The 2011 Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV with seating for seven, a plethora of cargo space, and a towing capacity of up to 9,000 pounds for the top-of-the-line model. For 2011, the Armada sails on unchanged, except for name changes on two trim levels.
A healthy V8 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission equip the Armada for serious work. Yet its comfortable ride and accurate response lends the nautically named SUV a degree of refinement. This is a genuine 4WD vehicle in the vein of the Land Cruiser and Jeep Grand Cherokee, not merely an all-wheel-drive system for inclement weather. Yet you can drive it in urban settings without feeling like you're navigating the Queen Mary down the Los Angeles river.
We found the Nissan Armada drives well, cruises nicely, with a comfortable ride, responsive handling for a full-size truck and strong acceleration performance from its 5.6-liter V8 engine.
The Armada is quite large. It's an inch longer than the Ford Expedition, two inches longer than the Toyota Sequoia. Armada has a slightly longer wheelbase than that of the Sequoia, and significantly longer than that of the Expedition. A longer wheelbase can increase stability, especially when towing. The Armada is longer overall and in wheelbase than the Chevy Tahoe, shorter than the Suburban. They're all about the same width.
Cargo capacity of the Armada is slightly less than that of the competition, but the second- and third-row seats fold perfectly flat, a great feature. The interior is nice, the seats are comfortable, and everything is easy to operate.
The Nissan Armada is a handsome vehicle, better looking than the Infiniti QX56. Also, it's clearly intended for hauling. The rear bumper is flat and protected with cladding on top. Stylish, aerodynamic rear bumpers such as what's found on the Infiniti can quickly get scratched up when loading heavy cargo or dogs. For towing and for driving off pavement, we recommend the 18-inch wheels over the fancy 20-inch wheels.
These days, the average consumer is understandably shying away from ginormous spot utilities in search of alternatives that are smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient. That said, the 2011 Nissan Armada is a solid choice if you need lots of space, a high towing capacity and large third-row seats. With its quiet strength and 4WD, the Armada can take you places you never expected to go.