2010 Armada New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV, with seven-passenger seating, acres of cargo space, and a serious towing capacity. Armada is rated to tow a 9,000-pound trailer. There are no major changes for 2010.
New for 2010 are the Titanium and Platinum models, which slot roughly below and above (respectively) the now-discontinued LE. Both offer higher levels of standard and optional equipment than the base SE, and are distinguished by a fair amount of bright exterior trim plus leather upholstery with contrasting stitching.
Armada has a healthy V8 engine and five-speed automatic designed for serious work, yet tamed to smoothness and background hum; and independent suspension all around capable of delivering a good ride, accurate response, and durability off the highway. This is genuine 4WD in the vein of the Land Cruiser and Grand Cherokee, not merely an all-wheel-drive system for inclement weather. Yet you can drive it in urban settings without feeling you're piloting the QE2 down the Potomac.
Armada is a good vehicle if you need it. If you don't tow much or need the larger third-row seats, there are alternatives. With a set of four winter tires and 4WD, an Armada can go places that you never expected. Drive it and you'll discover a level of quiet strength and refinement you haven't before experienced in a Nissan truck.
The 2010 Nissan Armada is offered in two- and four-wheel-drive, and with standard SE, mid-level Titanium, or upscale Platinum trim. All are available with flex-fuel capability in selected markets.
Armada SE 2WD ($37,210) comes with cloth upholstery, dual-zone climate control, heated outside mirrors, eight-speaker stereo with 6CD player and MP3/WMA capability, eight-way power driver's seat, four-way manual passenger seat, power adjustable pedals, split bench reclining second-row seat, 60/40 split folding third row seat, and 18-inch alloy wheels with a painted finish.
Armada SE 4WD ($42,810) is somewhat better equipped, with fog lights, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, RearView Monitor, a power-folding third row, and a tow package that includes a self-leveling for the rear suspension. The SE Driver's Package ($2,500) adds these features to the 2WD model; all but the tow package, that is, which can be added separately ($300).
Armada Titanium 2WD ($42,140) and 4WD ($44,940) also add all of the Driver's Preferred features and the tow package, plus leather seats, power passenger seat, Intelligent Key, and 20-inch machine-finish wheels. Options for Titanium include DVD entertainment ($1,600), a power glass sunroof ($1,000), and an in-cabin microfilter ($50).
Platinum ($49,390) and Platinum 4WD ($52,190) upgrade further with all of the standard and optional equipment listed above, plus heated front seats and steering wheel, memory for driver's seat and pedals, power rear liftgate, navigation with XM NavTraffic real-time traffic information, 9.3GB Music Box hard drive, XM Satellite Radio, power folding mirrors with turn signal repeaters and puddle lamps, front sonar, and 20-inch chrome wheels. Second-row captain's chairs ($450) are the only factory option.
Items such as splash guards ($150), floor mats ($220), and a cargo organizer ($240) can be installed by the dealer.
Safety features that come standard on all Armadas now include front-seat side-impact airbags, as well as three-row curtain airbags, the mandated frontal airbags, and active front head restraints. Active safety features include electronic stability control, ABS, EBD, and Brake Assist. Optional safety features include a front proximity sensor, and the RearView monitor.