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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
Brisk acceleration around town and prodigious passing power
Gas mileage is a tough one to swallow
The Auto Channel
Doesn't show much float or wallow on dips and swells
The 2008 Nissan Armada offers impressive power and exceptional towing capacity. However, the trade-offs for that performance are iffy handling and an incredibly thirsty engine that requires frequent fuel stops.
Engine options are nonexistent on the 2008 Nissan Armada, as Edmunds notes the sole offering is “a 5.6-liter V8 that pumps out 317 hp and 385 pound-feet of torque." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com rave about what ForbesAutos describes as the "generous low-end torque" that Nissan's 2008 version of the Armada's V-8 provides. ConsumerGuide testers also find that the "Armada delivers fairly strong takeoffs," and Motor Trend testers manage to go from "0 to 60 in a mere 6.8 seconds." In addition to incredible acceleration, the Nissan Armada's V-8 gives it a towing capacity that The Auto Channel says "beats out competition by more than 2,000 lbs."
Aside from just one available engine, the Nissan Armada also offers just one transmission option; fortunately, reviews rate this highly as well. ConsumerGuide praises the "alert, smooth-shifting automatic transmission" that features five forward gears. ForbesAutos adds that one of the appealing features of the "Armada's automatic transmission" is that it "includes a mode that adjusts shift patterns during towing or hauling" for an optimum mix of power and fuel economy. Cars.com reviewers also point out that the Nissan 2008 Armada "is available with either two-wheel (rear) or four-wheel drive" on any trim.
When it comes time to fill up your Nissan Armada, you will probably be disappointed to learn that, even for a full-size SUV, the Nissan Armada offers poor fuel economy numbers. Car and Driver lists frequent "trips to the fuel pump" as one of the Nissan Armada's low points, thanks to an EPA-estimated 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway on two-wheel-drive models, which drops ever so slightly to 12/17 mpg on the four-wheel-drive versions.
In general, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com claim that the Nissan 2008 Armada drives and handles like a smaller vehicle. Motor Trend observes that the Nissan Armada offers "great grip and no drama when cornering," though Edmunds reviewers feel that "the massive girth of this truck is obvious when cornering." ConsumerGuide calls the Armada's handling "clumsy in close quarters," and says the steering "has a firm feel, but Armada reacts slowly to inputs." When it comes to ride quality, Kelley Blue Book finds that "so long as the road remains fairly smooth the Armada maintains a very livable ride." On coarser surfaces, ConsumerGuide warns "jiggle is noticeable over patchy pavement and expansion joints." The 2008 Nissan Armada also boasts confidence-inspiring brakes, which Motor Trend praises as "superior to the other SUVs" in its class.
The 2008 Nissan Armada will tow virtually anything and move quickly from a stop, but you'll find yourself stopped at a gas pump frequently.