CHICAGO — The all-new 2017 Nissan Armada full-size SUV will roll into Nissan dealerships this summer with a number of major upgrades, including a new 390-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. It debuts at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.
The revised engine delivers a 73-hp boost over the 5.6-liter V8 in the outgoing Armada, while the transmission adds two gears for increased performance and efficiency.
The two-wheel-drive 2015 Armada (there is no 2016 model) returns 13 mpg in city driving and 19 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. Nissan said the 2017 Armada's fuel economy will be announced closer to its on-sale date, along with pricing.
Despite the changes, the eight-passenger Armada retains one key element that should resonate with many SUV buyers. It sticks with the original's body-on-frame or truck-based construction, instead of moving to sedan-like unibody construction.
The new body design offers a 20 percent increase in twisted body stiffness, helping to enhance ride and handling, Nissan said.
"When you want to tackle big adventures with big groups of family and friends, there's no substitute for a sturdy steel frame," said Michael Bunce, Nissan North America vice president of product planning, in a statement.
The 2017 Armada will be available in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Details include body-color front and rear bumpers, a more dramatic front grille and standard LED low-beam headlights.
Safety features now include predictive forward-collision warning, blind-spot detection, back-up collision intervention and an around-view monitor with moving object detection.
Standard features include Nissan Navigation with NavTraffic and NavWeather information, heated front seats and a 13-speaker Bose audio system.
The standard seating configuration includes four-way power-adjustable bucket seats up front, a fold-flat 60/40-split bench seat in the second row and a 60/40-split folding bench seat in the third row.
A third-row power-folding seat is standard on SL and Platinum models.
The 2017 Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds, Nissan said.
Edmunds says: The 2017 Nissan Armada hits the market at just the right time, as cheap gas has made large SUVs as popular as ever.