NISSAN ARMADA SUV GETS NEW HIGH-GRADE, PLATINUM RESERVE MODEL FOR 2018
They say that good things come to those who wait, and though as far as I know no automobile company has, like Guinness and Heinz, picked up on that as a slogan, it is what came to mind as I drove the Nissan Armada for a week.
Bear with me here.
The flagship of the Japanese manufacturer’s portfolio of SUVs and crossovers, Nissan gave the the Armada a big makeover for 2017.
It got a fresh exterior design, a new 5.6-liter V8 engine mated to a new 7-speed automatic transmission, and several new available safety features like Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Backup Collision Intervention, and Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection.
The inside was roomy with lots of high quality materials giving the cabin a premium feel, and the top-of-the-line Platinum edition features a power-sliding moonroof, front climate controlled seats, a Family Entertainment System and Nissan Safety Shield technology as standard.
Instead of the Nissan Titan pickup, the 2017 Armada shared its platform withe full-size luxury SUV the Infiniti QX80, which gave it a smoother, quieter ride than is typical of vehicles with body-on-frame construction while still offering more than capable off-road and towing ability.
If cargo space was a bit on the short side, the Armada made up for that shortcoming with lots of room for passengers, especially those riding in the second row.
But if you missed out on getting a 2017 Armada into your driveway, Nissan has something for you in the 2018 model as well.
The second-year of the second generation Armada keeps all the good stuff from last year while adding standard NissanConnectSM Services, an 8-inch multi-touch control display, HD Radio, SiriusXM Travel Link with three years of trial access (subscription required), enhanced voice recognition, hands-free text messaging assistant, and additional USB ports for all grade levels.
A new model, Platinum Reserve, has been added to the lineup, giving the Armada essentially four trim levels — SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve — all in either 4X2 or 4X4 configurations.
The new Platinum Reserve model boasts dark chrome exterior trim (front grille, door handles, outside mirrors), 20-inch dark chrome wheels, two-tone leather-appointed seats with unique stitching, unique black quartz and premium wood tone interior trim, and embossed "Platinum Reserve" emblem on the console lid.
Also, for the first time on any Nissan vehicle, Platinum and Platinum Reserve models get a standard feature that I’m pretty sure you’re going to love. It’s what the company calls an Intelligent Rear View Mirror. It uses a High-Res camera mounted at the rear to project a clear image onto an LCD monitor built into the standard rearview mirror.
Flipping a switch at the bottom of the mirror, like you do when adjusting the standard mirror to reduce glard for night-time driving, allows the driver to use either the traditional rearview mirror system or the new Intelligent Rear View Mirror.
I would be very surprised if you wouldn’t opt for the camera-based view.
The high-res image not only is more distinct than the standard mirror but also offers a wider field of vision to the rear as well. I found it not quite as effective at night, but it still is a feature that I predict will be showing up on many luxury vehicles in the future. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been wrong on my predictions before.)
To get down to the nitty-gritty, the 5.6L V8 generates 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque that gives the Armada a towing capacity of 8,500 pounds. All-wheel drive fuel economy is rated at 13 miles-per-gallon city, 18 highway, and a combined 15 mpg using regular fuel.
It seats seven or eight, depending on whether the second row has captain’s chairs, and those in the second row get up to 41 inches of legroom, less than an inch those in front are afforded. Third row occupants get just over 28 inches.
Cargo capacity is 16.5 cubic feet behind third row, 49.9 with third row folded.
What I liked about the 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve: Second-row seats easily flip over to provide easy access to the third row, and the third-row seats are power folding at the push of a button on the right side of the cargo area. Technology is user friendly, and the high-def rearview mirror (standard on Platinum and Platinum Reserve models) is really cool.
What I didn’t like about the 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum: Fuel mileage figures and cargo capacity don’t match up to competitors.
Would I buy the 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum? As with its sibling, Infiniti’s QX80, I really don’t have the need for a full-size SUV, so, no I wouldn’t. But it’s worth a look, and the Platinum Edition enjoys a significant price advantage over the QX80. Even throwing in extras like the second-row captain’s chairs and the Platinum Reserve package runs the total to $66,645, still under the $67,850 starting price for a 4WD QX80 and significantly under the $84,660 a fully loaded QX80 might run you.