2012 Nissan Armada SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 317 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 12/18 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Nissan Armada

  • Though the 2012 Nissan Armada is a capable full-size SUV, it's outclassed by newer rivals as well as the latest crop of crossover SUVs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Capable V8 performance; attractive and comfortable interior.

  • Cons

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

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Nissan Armada is back with just a few changes, including the addition of a power liftgate to the standard equipment list of SL models and the SV's Driver options package. Heated front seats are also now standard on the SL, as are heated second-row seats on the top-of-the-line Platinum models.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Brand new and already needs

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada

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

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

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

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada

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

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada

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

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Armada

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.

Gas Mileage


  • 12
  • cty
  • 18
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Nissan Armada Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Nissan Armada is back with just a few changes, including the addition of a power liftgate to the standard equipment list of SL models and the SV's Driver options package. Heated front seats are also now standard on the SL, as are heated second-row seats on the top-of-the-line Platinum models.


Built on the same underpinnings as the automaker's burly Titan pickup, the full-size 2012 Nissan Armada certainly has the goods if it's towing and hauling you're looking for. While no longer class-leading, the Armada's standard 317-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 still produces strong acceleration. The combination of this burly mill and traditional body-on-frame construction also gives Nissan's flagship SUV the ability to tow trailers up to a hefty 9,100 pounds when properly equipped.

Unfortunately, there aren't many other bright spots for this aging SUV. Compared to its full-size rivals, the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia, the Armada typically comes up short in terms of third-row legroom, cargo capacity, ride quality and feature content.

We'd also suggest that folks who don't really need the Armada's impressive towing capabilities have a look at the latest generation of large car-based crossovers, particularly the GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer and Mazda CX-9; all deliver more appealing ride and handling characteristics and better fuel economy while still providing plenty of interior room.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 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 sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear climate controls, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel and power-adjustable pedals. Also standard is an eight-speaker sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. Opting for the Driver package adds foglights, a power liftgate, an auto-dimming mirror, Bluetooth, a rearview camera and an 11-speaker Bose sound system with satellite radio and rear audio controls. SVs with four-wheel drive come standard with this package.

The Armada SL includes the above equipment plus 20-inch alloy wheels, an auto-leveling rear air suspension, a roof rack, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power-folding third-row seat.

Moving up to the Platinum model gets you 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, front parking sensors, a sunroof, dual power-folding mirrors, heated second-row seats and steering wheel, driver seat memory functions, a navigation system with real-time traffic, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a Bose audio system with digital music storage.

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 2012 Nissan Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 317 hp and 385 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission, but buyers do have a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive (with dual-range gearing).

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 in each driving cycle for four-wheel-drive versions. Properly equipped, the Armada can tow as much as 9,100 pounds.


The 2012 Nissan Armada comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat active head restraints, front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

Climb inside the passenger cabin of the 2012 Nissan Armada and you'll find a handsome space done up in generally high-quality materials. Though there are a lot of buttons on the dash (especially in upper trim levels equipped with the navigation system), everything is arranged in an uncomplicated manner that's relatively intuitive.

As with most full-size SUVs, the Armada's front seats are large and supportive, with good head- and legroom. The eight-passenger interior that's standard on SV and SL models features perfectly serviceable 40/20/40-split second-row seats, but the comfy twin captain's chairs separated by a center console on the Platinum trim level are the way to go, even though this setup limits passenger capacity to seven. Good-sized storage cubbies and cupholders scattered throughout the interior make sure there's a place for everything.

The 60/40 manually split-folding third-row bench folds down into the floor with little effort, but the available power-folding version is especially useful. Primed for cargo, the Armada can carry up to 97 cubic feet, about 10 cubic feet fewer than many of its full-size SUV competitors.

Driving Impressions

It doesn't take a lot of time in the 2012 Nissan Armada's driver seat to understand its strengths and weaknesses. On the upside, the powerful 5.6-liter engine gives this massive truck much better acceleration than you'd expect from a vehicle that weighs nearly 3 tons. The ride quality is generally comfortable, though bad pavement can make the ride seem a little harsh, something that's not an issue with newer designs like the Toyota Sequoia. The Armada's steering has a weighty feel to it, but some will find it a little too heavy in slow-speed parking lot maneuvers. At the same time, this is very much a truck, and it lacks the refinement of the larger car-based crossovers.

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