After clipping 0 to 60 in a mere 6.8 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.3 at 88.9 mph, the Nissan Armada conceivably has more horses on-board than the claimed 317. Not only is the Armada, with its 5.6-liter V-8 and five-speed automatic, quick, it's also agile. The Armada consumed the figure eight in a best-in-test 28.8 seconds and the skidpad at a sedanlike 0.76 g.
Says editor Edward Loh, "The Armada offers great balance, with great grip and no drama when cornering. It feels like a sports car in comparison -- like a 560Z!" Through our test loop, it exhibited the most confidence-inspiring handling, moves heightened by the organic steering and ergonomically sound interior. "This is a nice cabin ," claims editor-at-large Arthur St. Antoine, adding, "I love the big, clear gauges and controls, the nice matte finish with appealing chrome accents, and the great nav system."
When it came time to drop anchor, the Armada shone, again. It needed only 128 feet to erase 60 mph, superior to even its sedan sibling, the Altima 3.5 SE, which required 131 feet in a February 2008 test. Unfortunately, you'll have to drop anchor often for fuel, as it recorded 11.9 mpg during our soiree in the snow. At least its parched Endurance V-8 will drink regular unleaded or E85. Perhaps the Armada's unquenchable thirst was due to its wild time we spent with it in Mammoth's winter wonderland. With a full-time automatic setting, not to mention its sporty chassis, the Nissan was entertaining in the fluff.
In any case, the Armada's handsome body makes it easier to accept its fat fuel fix. "The exterior is tidy -- she hides her weight well," notes Loh. St. Antoine concurs: "I like this exterior -- it's chunky, modern, and sporty, and the big wheels and tires look great." The Nissan's smart styling flows into the interior, too, a space that surprised with its functionality and room. The fold-flat second row not only tumbles forward with the pull of a lever for easy ingress and egress, but also delivers in headroom and legroom, while the third row, which is split 60/40 and can be folded flat, delivers decent measurements.
Need to tow a boat? This Armada is capable of adding a 9000-pound vessel to the end of the line. With its athletic handling, strong acceleration, and striking styling, the Nissan makes a strong case for itself in the large SUV arena.