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2013 Nissan Armada Overview
Yeah, it’s big, and yeah, it’s powerful, but the 2013 Nissan Armada has this little problem keeping up with the competition: As a marginally tweaked carryover from 2012, Nissan’s flagship SUV, alas, offers just a tad less refinement, ride quality and/or roominess than rivals like the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition or Toyota Sequoia.
Nevertheless, based on the brawny Titan chassis, this full-size SUV still offers plenty of towing capacity and continues to offer space for up to 7 passengers in 3 rows of seats. Altogether, this big Nissan is still a player and remains available in 3 handsome trims, the base SV, midlevel SL and flagship Platinum. All trims are delivered with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), but all are eligible for Nissan’s All-Mode 4-wheel drive (4WD) as a winter-ready alternative. Oh, and the Armada remains capable of toting some 97.1 cubic feet of cargo again, as well.
Like last year's editions, all three trims come equipped with a 317-hp 5.6-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) V8 powerplant that mates with a 5-speed automatic transmission for 385 lb-ft of torque. Expect 8,200 pounds of towing capacity from, for instance, the base SV with the available Trailer Towing Package, while the SL and Platinum provide a standard hitch and wiring that’ll handle up to 9,000 pounds of trailer with the available 4WD configuration. Estimated mileage, meantime, runs 13 mpg city/19 highway in RWD trims and 12/18 in 4WD editions, with the All-Mode 4WD system again boasting electronic hi-lo gear selection and auto-locking hubs.
Standard exterior features in the base Armada SV are expected to include 18-inch alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable mirrors, step running boards and a roof rack, while the cabin sports cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and fold-flat front passenger seatback, as well as reclining second-row seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter knob. Also gracing the interior are power-adjustable pedals, power windows and door locks, and tri-zone auto climate control, while convenience goodies include cruise control, tilt-wheel steering and rear parking sensors. Finally, entertainment in this entry-level trim should again be presented via an MP3-capable 6-CD changer with 8 speakers, while the 7-inch vehicle info display also remains standard.
The midlevel SL should once more be delivered with an auto-leveling rear suspension, 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels and a power-opening rear liftgate, while deleting the roof rack and fold-down front passenger seatback. Comfort- and convenience-wise, look for such carried-over extras as leather-trimmed upholstery, wood-toned cabin accents, heated power-adjustable front seats and power-folding third-row seatbacks, with a universal remote garage door opener and rear-view camera returning for this year as well. Finally, expect 12 Bose premium speakers to remain standard, along with satellite radio and Bluetooth hands-free communications.
As with the 2012 version, this year's Platinum trim should tote chrome-clad 20-inch wheels and a power moonroof outside, with extras like memory for driver's settings, hard-drive-based navigation, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seating, rear-seat DVD entertainment and a memory-card slot all gracing the otherwise rather bland cabin.
Options in the 2013 Armada lineup, including last year’s Driver Convenience Package for the base SV, are expected to pretty much stand pat for 2013. Said Driver Convenience Package, meantime, delivers several techno-goodies that come standard in the pricier editions, while this entry-level trim also stays in the running for the available Trailer Towing Package with hitch and wiring that again can be configured to handle a trailer brake controller.
The SL, of course, remains eligible for a power moonroof and rear-seat DVD entertainment, while the Platinum can once more be delivered with available second-row captain’s chairs and a center rear storage console.
Standard noteworthy safety items aboard the 2013 Armada lineup are expected to remain 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, 3-row head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front headrest whiplash protection. Also look for a remote antitheft alarm to be delivered in all trims, with the SL and Platinum additionally boasting standard front fog/driving lights that are optional on the SV.
by Eric Tallberg
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