2011 Nissan Armada SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Nissan Armada SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Armada Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.6 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 317 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Nissan Armada

  • The 2011 Nissan Armada remains a solid full-size SUV entering its eighth year of production, but newer rivals from Toyota and GM deserve close looks as well.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Capable V8 performance in any situation; attractive and comfortable interior.

  • Cons

    Trucklike ride; subpar fuel economy; less cargo space than most full-size SUVs.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Nissan Armada returns largely unchanged, with the exception of new names for two of last year's three trim levels.

Full 2011 Nissan Armada Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Nissan Armada returns largely unchanged, with the exception of new names for two of last year's three trim levels.


It's pretty common to hear large vehicles referred to using nautical euphemisms like "boats" or "barges." Well, the folks at Nissan took that notion one step further by naming their full-size SUV after an entire fleet of ships.

Pleasingly, the 2011 Nissan Armada actually does a respectable job of living up to the power and capability its name calls to mind. While the once class-leading 317-horsepower V8 under the hood no longer outguns its competitors, it still provides more than enough acceleration to leave slower traffic in its wake. It also gives Nissan's SUV flagship an impressive towing capacity of 9,100 pounds. Inside, the Armada offers abundant room and comfortable accommodations for eight passengers.

Even with these strengths, though, the Armada isn't our top pick for a traditional full-size SUV. Other heavies in the segment, including the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2011 Ford Expedition and 2011 Toyota Sequoia, best the big Nissan in both third-row legroom and total cargo capacity. And if you're not regularly going to be using the Armada for towing heavy loads, a large crossover such as the 2011 Ford Flex, 2011 GMC Acadia or Mazda CX-9 is going to be a better choice thanks to superior carlike dynamics and better fuel economy. An Armada it might be, but this big Nissan has its better days behind it.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV offered in three trim levels, including the entry-level SV, midrange SL and top-of-the-line Platinum.

Base SV models come well equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, side-step rails, rear parking assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear climate controls, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt steering wheel and power-adjustable pedals. Also standard is an eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack.

The SL adds 20-inch alloy wheels, foglights, an auto-leveling rear air suspension, a roof rack, tow package (optional on SV), keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, a power-folding third-row seat, a back-up camera, Bluetooth and an 11-speaker Bose audio system with satellite-radio capability. The Platinum model adds 20-inch chrome wheels, front parking sensors, a sunroof, dual power-folding mirrors, a power rear liftgate, heated front seats and steering wheel, driver memory functions, a navigation system with real-time traffic display, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and Bose audio system with a 9.3-gigabyte hard drive for media storage.

Options on the SV include a power-folding third-row seat and a Driver package that adds many of the SL's extra features. Second-row captain's chairs are available on the Platinum model as a replacement for the standard bench. The DVD entertainment system is a stand-alone option on lower trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Nissan Armada is available with either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Both feature a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission.

With either drivetrain, fuel economy is disappointing even for a large SUV. EPA fuel economy estimates are 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined for two-wheel-drive models and 1 mpg less for 4WD versions. Properly equipped, the Armada can tow as much as 9,100 pounds.


The 2011 Nissan Armada comes standard with antilock disc brakes and brake assist, stability control, front-seat active head restraints, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

While it hasn't been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures, the Armada's 2010 frontal crash-test scores (which aren't necessarily comparable) were five stars (out of five) for driver protection and four stars for passenger protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Nissan Armada features an attractive, comfortable interior. The overall design is pleasing and the quality of most materials is above average. Controls are well placed and simple to operate.

While the standard eight-passenger setup inside SV and SL models uses a 40/20/40-split bench in the second-row, Platinum models can be had with an available pair of captain's chairs (separated by a center console) that drops seating capacity to just seven. Whichever way you go, you'll find a number of handy storage cubbies scattered throughout the interior.

In back, the 60/40 split-folding third-row bench drops down into the floor easily, even without the available power-folding option. While this may not seem like a big deal, remember that the Tahoe's heavy third-row seats must be removed and stowed outside the vehicle to take advantage of its full cargo capacity. Speaking of which, the Armada offers 20 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row, and 97.1 cubic feet with all the rear seats folded -- a number that's roughly 10 cubic feet less than its full-size SUV competitors.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Nissan Armada's robust V8 feels stronger than its numbers suggest, though the massive weight of this truck is obvious when cornering or coming to an abrupt stop. The ride is usually comfortable, but some ruts can send considerable impact harshness through the steering wheel and seats. Newer truck-based SUVs like the Tahoe and Sequoia provide a smoother on-road ride.

The Armada's steering is notably weighty -- nice at higher speeds, but potentially off-putting to some when maneuvering in parking lots. Like other full-sizers, the Armada can be a hassle to maneuver on tight city streets and in parking lots. For the latter, the optional rearview camera and parking sensors are must-haves.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Brand new and already needs

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada SV 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 5A)

I traded in an Infiniti FX35 that I never had a single problem with. I needed a vehicle that would tow my new boat and since the Infiniti (Nissan) was so good, I figured that the Armada would be the perfect choice. So far the vehicle has 210 miles on it and I have made a horrible mistake. There is a terrible shake from the steering wheel when the vehicle hits 65mph (I never took it that fast during the test drive). The lift gate doesn't shut tight without slamming it and pushing hard at the same time. I feel like my rear window will shatter some day if I have to keep this up. The driver's side rear view mirror begins vibrating at 40+mph and only gets worse the faster I go.

The best ride

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada SL 4dr SUV (5.6L 8cyl 5A)

have have had volvos and other expensive cars but this SUV beats them all. Best ride, gas mileage 17.8 right now - hopefully will get to 18 and if not, I am okay with that. We take it to the beach and load it down and it still gets 17.8. Love Nissans!!!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2011 armada sl

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada SL 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 5A)

I did a lot of research before buying this vehicle. Bang for your buck you cant find a better large SUV. I went from a Nissan Pathfinder to this Armada because we wanted more room. My wife loves driving it because it sits up high and feels very safe with the kids. Our insurance went down $15/mo because of the size too. Gas mileage isn't good (12-13) no matter how I drive it. Its just a tank, but manuevers very easy. With two young kids and a large dog this truck was everything we wanted and more.

2011 nissan armada

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada Platinum 4dr SUV (5.6L 8cyl 5A)

Excellent large SUV with a price tag $25K less than the Escalade, Armanda has plenty of power, nice spacious interior. Gas consumption is excellent for large vehicle like this. I am very happy with my Armanda Platinum loaded with every possible option I can imagine. It ride and handle solid

Great vehicle

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 5A)

this is the best choice and value in a large suv dont bother with the tahoe or yukon no room on interior, no tow capacity cost 7-10M more for equel equipment expedition = no power, ugly sequoia = toy like dash, no handeling dont knock it till you drive it you must drive this vehicle to really appreciate the luxury

39 of 39 people found this review helpful

2011 nissan armada sl

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada SL 4dr SUV (5.6L 8cyl 5A)

I did a TON of research before deciding to purchase the Armada. This truck has been everything I hoped it would be. The exterior has a beauty about it and is in a class by itself. It doesn't look like any other full- size SUV on the market. The interior is spacious and well equipped but it should be for a $40k truck. The ride is smooth and the vehicle has excellent performance with all stock equipment. My kids have a hard time opening the rear doors with the handles mounted so high but they will grow into it. The only drawback I have found is the fuel economy. Don't expect to get anything over 15 mpg with this vehicle. It's just too heavy to get anything better.

Talk About The 2011 Armada

2011 Nissan Armada Discussions See all Started By

CarMan- can you help me with the lease number per above? is this a good deal? i meant 15,000 miles a year for 39 months for the nissan armada 2011 platinum...

I was negotiating 47,000 (which I got my 2011 armada at). So 47,000 minus 4000 & 596 total for 42404. What do you think of the first deal? and do you think I can get the second. Thanks again!...

I have a 2004 Armada I bought new in 2005. 08/2011 was the first time my ABS VDL SLIP lights came on as I was braking, along with a horrible grinding noise with my brakes. I was going about 20 mph an...

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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