The Armada is all-new, riding on a now-global SUV platform. It is now a world car, sold overseas as the Nissan Patrol.
An all-new model back in 2004, the old Armada was getting on a bit in years. Nissan kept the big truck fresh with a series of updates throughout its life span, but age was starting to take its toll.
Nissan took the opportunity presented by the need for both a redesigned Patrol for international markets and a new Armada for the U.S. market to integrate the models into a single world design differentiated more by powertrain and feature offerings than by chassis engineering.
As one would expect from its gargantuan exterior dimensions, the Armada has no shortage of interior acreage. Space in generous for first and second-row passengers, although the third-row is best suited for children. Cargo room is 16.5 cubic feet with all three rows in place, 49.9 cubic feet with the third row folded and 95.4 cubic feet with just the first row seats in the upright position.
The new Nissan Armada is actually slightly less roomy than the SUV it replaces, thanks largely to its new, more world-friendly platform. It remains body-on-frame, however, and this ruggedness means a an impressive 8,500-pound towing capacity.
Acceleration is more than adequate thanks to a standard 5.6-liter V8 that pumps out 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft. of torque. The Armada's new seven-speed automatic replaced the old five-speed unit and delivers a much-improved 14/19 mpg with two-wheel-drive (the standard drivetrain) and 13/18 with four-wheel-drive (which is optional on all trim levels).
Trim Level Breakdown
The Aramada is offered in SV, SL and Platinum trim levels.
The SV is the base Armada. Standard features include hill start assist, powertrain modes for towing and inclement weather, 18" aluminum wheels, LED daytime running lights, integrated side-mirror turn signals, cloth interior upholstery, a split-bench and flat-folding second row, a 60/40 split and flat-folding third row, an AM/FM/Satellite/MP3/CD Bose audio system with 13 speakers, a rearview camera, and 4 12V power outlets.
Stepping up to the SL adds leather seating, 20-inch wheels, dimming and heated side mirrors with approach lamps, a power liftgate, driver's seat memory, a power-folding third row, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote keyless entry, and rain-sensing front wipers.
The range-topping Platinum model comes standard with intelligent cruise control, distance control assist, forward emergency braking, predictive forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, backup collision intervention, a family DVD entertainment center, heated and cooled front seats, a power moonroof, a heated steering wheel, and unique 20" wheels.
Three packages are available for the Armada. The Driver package (for SV models) adds fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, a power-folding third row, a pre-wired trailer harness and a trailer brake control connector.
Two packages are available for SL models. The Moonroof package adds exactly that. The Technology package adds intelligent cruise control, distance control assist, forward emergency braking, predictive forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring and backup collision intervention.
A Captain's Chairs package for the Platinum adds second-row captain's seating and a padded center armrest.
All Armada models come standard with dual front and side airbags in addition to three-row side curtain airbags and traction and stability control systems.
Advanced safety features (intelligent cruise control, distance control assist, forward emergency braking, predictive forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring and backup collision intervention) are available with the Technology package on SL models and standard on Platinum.
Nissan's very full-size Armada takes on the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon, Toyota Sequoia, and even the Buick Enclave. Those considering a loaded Armada should also consider the Infiniti QX56 from Nissan's luxury brand.