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Best Used Nissan Full-Size SUV - Armada

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
March 30, 2009
2010 nissan armada

2010 nissan armada

On occasion, an automaker will come out of nowhere with a new product that is so different from anything they have offered in the past that it seems radically incongruent with the company's carefully crafted image. This is often the case when a company known almost exclusively for building cars releases a full-size sport-utility vehicle. When Porsche came out with the Cayenne in 2002, the automotive media held their collective breath that the vehicle wouldn't anger sports car purists to the degree that they abandoned the brand. While at first appearing to be a poor decision for a company so well known for its racing heritage, the Cayenne went on to become a strong seller for the German automaker.

Nissan was in a similar position when it released the Armada SUV in 2004. While the company's reputation regarding SUV's was hardly comparable to Porsche's, given Nissan's long history with the Pathfinder, never before had the automaker released a vehicle so large and so brutally styled. While it may seem as though the Armada was completely unrelated to any other product in the Nissan pipeline, it had its genesis in the same platform that was used to underpin the Nissan Titan pickup truck which debuted that same year. Nissan's creative platform sharing allowed them to get maximum mileage out of their new full-frame chassis and powerful V-8, and the Armada burst on the scene as a new, wild-eyed competitor to traditional offerings in the segment from Ford and General Motors.

While the idea of borrowing a truck platform to underpin an SUV was old hat for domestic car companies, the simultaneous launch of the Armada and the Titan upset the balance of the full-size market. Suddenly, vehicles like the Expedition and the Tahoe began to look a little bit old fashioned compared to the high-technology drivetrain and elegantly styled interior of the Armada. Nissan enjoyed their significant jump on the competition and played up their advantage to the fullest in the first few years that followed their product launch. The sport-utility vehicle was designed exclusively for the North American market and was never sold in Japan.

The Armada represents the best used full-size SUV built by Nissan, and its wide range of capabilities and extravagant styling make it a hit among secondhand buyers. This article details the specifications and characteristics of this enormous SUV from Nissan.

The 2004 - 2007 Nissan Armada is big - very big. Based on the same platform as the full-size Titan pickup truck, the Armada lives up to its name and then some, with a tall greenhouse and wide track that stacks up toe to toe with some of the largest domestic SUV's on the market. With seating for 8, the Armada is designed to be a plus-size people move for those who wish their pickup truck could haul the whole family.

Helping to move this mountain of an SUV is a 305 horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8. With 385 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Armada can tow up to 9,100 lbs, catapulting it to the head of the class and making it a viable competitor to the standard Ford Expedition / Chevrolet Suburban towing platforms. A 5-speed automatic transmission provides smooth shifts that won't ruffle the feathers of any passengers and four-wheel drive can be installed in order to help the Armada better deal with inclement or slippery weather conditions such as snow, ice or rain. The price of all of this power is measured by the vehicle's fuel economy: 12 miles per gallon in city driving and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. Two-wheel drive editions of the truck see slightly better numbers.

Nissan has taken off the gloves when it comes to equipping the Armada with luxury gear, and even base models of the SUV come very well appointed. Power door locks and windows, a sunroof, heated leather seats and a DVD entertainment system can all be found inside the Armada, along with a power rear lift gate and a navigation system. With the rear seats out of the picture the Nissan Armada can haul just under 100 cubic feet of cargo.

The 2004 - 2007 Nissan Armada is a comfortable, aggressive-looking and powerful used full-size SUV which reigns from near the top of the size chart in a field filled with large competitors.


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