By on August 2, 2016

2017 Nissan Armada at Nissan Adventure Drive in Carmel, California, Image: © 2016 Josh Burns/Off-road.com

Wherever roads fade to tracks, bridges give way to fords, and addresses become coordinates, an intense internecine war is under way. Since the Land Cruiser and Patrol were born in 1951, Nissan and Toyota have battled over which automaker produces the best large, go-anywhere, do-anything SUV. It’s a competition that has spawned battle wagons of ever increasing size, off-road capability, passenger comfort, and refinement.

Unfortunately, American consumers have been sidelined.

Sure, Toyota will sell you a Land Cruiser, but the average Toyota store sells fewer than three Land Cruisers a year. It’s the Tundra-derived Sequoia that leads Toyota’s full-size SUV campaign in North America. Likewise, Nissan began offering the Titan-based Armada in 2004. Although the Nissan has consistently outsold its Indiana-built rival, it has long been a battle for third and fourth place.

Nissan is now taking aim at loftier objectives.

Disclosure: Nissan flew me from San Diego to Carmel and put me up in a gorgeous hotel to drive the Armada, Titan, and Pathfinder. The automaker plied us with first rate food and beverage, an embarrassment of consumption to be sure. And an additional thank you to the 5,000 plus firefighters battling the 40,000 acre Soberanes Fire, burning between Big Sur and Carmel. May your work end soon.

2017 Nissan Armada at Nissan Adventure Drive, Carmel, California, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

The new Armada and new Titan share an updated 5.6-liter Endurance V8 in front of a new seven-speed automatic transmission. The Armada’s engine and transmission, including its forward ratios, are shared with the global Patrol. In both the Titan and Armada, the 5.6 liter offers significantly elevated output, moving from 315 horsepower to 390. Torque now peaks at 394 lbs-ft at 4,000 rpm. The new running gear delivers power effectively with flattened horsepower and torque curves that can be felt across the tachometer sweep. Full throttle is not required to motivate the 5,963 pound Platinum Reserve 4×4 up a steep freeway onramp without hesitation. We did, however, experience some ratio hunting in low speed, low throttle situations. Baked together with a fully boxed frame, both 2WD and 4WD Armadas are rated to tow a competitive 8,500 pounds from a standard Class IV hitch.

The all new Titan, which we found to be a competent truck, would have made a capable Armada platform, but their divorce is final. Interestingly, the decision to split the products across two platforms was not product driven. According to Nissan, it was foremost a production-oriented move: Nissan believes it lacks sufficient production capacity to meet anticipated demand for the all new Titan, Titan XD, and Armada if they continue to be manufactured together in Mississippi.

2017 Nissan Armada Interior, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Nissan found a solution in the Infiniti QX80. The range-topping Infiniti was redesigned for 2010 and production moved to Yukuhashi, Japan, where the full-size luxury SUV now shares a production line with the global Patrol. Nissan knew it could adapt the already-homologated Infiniti to deliver an Armada with the on-road refinement American consumers seek at a competitive price, all while alleviating anticipated production constraints. This strategy bucks the platform sharing trend. Usually automakers move mainstream platforms up-market. Nissan has thrown this into reverse with the QX80 and Armada.

Thank the platform change for the Armada’s 100 to 300 pound weight gain. Nonetheless, it manages a 1 mile per gallon improvement in city driving over the outgoing model. Highway fuel economy remains the same at 19 mpg for the 2WD and 18 mpg for the 4WD.

2017 Armada Nissan instrument panel, Image: © 2016 Josh Burns/Off-road.com

The moment one enters the new Armada, its Infiniti DNA is evident. The interior skews luxury with an up-market contemporary design, exemplary fit and finish, and quality materials. The Armada features a decidedly non truck-like interior, which should play well to a buying public Nissan projects will demand more than 60 percent of Armadas in high-spec Platinum trim. The new Armada’s interior is somewhat smaller than the outgoing model. However, with both the second and third rows folded down, the loss totals just 1.7 cubic feet, or less than two-percent. The decrease in interior volume is difficult to discern and, when juxtaposed against its dramatic overall improvement, all but inconsequential. But, as always, if you need a full-size SUV with lebensraum, shop the Suburban and Expedition EL.

2017 Nissan Armada Interior, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Our initial driving impressions suggest a luxury-oriented ride to match the more indulgent interior. The steering did feel somewhat over-boosted, but is unlikely to distinguish the Armada among its peers. Even on the Platinum’s sharp 20-inch aluminum-alloy machined wheels, the Armada soaks up bumps with limited float. The increasingly popular acoustic windshield and front-door glass make for a quiet, serene ride contributing to a noise-level once associated only with premium brands. And yet, the off-road course proved that this body-on-frame Armada was created from the Patrol playbook, where uncompromising on-road manners are coupled with legitimate off-highway chops.

The Armada and Patrol each offer independent front and rear double wishbone coil suspensions. The two-speed transfer case features a 2.769 low, which departs slightly from the Patrol’s 2.679 gearing. However, Armada carries a more on-road oriented stance with shallower approach, departure, and breakover angles. Armada also gets less ground clearance (9.1 vs 11.3 inches) and a lower step-in than Patrol. The Armada lacks hill descent control, as well as the Rear Helical Limited Slip Differential (LSD) and electronic rear differential lock that are standard on Patrols sold in most markets. These are compromises to North American tastes and serve to keep vehicle cost in check. They also leave room in Nissan’s product road map to take advantage of the market’s insatiable appetite for trim escalation and special editions.

2017 Nissan Armada at Nissan Adventure Drive in Carmel, California, Image: © 2016 Josh Burns/Off-road.com

Armadas are offered in familiar SV, SL, and Platinum trims with two- and four-wheel drive available across the range. The base SV eschews Nissan’s more common S nomenclature as the entry level trim — and is no fleet stripper. It gets heated, power front seats, 13-speaker Bose audio, dual-zone climate control, navigation, and numerous other comfort and convenience features. Tick the right boxes and you can also secure Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), Backup Collision Intervention (BCI), Around View Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD), Rear and Around View Monitors (AVM), and more. Armada is predictably roomy, absolutely comfortable, and in this reviewer’s opinion, handsome. Pricing remains to be announced, however, we know the two-wheel drive SV will start around $44,400 plus $995 destination.

The new Titan platform would have been more than adequate to host the Armada, but yesterday’s rough and tumble Titan-derived Armada is gone, replaced by a product that delivers the on-road manners American consumers value, along with an extra dose of off-road capability for the few who need it. The new Armada is a powerful shot across Toyota’s bow that should widen Armada’s lead over Sequoia and give it a fighting chance at increasing its share of the full-size SUV segment. Nissan has opened a new front in its battle wagon war with Toyota — and it is not a fair fight.

[Images: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars and Josh Burns/Off-road.com]

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96 Comments on “2017 Nissan Armada First Drive Review – First American Patrol...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Are the fender vents functional? I notice that the Infiniti and the Nissan both have fender vents.

    I’m begging your reviewers. PUT UP THE THIRD ROW. Make sure the hatch is open. STAND BEHIND THE REAR BUMPER. Take a picture. This needs to be standard operating procedure when reviewing 3 row vehicles.

    Thank You.

    • 0 avatar
      Seth Parks

      Yes, the vents are functional.
      You are absolutely right, I will ensure that a behind the third row image is captured next time.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Seth Parks
        Australians were disappointed that Nissan did not offer a diesel, as a result the twin turbo 4.5 litre v8 LandCruiser 200 Diesel well and truly outsells it here.Landcruisers on and off road are very common

        • 0 avatar
          Seth Parks

          Absolutely RobertRyan. And so Australians should be disappointed. A LC competitive diesel would vastly improve Nissan’s offering in Oz!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Latest statistics I have seen is 10 to 1 sales ratio. LandCruiser 1200 or thereabouts to the Patrol 110. Cannot remember time frame, 3 months from memory, could be 6 Months

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Mean time Mr. Dan, study this photo for your cargo needs.

      http://www.cars.com/crp/vp/images/15infiniti_qx80/Cargo%20space%20behind%20third%20row.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        BTW I’m not specifically knocking TTAC or this reviewer, I am frustrated that most reviewers everywhere don’t do that. Even most idiot dealerships don’t do that when posting photos online. My favorite is when they post pics of the third row up taken from the 2nd row and then don’t bother to show if there is any room behind that last row. Most three row vehicles have decent cargo room with the 3rd row down, show me up.

        Honestly if I can stand up three or four carryon bags behind the third row and close the hatch, that’s sufficient. But many vehicles you can’t even do that.

        RANT OFF

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    Who’s gonna buy the much uglier Infiniti version now?

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Who was buying it before?

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Nothing with wheels on it has ever been as ugly as a QX80.
      Edit, totally misread that comment, so we agree completely, Maybe infiniti can just stop making those crimes against peoples eyes.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Have ya seen the new Lexus RX?
        Or perhaps a Renault Fuego?

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          The fuego is awesome, clean and stylish (well, I grew up in the 80’s). I could give the RX points for effort, but it’s still kinda cohesive and feels like a serious attempt at styling unlike most luxury SUV/CUVs. And it’s not the worst Lexus design in history.
          But the QX is totally in it’s own class, no one beside, no one lower. They have made several generations of it without finding headlights that even resemble headlight that would fit it…
          (also the interior probably looked good in the 90’s when it was new)

        • 0 avatar
          mike1dog

          Renault Fuego? Now that’s an obscure reference. A car that most people were unaware of when it was new, there must be less than a fifty left in the U.S.A by now.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            On Facebook I’m a member of Obscure Cars For Sale, and I’ve seen two or three pop up on there. I definitely have not seen one in real life.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            “On Facebook I’m a member of Obscure Cars For Sale…” Now THAT is a true humblebrag.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol, it’s not! I like seeing all the weird stuff on there. And I heard about it from FreedMike here, I think.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I can see you now, drooling over pictures of Borregos, SVXs, Expo LRVs and Grand Vitaras.

            Didn’t one of the TTAC contributors confess his nickname was “other makes” because that was the search criteria he uses on ebaymotors?

            Please note: I say this with respect!

          • 0 avatar

            I love going on to ebay and searching dead or dying NA brands from oldest to newest model years.

            Mazda
            Mitsubishi
            Isuzu
            Eagle
            Peugeot
            Datsun
            Fiat
            Suzuki

            I mean who wouldn’t want to buy a mint condition 1985 Isuzu PuP with 42,00 old lady miles.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            If the P’up is a diesel, you’d have people lined up down the street for it.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Maybe there could be a Titan XD-derived Armada XD with a size in comparison to Suburban and Expedition EL, offering the Endurance V-8 or the Cummins. Could create a new niche in the full-size SUV game since I think GM no longer offers a 3/4 ton ‘Burbon.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Actually, there is a 3/4-ton version of the current Suburban, but it’s for fleet use only, and specifically government, since it’s an ideal base for an armored vehicle.

      If it had a front-row bench seat, I’d tell you to eat your heart out.

      http://www.gmfleet.com/chevrolet/suburban-hd-heavy-duty-suv.html

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You can still get a middle front seat/flip-down console on the LS Tahoe/Burb or base model Yukon for full 9-passenger seating. And of course, that’d be the only one for me. No 78″-wide vehicle of mine is gonna have seating for two up front or in the middle, goldurn it!

  • avatar
    3XC

    Sell a desert tan, cloth interior, stripper Patrol with a beefed up suspension, fill the void left by the FJ80. It doesn’t cost much to de-content a vehicle, call it a special edition, and mark up the price. Ask Porsche.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I’d encourage Nissan to bring a more offroad oriented Armada trim just to show up Toyota. Selling the LC for $85K is criminal.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Seth,
      This Patrol will never fill the void left by an 80 Series. I think the only two vehicles left to do this are the 76 Series wagon with a V8 diesel and the Y61 Patrol wagon.

      The US never received the Y61. Not so great on road, but off road with a couple of suspension changes is very capable.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    A family friend has the Infiniti version of this and the interior layout looks almost identical to this new Armada. It’s a really nice SUV on the inside, but that Infiniti is fugly. At least the Nissan version isn’t as hideous and is MUCH cheaper.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So basically it’s a QX80 with a better looking front end, the same interior, and a different steering wheel… for $25,000 less money.

    #rightontrack

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I like the non-macho, non-truck interior. I like the clear & crisp gauge cluster (for all its faults, Nissan makes excellent gauges). I like the audacity of that fake wood at a time when Ford and Toyota are still using acres of hard fake metal plastic. I like the padded materials alongside the center console. Rest your knee in comfort, dear passenger.

    I don’t like the exterior, with the cheap-looking Pathfinder face grafted onto an already ugly QX80 body.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I think that might be real wood. Looks exactly the same as that of the QX80.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        It’s probably not. Nissan’s good for making real-looking simulated wood veneers; of course ultra-glossy wood veneers like those are quickly falling out of fashion.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I tried to look online but I can’t find any detail. And the new Armada isn’t listed on the Nissan website yet, either. Probably because when they put the new one up there, the old Armada’s sales will fall from 3.29/year to 0.00.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I always wondered about the juggling act that is announcing a new product without causing too much waned interest in the old one…and especially when the old product is uncompetitive and unpopular, such as is the case with the Armada.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            In insurance, we set deadlines which are hard stops where an application (order) must be received to get into the old product. I know it’s a bit different, with tax treatments and all there are certain people who always want each product. Turns into a rush to get in within the deadline and be in the old product with old rules.

            …But that won’t happen here, ha.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Well, *that* makes a lot of sense, especially if the old product is more desirable. It’s like how I wish I was on one of those grandfathered cellphone plans with unlimited / unthrottled data.

            But Nissan’s going to advertise the heck out of this thing, and for good reason. It’s also good for anyone who’s a fan of the current (outgoing) Armada and who wants to snag one cheap. I mean, it’s not really competitive and it’s a proper pig on the FE scale…but it got significantly less insulting in MY2013, when it received a substantial interior rework.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have that very plan right now, for $35/mo. :O

            Gotta keep this phone working, cause when I change I have to pay either less for something worse, or more for something worse.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            You lucky fella. I’m too young to have gotten in on one of those plans and have paid for it myself. No, those were the, “Can I mow your lawn so I can put $20 on my prepaid T-Mobile flip phone?” days.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            My phone is almost two years old, and was not high-line when new.

            But still I’m like “Careful, CAREFUL!” when I have my hands full of stuff and the phone is in the mix. Lol.

            (Lucky sod sounded better.)

            Also RE: Interior. Very interesting I think that the Armada had to wait until 2013 to get the interior update the QX56 got for… 2008.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Well, both the QX56 and the Armada got the 2008 update. But the Armada got another one in 2013, which included a better steering wheel than that hideous three-spoke monstrosity, the contemporary infotainment system, and an instrument panel that was at least passably-modern.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh right, two updates.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      30-mile fetch,
      That is the norm for SUVs and pickups outside of the US. Those “big rig” looks are quite funny and entertaining to see when I visit the US. Some interiors are made to look macho to cover up the cheapness and lack of quality of the interiors.

      Some of these “macho” features and looks are grotesque and overly animated. I suppose the general US driving public have been desensitised and consider this the norm.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    One does wonder what Nissan is playing at, because while this is a substantial upgrade for the Armada, the Patrol/QX56/QX80 on which this car is based have been sold since MY2011, and they don’t exactly look fresh from the inside. The body and underlying architecture are modern, but I think Nissan could have taken this as a real opportunity to upgrade the interfaces in both the Armada and the QX80 to make them more current. Actually, modern interface upgrades, and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, have made the current Expedition a surprisingly competent product, even though it’s been on the market in basic form since MY2003.

    This new Armada doesn’t undercut the GM BOF’ers or the Expedition as much as I would have liked, but I suppose we pretty much live in an era where you’re going to be paying well north of $40K for a full-sized BOF SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Kyree,
      Judging by the prices we are paying for the “new” Patrols I really don’t think there would be much room in reducing the price in the US. You can only cheapen a vehicle by so much.

      The Patrol, unlike it’s US counterparts is not a pickup station wagon. So, the cost of the Patrol can’t be spread across a range of vehicle types.

      When the initial announcement for the new Titan was released I was excited as I thought Nissan would use the Patrol for the Titan. This didn’t occur, due to the cost of producing a Titan pickup. I do believe a Patrol based pickup would of made a great platform.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        You’re right. The Patrol is a proper 4×4; it’s not just a big body on a ladder frame, like the others. It’s closer to a Land Cruiser. It’s certainly a higher-quality vehicle in terms of construction, and that is its allure in Armada form, although I realize it’s not got all the same off-road hardware as the Patrol. Besides, like I said, the Tahoe, Yukon, Sequoia and Expedition are all in that same price range, so it’s not like Nissan’s pricing is uncompetitive.

        I do like this a lot, especially because the parts I hate about its Infiniti-badged cousin (like the front-fascia) were changed.

        I just *wish* these big beasts didn’t cost so much, because part of me wants one. I really do wonder how so many people afford Tahoes and such, when the ATP is somewhere in the high $50K, low $60K range.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          *Credit card swipe sound*

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          Ford really should be offering an Expedition for under $40K. It’s on the same platform that debuted in W’s first term.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Them Expeditions fall downhill so fast once they get to their second+ owners. Man the examples online are just so sad.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Old Navis with air suspension issues are the worst. I’ve seen some with their a$$ way up in the air.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It looks like a very common issue with them pre-07 generation. Almost every single one on CL I saw had sunk.

            Even the 07+ models are down near $10-15K now, but they look ratty. I do a chin tap as to why they age so much worse than their GM similars.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Agreed, both of you. The Expedition costs a lot for being so fundamentally old.

            And Expeditions definitely aren’t taken care of as they get older. That independent rear suspension, in particular, suffers from neglect by a second or third owner.

            As far as the credit-card thing, woo boy, are you right. There are so many seemingly well-to-do people (many of them in $60K Tahoes) who would be seriously messed up if they incurred just one unexpected expense or missed a paycheck. I try not to be one of those people, especially since I have no kids and no spouse, and therefore no excuse not to put money in savings.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Kyree,
          I know a guy who got hold of a ST-X Patrol here for $60 000 AUD or around $45 000 USD. The asking price was $90 000 AUD.

          These are not selling in Australia very well, like you stated quite expensive. It wouldn’t surprise me if Nissan drop the Patrol here or make some drastic changes.

          The previous model Patrol can be had with discounts for around $50 000 AUD which is in the reach of many families who like the great outdoors and these are capable off road wagons.

          The problem is we now have many midsize SUVs that are half the price and as if not more capable than the Patrol.

          I think the biggest market for the “new” Patrol is the Gulf States, ie, Saudi Arabia, The Emirates, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            “I think the biggest market for the “new” Patrol is the Gulf States, ie, Saudi Arabia, The Emirates, etc.”

            That sounds about right. That seems to be where I see a lot of videos and stories about the Patrol.

        • 0 avatar

          It looks like on pricing the Sequoia and Armada under cut the Tahoe by a few grand. Given typical Nissan dealers I assume transaction prices will be lowest on the Armada out of the big SUV’s still around. I;m actually surprised at the pricing on the Armada I thought given the Patrol roots it would start like 5k higher. It’s worth noting that while the Sequoia is based on the Tundra it does share some parts with the Landcruiser so it can be viewed in some ways as the road going budget version of the LC.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I didn’t know that the Sequoia had any relation to the Land Cruiser whatsoever other than engines. But that’s interesting.

            Personally, I loved the first-generation Sequoia, but hate the current one because it’s styled like a giant blob. One thing that’s nice, though, is the longer rear doors, for easier ingress/egress versus some competitors (ahem, Tahoe/SWB Yukon).

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The “new” Patrol we’ve had for a few years or so now it is still sold alongside the Y61 (previous Patrol).

    You don’t see many new Patrols in Australia for a couple of reasons, first is the lack of a decent engine. The V8 gas engine is nice, but a decent V8 diesel is needed for the Patrol. The vehicle is overpriced for what it does, ie, not the best off road wagon. This now very evident with new and cheaper vehicles like the Everest, even the MUX from Izuzu can give a Patrol a decent run for it’s money off road.

    The US version, will be even less of an off roader than the Patrol we receive. I can see Landcruiser dominating this segment (here) until Nissan can come up with a better Patrol.

    I do believe the best Patrol would be using the Y61, with the 3 litre V6 turbo diesel.

    As this article states, the US variant is an “Amercianised” version with reduced capabilities from a Patrol.

    I don’t see many off road here, only Y61’s with live axles all round.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Very jealous that you guys have access to the Y61. Patrols are much rarer than Land Cruisers as used 4x4s in Siberia, but you’d still see them around. The Y60s almost exclusively in the hands of very serious offroad enthusiasts, the kind that actually go to offroad rallies and such. The trucks are usually pretty dirty and somewhat banged up. Y61s more as regular daily drivers, but ones that inevitably see their fare share of at least somewhat challenging terrain, the locale makes it inevitable.

      The Y62 is actually the most common Patrol that I see over there, and they are exclusively in the upper-crust wealthy person conveyance category, much like the LC200 Land Cruiser and LX570s. In the weirdest form of irony, the first ’16 LC200 I saw in the flesh was one bombing around my grandma’s village this summer; talk about a study in contrasts!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        gtemnykh,
        My off roading “partner” has a Y61 Patrol, I always off road with a minimum of two vehicles. We just put a diff lock in the front of his Patrol. He’s only given it 3″ inches of lift and boy did that make a huge difference off road, with the correct rubber.

        Believe it or not my BT50 with only a rear E Locker is better at climbing precipitous dry (heaps of traction) rocky’ish trails than his Patrol with the LSD assend and the front diff lock, but when conditions get slippery his front diff is working hard and I need a winch to pull me up the slopes.

        I have video footage of his Patrol losing traction where my BT50 just walks up the incline. But, on creek beds his short wheel base is a dream, he doesn’t get hung up like I do on boulders.

        I wouldn’t want to even consider this new Patrol for what we do. Maybe driving on dunes and rough tracks is about all the new Patrol is good for.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “The “new” Patrol we’ve had for a few years or so now it is still sold alongside the Y61 (previous Patrol).”

      That seems to be really common on the other side of the world. Especially in developing countries or countries where 4x4s are truly useful (and not just for hopping curbstones at the shopping mall), why get rid of a tried and proven vehicle just because it’s “old”? If anything, those markets value an older, known product over a newer one that may come with its own defects.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Agreed Kyree. Even here in the US, I never really understood the stigmatization of selling the “Classic” or “Limited” IE previous bodystyle of a particular model. It’s a cheap and cheerful way for someone to get that new car smell, keeps workers busy, and makes the company money. Heck I’ll take a Limited old bodystyle Cruze over the anodyne Hyundai-looking new one any day of the week!

        of course, things get into the realm of the absurd like in Russia when AvtoVaz was manufacturing the Lada 2105/2104/2107, with the 2106 tooling sold the Izhevsk where they continued to make the circa ’76 model until 2008(ish?), concurrently they still made the fwd Samara alongside the Samara II, alongside the fwd lada 2110, alongside the Lada Kalina! But the mindset was that there was a massive demand for the cheap and durable Fiat-based old RWD models right until the very end.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Oh, we have a lot in common. Count me a fan of the Cruze Limited versus the new one (which is tadpole-like), also.

          It’s one thing to keep an old model around for people looking to get the same kind of car for less (Cruze Limited, Malibu Limited, Rogue Select, etc…) But I am really fond of old, capable vehicles (that were cool to start with) that are kept around because they are simple and reliable and the tooling is paid for, like the Lada you mention. It’s why I’ve suddenly developed a love for cars that had the BMC A-Series engine.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Well you’d love the UAZ 452 and 469 then! They still make both last I checked.

            autoweek.com/article/wait-theres-more/yes-you-can-still-buy-brand-new-uaz-bukhanka-road-van

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Drool, drool…

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            $2000 buys you a clean ’97 UAZ 3151, which is basically a 469 with modernizations, in my relatives’ neck of the woods:

            biysk.drom.ru/uaz/3151/22661484.html

            Bonus points for wood grain linoleum around the transmission tunnel :p (a common theme over there on Russian iron)

            The beauty of living over there is your next offroad adventure is no more than a 5 minute drive away! There’s simply not that much developed infrastructure, and a lot more public land. I was seething with jealousy this summer when I was hoofing it down a jeep trail to get to a fishing spot and one of these UAZ jeeps came bouncing my way, covered in muck and leaving the perfect smell of uncatalyzed hydrocarbons.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Most of these larger SUV’s will be purchased by the status symbol crowd. I see armada’s of Armada’s in the parking lot of local private schools.
    Offroad ability does not register on the horizon of any of these buyers.

    • 0 avatar

      The reason I find the first gen Armada interesting is as a value buy. With 3 kids a fullsize SUV makes a better vacation car/heavy hauler then a pickup, but lot’s of the fullsize SUV’s have limited payload and towing compared to the pickups they are based on. You could get a first gen Armada with close to a 2k pound payload and 9k pound tow rating at one point.

  • avatar
    Bazza

    Having just returned from a couple of years in the UAE, I can assure you that there’s really no battle at all over who produces the best large, go-anywhere, do-anything SUV. Anybody who’s serious about regular desert offroading drives a Land Cruiser, preferably in white. Period. You simply won’t see Patrols, Land/Range Rovers, Pajeros, or any other supposedly offroad-ready SUVs in any significant numbers in daily use where it counts. The street is an entirely different matter, as Patrol Platinums profusely litter the mall parking garages.

    Patrol for “show”, Land Cruiser for “go”.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Same here, vast numbers of Landcruisers towing Caravans off road, all with the 4.5 Diesel twin turbo

    • 0 avatar
      Seth Parks

      Bazza – I too spend a lot of time overseas so I see the same things you have – Middle East, Africa, Europe. And you are of course not wrong. By pretty much any yardstick, Toyota is killing it in the segment. In fact, it defines the segment and has grown Land Cruiser into what could be a sub-brand unto itself. What makes it a battle is that Nissan refuses to give up. And as far as the Patrol’s off-road capability, it remains legitimate regardless of how people elect to use it.

  • avatar
    brn

    TTAC, any vehicle that claims to have “off road” capabilities needs to be subjected to your articulation test.

    I could use a good chuckle.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      For what it’s worth, while the Armada is independent suspension all around and ultimately falls short of something like the LC200, this is by no means a car-based crossover in terms of articulation. It’s been tuned to articulate well (relatively speaking), much like the gen III fullsize Monteros.

      With the overseas offroading kit (namely true diff locks, sway bar disconnects, offroad traction control) I’m sure one of these could make it as far as an owner would ever want it to. Range Rovers are much the same way. Easy to make fun of especially when they’re decked out in low profile street tires and luxury bling, but rest assured some very competent off-road geeks have worked hard on the offroad hardware (and software).

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Nissan has opened a new front in its battle wagon war with Toyota — and it is not a fair fight.”

    Is this thing going to actually hold up like a Toyota SUV or is it going to be listless, paint-faded, headlight-fogged BHPH fodder in 7+ years like every other Nissan not called the GT-R?

  • avatar
    ajla

    And why the f*ck can’t Nissan or Infiniti put this engine into a CAR that doesn’t cost $65K+?

  • avatar
    manu06

    If I’m going to spend the money, I want this.
    http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/nissan/patrol/1820568.html

  • avatar
    Mike N.

    It would be cool if they eventually offered a Pro-4X trim level with all the off-road goodies put back on and priced it (way) less than a Land Cruiser.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The last time Nissan sold a Patrol here in the states was in the late 60’s, early 70’s. We even got a few of the pick up versions.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    Seeing the new Patrol make me think that it’s unfortunate that Toyota isn’t bringing over their less expensive versions of Land Cruiser over here. You can get the 4.6L V8 (1UR-FE) model for approx. 47K USD in the Japanese home market.

    Not sure why they need a similarly priced and spec’ed Land Cruiser and Lexus LX in the US market instead of differentiating between two brands.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Agreed. Maybe Toyota thinks they’d be stepping too much on the Prado-based trucks (4Runner and GX460) too much in the US market? $45-$55k is optioned up 4Runner Limited and GX460 turf. And Toyota might be all too happy with the obscene $85k that they get for them these days, perhaps picking up some more sales with less loaded models would cut into the sales of the high-trim variant?

      The LC200 is wasted potential when they price them that astronomically and make them come with every possible luxury item as standard. I’ll gladly take a 200 series with velour seats, 17 inch wheels with beefy rubber, just the basic power accessories, and the 4.6L V8. I’m super jealous of the used Land Cruiser market over in Russia, a decent early-year LC200 (2008ish) can easily be found for about $27k, there’s just nowhere as much supply constraint, and the trucks were much more affordable when new to begin with.

  • avatar
    rustyra24

    Technically this is the second patrol sold in the USA. They sold 2nd generation patrols at Datsun dealerships. Nissan only sold 2616 Patrols in the USA from 1962 to 1969.

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