By KBB.com Editors
Full-size SUVs have taken a beating as of late. First, there was the gas crisis of 2008, followed by the economic crisis of 2009, a one-two punch that had many predicting the demise of the gargantuan family haulers. But, like most things prone to exaggeration, the worst never came. Why? Because, for those families who need room for eight passengers and/or the ability to tow a 9,000 pound trailer, there is no substitute for a vehicle like the 2011 Nissan Armada. Sure, the $100 fill ups won't go easy on the wallet, nor will the $40,000 asking price, but if you can't live without the above listed features, there are only a handful of similar vehicles that can accomplish what the Armada can.
Your kids will love the Armada's numerous high-tech toys, such as the rear seat entertainment system with remote headphones. You'll love the on-board navigation with XM NavTraffic to guide you past traffic jams. And, everyone will love the ample power afforded by the standard V8 engine.
The aptly named Armada is as big as tank, and sometimes drives like one, too. Don't look for an easy go of it in tight parking lots or narrow garage openings. Oddly, heated front seats are only available on the most expensive trim.
For 2011, two of the three Armada trims are renamed. The Armada SV replaces the previous SE, and the Armada SL replaces the Titanium trim.
The 2011 Nissan Armada's size might have you thinking it should handle like an unruly pickup truck, but in reality it feels more like a midsize
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.
The 2011 Nissan Armada offers a number of interior configurations designed to fit the multiple needs of a growing family. The second row can be fitted with a bench seat, or two captain's chairs divided by a removable center console. With the console in place, second-row passengers have a place to store water bottles and video games; take it out, and passengers have an unobstructed passage to the third-row seat. The rear-most bench seat is slightly elevated (a term known as "theatre seating") allowing its occupants to see over the heads of those up front. When not hauling passengers, the Armada's seats can be folded creating a level floor perfect for carrying long or bulky items. Those concerned about safety can take solace in the Armada's many safety features, including side curtain airbags covering all three rows.
In the world of conservatively styled SUVs, the 2011 Nissan Armada's expressive design stands out as one of its strongest attributes. From its arched door frames, to its raised roof, to its huge side fender flares, the Armada is not easily mistaken for anything but and Armada. Some of the styling places form over function, however, such as the high positioned rear door handles that can prove a difficult reach for smaller children. A generous expanse of glass combined with narrow roof pillars provides good 360 degree visibility, and Nissan's huge side mirrors reveal all objects near the Armada's sides. On Platinum trims, the side mirrors include a power folding and auto-dimming feature.
The 2011 Nissan Armada SV 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 SL 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.
Options for the 2011 Nissan Armada vary by trim. The SV 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 SV is the Tow Package and a number of dealer-installed options. The SL 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.
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 @ 5,200 rpm
385 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 (gasoline, 2WD), 12/18 (gasoline, 4WD), 9/13 (E85, 2WD), 9/13 (E85, 4WD)
By Eric on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "roomy as heck"
Cons: "no rear camera, but has parking sensors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Bought this Armada used with 74K miles fully loaded and I have never been happier with an SUV. We call it the "Sexy Beast" Gas has been about 15 mpg on the street and about the 19 mpg on the hwy. Take it easy on the throttle, low RPM's and it'll save you a lot. My old '03 Silverado 2500 HD was real bad, cuz it stayed in higher RPM's. I am glad it offers a 5 speed not a 4.. huge difference.. Look forward to using it everywhere, dirt, snow and wherever the road takes me.. :)"
15 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By LK on Thursday, July 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The room and comfort is fantastic. We haul a 30 ft travel trailer with no problem, great convenience. The lines and perks on the Platinum series are great as well. Only cons are gas mileage, which is to be expected, and it does "slide" and rides hard on rough roads, or interstates at times. Less frequently than more frequently."
11 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Starven on Monday, July 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very comfortable, very good design"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is a pretty okay SUV. The thing about this SUV that really gets me upset is the MPG. It is horrible and I have the flex fuel model. That is the only thing that saves me with this vehicle. If I had to put regular gas in this SUV I would not have it right now. That is the only problem I have with it. Other than that the road trips are great in it, because of comfort for myself and my passengers."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By CHRIS on Thursday, July 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,700overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"very nice SUV for sale. One year left on service plan. Leather, power, clean. Sound vehicle, inside and out."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Tony on Monday, July 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Powerful, loud, and fun to floor it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Feels like a tank. A lot of space in cabin but tiny trunk. Uncomfortable though, feels like your sitting in a rock"
14 people out of 25 found this review helpful
By RJ on Sunday, June 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of room for family. Dependable"
Cons: "Nothing we didn't like."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Best vehicle ever. Very dependable! Never in shop in 10 years. Only routine maintenance. Fuel mileage could be better. 16-17 highway. 12-13 town."
20 people out of 34 found this review helpful