On Patrol: Major Upgrade to Storied Global Architecture
When tuning in to global TV news coverage of U.N. humanitarian and peace-keeping efforts in remote corners of the world, the SUVs you see the blue helmets climbing in and out of are usually either Toyota Land Cruisers or Nissan Patrols – the U.N. owns no North American pickup-based Sequoias or Armadas in those areas. But for 2017, the Armada parts ways with its former Titan cousin and rejoins the global Patrol underpinnings that we would currently recognize if we crawled under an Infiniti QX80.
“Real-truck” enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that all the go-everywhere kit is here: sturdy body-on-frame construction good for towing 8,500 pounds (3,855 kg), a brawny 5.6-liter, direct-injected “Endurance” V-8 doling out 390 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque on regular gasoline (up 73 and 16 respectively from the outgoing non-DI 5.6 but down 10 and 12 from the Infiniti specification of this nearly identical engine, which is tuned for premium fuel), and a seven-speed automatic transmission bolted to a transfer case with a 2.70:1 low range. (It also includes high-range all-wheel-drive capability for no crabbing on pavement.) Sorry, purists. The live rear axle departed the Patrol with the Y62 generation starting in 2010, but the multilink rear setup still affords a reasonable 9.1 inches (23 cm) of ground clearance, and the bodywork affords a 20.9-degree approach and 22.3-degree departure angle (slightly less on the base SV model’s 18-inch (46-cm) footwear). Its off-road cred now includes the Patrol’s three Paris-Dakar rally class wins, and those trading in an old Armada should notice a slight uptick in performance and fuel efficiency.
The architecture change results in a wheelbase reduction of 2.0 inches (5 cm), an increase in length and width of 1.2 and 0.6 inches (3 and 1.5 cm), and a height reduction of 1.4 inches (3.5 cm). And just as Toyota‘s Land Cruiser is a bit less roomy inside than its Sequoia, the new Patrol architecture shrinks the Armada’s interior slightly. SAE passenger volumes shrink by 1.2, 5.5, and 5.2 cubic feet in the front, middle, and third rows. Cargo volume available behind these seats also contracts, by 2.0, 7.1, and 3.4 cubic feet (totals are 95.1, 49.6, and 16.6 cubic feet). Another unflattering change relative to the Titan-based Armada is curb weight, which increases by between 100 and 300 pounds (45 and 136 kg) depending on the trim level.
Speaking of which, the same SV, SL, and Platinum grades will continue be offered with RWD or 4WD, but by way of explaining some of the weight increase, standard equipment levels are improved considerably (remember, this is now a slightly cut-rate QX80). All Armadas get LED headlamps, navigation with traffic and weather info powered by SiriusXM displayed on an 8.0-inch (20-cm) color display, heated front seats, 13-speaker Bose audio, and dual-zone climate control with an indirect-airflow “curtain” over the middle-row seats. SL models add keyless entry and go, remote engine starting, a power-folding 60/40 third-row seat, a 360-degree camera, a power liftgate, and 20-inch (51 cm) wheels. Platinum-level gilding adds a power moonroof, cooled front seats, heated middle-row seats, rear entertainment, and all the safety gear (predictive forward collision warning that monitors potential danger two cars ahead, blind-spot intervention, backup-collision intervention, etc.). Sound-absorbing acoustic glass is used in the windshield and front side windows. Sorry, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not yet ready for primetime on this electrical architecture
Pricing won’t be announced until closer to the Armada’s summer 2016 launch, but we’re guessing the upgrade to Patrol gear (and its Japanese manufacture) will increase to approach that of Toyota’s Sequoia—call it $44,000 USD to start. But for that increased investment you can feel more confident volunteering for peace-keeping, humanitarian, and Paris-Dakar rallying than your Sequoia-driving neighbor.
|2017 Nissan Armada|
|BASE PRICE||$44,000-$64,000 (est)|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD/4WD, 7-8-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||5.6L/390-hp/401-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|CURB WEIGHT||5,600-6,000 lb (mfr)|
|LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT||208.9 x 79.9 x 75.8 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.3-6.7 sec (MT est)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||13-14/19-20/15-16 mpg (est)|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY||241-259/169-177 kW-hrs/100 miles (est)|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.20-1.28 lb/mile (est)|
|ON SALE IN U.S.||Summer, 2016|