Nissan Armada

The Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV that was first introduced in 2004 and is still in production today. Although Armada sales figures were relatively lower than its competitors, Nissan continued to manufacture the vehicle for U.S. markets. It is considered a reliable and high-performing vehicle that is often used in a work setting.

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About the Nissan Armada

When the Armada was first introduced, it was known as the Nissan Pathfinder Armada, but the Pathfinder moniker was dropped after 2005. The chassis of the Armada was loosely based on the Nissan Patrol, and its original purpose was to offer an alternative to the Nissan Frontier pickup truck. An upscale model was released called the Infiniti QX56, but it was discontinued in 2010.

The Nissan Armada, initially designed in Japan, was created specifically for the North American market as a utility vehicle with high-level interior comfort. Some Armadas were built E85 ready, which meant that it was the first and only Japanese vehicle sold in the U.S. to use ethanol-based fuel. This unique feature lasted until 2009, when Toyota released an ethanol-compatible engine.

The disguised rear door handles installed on the Armada‘s C-pillar received mixed reviews. Whether consumers hated or loved the concept, the original idea for this was to give the Nissan Armada a sportier look. With the later models, evidence of the Armada moving towards a more luxurious approach was obvious when the SE and off-road models dropped from the production lineup in 2011. There were no signs that the market noticed the drop of these two main models, particularly with regard to the off-road version. There was an apparent lack of attention towards the Armada as being an all-purpose vehicle.

For the first four years of the Armada’s life, it was only available with a five-speed automatic transmission. Combined with a small selection of rigid optional extras, this contributed to its slow sales, compared to other SUVs in the American market. The largest blow came when unfavorable consumer reports and reviews tarnished the image of the SUV. Despite this, however, sales did not decrease any further during the subsequent years, and a steady rate was maintained. Due to the Armada’s resilience, Nissan continued to manufacture the vehicle and hold on to its share of the market.

Nissan Armada Features

The 2012 Nissan Armada is delivered with three trim options: the SV, SL, and Platinum. All three models use the VK56DE, a 5.6-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8 engine, better known as the ""Endurance."" The engine’s maximum power output was rated at 317 hp. A mid-range torque of 385 lb-ft at 3400 rpm helps the Armada carry heavy loads with relative ease. In addition, the dual overhead cams use Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control (CVTCS). This feature results in increased fuel efficiency, a benefit that should be popular amongst those who are seeking a utility vehicle that does not guzzle gas.

All trims feature the all-mode four-wheel drive (4WD) with a two-speed transfer case, as well as the choice between a two- or four-wheel active brake limited slip differential. In addition, brake assist technology and a four-wheel anti-lock brake system is standard on all trim levels. When in 4WD mode, equipped Armadas make use of a G-sensor. The SV come stock with 18-inch six-spoke aluminum wheels, while the SL and Platinum are fitted with the more attractive 20-inch alloy and chrome-clad alloy wheels. Furthermore, while many large cars started to participate in the trend of skinny spare wheels, the Armada still uses a full-size spare tire.

There are many exterior options offered for the Nissan Armada. These include roof racks, an auto dimming rear view mirror, a front sonar system, a stylized grille, and dual front tow hooks. Some of the standard features on the Armada are Auto on/off headlights, running boards, a flip-up lift gate window, and a rear black privacy glass.

Inside, the Nissan Armada received plenty of cargo space and a variety of seating arrangements. Storage sections include a lockable glove box, center console and padded ones on the Platinum package, four-bottle holders, a full-length overhead console with storage bins, an under-floor storage area, and ten cup holders. Furthermore, Nissan offers many convenience features with the Armada, such as the intelligent keyless entry and ignition system, a large seven-inch color monitor, dual-zone automatic temperature control, and a Homelink universal transceiver. Many of these features are only available on the Platinum sub model.

The extensive list of options offered for the latest version of the Armada is an obvious attempt to repair the damage that it received to its image during its first four years of production. According to preliminary reviews and tests, the new Nissan Armada looks and feels like an entirely new SUV.

Nissan Armada Evolution

An optional rear view camera was available on all Armada variants. The third-row folding bench seat was converted from its original one-piece into a 60/40 design for greater convenience and storage.

The engine became more powerful in 2007, upgrading to a maximum output of 317 hp. This was a significant upgrade from the original 305 hp engine. In 2008, the Armada received a fresh new seating arrangement and a few new exterior accents like door handles and taillights. Inside the cabin, a Bose audio system with a 9.3 GB hard drive was installed for storing digital files.

Not many significant changes were made in this generation of Armada aside from a switch in sub-model hierarchy. The Platinum version replaced the LE as the high-end variant and the new Titanium sub model became the mid-level option, below Platinum and above SE.

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