Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Nissan's 2017 Armada has size, hidden charms

A menu of Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California – The Nissan Armada has been reworked for the 2017 model year, but yes, it’s still a big, somewhat intimidating sport-utility vehicle.

Armada?  Yes, it might take an armada to tow it somewhere.  It's that big. Walking up to my 2017 Nissan Armada Platinum 4WD tester made me feel small.

I felt better after hoisting myself up into the driver’s seat.  The Armada’s civilized, thoughtfully laid-out interior put me at ease.  Yes, captain, I can take command of this vehicle.  No problem.

Not surprisingly, virtually everything on the Armada involves a big number.

Power comes from a 5.6-liter V-8 engine with 390 horsepower and a max 394 foot-pounds of torque.

That’s enough juice to make the Armada move with authority when needed.  The seven-speed automatic transmission had no hiccups, and front/rear ventilated disc brakes brought the Armada to a halt quickly on demand.
On freeways, the Armada cruises with a surprisingly light feel and very little noise.  You don't want to make any sudden moves in city traffic, however, lest you scare your fellow motorists.

Riding high on the roadways – the 20-inch, premium machine-finished alloy wheels helped in that department – I felt like the king of the road.  My range of vision from the cockpit seat was exceptional.

And in case my attention lapsed, an impressive suite of standard safety features stood ready to keep me safe.  The list included a protective forward collision-warning system, a lane-departure warning system, blind spot intervention/warning technology and back-up collision intervention.

Like I said, the Armada has a lot to make the nervous SUV driver feel secure.

There’s a price for all this, of course.  On my ride, the bottom line on the sticker read $61,435.

You won’t find big numbers in the fuel mileage ratings, which are a wallet-crunching 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

I’m sure Armada buyers aren’t worried about such things.  They want a big, powerful freeway cruiser capable of carrying half of their home belongings (and maybe even a Volkswagen Beetle thrown in) when they take to the open road.

I can only imagine what this Armada can do off-road.  Damage, would be my guess.  Best to stay out of its way.  But if you’re heading up to the Sierra Nevada snow in this Armada, my guess is you'll be thanking your lucky stars for the four-wheel drive capability and the Armada’s solid, four-cornered stance.

In the world of big and pricey, this Armada rules the roadways over most.  Having taken the long-running, previous-generation Armadas on vacation jaunts, I can tell you that this SUV is a decidedly enjoyable transporter.  And this 2017 version is the best of the Armadas that I’ve had the opportunity to drive.

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