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Nissan won't downsize next Armada SUV

by Nat Shirley

The new Nissan Armada will be based on the redesigned Titan, but it won\'t get a diesel V8.

Though the heyday of oversized, truck-based SUVs is long past, Nissan won't switch the next Armada to a crossover platform or downsize its dimensions in order to trim weight.

Instead, looking to cater to the small but dedicated group of buyers who need the space and capability that only a traditional full-size SUV can offer, Nissan is designing the upcoming Armada around the new-generation Titan pickup's body-on-frame platform.

"There is a customer out there that can't go to another vehicle," Rich Miller, Nissan North America's chief product specialist for the Titan and Armada, Edmunds.

"They have three kids, a little bit larger family. They have outdoor activities, hiking, camping, hunting and boating that they do with their family. They need a vehicle that can haul the family, the family dog, all their equipment, and still tow. They can't buy anything smaller."

Since more modest dimensions and car-based underpinnings wouldn't suit the target audience's needs, Nissan will be forced to get creative in seeking out ways to increase the new Armada's mileage ahead of strict future fuel economy regulations.

Lighter-weight materials, along with more amply-ratioed transmissions than the current Armada's five-speed automatic, are under consideration, as are aero-enhancing measures like air deflectors and ground effects.

Unfortunately for diesel fans, Miller says that the 2015 Titan's isn't in the cards for the Armada.

The exact launch date for the new Armada, which is said to be roughly halfway through its development process, isn't yet known, but industry whisperings suggest it could debut in 2015 or 2016.

It will face off against the , Ford's , and the evergreen Toyota Sequoia.

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