Powerful and rugged full-sized SUV; seats up to eight; plenty of cargo space and towing capacity
The Armada stays mostly the same for 2012, apart from the SL and Platinum models receiving a power liftgate and the Platinum model gets 2nd-row heated seats.
When it comes to brute power, the Armada is king. Its V8 engine can handle three rows of people, at least 6,500 pounds in tow and the gear that goes with it all. The three available trim levels offer a price point for almost everyone, with the Platinum model having all the luxury appointments of its competitors, but at a lower price.
The Nissan Armada is powered by a 5.6L V8 engine that makes 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque via the use of continuous variable valve timing. It comes mated to a 5-speed automatic with tow/haul mode. All three trim levels, SV, SL and Platinum, are available as rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. Despite its size and massive engine, the Armada is surprisingly responsive. It incorporates anti-lock brakes, active brake limited slip, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist. It also has independent double wishbone suspension front and rear, with the rear being auto-leveling.
The Armada comes with standard automatic headlights, heated power outside mirrors and rear sonar for assistance while backing up. The differences between the three Armada styles start with the exterior. The SV sits on 18-inch wheels and a body-color grille, while the SL and Platinum get 20-inch rims and a chrome grille. As for the interior, it comes with dual-zone temperature control, rear air conditioning with rear controls, cruise control, 8-way driver’s seat and speed-sensitive windshield wipers. The SL and Platinum trims add standard keyless ignition, Bluetooth, a 4-way passenger seat, power 60/40 third-row seat, leather seats, a power liftgate and wood trim. Exclusive to the Platinum level is the Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with XM NavTraffic, heated front and second-row seats with memory and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel. Seating eight people means there are rear-seat passengers who need entertainment, so the Armada has a standard 6-CD system with MP3 playback, auxiliary jack and rear audio controls with wireless headphone capability and headphone jacks. The stereo can be upgraded in the SL and Platinum Armadas to a 12-speaker Bose system, while a 9.3GB Music Box hard drive and card reader are standard equipment at the Platinum level.