River Farm in Alexandria Virginia sits on 25 acres of meticulously maintained gardens abreast of the Potomac River – the site of the 2016 Nissan East Coast Adventure Drive Event. Part of George Washington’s original five farms with historic Mount Vernon a few miles away, you can’t but help feel the history here. I would be a challenge to find a more perfect location to unveil the all new 2017 Nissan Pathfinder, Armada and TITAN truck. While its hard to picture George Washington driving the all new 2017 Nissan TITAN around River Farm and Mount Vernon, I didn’t have a hard time seeing myself in the beautifully appointed cab and amazingly well equipped beast of a truck Nissan calls the TITAN – maybe even seeing one in my garage later this year!!! We at Roadfly couldn’t wait to get into these totally redesigned for 2017 vehicles. After a quick preview from Nissan of the new for 2017 changes and some delicious crab cakes and iced tea, we were ready to stop talking and start driving.
2017 Nissan Pathfinder
I’ve always been a huge fan of the Pathfinder. In 1987 my Dad bought the first model year of the first generation two door Pathfinder in green with a huge black striker bar on the front end. Who could forget the very memorable triangular windows behind the front doors. Built on Nissan’s hardbody truck platform, at the time it was a very durable and capable SUV. Halfway through the first gen production run in 1990 two rear doors were added, which included Pathfinder’s hidden C-pillar mounted rear door handles, a mainstay for the Pathfinder until the fourth gen model. That first gen pathfinder has a popular vehicle with our family, so much so that when it came time to replace it we replaced it with a new second gen Pathfinder in 2001. The second gen Pathfinder, with production running from 1996 to 2004, switched to a unibody platform which marked Pathfinder’s separation from the truck design where it started. The third gen Pathfinder ran from 2005 – 2012 where Nissan went back to a body-on-frame construction, using a modified version of the Titan pickup platform, and added the much demanded third row seat. The fourth gen Pathfinder went back to the unibody platform which continued for the fifth gen as well as the all new 2017 sixth generation Pathfinder that we tested at River Farms.
The fifth gen Pathfinder had a lot of carryover design from the fourth generation (2013-2016). Not so for 2017 and the six generation Pathfinder. The outside is a total redesign. All new front and rear fascias, hood, grille and fog lights. The headlights and daytime running lights are LEDs. The rear power liftgate is now motion-activated and the outside mirrors have integrated turn signals. The interior has a newly redesigned center console with new metallic and wood finishes that really dress up the interior and a larger 8.0-inch touch-screen display. Horsepower has been boosted by 24 to 284 and the towing capacity has been increased by 1,000 lbs to a now best-in-class 6,000-lb standard towing capacity. Nissan has added Moving Object Detection to its previously available Around View Monitor and has also added Intelligent Cruise Control and Forward Emergency Braking, both of which were not previously available. The steering is 11% quicker then the previous generation and the front shocks are 11% stiffer with the rear being 7% stiffer, perhaps a bit of a nod back to the old body-on-frame feel for those who want a little more truck in their SUV.
This is a totally new vehicle that is worth a look if you are in the full size SUV market. Whether you’re a Pathfinder fan like my family is or not, you have to get out and drive the all-new 2017 Nissan Pathfinder which is bound to dominate the market next year.
2017 Nissan Armada
The Nissan Armada first arrived on the scene in 2003, originally known as the Pathfinder Armada, and was built on the body-on-frame Nissan F-Alpha platform shared by Nissan’s hardbody trucks. The Armada came in rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive with a 317 hp V8 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission and a towing capacity of up to 9,000 lbs. In 2004, Nissan rebadged the Armada dropping the Pathfinder name looking to distinguish it from its smaller cousin. In the 2008 model year, the Armada received a light exterior makeover and made some interior improvements. In 2010, Nissan continued to tinker with Armada making some small changes to the front and rear fascias and continued to make only minor changes until 2017.
The all-new 2017 Armada is the first time since its inception in 2003 that it has received a total redesign. Still a body-on-frame construction, the 2017 Armada is packed with tons of new goodies, inside and out. Like the Pathfinder, all new front and rear fascias, hood, grille and fog lights. The headlights, daytime running lights and taillights are LEDs. The side frame rails have been expanded from a 60-millimeter width to 100-milimeter width increasing twisted body stiffness by 20 percent enhancing ride and comfort. The Armada is now 1.2 inches longer which continues to be 4.9 inches longer then its competitors.
The Armada is also all new under the hood. The all new 5.6-liter Endurance V8 engine (shared with the TITAN and TITAN XD truck) puts out a best in class 390 hp, an increase of 73 horsepower over the previous engine, and is matted to an all new advanced 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and Downshift Rev Matching.
On the safety and technology front, the all-new Armada has all of the latest and greatest. If you can imagine it, the Armada probably has it. The list is a long one and includes the following: Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Assist, Forward Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Prevention and Land Departure Warning, Blind Spot Intervention and Blind Spot Warning, RearView Monitor and Around View Monitor.
A total redesign of the Nissan Armada had been a long time in coming. After spending a little time in this full-sized SUV family hauler, it was well worth the wait.
2017 Nissan TITAN Crew Cab V8
The first generation of the Nissan TITAN began with the 2004 model year and was based on body-on-frame Nissan F-Alpha platform which was shared with the first generation Armadas. The TITAN was available with rear-wheel drive or shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive. It came standard with a 32-valve V8 engine generating 305 hp (later increased to 317 in 2007) and 385 lb-ft of torque matted to a five speed automatic transmission. Only an extended King Cab with a 6 foot 7 inch bed or crew cab with full-sized back seat and 5 foot 7 inch bed was offered at this time with the beds growing to 8 foot 3 inch and 7 foot 3 inch in 2008 when a longer wheelbase was introduced.
Nissan launched the TITAN XD in 2016 as a “powerful precision tool” for hard working, hard playing buyers. The TITAN XD received the powerful new 390-hp 5.6-liter Endurance V8 gasoline engine putting out 394 lb-ft of torque and offered a Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel with 310hp and 555 lb-ft of torque as an available option.
The TITAN Crew Cab is all new for 2017. Nissan put the same 390-hp 5.6-liter Endurance V8 gasoline engine from the TITAN XD and the Armada in the new TITAN and it will come with 4×4 and 4×2 options. The TITAN’s wheelbase is about a foot shorter then that of the TITAN XD but it shares the same cabs and similar interior, bed and driving options. The new redesigned TITAN exterior is focused on improved aerodynamics with about a ten percent improvement over the prior model. New front, roof and tailgate spoilers, front tow hook cover, rear tire wind deflectors, a seal between the cab and bed and an Active Grill Shutter make up the bulk of the new aerodynamics package. Just like in the Pathfinder and the Armada, the all-new TITAN gets LED headlights, daytime running lights and taillights.
The interior is all new as well with a 33% increase in front storage and 28 percent in rear storage with the 2nd row underseat storage including a locking lid. The front center console can hold a tablet or 15-laptop. NissanConnect with Nav, 7-inch color touch-screen display, Siri Eyes Free, Nissan voice recognition for nav and audio, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and RearView Monitor round out the interior technology features.
With the new increase in horsepower and torque as well as new towing features, the new TITAN is well equipped for towing. Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Trailer Sway Control, Tow/Haul Mode with Downhill Speed Control, Trailer Light Check system, Trailer Guides added to the RearView Monitor and Around View Monitor, and Moving Object Detection round out the technology and towing features that make the TITAN so well suited for towing. Add to that a 9,390 pound towing capacity and a maximum payload capacity of 1, 610 pounds and you have a truck ready to handle any job you can throw at it.
Like the all-new Pathfinder and Armada, the all-new TITAN is a totally redesigned truck that can’t be ignored when looking for a half-ton pickup truck.