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The Nissan Armada is Nissan's largest SUV. It is a full-size four-door model with a front-engine rear-wheel or four-wheel drive layout. It seats up to eight people in three rows. Originally it was a part of Nissan's Pathfinder SUV lineup, marketed as the larger more luxurious upgrade, until 2004 when the Armada was made its own model line. It has been in production from 2004 to the present for those same model years and has undergone limited redesigns, still in its first generation. All models get a 5.6-liter V-8 with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Form 2004 to the 2007 models remained virtually the same in terms of power, exterior, and even options. In 2008 the Armada underwent a modest exterior redesign, gaining about one inch in length and loosing an inch in width. Modifications were made to the front and the rear. 2011 saw the most significant changes, dropping the SE and the Off-Road and re-labeling the base model an SV and adding the upper trim levels SL and Platinum. These came with technology advances as well a price hike. These models had an MSRP ranging from just under 38k up to $52,890.
The 2013 models also received moderate changes adding standard technologies like Bluetooth connectivity and satellite radio. A new navigation system has been made available and the hard disk drive now has a maximum storing capacity of 40GB. The single-screen rear DVD entertainment system has been replaced by two screens mounted on the rear of the front seats. There were no changes to the power train or the transmission and the exterior remains virtually identical to model from 2011 forward.
The Nissan Armada is a large and powerful SUV seating eight people with a massive towing capacity in later models of 9000 pounds. It is the bulkiest vehicle in Nissan's lineup, larger than the Pathfinder and competing with models like the Dodge Durango, Buick Enclave, and the Chevrolet Tahoe. Though the largest of the Nissan line, it is smaller than models like the Suburban. It is best known for its upper level luxury features, its power, and its roomy interior. It also enjoys Nissan's reputation for dependability and fuel economy compared to other models within its classification. In terms of exterior appearance it has received lukewarm reviews from many critics, with a generic large SUV profile and little to separate it from a large pack of SUVs in this size category outside of Nissan's grille area with the Nissan logo. Though the Nissan brand is known for fuel economy across most of its lineup the Armada performs poorly in this area compared to competitors, getting between 12/18 and 13/19 mpg city/highway. Other areas of criticism include its bulky dimensions which can be difficult to maneuver in urban traffic. Praise for the Armada is centered on its towing capacity of up to 9,000 pounds and its list of optional luxury features.
The 2013 Nissan Armada has a 317-hp 5.6-liter V-8 engine and drivers can choose between a regular gasoline and a flex fuel compatible version. It is fitted with a five- speed automatic transmission. An auto-leveling rear suspension is optional and all models have speed-sensitive power steering. This is the only power train option, but there are three trim levels each with either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The SV 4x2 starts at $41,290, the SV 4x4 starts at $46,790, the SL 4x2 starts at $46,58, the SL 4x4 starts at $45,035, the Platinum 4x2 starts at $49,017, and the Platinum 4x4 starts at $51,653.
Safety features on the 2013 Nissan Armada include front and side-impact airbags in the front and side curtain airbags for all three rows, standard antilock brakes with brake assist, standard electronic stability and traction control, standard rear parking sensors, and an optional backup camera.
Inside the Armada is roomy seating for eight people in three rows. The rear row folds down for additional storage. Cloth seating is standard and leather is optional and trims include metal and faux wood. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control with controls for the rear positions, an eight-way power front driver seat, and a quality sound system compatible with modern mediums. Optional features include navigation with traffic information, heated front seats and steering wheel, an upgraded Bose sound system, and dual-screen rear entertainment system.
Outside the Armada has a typical large SUV profile with Nissan's uniquely designed grille area. It has 18-inch wheels standard with 20-inch wheels available. Running boards and power side mirrors are standard. Options include moonroof, heated side mirrors, fog lamps, and a power liftgate.
Since its release in 2004 the Armada has remained virtually the same with small exterior changes in 2008, 2010, and 20013. Technologies have been added to keep up with the market including backup camera available, upgrades to navigation, increased music storage, and USB ports compatible with MP3 players. Models have increased music storage capacity as well. The optional rear entertainment system has switched from a single screen to dual screens mounted on the rear of the front seats.