Armada's engine made just 317 hp and had a five-speed automatic.
The Armada's new platform retains rugged body-on-frame construction, which is enhanced by frame rails that are some 40 mm wider than before. Overall rigidity is up by 20 percent, too. Despite the more powerful engine and beefier underpinnings, the Armada's towing capacity dropped slightly to 8,500 lbs (3856 kg) from 9,000 (4082). It's still plenty capable, even if it no longer leads the class. All Armadas come standard with four-wheel drive and a two-speed transfer case with a low-range mode.
Canadian consumers will be able to order their Armadas in one of two luxury trims, SL and Platinum.
Standard equipment for the SL includes 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, power-folding third row seat, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with navigation, 13-speaker Bose premium audio system, proximity key with push-button start and remote starter, rain-sensing wipers, power tilt and telescoping steering column, 360-degree parking camera with moving object detection, reverse collision prevention, emergency autonomous braking, blind-spot warning, and full-speed radar cruise control with forward collision warning.
Moving up to the Platinum adds 20-inch wheels, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats with available second-row captain's chairs, heated steering wheel, blind-spot intervention, lane departure warning, power sliding moonroof, and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 7.0-inch screens and wireless headphones.