Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Nissan Armada SV 4x4: Big, Bold And Economical

Highlight: The Armada is an essentially a more economical version of Infiniti’s premium priced QX80.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $55,715 (base model $45,495)

Seating Capacity: Eight?

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; LED Daytime Running Lights; traction control system; automatic headlights; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; a hill start assist system; a tow mode function; vehicle dynamic control;  a class IV trailer hitch; and a tire pressure monitoring system

SL Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; a 7-speed automatic transmission; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; side step rails; an automatic closing liftgate; cloth seats; heated front seats; a power front seats; heated front seats; a push button ignition starter system; a dual zone A/C system; power folding outside mirrors; roof rack; a tow hitch receiver; and DVD playback capabilities

SV Standard Equipment: 20-inch wheels; power folding heated outside mirrors with a tilt down feature; a full size spare tire; chrome outside mirrors; leather seats; a power liftgate closure assist; memory driver’s seat, outside mirrors and steering column; fog lights; one piece tailgate; pre-wiring for towing; 120-volt power outlet; welcome lighting; rain sensing windshield wipers; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; a remote engine start system; an around view camera monitor; a moving object detection system; and power folding third row seats  

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: Power moonroof; a radar activated cruise control; a blind spot warning system; a predictive forward collision warning system; a forward braking collision system; and a back up collision intervention system

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a Bose 13-speaker AM/FM/CD with satellite audio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 5.6-liter, 8-cylinder/390-hp

Recommended Fuel: Unleaded

Standard Fuel Mileage:

Towing Capacity: 8,500 lbs

What’s New:  The Armada is all-new for the 2017 model year. The vehicle shares a platform with the brand’s pricier Infiniti QX80.

Why: For those who yearned for Infiniti’s massive looking Q80 or as some refer to as, the Cadillac Escalade-fighter, but in a more affordable package, the new Armada has answered the call.

Rebadging the monstrous looking QX80 and adding on the Nissan grille on the face of the vehicle was an ingenious move on the behalf of the design and engineering team. Essentially, the fullsize SUV offers many of the same amenities one could expect in its pricier sibling from Infiniti, but at a significantly lower price point and about 10 less horsepower. In fact, a well-equipped Nissan, which is equipped with a super powerful 8-cylinder, without the flashy, gaudy grille plastered on the Infiniti, runs close to $25,000 to $30,000 less than its luxury sibling.

And unlike some of the segment competitors, the Armada offers the perfect ride and handling capabilities. Although the SUV is based-off of a truck platform, it does not ride like one. The seating is quite comfortable, too. Moreover, all of the features located on the instrument panel are user-friendly, too. 

Furthermore, it’s great for hauling family, friends or co-workers. This is a great vehicle to tool around town, to tow a boat to the shore or just for two for a black tie event. It’s an all-around utility vehicle. Yes, even a base SL trim is a winner in our book.

Lastly, Nissan like many of its segment competitors offers the latest safety aids to aid the driver in navigating this monster. Some of those optional features consist of a blind spot warning system, a predictive forward collision warning system, a forward braking collision system and a backup collision intervention system. All of these features are supported by a rear camera.

But: It’s huge. It’s a gas guzzler, too, if prices zoom up to or near the $4.00 to $5.00 a gallon range. It’s a lot of vehicle to manage. And it’s a tight squeeze to get in and out of the third-row.

Verdict: In our opinion, this is one of the best fullsize SUVs on the market. Its affordable, stylish, bold-looking, roomy and provides an almost car-like ride. Nissan has hit a sweet spot with the reintroduction of the Armada. While some may say it’s a rebadge Infiniti QX80, that might be true, however, it will make any Infiniti buyers take a second look. We can’t see why one would pay upward of $30,000 more for an Infiniti, when they can place money in the bank and roll around in the Nissan.

Competition:  Chevy Tahoe; Ford Expedition; GMC Yukon; and Toyota Sequoia

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