By KBB.com Editors
When the Nissan Armada first debuted in 2004, full-size SUVs were all the rage and it commanded a premium price. Fast-forward to the 2010 model year, and the recent flirtation with five-dollar-per-gallon gasoline and an economic meltdown has changed the landscape. Still, for those undaunted by $75-plus refills, the Armada has much to offer. It features a powerful V8 engine capable of running on regular gas or E85, a tow rating of up to 9,100 pounds and enough interior room to fit eight passengers and their luggage. The Armada's unconventional styling may not be to everyone's liking, but its long list of creature comforts and standard safety features are certainly attractive, as are Nissan's enticing customer incentives.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 standard – great 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 fuel economy may also be a discouraging factor, and there is no diesel or hybrid engine option.What's New for 2010
Nissan has revised the Armada lineup for 2010 to consist of three models: SE, Titanium Edition and Platinum Edition. All models receive new body-colored side cladding with chrome strip, while the SE 4X2 trims gain standard front seat side-impact airbags.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 overhang makes it possible to maneuver around closer corners with confidence. So long as the road remains fairly smooth the Armada maintains a very livable ride, but upon the 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 does not lack for performance or towing power.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 excellent set of optional 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, there is room for quite lengthy items of cargo, even with the rear hatch closed. Safety features include side-curtain air bags covering all three rows.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 of revealing smaller objects near the Armada's sides. On Platinum models, these same mirrors include power folding and auto-dimming features. The Titanium and Platinum also comes with 20-inch wheels that look great but can be pricey if needing replacement.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2010 Nissan 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 power heated outside mirrors, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, power-adjustable pedals, AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability, front and rear head-curtain airbags (covering all three rows), front side-impact airbags, running boards, eight-way power driver's seat, cruise control, tire-pressure monitor and a rear wiper and washer. The Titanium adds Intelligent Key keyless entry and start, leather seating, RearView Monitor, Bluetooth, Bose audio, power-folding third-row seat and auto-leveling rear air suspension. The Platinum Edition includes all these features plus heated front seats and steering wheel, a power liftgate, power moonroof, a hard drive-based navigation system and rear-seat DVD entertainment.Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the 2010 Nissan Armada vary by trim. The SE can be equipped with the Driver Package that adds a 12-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth, RearView Monitor, fog lights and a power-folding third-row seat. Also available on the SE is the Tow Package and a number of dealer-installed options. The Titanium Edition can be equipped with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a power moonroof, while the Platinum Edition offers second-row captain's chair seating. All models offer the option of four-wheel drive.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 credits itself well in maximum towing capacity among lighter-duty, full-size SUVs.
317 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
385 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18 (gasoline, 2WD), 12/18 (gasoline, 4WD), 9/13 (E85, 2WD), 9/13 (E85, 4WD)
The two-wheel-drive Armada SE lists for just under $38,500, while the same model with four-wheel drive will be just over $44,000. The Titanium Edition ranges from about $43,500 to $46,000, while a fully-loaded Platinum tops out around the $55,000 mark. A look at the Fair Purchase Price page shows the typical transaction price paid for an 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, slightly lower than the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition, and well below the value retained by the Toyota Sequoia.