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2009 Nissan Armada

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2009 Nissan Armada Review

Good all-around full-size SUV

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2009 Nissan Armada provides a great choice for anyone looking for a full-size sport utility vehicle. It's named after the Spanish Armada, which the King of Spain sent to invade England to bring about the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; however, that particular Armada didn't go over so well. Nissan's Armada is far more formidable, as its roots come from the Titan pickup.

It only comes with a choice of one engine, but this is an enormous 5.6-liter V-8, capable of producing 317 hp. This gives the Armada the capacity to tow up to 9,100 pounds, making it a heavy-duty vehicle. In spite of this, it still has decent acceleration and can easily pass other cars on the highway, but the large sport utility does require a lot of fuel.

The Range

Body styles: full-size sport utility vehicle
Engines: 5.7 liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Nissan Armada SE, Nissan Armada LE

What's New

In 2009, the Nissan Armada only received minor updates, including Bluetooth and heated front seats, and standard auto-dimming/power folding outside mirrors on the LE trim level.


The Armada is not the prettiest car on the road or the most stylish, but its appearance does inspire confidence in its abilities to get the job done, and it doesn’t look as brutish as some of its rivals. The basic SE model comes equipped with 18-inch wheels and side step rails. The more luxurious LE model comes with 20-inch wheels, a power tailgate, and fog lamps.


The Nissan Armada’s huge seating capacity offers a great benefit to owners, as all models seat up to eight passengers. Rear seats easily fold flat, although the second row bench seats can be replaced by captain's chairs and a center console. The seats easily arrange to get the maximum amount of storage and cargo space. However, even with all of the seats folded flat, the maximum cargo capacity still falls short of its nearest competitors by about 10 cubic feet, totaling 97 cubic feet.

The 2009 Nissan Armada has a nice interior, especially as a result of its redesign the year before. This brings about a brand new dash and door panels incorporating soft touch materials. The SE model comes with a standard eight-speaker stereo and ancillary audio jack. It also has dual-zone climate control and rear climate controls. The eight-way power driver’s seat and rear parking assist come standard.

The LE features a rear-view camera and front parking sensors, as well as auto-dimming mirrors and power folding side mirrors. It has a four-way power passenger seat, as well as a power driver’s seat with memory functions. Extra luxury touches include an upgraded 12-speaker stereo with satellite radio, leather upholstery in the first and second rows, and heated front seats. Most of the LE’s luxurious touches also come with the SE.

In addition, Nissan offers more optional extras, which include a 9GB server for digital music storage, a power folding third row seat, chrome wheels, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and a heated steering wheel. In short, the Nissan Armada offers more luxury than its competitors and has even been compared to Nissan's luxury brand, Infiniti.

Performance & Handling

This particular model can be purchased with four-wheel drive or rear drive. The powerful V-8 engine provides plenty of acceleration, but its weight becomes pretty obvious when slowing to a standstill. Generally, it offers a very smooth and comfortable ride, but you do tend to feel bumps in the road much more than in similar models.

The heavy steering might be nice on the road, but it makes parking this huge vehicle difficult in tight spots. The sheer size of this car makes it a bit awkward to drive around small streets, but the models with the rear-view camera and parking sensors help with this.


The Armada has anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) and brake assist, as well as front seat active head restraints and stability control. It also includes full-length side curtain airbags. The LE model has front seat side airbags standard, but these come as options on the SE. This Nissan Armada scores very well on frontal impact highway safety tests, achieving a perfect score for driver protection and a very reasonable four stars for its passenger protection.

EPA Fuel Economy

Nissan Armada SE: 12/17 mpg city/ highway
Nissan Armada LE: 12/17 mpg city/ highway

You'll Like

  • Its spacious interior
  • Fold flat third row seats
  • Towing ability

You Won't Like

  • Fuel economy
  • Feels more like a truck than some of its competitors

Sum Up

Good all-around full-size SUV

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Ford Expedition
  • Toyota Sequoia

See the New 2014 Armada.

Front & Driver Side View