If your number one criteria when looking for a new SUV is towing and hauling capacity, then stop looking at all others and go test-drive a Nissan Armada. The 2012 Armada is a brute when it comes to towing. With a 317 horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine and strong acceleration, the Armada can tow trailers up to 9,100 pounds when fully equipped, and that is an impressive amount for an SUV.
However, that’s where the good news stops. New in 2012 is a power liftgate, heated front seats and a heated second-row seat. Other than that, this is the same old Armada we have seen for a few years now, and that’s not a good thing.
Competition is passing Nissan’s flagship SUV by. The Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia all are better choices in practically every category other than towing. You could also look at the latest in large car-crossovers like the GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer and Mazda CX-9 for a much smoother ride than the Armada.
Having said all that, let’s take a look at the Armada. As we said earlier, the Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 good for 317 horsepower with a five-speed automatic as the only available transmission. You do have a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, and the EPA ratings are 13/19, a bit disappointing for a full-sized SUV.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, and a full compliment of airbags. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, side-step rails, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear climate controls, tilt steering wheel and an 11-speaker Bose sound system with satellite radio. The SL also offers front parking sensors, a sunroof, keyless entry, leather up holster and heated front seats.
Listen, there is nothing wrong with the Nissan Armada. Nissan has long been known as a quality automaker with quality craftsmanship, and the Japanese automakers lead the world in technology. However, the Armada’s biggest deterrent is the fact that competition passed it by too quickly. It is not a smooth ride. It sounds and rides like it is, a brute of a towing machine with some cool doodads inside of it. If that sounds great to you then by all means test drive one today.
As for replacement parts, we have one word for you: expensive! Your best bet is your local salvage yard where you will find quality Nissan used parts at huge savings.