Although the 2013 Nissan Armada SUV offers a distinct presence on the road, it is the performance it offers that really draws buyers in. If you have a heavy boat to tow, and you want to do it in style, this is your vehicle. Armada is motivated by a reliable and hardworking 5.6-liter V8 that boasts 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. Although acceleration speeds are nothing to get excited about, the vehicle is capable of safely towing 9,100 pounds, and this is what it is mostly well-known for. Don’t expect any favors at the gas pump though; Armada returns only 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. This could have something to do with the fact that Nissan uses an outdated five-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive is available. Although the vehicle commands the road, the fact remains that it is large and you will feel it the first time you try to park. A significant turning circle of 40.8 feet makes it a challenge to maneuver in tight spaces. Ride quality is good, as it delivers a smooth and comfortable ride, but its heavy-weighted steering is slow to respond.
• Nissan Intelligent Key - Unlock your doors and start the engine without digging for your keys. As long as this smart key is on you, then the vehicle recognizes you.
• Rear Seat Entertainment - Rear seat passengers can watch movies and play video games with the rear seat entertainment system. It includes two 7-inch monitors that are placed in the back of the front seats’ head rests, as well as wireless headsets.
• Audio - An 11-speaker Bose® audio system is available which includes rear audio controls, satellite radio, in-dash six-disc CD changer and USB auxiliary jack.
• Rear View Monitor - When you put the vehicle in reverse, the rearview monitor shows you a view of what is behind you. It will even beep if it senses an object within 6 feet.
Crash tests have not been done on the Nissan Armada, nor were they done last year. This is no surprise considering the high sticker price. Armada does get the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System that incorporates sensors in the seatbelts to integrate with the airbags, thereby providing the highest level of protection. Also appreciate the following safety features:
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Remote anti-theft alarm
• Traction control
• Child seat anchors
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Seatbelt pretensioners
• Rear door safety locks
• Engine immobilizer
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Driving lights
• Turn signal mirrors
With its beefy body and athletic stance, Armada looks like it is ready to work. Yet, despite its rugged exterior, it manages to still remain classy. It has a body-on-frame construction, which is why it is able to tow so much weight. Roof rails come in handy to secure surfboards or a kayak, and the 20-inch wheels and dark chrome grille in the Platinum Reserve package give it a significantly richer appearance.
The cabin in Armada is nice, but it won’t necessarily blow you away. It does offer seating for eight, but the third row is a little cramped. Surprisingly, its Pathfinder relative accommodates adult passengers more comfortably in the back seat. Still, front row seats are supportive and second row is roomy. You can replace the second row bench with captain’s chairs in the Platinum model, bringing seating down to seven passengers. The layout is fairly straight forward, and controls and gauges are intuitive and well-placed. However models with a navigation system do have an abundance of buttons to sift through.
Cargo space is more than generous in the Armada. With all seats in place, there are 20 cubic feet. Fold the back two rows down and enjoy 97.1 cubes.