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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Nissan Armada

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Expert's Rating


MPG 13 City / 19 Highway
  • Excellent towing ability
  • High payload capacity
  • Seven-passenger seating
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Questionable reliability history
  • Truck-like handling
Automotive Editor -
The Nissan Armada debuted in the 2004 model year to limited fanfare, as its size and fuel economy were both turn offs to buyers. As it has continued through the years, the Armada has carved itself a nice niche in the sub-luxury SUV category. Moving into the 2013 model year, the Armada has still not garnered much attention, but its premium features are staring to make it a more affordable alternative to full-luxury SUVs.


The 2013 model year is essentially a carryover year for the Armada, as it only features minimal changes. These minor changes include: standard video monitors on the Platinum trim level, laterally adjustable sun visors, standard power passenger seat, USB and VTR jacks, standard Bluetooth connectivity, and five new exterior colors. The largest addition to the 2013 model year is the Platinum Reserve Package, which adds in: 20-inch dark-chrome rims, dark-chrome grille and side-view mirrors, premium Chocolate/Almond leather seats, and dark chrome interior accents in a satin finish.

See our picks for best SUVs in the CarsDirect SUV Buying Guide.

Standard on every 2013 Armada is a 5.6-liter V-8 engine that pumps out 317 horsepower and 385 foot-pounds of torque. This engine connects to a five-speed automatic transmission that tosses the power to the rear wheels. Four-wheel drive is an available option. The Armada can tow up to 8,200 pounds with two-wheel drive and 9,000 pounds with four-wheel drive, so it is ready to hauls just about anything a family can toss at it. Unfortunately, its 13 mpg city and 19 mpg highway with two-wheel drive, and 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway with four-wheel drive can hurt the wallet a little. However, what full-size SUV gets good gas mileage?

In terms of competition, the sub-luxury, full-size SUV market is a pretty full one. The Armada’s key competitor is the 2013 Toyota Sequoia, which features a 5.7-liter V-8 engine with 381 horsepower, a 7,500-pound towing capacity, 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway, and standard cloth seating for eight. Next up is the 2013 GMC Yukon with its 320-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine, 8,500-pound towing capacity, 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, and standard premium cloth seating for eight. Finally comes the 2013 Ford Expedition, which comes standard with a 5.4-liter V-8 engine that produces 310 horsepower, a 9,200-pound towing capacity, 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, and cloth seating for eight people.

Competition is plentiful, so the Armada must really deliver in the 2013 model year, is Nissan expects to continue offering this full-size SUV.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Nissan Armada
Starting price

2013 Nissan Armada Platinum

Recommended for: Large families that often take long road trips and need a DVD system to keep the kids busy

The Platinum trim level is as high as the Armada goes, as it adds in high-end features expected of a premium SUV to the already loaded SL trim level. On the outside, the Premium trim level adds in: power sunroof, 20-by-8-inch chrome wheels, front parking sensors, power rear hatch, side-view-mirror-mounted turn signals and automatic headlights. Inside the Armada Platinum’s cabin, it offers up: heated front seats, cabin air filter, heated steering wheel, two-driver memory, 11-speaker sound system with added DVD capability, memory card slot, audio/video input and two 7-inch headrest-mounted video monitors, and hard-drive-based display with navigation and voice control.

2013 Nissan Armada
Starting price

2013 Nissan Armada SL

Recommended for: Large families that prefer high-end options, but don't need everything

The SL trim level acts as the midrange trim level for the 2013 Nissan Armada, as adds a few extra luxury items to the SV package. On the outside, the SL trim level takes the SV’s standard features and adds in: 20-by-8-inch wheels with P275/60R20 all-season tires, trailer hitch and wiring, fog lights, stability control, and electronic brake-force distribution. On the inside, the SL trim level tosses in: leather seating, compass, rearview camera, universal home remote control, rear parking sensors, steering-wheel-mounted cruise control, simulated wood trimming, and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

2013 Nissan Armada
Starting price

2013 Nissan Armada SV

Recommended for: Large families that need a premium SUV at a relatively low price

The SV trim level is the base level for the 2013 Armada lineup. On the outside, it comes standard with: intermittent wipers, tinted windows, roof rack, running boards, power heated mirrors, 18-by-8-inch alloy wheels with 265/70R18 all-season tires, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control. Inside the Armada SV, it comes standard with: cloth seating, eight-way power driver seat and four-way power passenger seat, rear ventilation ducts, power windows with one-touch operation and door locks, clock, external thermometer, adjustable pedals, speed-sensitive power steering, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, three 12-volt power outlets, tilt steering wheel, three-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 11-speaker Bose audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM capabilities and USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity.

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