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2017 Nissan Armada Platinum 4WD Review; Why it’s Aptly Named

The Nissan Armada is large and is aptly named after the massive Spanish Armada ship that sailed in 1588.

The term massive still applies to the big sport-utility vehicle called the Armada. The big three row Nissan family hauler has plenty of seats and comes with V8 power. It’s built for those needing maximum room to carry passengers who want to spread out and enjoy the ride. It’s hard to believe the Armada has been around since 2003, and this is its first major makeover. The 2017 is all-new and we’ll be driving the Platinum 4WD model this week.

What’s new for 2017?

The name may be old, but the Nissan Armada is all-new for 2017. It gets a new chassis based on the Nissan Patrol, a rugged SUV that’s been sold in other global markets for decades. It features a new grille, and it gets new sheet metal on its big body. The Armada grows slightly longer and wider than before, though it’s wheelbase is shorter. The all-new chassis is more rigid than the outgoing model, and towing capacity is increased to 8500 pounds.

Platinum Features

The 2017 Nissan Armada Platinum 4WD ($60,490) comes standard with navigation with 8-inch touch screen, 13-speaker Bose audio, dual zone auto climate control, roof rails (220-pound capacity), side steps, LED daytime running lamps, and 8-passenger seating.

The range-topping Platinum also comes standard with 20-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, leather door trim, and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes two 7-inch headrest-mounted displays, a DVD player and two USB ports.

Nissan’s latest driver assist safety features, blind spot warning and intervention, back up collision intervention, lane departure warning and intervention, and adaptive cruise control with forward emergency braking, are also standard on the top Platinum model. Total MSRP including destination: $61,585.

Interior highlights

The cabin of the Armada is attractive and there’s almost no hard plastic surfaces inside, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces throughout. There’s a luxury feel to this interior, especially in the top trim Platinum model that comes with standard leather appointed seats. The driver and passengers sit high with a commanding view of the road and it’s easy to get comfortable in this family hauler. It’s an environment, you won’t mind spending lots of quality time with the family. More on Page 2.

Infotainment and connectivity feature the latest technology, thanks to the Nissan Connect system, standard with the Platinum trim. The kids can stay entertained on longer trips with the standard Family Entertainment System featuring two color 7-inch displays for the second row passengers. It comes with two wireless headphones for the kids, and the rear seats also recline for a more comfortable ride while watching the movie.

There’s plenty of leg room in the second row, but comfort is limited in the third row as is the case with most three-row vehicles. Three can sit in back, but it’s more comfortable for two smaller kiddos. A power lift gate also comes standard and makes it easy to load groceries and the kid's sporting equipment. There’s cargo room galore with the Armada offering up overall cargo carrying ability of 95.4 cubic feet total, 49.9 cubes behind the second row, and 16.5 behind the third row.

Engine and fuel mileage specs

The 2017 Nissan Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 that’s been re-engineered for 2017 with Nissan’s latest variable-valve technology and delivers increased horsepower. It features 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission that can send power to all four wheels on this 4WD model. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 13/18 mpg city/highway mpg, and 15 combined mpg. This while taking regular unleaded fuel at the pump.

driveDriving dynamics

The first thing we noticed after getting underway in the Armada, is what you don’t hear. You don’t notice the big V8 engine which typically can be loud, especially under acceleration. The cabin is quiet and it’s a tranquil place even at highway speeds and in heavy city traffic. The 5.6-liter V8 engine is smooth and impressively quiet, seemingly moving the big Armada forward without much effort.

The more-powerful Armada accelerates briskly and has quick throttle response and impressive passing power. On the mountain roads west of Denver, the Armada had pleasant road manners, striking a perfect balance between ride quality and handling, at least by large SUV standards. More on Page 3.

For those using their family SUV for more than a grocery getter and kid hauler, the Armada is definitely up to the task off-pavement. With all-wheel-drive, the big SUV can handle some rough terrain better than most 3-row vehicles. Armada comes with 9.1 inches of ground clearance making it more useful than most full-size SUVs for driving in the rough. It's also is a cable all-weather vehicle for icy and snowy conditions for those weekend excursions to the mountains.


The 2017 Nissan Armada Platinum does just about everything well if you have a family or clients to transport. It offers up impressive road manners, is elegant enough inside, and comes with all the technology needed for a growing family. Cabin noise levels are exceptionally low at all speeds and it’s comfortable for those long trips. The new 2017 generation has plenty of new upgrades to make it a real contender in the large 3-row SUV class.