Manning the Rails
It was easy to see that Nissan pulled out all the stops when designing the Armada; Its sharply cut lines mix well with its bulbous fender extensions and sloping side lines. Our testers were split on the design cues: To some, the modern, expressive styling is a welcome break from the traditional breadbox, and others questioned whether buyers were ready for the boldness of the Frank Lloyd Wright look. The large A-pillars hinder visibility over the front three-quarters, especially noticeable when negotiating windy canyon roads. Rearward visibility is good, as long as the third-row seat is down. To compensate, Nissan included large heated and powered outer mirrors that are the right size for towing.
While the design of the Tahoe may be on the vanilla side, it has aged well, but with its competition wearing fresh skin or significant facelifts, the Tahoe looks old. Like the Armada, rearward visibility is limited with the third row standing at attention, and the teardrop mirrors made it difficult to check trailer fender distances to any immovable object.
Fitted with oversize mirrors, the Expedition is a boat-trailer-pulling dream. With its third row in place, you don't feel as though your rearward vision is obscured. The first-generation Expedition incorporated timeless design, and the truckmaker added a touch more boldness and flair in its bow-to-stern redesign. Our NBX came with standard tubular step bars, placed at the right height for easy ingress and thin enough not to be problematic on the way out.
Chevrolet Tahoe LT Engine
Chevrolet Tahoe LT Interior
Of the fleet, the Sequoia's view to all quarters beat the rest. Its smallish A-, B-, and D-pillars give it a large greenhouse, and its oversize, powered and heated outer mirrors provide excellent rearward visibility. Toyota followed the competition by designing the Sequoia with clean, flowing lines that won't become dated after the final payment is made. Like its 4Runner sibling, the cargo-door window retracts--a great feature for quickly placing small parcels in the hold. Running boards are nicely sculpted, with just enough width to be useful without tracking dirt when getting out.
Big, bold, and brash: the three creeds of Dodge trucks. And while the larger-than-life grille on a 1500 or 2500 Ram works wonders at unleashing gobs of testosterone or scaring sport-compact drivers, the look seems a bit out of place on the Durango.