The Americanized Patrol gets the Lone Star State’s approval

The 2017 Nissan Armada was named the SUV of Texas in the 2016 Truck Rodeo competition held by the Texas Auto Writers Association. The grueling, two-day evaluation process took place on the 1,632-acre Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas and included more than 70 trucks, SUVs, and crossovers from across the industry. More than 70 TAWA members, yours truly included, drove the vehicles in a variety of on-road and challenging off-road courses that pushed vehicles to their limits. As voting concluded, it was the all-new Armada that scored more points for the title honor of SUV of Texas.

"We’re honored to have the all-new 2017 Nissan Armada recognized by the SUV experts of the Texas Auto Writers Association," said Fred Diaz, division vice president and general manager of North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles. "Armada provides a unique combination of luxury, power, and utility, including best-in-class standard towing and a suite of advanced Nissan Safety Shield technologies such as Predictive Forward Collision Warning and Backup Collision Intervention."

As Diaz points out, several of the Armada’s features stand out. Its towing capacity is rated at 8,500 pounds thanks to its 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 it shares with the Titan and Titan XD. The engine kicks out a respectable 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque though a seven-speed automatic transmission and optional full-time 4WD system with low range.

The Armada’s active and passive safety systems rank high with families. The suite includes Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Backup Collision Intervention, and the 360-degree Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. Interestingly enough, the Armada is the only SUV to offer Backup Collision Intervention, which automatically stops the vehicle should something come inside its path.

While the Armada is based on the global Nissan Patrol and shares most of its parts with the Infiniti QX80, the Armada’s lower price point make it a better value. A RWD Armada in the base SV trim starts at $44,400. Opting for a 4WD version with the range-topping Platinum trim sends the price to $59,990 before options. The Armada joins the 2017 Ford Super Duty and 2017 Volvo XC90 in TAWA’s top honors. The Super Duty was named the Truck of Texas and for the second year in a row, the XC90 earned the CUV of Texas.

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Why It Matters

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Texans love their body-on-frame SUVs thanks to the added capacity and functionality the ridged ladder frame construction provides. Tasks like towing or tackling off-road driving are generally pretty easy for most traditional SUVs. It’s no wonder then why the Armada did well in the competition. Beyond its fame, the 2017 Armada represents a huge improvement over the previous generation SUV. Rather than being based on the Titan pickup, the Armada shares its platform with the global Nissan Patrol. Both vehicles are built in Japan, allowing more production capability for Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi assembly plant to build the Titan and Titan XD pickups.

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And since the upscale Infiniti QX80 shares the platform as well, the Armada gets many of the same features and design stylings as the more costly QX80. In fact, much of the Armada’s interior is directly related to the QX80’s, bringing an air of familiarity to the SUV. The Infiniti still offers a higher level of luxury, allowing Infiniti to price the QX80 at a higher point.

The Armada makes a solid case for itself for a family SUV. It can seat up to eight passengers in its three rows or hold up to 56 cubic feet of cargo with the second and third rows folded flat. Add to that the comprehensive list of safety features and kid-friendly entertainment options.

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Armada here.

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