$12,409 - $17,190

2011 Nissan Armada Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Nissan Armada was new.


Performance: 7.7

Performance is a strong suit for the Armada, thanks in part to its powerful V8. The no-nonsense engine is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The Armada's ride is smoothest on the straightaway but reviewers are suitably impressed with its handling, given its size.

  • "The steering is tight and without slop, and the ride is a tad firm and agile but not harsh. The Armada drives extremely well for a full-size truck and feels smaller than it is." -- Car and Driver
  • "That said, the Armada is still a big, truck-based vehicle, and one decidedly happiest when tooling about in wide-open spaces, be they paved or not."-- Automobile Magazine
  • "The[ 2011] Nissan Armada's robust V8 feels stronger than its numbers suggest, though the massive weight of this truck is obvious when cornering or coming to an abrupt stop."-- Edmunds


Acceleration and Power

For such a big SUV, the Armada accelerates with ease. The engine is a 5.6-liter V8 that creates 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with an automatic five-speed transmission. The transmission receives largely favorable reviews.

Earning low marks from reviewers -- not surprisingly -- is the Armada's fuel economy, which is just 12 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway, for the all-wheel drive model.

  • "Moderate to heavy acceleration yields a throaty sound that rivals the best from GM. But it's not all show and no go, the Armada offers very impressive forward thrust." -- Edmunds.
  • "Armada delivers fairly strong takeoffs. One test model had overly sensitive throttle action, resulting in jerky progress around town. A handy tow-haul mode complements the alert, smooth-shifting automatic transmission."-- Consumer Guide
  • "The Armada's whoop-de-don't fuel economy numbers are 12/18 mpg city/highway; they're underwhelming, to say the least. With those mileage numbers, I had to fill the Armada's gas tank a lot, and I ended up paying more than $60 each time I filled it up. Like many large family-haulers, the Armada is a gas-guzzler, and I simply cannot own a car that likes gas as much as the Armada does." -- Mother Proof

Handling and Braking

Handling on the Armada is surprisingly deft, and steering is adequate. The Armada comes with either rear or all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system operates as a rear-wheel drive system, for the most part, but can transfer up to half of the engine's power to the front when conditions warrant. The Armada's brakes receive mixed reviews.

  • "Ride quality is generally smooth and comfortable, though larger pavement imperfections can send quite a jolt through the steering wheel and cabin. Newer truck-based SUVs like the Tahoe and Sequoia provide a much friendlier on-road ride than the Armada does." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite its formidable scale, overall control and controllability is impressive, with modest impact harshness, relatively minimal body roll, and no 'floaty' feel." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Double wishbones at both ends with an independent rear make the big Armada surprisingly light on its feet." -- Motor Week
  • "The optional four-wheel drive is technically a full-time system, which means you can drive in a rear-drive mode (2WD) or switch, by means of a dial on the dashboard, to an automatic mode (AUTO) that drives all four wheels and can be used on dry pavement, unlike part-time four-wheel-drive systems." -- Cars.com
  • "As clumsy in close quarters as any big SUV. The steering has a firm feel, but Armada reacts slowly to inputs. Cornering behavior is generally good, with no undue noseplow or body lean. Good stopping control, but our testers are divided on pedal modulation: Some find too much free play." -- Consumer Guide

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