By KBB.com Editors
Nissan's mammoth Armada SUV may not have the name recognition shared by the long-running Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition, but it certainly has the ability to steal market share from the domestic duo. The Armada shares its rugged boxed-frame chassis with Nissan's other big truck, the Titan. Equipped with a 317-horsepower V8 engine, the Armada can haul a family of eight and pull a 9,100-pound trailer without breaking a sweat. Where the Armada differs most from its domestic rivals is its styling. Some instantly fall in love with it, while some have said it reminds them of an over-inflated Rambler station wagon. Whatever you think of its look, there is no denying the Armada's track record of proven reliability and trouble-free service.You'll Like This Car If...
If your kids are all about high-tech gadgetry and love on-board toys, the Armada has you covered. An exceptionally powerful V8 is standardgreat news for those who need to tow. Standard safety features include side-curtain airbags for all three rows.You May Not Like This Car If...
Did we mention this thing is big? The Armada can be a handful to park in tight spaces, though not any more difficult than its competitors. The poor fuel economy may also be a discouraging factor, and there is no diesel engine option.What's Significant About This Car?
The Armada joins a growing list of Flexible-Fuel vehicles capable of running on E85. A revised air intake system results in a 12-horsepower boost.Driving It Driving Impressions
On the road you'll find the Armada behaves more like a midsize truck than the gargantuan SUV it really is. The steering feel is taut and the Armada's short front-end makes it possible to cut close corners with confidence. So long as the road remains fairly smooth, the Armada maintains a very livable ride, but upon first encounter with large dips or shaky, uneven pavement, the Armada's truck-oriented roots quickly become more evident. In any case, once you feel the power that the Armada's standard 5.6-liter V8 provides, you'll quickly forget any minor shudder or momentary vibration you've just encountered. With a whopping 317 horsepower on tap, the Armada can get up and move like a thoroughbred racehorse.Favorite Features
Rear Seat Design
The Armada's versatile rear-seat design includes fold-flat seats that create a level loading floor.
Standard Head-Curtain Airbags
The Armada's standard head-curtain airbags cover all three rows of seating.
Nissan offers the spacious Armada with an optional, and excellent set of second-row captain's chairs that are separated by a removable center console. With the console out, passengers are granted easy access to the third-row seat without having to disturb those already seated in the second row. The rear-most bench seat rests on an elevated platform that allows its occupants to see over the heads of those up front. With the seats folded, the cargo floor measures 10 feet in lengthand that's with the rear hatch closed!Exterior
The Armada is one of the most ornate SUVs we've seen. It has a raised roof, arched door frames and huge side fender flares. The rear-door handles are placed high-up, making them difficult for small children to reach. Short front and rear overhangs make the Armada a bit easier to maneuver than some of its competition. The broad expanse of glass allows for good 360-degree visibility, and the big side mirrors do a good job revealing smaller objects near the Armada's sides. On LE models, these same mirrors are equipped with power folding and auto-dimming features.Notable Standard Equipment
The Armada has a 317-horsepower V8 engine, five-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), front and rear air conditioning, floor- and ceiling-mounted consoles, Vehicle Dynamic Control, rear privacy glass, dual heated power mirrors, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, power-adjustable pedals, AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash MP3/CD changer, front and rear head-curtain airbags (covering all three rows), reverse sensing system, running boards, eight-way power driver's seat, cruise control, tire pressure monitor, 18-inch alloy wheels and a rear wiper/washer.Notable Optional Equipment
Options vary by trim and include four-wheel drive, rear-seat DVD entertainment, front side-impact airbags, navigation, RearView Monitor, power glass moonroof, heated leather seats, six-way power passenger seat, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Bose audio and a tow package.Under the Hood
Nissan equipped the Armada with its most powerful V8 engine, and the results are impressive. Tow rated at 9,100-pounds (with the available Tow Package), the Armada takes first place in the maximum towing capability category for light-duty, full-size SUVs.
317 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
385 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 (Gasoline, 2WD), 13/18 (Gasoline, 4WD), 10/14 (E85, 2WD), 10/13 (E85, 4WD)
The two-wheel-drive Armada SE has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $35,685, while the same model with four-wheel drive is $38,485. A loaded four-wheel-drive LE tops out around $52,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price page shows the typical transaction price paid for the Armada in your area, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiations. Also be sure to check the Incentives tab to see what deals the manufacturer may be offering. In the all-important world of resale, the Armada is projected to retain an average residual value, just below the Chevrolet Suburban and a few percentage points above the Ford Expedition, but well below the values retained by Toyota's Sequoia.