2010 Nissan Armada: As Big And Powerful As The Spanish Fleet

March 31, 2010

If you're looking for big, look no farther than the 2010 Nissan Armada SUV. The Armada is based on Nissans full-size pickup the Titan and even though the Armada is not an American vehicle, it could be called one as it was designed in California and built at Nissan’s $1.4 billion factory in Canton, Mississippi.

I test drove the Titanium 4X4 that’s nearly 207 inches long, which is a foot longer than the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, three inches longer than the Toyota Sequoia and an inch longer than the Ford Expedition. The Nissan Armada is bigger than big and aptly named after the Spanish fleet of ships.

The 4X4 Armada isn’t for those looking for a fuel efficient vehicle--it only gets an EPA-rated 12/18 mpg City/Highway fuel economy--but for those needing to haul a boatload of people or cargo, the Armada will definitely do that in comfort. Its wide body and long wheelbase made for a very comforting ride up Floyd Hill in a recent spring snow storm in Colorado. With the touch of a control on the dash, you can switch on-the-go from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive, making it very convenient when driving conditions change quickly.

The Armada comes equipped with a powerful V-8 that betters its competition at 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. Stand on the gas and Nissan’s 5.6-liter engine delivers immediate throttle response and quick acceleration. Rated to tow up to 9,100 pounds, the Armada boasts the best towing capability in its class. The smooth five-speed automatic transmission adds to the responsiveness of the 32-valve overhead cam V-8 and the substantial torque is available even at low rpms, providing the driver confidence when merging into heavy traffic and pulling heavy loads.

Inside, the Armada easily accommodates seven or eight passengers in a roomy cabin that’s comfortable, convenient and nicely appointed. The eight-way adjustable driver’s seat is very comfortable and gives a captains view of the road. Adjustable pedals and a tilting steering column help insure the proper driving position for drivers of all heights. My wife commented that she liked not having to sit so close to the steering wheel.

The back seats offer a sea of space. The second row seats even recline so passengers can really stretch out. Third row seats are raised, stadium style, for better forward visibility for those sitting back there, and the second-row seats easily flip down and out of the way when getting in and out of the third row. Once seated, we found them reasonably comfortable for third row seats, but they are more suited for children or for short distances. Both rear rows fold flat, giving the Armada enormous cargo carrying capacity. The 4X4 Titanium model I tested is priced at $45,940 and comes very well equipped.

The 2010 Nissan Armada is a well designed full-size SUV. Its powerful V-8 and five-speed automatic work well together to produce responsive performance and smooth cruising down the highway. Its spacious interior provides the room and the creature comforts that should satisfy its owners and the Armada also provides heavy-duty towing capability and off-road surefootedness. I think the Armada ranks at or near the top of its class, particularly for those looking for a real workhorse.

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