Nissan launched a full-size sport utility vehicle for 2004. Named the Pathfinder Armada, the new SUV was related to Nissan's Titan pickup truck. During 2004, the name was shortened to Armada.
Dual-zone automatic climate control and a 60/40-split, folding third-row seat are standard for 2006. LE models have new outside mirrors, and the Armada's stereo can play MP3-formatted CDs. A Tow Package is standard on the SE Off-Road model, and Majestic Blue and Granite are new exterior colors.
Manufactured in Mississippi, the Armada is offered with rear- or four-wheel drive in SE, SE Off-Road and upscale LE versions. Towing capacity is as much as 9,100 pounds when properly equipped.
Despite its large dimensions, the Armada displays a kinship to other Nissan SUVs. Built on a long, 123.2-inch wheelbase, the SUV is 206.9 inches long overall.
Running boards and heated power mirrors are standard. A body-colored grille appears on SE models and a chrome version leads the LE. Armadas have an independent rear suspension.
Depending on the seating arrangement, either seven or eight occupants can fit inside the Armada. Flat-folding second- and third-row seats are standard, and second-row captain's chairs are available. Folding down the front passenger seat yields space for items up to 10 feet long.
Seton leather seating surfaces are standard in the LE. Privacy glass is used for the rear liftgate and the second- and third-row side windows. Flip-out rear quarter windows are powered on the LE.
A DVD-based entertainment system and Nissan's navigation system are optional. Adjustable brake and gas pedals are standard. Standard rear sonar sensors warn of nearby objects while the vehicle is backing up.
Under the Hood
Nissan's Endurance 5.6-liter V-8 develops 305 horsepower and 385 pounds-feet of torque. It works with a five-speed-automatic transmission. Four-wheel-drive models have a two-speed transfer case with 4-Low and Auto 4x4 technology.
Side curtain-type airbags help protect occupants in all three rows. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags are standard in the LE and SE Off-Road. Nissan's Vehicle Dynamic Control electronic stability system includes traction control. A tire-pressure-monitoring system is standard.
Because it's built on the same platform as the Titan pickup, the Armada's trucklike ride quality isn't too surprising. On the whole, this SUV doesn't feel quite as solid as the Titan. The Armada is pleasantly quiet and emits only minimal truck sounds.
Steering is relatively light, and the Armada handles a tad loosely for a truck-based model; however, it steers capably enough and maneuvers with reasonable confidence in turns. Performance is strong but not exceptional.
Second-row legroom is abundant. Getting in and out requires a bit of a climb, but the running boards help. The driver enjoys a comfortably cushioned seat.