It takes a lot to get me out of my little suburbs about 25 miles outside of Baltimore. Or rather it takes a lot to get me into DC. The Capitol Beltway is notorious for ridiculously slow, bumper-to-bumper traffic and I generally avoid it if at all possible.
So what would make me head all the way out to Alexandria, VA just on the southern side of DC? To put it plainly, trucks. Or rather Nissan trucks.
Admittedly, I was already headed to Virginia later that day and thought that it might be worth my time to check out three of the “truck” vehicles in the Nissan lineup. And it didn’t hurt that this vehicle introduction was right on the banks of the Potomac near Mount Vernon, the historic home of George Washington.
It’s no secret to my friends that I’ve become obsessed with the soundtrack to Hamilton. So obsessed that I have to have days where I promise myself I won’t listen to it so that I can clear my head a bit. But even my son is into it. We’ll drive down the road chanting, Here comes the General, the pride of Mount Vernon, GEORGE WASHINGTON!
I was listening to that very soundtrack when I pulled up to the 2016 Nissan East Coast Adventure Drive located at River Farm, aka George Washington’s River Farm. How fitting. Even though George himself never lived nor farmed the land, he lived right up the street at Mount Vernon and I knew this would be a very presidential event.
On the agenda… eat some lunch (thankfully inside the air-conditioned house), get a preview of Nissan’s three truck line-up (Pathfinder, Titan, and Armada), and take them all for a drive while taking in as many sites as possible.
To be honest, we actually listened to the introduction of each of the three vehicles before they let us have lunch. Nice strategy, Nissan. I was hot and hungry and I listened but more importantly, I just wanted to get out there and drive them!
It’s likely that you don’t know that I have spent many years as a Nissan fangirl. I had a 2004 Nissan Murano – the first car I truly loved. And my husband who has sworn off all Japanese cars up until that point, like my car so much, he went out and bought the brand new to the market Nissan Titan. With our love and history of Nissan’s vehicles, I was ready to see how far they’d come.
With a chance to drive each vehicle briefly, I can only share my first impressions but I’m hoping it’s enough for you to think about a second look.
2017 Nissan Pathfinder
Touted as “adventure-ready,” the Pathfinder boasted new exterior styling, new 3.5L V6 engine, increased horsepower and torque, and many configurations to include the tops in safety, automation, and amenities.
Did I love it? No, I can’t say that I loved it. I miss the days when the Pathfinder was almost unrecognizable because it had been taken off road somewhere and was splattered with mud. While capable, this feels more like a family car than an adventure car.
2017 Nissan Armada
My sister-in-law bought an Armada right around the time that my husband bought a Titan. I remember it feeling distinctly like a Titan with a covered bed. It felt like the exact same vehicle. Not a bad thing but the Armada has come a long way since then.
This all-new Armada features body-on-frame construction so you can take this bad boy (or bad girl) off road with confidence. Also new is the 5.6L Endurance V8 engine delivering 390hp. Even if you don’t care about numbers, you have to know that 390 horsepower is mega fast.
What I loved the most, though, was the luxury interior. Going from the Pathfinder to the Armada was almost a crime because I couldn’t help but compare. And the Armada wins it for me if I’m just basing it on looks, drive, and style alone (my three biggest factors anyway, if I’m being honest).
2017 Nissan Titan
And last but not least, but certainly the hardest to get our hands on for a test drive, was the new 2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab. This was the vehicle to drive at this event.
Dubbed the “every-duty truck,” it follows suit with many full-size trucks offering capability and luxury (if that’s what you want). But since I’m not really a truck girl, I let someone else do the judging for me.
We took the Titan to a nearby spot to try to find a scenic angle from which to photograph it. Just as we pulled in, a fellow truck owner (non-Nissan, in this case) came over and started giving us the third degree about the truck. What is it? How much does it cost? How big is the bed? etc.
We tried to sell him on it. Invited him to take a look inside. Feel the nice cool air conditioning. I even started wondering if I could make a commission off this sale. He looked like he was due for a new truck anyway. UNTIL HE TOLD US HE WAS DRIVING A BRAND NEW TRUCK.
Ouch. He got the biggest most stripped-down model of his pickup truck available. And I’m not gonna lie. I might have seen an ounce of regret on his face.
George Washington and the Big Trucks
So what’s so presidential about these trucks? For me, it was just the fact that we were driving these vehicles literally on the front lawn of G.W.’s house. We saw the same river he did. We took pictures of his neighbor’s houses (I’m a bit of a house nut in addition to being a car nut).
So which car would Washington have driven? He did have a farm so the Nissan Titan might have best served his needs. But I”m guessing he never actually did the work on the farm and would have been more at home with someone driving him around in the new Nissan Armada. At least that’s what I would have chosen.
Stay tuned as I plan to spend a full week in the all-new 2017 Nissan Armada and bring you every last detail right here!