THE 2012 NISSAN ARMADA REVIEW
Summary Review by Tess: A Change Would Do It Good
Available in three trim levels, the 2012 Nissan Armada SUV returns with only a few upgrades and enhancements for the new model year. This veteran of the American road is in sore need of an update. Competitors in the full-size SUV marketplace currently offer more advanced features and improved fuel economy over this large-scale people mover. The Armada does offer superior towing power by pulling over four tons when properly equipped, but this added versatility is unlikely to bolster the Armada’s appeal with budget-conscious drivers or those interested in the latest technological equipment.
Under the hood
The 2012 Nissan Armada SUV derives its power from a 5.6-liter double overhead cam V8 engine that can pump out 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels, but the optional four-wheel drive is recommended for buyers who want to take the Armada off road or need heavy-duty towing capability. Towing capacity weighs in at 9,100 pounds when outfitted with the optional SV tow package. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission. Fuel economy is poor at 13 miles to the gallon in the city and 19 on the highway. (See annual fuel costs for the Armada). An engine immobilizing system is available to protect against theft; other safety features include rear parking sensors, stability and traction controls, and antilock brakes.
Inside the cabin
With room for up to eight passengers, the Nissan Armada is designed to provide large-scale transportation for bigger families or groups. Standard features for the base SV trim level include dual-zone climate control systems with independent rear controllers, a six-CD stereo system, power accessories, and auxiliary input for added entertainment choices. Options include a DVD rear-seat entertainment system, a navigation system, keyless startup, and leather seating.
(See 80+ images for the 2012 Nissan Armada).
On the road
Because the Nissan Armada shares a chassis design with the full-size Titan pickup, it also shares many of the same driving characteristics. The Armada is a heavy vehicle that requires extra time in stopping and accelerating. This may make it a less attractive choice for family transportation needs.
Poor fuel economy and dated styling will limit the appeal of the 2012 Nissan Armada SUV. However, buyers who need the versatility of heavy-duty towing in an eight-passenger vehicle may want to give this full-size SUV a second look before making a buying decision.
Engine: 5.6-liter DOHC V8
Horsepower & Torque: 317 hp/385 lb-ft
Transmission: RWD or 4WD five-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 13/19
Towing Capacity: 9,100 lbs
Base MSRP: $39,870
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