Testing Nissan’s 2012 Armada Platinum 4×4 Brought on Some ‘Vuja De’

(Images courtesy Nissan)

As soon as I slid behind the wheel of Nissan Armada full-size SUV in Platinum 4×4 trim I was overcome with a weird sense of deja vu, as in, “Didn’t I just review one of these?” Yes – and no.

I have had the Nissan Titan pickup and a 2011 and 2012 Infiniti QX56 luxury SUV (which, by the way, received a makeover) in the past year so technically one could surmise I had reviewed the Nissan Armada already.

The Armada utilizes the same F-Alpha platform underpinning the Titan pickup and the QX models but to be fair (and as I stated in my review of the newest Infiniti fullsizer) the latest Nissan brute ute still does not possess the “goodies” its parent company has added to the ‘12 QX56 – namely the powertrain.

The 2012 model Armadas still feature a beefy powertrain with some great torque (all 375 lb. ft. of it) but it comes from the now anemic 317hp 5.6-liter V-8. To put things into perspective, for those who will tow their cattle trailer with the Armada will appreciate all that original torque but for the rest of you who shop the numbers the Nissan just cannot compete in the 2012 market.

Come on Nissan, pick up the pace! Crank up the power whilst you still can here in the North American market.

And while we are talking about being competitive, your 18 mpg on the highway don’t cut the mustard anymore. We put up with that at 3 buck-a-gallon but now that fuel keeps teasing the four-dollar-per threshold you gotta step up your game. (Truth be told, your V-6 engines don’t fare a whole heckuva lot better.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I do like the Armada’s ride and handling as well as its overall size. I found it to be quite maneuverable through some backroad twisties while having awesome passing power when encountering those folks out enjoying a Sunday drive.

Our test model came loaded to the gills and then some. We especially loved the auto leveling rear suspension along with all of the technology crammed into the center console and rear entertainment areas. Nav, Satellite radio, DVD, Bluetooth, Bose audio, Intelligent Key, power moonroof, chrome wheels, roof rack and exhaust tips, power liftgate, side step rails – this baby has got it all.

And to go along with “having it all” is a hefty pricetag – 55 grand plus change four our 2012 Platinum babe.

Solid? Yes. Comfy? Sure. Rockin’ the highways and biways? Definitely.

The 2012 Nissan Armada offers quite a bit but while a corporate sibling has been updated and this has not “kept up with the Joneses” it makes me wonder if the brand really cares about this one.

Hey Nissan – If you plan on putting this horse out to pasture then do it already, otherwise shake it off and get back in the game. Just sayin’.

Categories: Autos

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