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The Nissan Armada is plenty big, but something’s lacking
There's a lot to like, although far from perfect
 
Published Saturday, August 10, 2019 9:35 pm
by Winfred Cross | For The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | NISSAN
The 2019 Nissan Armada has a lot to like, but in the competitive SUV field, has a few things that don't seem right.

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Nissan’s Armada is a big, bold vehicle that can carry eight passengers in surprising comfort while delivery good handling and handsome looks.


So why do I feel I shouldn’t like the Armada? There’s a lot to like, but in the competitive SUV field, the Armada has a few things that don’t seem right.


Let’s talk about the good stuff first. The Armada is large enough to carry eight, unless you opt for Captain’s chairs, which will limit you to seven. All passengers will be comfortable, but those in the first two rows get the best accommodations. Front seat folks have a panoramic view of the highway and loads of head and legroom. The same can be said for the second row passengers, who also have access to cup holders and USB ports. The third row can hold adults but they need to be smaller and able to contort a bit to get in and out. Still, it’s OK.


The big vehicle is handsome. It borrows a bit of its stance from the Infiniti QX80 (and a few of its luxury Ques). The big, wide grille is something to behold.
The Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 that churns out 390 horsepower with 394 pounds-feet of torque. This makes the Armada really quick for its size – 6.4 seconds to 60 miles per hour. Heck, that’s fairly quick for any size.  The seven-speed transmission does its job in the background. You couldn’t ask for better. Sadly, the fuel economy is dreadful. It’s 14 miles per gallon overall for two-wheel drive and 13 mpg for the all-wheel drive. Yikes.


The Armada goes fast without a lot of drama. The steering feels a little off at times but there is feedback from the road. The handling is good. There is some body roll and lean in corners but nothing that can’t be handled.


The ride comfort is better than expected. If this is based on the Titan pickup, team Armada has one-upped its donor. It takes a lot to upset this vehicle’s road manners and that’s a great thing. It’s not quite as good as its Infiniti cousin, but the Armada does not miss by much.


The Armada’s interior also borrows from the QX80. The design is polished, but here is where some of the real problems arise. A few pieces of tech have been added such as forward collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control as standard. Great. However, some of the tech dates back to 2011. It’s helpful, but updates seem to have been missed when this car was freshened in 2017.


The Armada’s biggest problem is going to be the competition it faces from the rest of the field. Hyundai and Kia have introduced some sparkling big vehicles that are going to make lots of noise. Ford has a new Expedition and Explorer and old favorites from Chevy and GMC are still looking good.


Still, the Armada has to be considered. The smooth V8, delightful ride quality and ability to tow 8,500 pounds are hard to overlook.


My test vehicle was a Platinum Reserve, which comes with tons of safety equipment, including automatic emergency braking, intelligent rear view mirror, blind spot warning and remote engine start. Heated front seats, navigation, power folding rear seats, all-mode four wheel drive, Bose stereo system with CD and satellite radio, 20-inch dark chrome wheels, dark chrome exterior trim and two-toned leather interior trim round out the package.


With destination, my test vehicle’s price was more than $67,000. That’s a lot but you get a lot. The Armada certainly needs to be given consideration.


Email Winfred Cross at: cross@alldaytech.com.

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