Long-Term Review

2017 Nissan Armada: Don't Be Scared

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author photo by Tara Trompeter July 2017

We've had our long-term 2017 Nissan Armada in the Autotrader fleet for about 6 months now, and it's gotten great reviews from the team. But every time someone asked me if I wanted the keys, I'd decline their offer. Why? To be totally honest, I was intimidated by it.

I've only owned two cars in my life: a small coupe during college and in my early 20s, and then a midsize SUV in my late 20s and through my 30s so far. I test a lot of different cars as part of my job here at Autotrader, but I tend to keep my interactions with the big ones pretty brief. And the Armada is big. Like really, really big. I wasn't sure I was up to the challenge of putting my two car seats in it and using it as my daily family hauler for the next few months. But I decided to put my big girl pants on and give it a shot...

Leg Fatigue Is Real

Getting the child safety seats in wasn't hard at all, since the door openings are so wide. But I did have to do it from within the SUV, as opposed to standing on the ground right outside, since the Armada sits up so high. And once I hoisted myself (yes, hoisted -- there's no other way to describe what it takes to get myself up into that car) into the driver's seat, I had to somehow get myself out of the parking deck without hitting anything. Thank goodness for Nissan's AroundView Camera! Let me tell you how unbelievably helpful a 360-degree camera is when you're driving a massive SUV.

When I started driving, I couldn't believe how truck-like it felt. Not at all like the smooth, easy, car-like ride of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica I had been tooling around town in for the past month. After my first day in the Armada, I said to our content producer Rob Nestora, "I don't think I can keep driving this thing! My leg hurts!" He laughed at me and said he'd gladly take it off my hands. But I said I wanted to give it a little longer ... and I am SO glad I did.

I Like Big Cars and I Cannot Lie

I think it takes about three days of driving a new car for it to feel like "your car" -- and that's exactly what happened. The leg pain stopped. I found myself sliding into parking spaces without thinking twice. The 5.6-liter V8 engine was totally addicting. I was cruising around, up higher than almost everyone else on the road, feeling like a total badass ... and I liked it. So much, actually, that now when my mommy friends ask for car advice and they tell me they "don't want anything too big," I encourage them to at least spend some time in a full-size SUV like the 2017 Nissan Armada, or the Chevy Tahoe, or any of the other cars I've been avoiding for far too long, because it really might surprise them. Bottom line: I'm a big-car convert, and it's going to be hard to go back to something smaller.

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Used 2017 Nissan Armada SV
Used 2017 Nissan Armada
$32,995
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Used 2017 Nissan Armada Platinum
Used 2017 Nissan Armada
$44,413
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Used 2017 Nissan Armada SV
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$29,490
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Used 2017 Nissan Armada 4WD Platinum
Used 2017 Nissan Armada
$46,000
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: Don't Be Scared - Autotrader