Long-Term Review

2017 Nissan Armada: I Broke the Power Rear Hatch

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author photo by Brian Moody December 2017

I have to admit, I had a moderately serious problem with the 2017 Nissan Armada this week -- the first problem I've had in the year we've had it. This problem didn't prevent me from driving the Armada, but it's a hassle. Essentially, the power rear door stopped working -- and I'm entirely to blame for the problem.

As the holidays approach, my 11-year-old daughter asked if we could have a fire at home because that makes her feel like it's " ... really Christmas-time ... " So, I set out to find a place in North Georgia where I could get a small amount of firewood. My neighbors suggested I go to the grocery store. If I knew how to use emojis, I'd put a big, giant frowny face right here. The grocery store? C'mon man. If someone slapped me for buying anything more than a Duraflame log at the grocery store, I'd thank them knowing I deserved it and my tenuous grasp on a man-card might be revoked for such a violation.

Truck = Good

Also, I wanted to use just a hint of the Armada's rugged truckiness even if that meant simply driving down a gravel road. With no Apple Maps or Google searches, I set out to find a roadside stand or home selling firewood the old-fashioned way -- by just driving.

Sure enough, I found the perfect place, gravel road and all. It was just off Hickory Flat Road, which made me fell all the more like I was doing some kind of woodsy, rural thing. Like any true suburbanite, I even brought along an old beach towel or two to keep the carpet from getting too dirty.

The guy selling the wood was so nice, he actually strainghtened out one of the towels for me as we loaded the rear cargo area up with split wood. Unfortunately, he positioned the towel right over the rear hatch latch and I didn't check or notice before hitting the tailgate mounted close button. The towel was bound up in the latch and the car saw that as an obstruction so the power mechanism just quit -- probably to save itself from burning out the motor.

Emergency Release

Thankfully, there is an emergency manual release. It's just behind a plastic panel on the rear door. It easily pops off with a screwdriver and you just pull a metal lever.

However, once the obstruction was cleared, the door still wouldn't work. So, I disconnected the battery for 60 seconds at reconnected it, and the problem was solved.

Driver error is the only thing I can think of to call this because all the hassle was purely at my own hand.

I did have to drive through a muddy area to get to the actual woodpile, but the newly improved 2017 Nissan Armada was overkill for sure -- a RAV4 or Rouge could have just as easily done the job (probably). Still, that's why I like the Armada: it feels like this big, brawny truck that can handle anything even if my version of "anything" is little more than a fire-road and slightly soft mud.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Nissan Armada: I Broke the Power Rear Hatch - Autotrader