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2014 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve Long Term Report 3 of 4

Fun in luxury

Jun 26, 2015
Photographers: Robert Guio
Since our last report we’ve had a chance to get out and have some old-fashioned fun with our long-term Nissan Armada. Being a Platinum Reserve means that the interior is plush and exterior adorned with 20-inch black-chrome wheels, leading one to believe this is a vehicle better suited to soccer practice and mall visits than anything else. However, under the skin lies a four-wheel-drive system that is mated to a powerful 5.6L V-8 engine. There was, then, really only one thing we needed to do: get dirty!
Photo 2/7   |   2014 Nissan Armada In Desert
We pointed the Armada south and headed to the desert near Borrego Springs, California. It’s a beautiful area full of more dirt roads, trails, and washes than the average person would know what to do with. Once off the pavement, and with the traction control disabled (it’s really aggressive when enabled), the Armada has the ability to turn any adult into a 16-year-old again. In two-wheel drive, you can shift through the gears manually and let the powerful V-8 spin the rear tires as you drift around corners giggling like a schoolgirl. With four-wheel drive engaged, it becomes a confident animal, destroying sand washes and laughing at mud puddles. For the ultimate in traction we clicked the selector into low range, allowing the Armada to climb hills that had our passengers puckering pretty hard.
Photo 3/7   |   2014 Nissan Armada With Tent
The Armada’s independent front and rear suspension allowed for decent articulation and a stable comfortable ride. But let’s be real for a moment: It’s not a race truck (or even a truck for that matter), so we kept to graded roads, smooth trails, and sand washes. So why did we do this with our eight-passenger SUV? Because not everyone vacations at an amusement park—we took it camping for the weekend. This also gave us the chance to test out the Sportz SUV tent, which came as an option with the Armada. We’re happy to report that if your family loves the great outdoors the way ours does, this vehicle will not let you down.
Crash Tested
Unfortunately, sometimes we’re afforded the opportunity to test aspects of a vehicle that we’d rather take the manufacturer’s word on, and this time it was frontal impact ratings. While commuting to the office, one of our staff editors had an unfortunate run in with another vehicle. Nobody was injured, and the damage to both vehicles was relatively minor. The Armada limped away with only a busted lip (smashed bumper, crinkled fender, scratched wheel, and broken headlight), and despite the damage, we were able to drive it back to the office. After a month in the shop, we had the ol’ girl back in the barn and she’s looking better than ever. We’ll touch more on the repairs in our next report.
Photo 4/7   |   2014 Nissan Armada Crash Damage
Report: 3 of 4
Previous report(s): Mar./Apr. ’15, May/June ’15
Base price: $52,860
Price as tested: $55,945
Long-Term Numbers
Miles to date: 10,703
Miles since last report: 3,521
Average mpg (this report): 13.43
Test best tank (mpg): 16.49
Test worst tank (mpg): 11.11
Test Maintenance
Oil change and tire rotation
Windshield washer fluid refill
Test Problem Areas
None
Logbook Quotes:
“No complaints from second-row passengers on long road trips. The third row is only useful for little people or short jaunts in town.”
“With the third row of seats in use, cargo space becomes almost nonexistent.”
“The suspension is just as soft, compliant, and comfortable off of the pavement as it is on it”
“We wish the front park assist sensors would disable in reverse—they can be quite obnoxious.”

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