In 1588, Philip II of Spain sent a fleet of ships to invade England. These ships were defeated by the English, and the mission was thwarted. This ill-fated mission was known as the Spanish Armada, and while the takeover itself was unsuccessful, the word Armada, alone, denotes strength and power. It’s a good thing that Nissan’s attempt at an Armada was a great deal more successful that Phillip the II’s, because theirs acts as Nissan’s only full-size SUV, and their uber-successful line needs something big behind it.
The Armada, from Nissan, debuted in 2003 for the following model year, and was greeted with a respectable interest, selling nearly 20,000 units in the U.S. its first year. While a great deal bigger than anything else Nissan was offering at the time, the Armada proved the perfect vehicle for those looking to haul a bigger family or more stuff. With its imposing size and an incredibly impressive towing capacity, the Armada is a beast among SUVS, and is not afraid to show it. If you’re looking for big without the requisite sluggishness and top heaviness, look no further than the Armada.
At first glance, the original Armada’s looked a little too imposing, a little bit boxy, and a lot of gas burning. Underneath her gargantuan exterior, however, was a vehicle built with the heart that Nissan’s vehicles always have. She was meant to be a powerhouse, and that she was. The original had everything that the domestic brand’s full sized SUVs had, but it was also backed by Nissan’s phenomenal reputation and their dedication to making excellent sports utility vehicles.
The first generation of the Armada lasted an unheard of twelve years. With only minor updates being performed over those years, the Armada remained, virtually, untouched in terms of structural design and interior accompaniments.
This August, Nissan plans to unveil the all new Armada for public consumption, and they’re promising some serious changes. The design and engine are designed to be more future forward as Nissan sought ways to trim off some excess weight, and make the vehicle a little bit more fuel efficient and better designed. The vehicle itself was assembled in the Japanese plant, while the Endurance V8 engine was pushed through the company’s Tennessee plant. With interest in larger SUVs waning, Nissan made a big decision in deciding to leave the bulk of the Armada untouched.
The new Armada has been made longer and wider, but lower with a smaller wheelbase. It closely resembles the body styling of its sister vehicle, the Infiniti QX80, but still offers the individual touches that make it distinctly Nissan. The four-wheel drive system has also been improved to a level that Nissan claims it can sense a change in the road conditions and adapt accordingly in a way that no other 4WD can do. Part of the change in the Armada’s capability derives from it being based on a different frame than the previous model. The older Armada was built on a Titan frame, while it now shares a base with the Nissan Patrol, the design basis for the Infiniti models.
As for reviews of the Armada, they’re favorable, with the exception of the interior. Critics have said for years that the interior doesn’t match the sophistication of the exterior. In terms of this year’s model, Nissan is clearly making an effort to address these issues. The 2017 model is outfitted to provide the feeling of luxuriousness and style without affecting the futuristic draw of the vehicle’s technology laden center panel. It’s also crazy spacious, featuring best in class second row headroom and leg room while boasting enough cargo space with the seats folded to carry nearly anything you wish.
The Spanish Armada may not have been what Phillip II wanted, but this Armada may be exactly what YOU need. For now, Nissan is still pretty mum about the full details of what to expect from the remodeled version, but early reports are favorable and promise a very different vehicle from the first generation model. If this is the vehicle you’re looking for, be sure to check out your local Nissan dealership this month to get your hands on this spacious and sophisticated full-sized SUV.