In addition to pickup trucks – big sellers in Texas include luxury level SUV’s with ‘Texas level capacity’. SUV’s like the Nissan Armada full-size SUV that was reintroduced in 2017 with new styling and engineering, an all-new powertrain, upgraded interior with more technology and added safety features.
The first-generation full-size Nissan Armada SUV was introduced to North America in 2003. Built on the Nissan Titan full-size pickup platform, it looked, drove and rode like the truck. Even following a 2008 refresh with styling unique to the vehicle plus all-new interiors to make it stand out visually from the Titan truck – it still drove and rode like a truck.
In 2017 Nissan brought forth a totally revised Armada, this time based on the legendary Nissan Patrol’s heritage – still a body on frame design, but this time equipped and featured to solidly compete in the full-size SUV segment.
We among others, had referred to the old Armada as performing more like a ‘barge’. As we reported last year, we found the new 2017 iteration, on road testing, that Armada had morphed into a sleeker, more powerful, stronger and yet very nimble SUV that performed more like a sleek luxury yacht.
Compete it has. Sales of the new generation Armada – through September 2017 – are up 216 percent over the same period a year ago.
Armada Platinum Reserve Debut
Responding to the overwhelming customer acceptance of the new-generation Armada – Nissan has added a new top-level Armada Platinum Reserve model that takes the fully equipped and very capable Armada Platinum grade to a new, more luxurious, level.
Armada Platinum Reserve offers more luxury touches that include distinctive Dark Chrome exterior trim (front grille, door handles and outside mirrors) and 20-inch Dark Chrome wheels, two-tone leather- appointed seats with unique stitching, Black Quartz and premium wood tone interior trim and embossed “Platinum Reserve” emblem on the console lid and more.
And what better place to introduce an Armada Platinum Reserve than at the State Fair of Texas – the largest auto show of its type – where discriminating buyers will appreciate how Nissan has blended more luxury with capability in a full-size SUV.
Based on legendary Nissan Patrol styling and engineering, and using the same body-on-frame construction, the combination has served as an ideal platform for the use of upgraded materials and engineering to give Armada greater strength, better handling and a smoother ride.
From the outside, Armada is a bit longer and a little lower than the last generation- maintaining its powerful profile with additional refinement and updated features. Included are the Nissan signature V-motion front grille augmented by standard LED low-beam headlights with halogen high beams and LED Daytime Running Lights. Combination lighting at the rear includes LED taillights.
Other features include bold front fenders with functional air intake vents, body color front and rear bumpers, black color grille with chrome trim accent, chrome trim accent side window moldings, chrome door handles, privacy glass, dark-painted over fenders and side step rails and dark-painted roof rails.
Powertrain Drives the Performance
The 5.6L Endurance V8 engine delivers 390 horsepower with 401 lb.-ft. of torque. It is integrated with an advanced 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and Downshift Rev Matching.
The available All-Mode4WD system features Auto/2WD/4H/4LO modes, electronically controlled part-time transfer case and 2.70:1 4LO gear ratio. Under normal driving conditions, the system operates in two-wheel drive mode, but as needed can distribute torque to all four wheels when road conditions warrant.
As part of its adventure-ready capability, a 26-gallon fuel tank enables a near 500-mile range to get to your favorite adventure place; tow capacity of 8,500 pounds to haul your boat or camping trailer and 9.2-inches of ground clearance that gets you off the road to just the right spot.
Room for Eight with Extras
Inside the new 2018 Armada has ample room for up to eight plus their bags and related gear necessary for adventure.
The standard seating configuration includes front 4-way power-adjustable buckets seats with large center console, second row fold flat 60/40 split bench seat and third row 60/40-split folding bench seat, which folds flat into floor for extra cargo carrying flexibility. Nissan says that the new Armada has best-in-class second row headroom and legroom with 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and 49.6 cubic feet behind the second row.
We are impressed by how quiet the new Armada is. The Armada features acoustic glass on both the windshields and side window glass, plus considerably expanded use of sound absorption materials around, over and under the cabin.
The standard Bose audio system features AM/FM/SXM/MP3/CD with 13 speakers and subwoofer and digital amplifier. Every 2018 Armada also includes SiriusXM Satellite Radio and standard Nissan Navigation System with NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic Information.
Other technology on the 2018 Armada includes (standard or available) Parking Sensors front and rear, Power Liftgate with Auto Close, Heated Mirrors with Puddle Lamps, Remote Engine Start, Rain-Sensing Wipers and Deicer, Footwell and Stepwell Lighting and Intelligent Cruise Control with Predictive Forward Collision Warning and Forward Emergency Braking.
New for 2018
For the new model year, Armada adds standard NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM, an 8-inch multi-touch control display, HD Radio, SiriusXM Travel Link, Enhanced Voice Recognition, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, and additional USB ports for all three grade levels – SV, SL and Platinum.
And, for the first time on any Nissan vehicle, Armada Platinum models include standard Intelligent Rear-View Mirror (I-RVM), which uses a high-resolution camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle to project a clear image onto an LCD monitor built into the standard rearview mirror.
Available safety and convenience features include Intelligent Distance Control (I-DC), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW), Lane Departure Warning/Intelligent Lane Intervention (LDW/I-LI) and Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM).
Four Models Starting at $45,600
The eight-passenger 2018 Armada offers four trim levels with standard 2WD and 4WD available. The trims are SV – MSRP $45,600, SL – MSRP $50,350, Platinum – MSRP $58,690 and the new Platinum Reserve – $61,690. AWD is an additional $2,900 across all models.
Coming already very well equipped at all trim levels, Nissan offers just four packages in the lineup – a Driver Package for the SV, a Technology and/or a Moonroof Package and a special Pearl White Paint Package for the SL and a Second Row Captain’s Chairs Package for the Platinum that substitutes the second-row bench for two Captain’s Chairs with a center console and padded armrests (reduces seating capacity to seven).
The new Platinum Reserve is scheduled to arrive at Nissan dealerships nationwide in late October.
See the Nissan line up at the State Fair of Texas (https://bigtex.com/) through October 22 or go to https://www.nissanusa.com/suvs/armada/ to learn more about the 2018 Nissan Armada and the new Platinum Reserve.