2017 Nissan Armada

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$44,900–$60,490 MSRP range
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2017 Nissan Armada. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Premium cabin materials (Platinum trim)
  • 8,500-pound maximum towing capacity
  • Standard navigation system
  • Available 360-degree camera
  • Second-row room

The Bad

  • Second-row bench seat doesn't slide
  • Snug third-row seat
  • Minimal cargo room behind third row
  • High cargo lift over height
  • Handling
  • Fuel economy
  • Outdated multimedia system

Notable Features of the 2017 Nissan Armada

  • Redesigned for 2017
  • Seats up to eight in three rows
  • 390-hp V-8 engine standard
  • RWD or 4WD
  • Power-folding third-row seat available
  • Collision warning with automatic braking available

2017 Nissan Armada Road Test

Jennifer Geiger
The Verdict:

When you do too many things at once, none of those things tend to be done well, and that holds true for the 2017 Nissan Armada. It excels as a rugged, capable stuff-mover, but when you throw people into the mix, its abilities are diminished.

Versus The Competition:

The Armada unsuccessfully tries to toe the line between capable utility vehicle and comfortable family-hauler; other full-size SUVs do it better.

The Armada skipped the 2016 model year and is back for 2017 with shapelier styling, a more upscale interior, a revised powertrain, and additional safety and convenience features. Click here to compare the models side by side. It competes against other three-row behemoths like the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia; compare them here.

Exterior & Styling

I rode in the previous-generation Armada to a trailhead on a hiking trip in Utah, and the boxy, rugged-looking SUV was at home wearing a mantle of dust and dirt, crawling over rocks in the desert. In what I can only assume was an effort to give the Armada a more upscale look (similar to the Infiniti QX80 on which it’s based) and increase its appeal to a wider base, Nissan has softened the SUV’s edges and turned it into a lumpy, oddly shaped Project Runway fail.

The front end is its best side; its stout, stern face resembles the brand’s other trucks. Things get slippery after that, with awkwardly placed curves and swooping angles replacing the previous model’s crisp lines and sharper, truckier silhouette.

How It Drives

In terms of ride, bump absorption is decent, but you probably won’t notice because the Armada’s handling is a roller-coaster ride of dips and bobs, lurches and lunges. Sweeping curves are a glaring weakness; it rolls through corners with an unsettling, tippy lean. It doesn’t feel planted on the highway, either, due to vague, numb steering tha...

The Armada skipped the 2016 model year and is back for 2017 with shapelier styling, a more upscale interior, a revised powertrain, and additional safety and convenience features. Click here to compare the models side by side. It competes against other three-row behemoths like the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia; compare them here.

Exterior & Styling

I rode in the previous-generation Armada to a trailhead on a hiking trip in Utah, and the boxy, rugged-looking SUV was at home wearing a mantle of dust and dirt, crawling over rocks in the desert. In what I can only assume was an effort to give the Armada a more upscale look (similar to the Infiniti QX80 on which it’s based) and increase its appeal to a wider base, Nissan has softened the SUV’s edges and turned it into a lumpy, oddly shaped Project Runway fail.

The front end is its best side; its stout, stern face resembles the brand’s other trucks. Things get slippery after that, with awkwardly placed curves and swooping angles replacing the previous model’s crisp lines and sharper, truckier silhouette.

How It Drives

In terms of ride, bump absorption is decent, but you probably won’t notice because the Armada’s handling is a roller-coaster ride of dips and bobs, lurches and lunges. Sweeping curves are a glaring weakness; it rolls through corners with an unsettling, tippy lean. It doesn’t feel planted on the highway, either, due to vague, numb steering that’s prone to wandering.

The Armada loses again when it comes to maneuverability. With a larger turning circle than its rivals, it’s unwieldy on city streets and — as I learned while spending too much time delicately wedging it into more than one parking garage — extremely challenging to park.

For power and towing, however, it has few rivals. The Armada pulls away strong from a stop and never lets up, with impressively robust muscle for passing and merging — even when loaded with my family of five. That’s not true in lighter-duty vehicles. Both horsepower and torque are up this year; the standard 5.6-liter V-8 makes 390 horsepower and 401 pounds-feet of torque. The V-8 is paired with a new seven-speed automatic transmission, replacing the old Armada's five-speed. Shifts are subtle and well-timed for seamless power.

Rear-wheel drive is standard and a stout all-wheel-drive system is available. A selectable transfer case provides three settings: automatic all-wheel drive, locked 4-High and 4-Low for more challenging off-road or bad-weather conditions. With either drive type, the Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds — much higher than the standard tow ratings of the Expedition (6,000), Sequoia (7,400) and Tahoe (6,500).

Whether you’re on-road or off, plan to stop for gas — frequently. The Armada is thirsty, with EPA-estimated gas mileage of 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined for the RWD model and 13/18/15 mpg with 4WD. Most competitors squeeze a bit more economy out of their engines: The RWD Expedition is rated 15/21/18 mpg, and the Tahoe is even better, at 16/23/19. Only the Sequoia is rated lower, at 13/17/15 mpg.

Interior

It’s inside where the Infiniti mimicry succeeds; the Armada’s cabin belongs in a luxury SUV. It’s polished and classy with plenty of soft-touch surfaces; enormous, cushy seats; and upscale woodgrain trim. Options like a heated steering wheel and plush leather seats are welcome.

The Armada comes standard with eight seats, and a seven-seat layout with bucket seats in the second row is optional in the top-of-the-line Platinum trim. I tested an eight-seat model with a second-row bench. It was roomy and comfortable but hit-and-miss in the features department.

The Platinum’s dual-screen DVD entertainment system’s big, seat-mounted screens and wireless headphones are a win, as are the power-folding third-row seats. The second-row seats, however, don’t slide, and the Armada’s one dinky moonroof is dwarfed by the cabin’s enormity.

For families with young kids, the disappointments stack up quickly. First, there are only two top tether anchors even though the second-row bench accommodates three passengers. This makes it less flexible, as it’s unsafe to use a forward-facing car seat without connecting it to a top tether anchor. Click here for the Armada’s Car Seat Check.

For families in need of a third row, the Armada won’t work. Although the second-row bench quickly and easily flips forward for third-row access, getting back there is tough. The step-in height is extremely high and, once inside, there’s an additional hump to climb over. There are three sets of seat belts back there, but the middle spot is unusable, even for a skinny kid. By the numbers, there’s just 28.3 inches of legroom in the third row, a few inches short of what the 2015 Armada offered and well shy of the Expedition (37.7) and Sequoia (35.5). Only the Tahoe offers less, with 24.8 inches.

As with the second row, the third row also has car-seat issues. It has only one top tether anchor, and it’s in the lip of the cargo area. When in use, the car seat’s tether strap spans the width of the cargo area, eating into available cargo space.

As a mom of three kids, I put the Armada’s second and third rows to the test, and the SUV failed. Since my twin toddlers are rear-facing, their car seats prevented me from accessing the third row via the second row. Instead, to get my 6-year-old to her third-row booster, she climbed through the cargo area — a steep and challenging climb for her that still required a boost from mom’s muscles. If the Armada were my daily driver, I would dread this maneuver EVERY. DAY. 

Ergonomics & Electronics

Despite its redesign, the Armada does not get a new multimedia system. The touchscreen seems small in such an enormous cabin, and its low-resolution graphics look outdated.

There’s not a huge learning curve to figure it out, but some small quirks annoy. I appreciate its volume and tuning dials for no-nonsense audio functions, but getting to the preset radio options takes too many steps through the screen. Also, a simple home button alongside the touchscreen would simplify things.

Cargo & Storage

The Armada is huge on the outside, but it’s puny when it comes to storage space. The center console in the first row looks huge, but pop it open and the box inside is quite small. In back, it’s a similar story. When all three rows are in place, there's just 16.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row — less than the prior-generation Armada (20 cubic feet), the Expedition (18.6) and the Sequoia (18.9); only the Tahoe offers less (15.3).

Fold the third row to make 49.9 cubic feet of room — again, much less than the last Armada and its competitors. Getting cargo inside will be challenging because of the lofty lift-over height and uneven load floor. When the third row is folded, the cargo floor is inclined slightly.

Safety

The 2017 Armada has not yet been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A host of new safety features are available for 2017. A backup camera is standard, and every model but the base trim comes standard with the very helpful AroundView monitor with Moving Object Detection, which displays multiple views of the car and sounds an alert when the vehicle is getting too close to people or objects. Other newly available safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention, blind spot warning, and backup collision intervention with automatic braking. 

Value in Its Class

The 2017 Nissan Armada starts at $45,995 including destination — slightly higher than the outgoing model but a bit less than its competitors. Yet despite a lovely cabin and ample power, the Armada falls short when it comes to everyday drivability; it’s unwieldy, it’s fuel-thirsty, and it lacks competitive space for people and cargo. It’ll tow your boat with gusto, but don’t expect it to do anything else very well.


2017 Armada Video

Traditional full-size SUVs are not dead. In fact, cheap gas prices mean they're enjoying strong sales, so it makes sense that Nissan would choose now to update its entry in the class.

Latest 2017 Armada Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.9)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Very nice

by Rick from Laplata md on August 23, 2018

NICE!Very sleek smooth ride.I love it.Food on gas and the ride is awesome.I recommend it highly.Also good for long road trips.Iys a must have.I love the silver with black interior. Read full review

(5.0)

Most versatile car I've owned

by VinJoRoe from DeBary, FL on July 3, 2018

This SUV has room for 8 and can pull most anything. Plus it's very classy and stylish looking. I owned a newer Ford Explorer with tow package, which could tow up to 5,000 pounds but it always felt ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 Nissan Armada currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2017 Nissan Armada has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Nissan

Program Benefits

24 Hour Emergency Roadside Assistance, Towing Assistance, Trip Interruption Benefits, 3-month free subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio on properly equipped vehicles, Complimentary CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ and 3-Year CARFAX® Buy Back Guarantee

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from original in-service date; $50 deductible
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 80,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 167 point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Armada received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

C

Infant seat

A

Booster

(second row)

B

Booster

(third row)

A

Latch or Latch system

B

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

B

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

B

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker