What's New for 2007
For 2007, the Nissan Armada's 5.6-liter V8 has been re-rated at 317 hp and 385 pound-feet, though actual performance is unchanged. The V8 also has a flex-fuel feature this year, allowing it to run on either gasoline or E85 (an 85-percent ethanol/15-percent gasoline blend).
The bigger its scale, the better we Americans are at crafting the product. It's no surprise that this country is the birthplace of super-size fries, Texas hair and, well, Texas.
Given this logic, it makes perfect sense that the U.S. has long been the dominant force in the full-size SUV segment. This category was founded by domestic marques, and for years, homegrown nameplates were the only option for buyers seeking a sport-utility vehicle endowed with king-size brawn. Toyota was the first foreign brand to penetrate the ranks, back in model-year 2001. Nissan followed suit in model-year 2004, with the introduction of the Pathfinder Armada SUV.
Nissan's largest SUV, now known simply as the Armada, is as big as the big boys when it comes to power and size. The 2007 Nissan Armada boasts truly spacious accommodations for its passengers, offering more first- and second-row legroom than the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition or Toyota Sequoia. The Ford boasts more third-row room by virtue of its lower floor, but at the expense of off-road capability -- which happens to be one of the Armada's strengths.
Acceleration is another of its strengths, as Nissan's hauler is motivated by a stout 5.6-liter V8 good for 317 horsepower. The engine moves the Armada off the line with authority and gives the SUV a 9,100-pound tow rating. Not only is this one of the top numbers in the full-size class, our experience has shown that the V8 has impressive stamina in towing situations.
As roomy and capable as the 2007 Nissan Armada is, it's not the most practical of the full-size SUVs to drive on an everyday basis. For families who make only occasional use of the third-row seat, the Tahoe and Sequoia offer superior seat comfort, higher-quality cabin materials, more cargo space and easier maneuverability in tight spaces. If you really do need a vehicle that can accommodate your family of six or seven and tow a boat with ease, by all means make a beeline for the rugged Armada. But if your requirements aren't quite so extreme, we think one of its competitors might suit you better.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A large SUV, the 2007 Nissan Armada is offered in SE and LE trim levels. Choose the base SE and you'll get an eight-passenger vehicle with standard 18-inch alloy wheels; an eight-way power driver seat; a reclining second-row bench seat; dual-zone climate control (with controls for the front and rear); an eight-speaker sound system with an in-dash CD changer and an MP3 player input jack; power-adjustable pedals; full power accessories; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Move up to the Armada LE and you get a power liftgate; foglights; heated leather seats with power adjustments for the front passenger and memory settings for the driver; second-row captain's chairs; and an upgraded 265-watt, 10-speaker Bose sound system.
The power liftgate, leather upholstery and Bose audio system are available as options on the SE. The LE's options list includes 18-inch chrome wheels and a navigation system. A DVD entertainment system, satellite radio (XM or Sirius) and a sunroof are optional on both trims.
Powertrains and Performance
All Nissan Armadas come with a 5.6-liter V8 capable of 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, and both trims are available with two- or four-wheel drive. Four-wheel-drive models use a full-time system with a push-button transfer case. Properly equipped, the Armada can tow 9,100 pounds. Fuel economy rates 13 mpg in the city and 18-19 mpg on the highway.
Standard on the 2007 Nissan Armada are antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, front-seat active head restraints, rear parking sensors and side curtain airbags that protect all three rows of passengers. Seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants are optional on the SE and standard on the LE. In NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests, the Armada scored four stars for driver protection and a perfect five stars for passenger protection.
Interior Design and Special Features
The full-size 2007 Nissan Armada offers seating for up to eight passengers and easy-to-use, fold-flat second and third-row seats. For maximum flexibility in hauling people and cargo, the second-row bench has a 40/20/40 split, while the third row has a 60/40 split. Opting for the LE model drops seating capacity to seven and replaces the second-row bench with captain's chairs (although a bench seat remains a no-cost option). Cabin materials are nothing special, but there's plenty of storage space up front, including an unprecedented number of overhead storage bins. With both the second- and third-row seats folded flat, there's 97 cubic feet of cargo space. This is about 10 cubes less capacity than the Armada's domestic competitors offer.
While the powerful V8 makes the Armada feel light on its feet when accelerating off the line and on the highway, the massive girth of this truck is obvious when cornering or coming to an abrupt stop. Still, ride quality is smooth and comfortable, and the well-weighted steering makes the full-size Nissan SUV easy enough to maneuver in everyday driving situations. The big V8 has a nice throaty rumble when pressed and at the same time delivers smooth power on par with the Sequoia's V8.