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#13

in Affordable Large SUVs

MSRP: $38,060 - $53,330
Invoice: $35,328 - $49,483
MPG: 13 City / 19 Hwy
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Nissan Armada Performance

The 2015 Nissan Armada has a V8 engine that most critics agree is powerful and delivers strong acceleration. They think the standard five-speed automatic shifts smoothly, but that it could use more gears to improve fuel economy, which is poor for the class. Auto writers say the 2015 Armada doesn’t have agile handling, and that it can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, but it does deliver a smooth ride on the highway.

  • "The Armada is based on the platform used by Nissan's Titan full-size pickup. While these roots give the SUV its hauling and mudding capabilities, they also make for a clumsier driving experience than most crossovers offer." -- Left Lane News
  • "On normal roads, the Armada feels harsh and truck-like, with considerable body roll in corners. The vehicle's high center of gravity will encourage drivers to reduce their speed dramatically on curves. For these reasons, the Armada is not an ideal people mover." -- AutoTrader

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Nissan Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine that makes 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission comes standard. According to the EPA, the 2015 Armada with rear-wheel drive gets 13/19 mpg city/highway, which is poor for the class.

Most automotive journalists report that the Armada’s V8 is very strong. Some add that the Armada is a little slow off the line, but has abundant highway passing power. A few reviewers think that although the five-speed automatic shifts smoothly, many rivals have transmissions with more gears, which helps them get better fuel economy estimates.

  • "The Nissan Armada is powerful, but it's also big and heavy. It feels lethargic sometimes, especially when weighed down by a full load of passengers and cargo. It also seems to labor under hard, off-the-line acceleration. Once this big SUV gets its momentum going, it moves along swiftly, particularly at highway speeds." -- AutoTrader
  • "Out on the road, the 5.6-liter V8 engine has little problem motivating the nearly 3-ton mass of the Armada, and the 5-speed automatic transmission is smooth in its operation, and kicks down to a lower gear quickly for passing. However, that transmission is short at least one gear compared to its competitors, a fact that's reflected in the fuel-economy numbers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Piloting the 2015 Nissan Armada is about what you'd expect from an old-school SUV. The 5.6-liter V8 engine delivers beefy performance with brisk acceleration and ample passing and merging power." -- Edmunds
  • "Acceleration is more than adequate thanks to a standard 5.6-liter V8 that pumps out 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft. The Armada's five-speed automatic has been surpassed in gears by the transmissions of some rivals, however, and it likely contributes to the SUV's dismal 13/19 mpg with two-wheel-drive (the standard drivetrain) and 12/18 with four-wheel-drive (which is optional)." -- Left Lane News

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Nissan Armada comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive is available. Test drivers say that the Armada doesn’t handle very well due to its big size, and that it’s difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. They report that the steering feel is heavy but acknowledge that the Armada provides a relatively smooth ride on the highway. Auto writers note the Armada is in its element off-road, due to its All-Mode four-wheel drive system, which distributes torque to all the wheels depending on the road conditions. The Armada’s brakes are strong, according to critics, but some write that the pedal feels squishy.

  • "Even though the 2015 Nissan Armada hasn't changed much compared to the 2004 version, this big SUV's independent suspension gives it a surprisingly good ride on the highway. Part of the credit also goes to the long wheelbase - the distance between the front and rear tires - which helps settle the Armada on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Handling is ponderous with the Nissan's supersize dimensions, and its heavily weighted steering makes it a handful in tight spaces." -- Edmunds
  • "Off-road, the Armada is very confident. It can climb and crawl over most terrain in large part because of its very competent all-mode 4-wheel-drive system. This system also helps make the Armada more sure-footed when towing a heavy load such as a boat, a U-Haul trailer or a flatbed." -- AutoTrader
  • "Stopping control is good overall, but our testers are divided on brake-pedal modulation. Some find it spongy, with too much free play, while others cite fine response." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Review Last Updated: 4/22/15

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