By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/7/2011
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 SUV. The Armada's short front and rear overhangs make it possible to maneuver around close corners without guess work, aided by steering that is taut and fairly precise. On smooth pavement, the Armada sails along with little drama, but upon encountering rough seas-uneven pavement or large expansion joints, for example-the Armada's Titan-based roots quickly make themselves known. The Armada's suspension doesn't do a very good job of isolating road imperfections, choosing instead to send the slightest rude jolt or annoying vibration into the passenger cabin. Of course, with 317 horsepower on tap, you can quickly accelerate to find better roads, or at least have a lot of fun making the attempt.
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.