2017 Nissan Armada gets a full-size update

Nissan continues to freshen its U.S. product lineup with the unveiling of the second-generation Armada at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Essentially a mainstream version of the Infiniti QX80, the long-awaited 2017 Nissan Armada will be offered in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive.

Beyond the well-dressed Infiniti version, this body-on-frame hulk of an SUV is currently offered in other markets, where it is known the Nissan Patrol. This time around, the Armada will be assembled in Japan with the Patrol, and it no longer shares mechanicals with the Titan pickup truck.

If there is one thing that can be said about the Armada’s styling, it is that it looks sturdy. It’s boxy, yet has a more modern flair now with body-colored bumpers and blacked out grille surrounded by chrome accents flanked by LED and halogen combination headlights.

Inside the 2017 Nissan Armada, the focus is on creating a premium feeling in the spacious interior. Heated front buckets seats will be standard, and a variety of seating configurations will be available for rows two and three. Standard seating in the back are 60/40-split bench seats, but row two can be had with bucket seats, reducing the seating total to seven.

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The family-oriented Armada includes traditional safety elements, such as roof-mounted curtain airbags with rollover sensor for side-impact and rollover head protection for outboard positions in all three rows. Unfortunately, advanced safety systems we recommend—like forward-collision warning, auto emergency braking, and blind-spot warning—are packaged as an optional technology package that is available on only the two upper trims. That package also includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning with braking, and rear cross-traffic alert.

One of the biggest needs with the outgoing Armada was an improvement over the mere 13 mpg combined fuel economy we recorded. The updated 5.6-liter V8 gains both horsepower and torque, with 390 hp and 401 lb.-ft., respectively. Fitted with a new direct-injection system and other tweaks, Nissan is aiming at increasing fuel economy and performance. The Infiniti QX80 returned 15 mpg overall in Consumer Reports tests, and we would expect that the Armada would perform similarly. Both the 2WD and the 4WD will have towing capacity rated to 8,500 lbs.

Three trim levels, SV, SL, and Platinum, will be available when the 2017 Nissan Armada hits dealerships later this year. Pricing will be announced shortly before arrival.

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