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Quick Test: 2008 Nissan Armada LE

Brian Vance
Feb 29, 2008
Photographers: Brian Vance
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.
Photo 2/5   |   suv Comparison nissan Armada LE Interior
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.
Photo 3/5   |   suv Comparison nissan Armada LE Engine
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.
Photo 4/5   |   suv Comparison nissan Armada LE Side View
Photo 5/5   |   suv Comparison nissan Armada LE Rear View

2008 Nissan Armada LE 4x4
Drivetrain layout Front engine, 4WD
Engine type 90 V-8, alum block/heads
Valvetrain DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
Displacement 338.8 cu in/5552 cc
Compression ratio 9.8:1
Power (SAE net) 317 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 385 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm
Weight to power 18.0 lb/hp
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Axle/final-drive ratios 3.36:1/2.80:1/2.60:1
Suspension, front; rear Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; control arms, coil springs, load-leveling shocks, anti-roll bar
Steering ratio 20.0:1
Turns lock-to-lock 3.6
Brakes, f;r 12.6-in vented disc: 12.6-in disc, ABS
Wheels 8.0 x 20 in, cast aluminum
Tires, f;r 265/60R20 114H M+S, Michelin Latitude
Wheelbase 123.2 in
Track, f/r 67.5/67.5 in
Length x width x height 807.7 x 79.3 x 77.2 in
Ground clearance 10.4 in
Apprch/ deapart angle 26.2/22.7 deg
Turning circle 40.8 ft
Curb weight 5713 lb
Weight dist., f/r 51/49 %
Seating capacity 7
Headroom, f/r 41.0/40.0/35.9 in
Legroom, f/r 41.8/41.9/32.2 in
Shoulder room, f/r 65.0/64.7/58.8 in
Cargo volume 97.1/56.7/20.0 cu ft
Acceleration to mph
0-30 2.2 sec
0-40 3.4
0-50 5.0
0-60 6.8
0-70 9.2
0-80 12.2
0-90 15.7
Passing, 45-65 mph 3.7 sec
Quarter mile 15.3 sec @ 88.9 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 128 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.76 g (avg)
MT figure eight 28.8 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)
Top-gear revs @ 60 mph 1700 rpm
Base price $45,375
Price as tested $52,350
Stability/traction control Yes/yes
Airbags Dual front, front side, f/mr curtain
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 5 yrs/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance N/A
Fuel capacity 28.0 gal
EPA city/hwy econ 12/17 (gas) 9/13 (E85) mgp
CO2 emissions 1.40 (gas) 1.30 (E85) lb/mile
MT fuel economy 11.9 mpg (gas)
Recommended fuel Regular or E85



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