THE RIDE: Four-door, up to eight-passenger 2008 Nissan Armada SE 4X2 full-size SUV.
DOWN THE ROAD: The 2008 Armada receives an exterior and interior restyling as well as some technology features, but the powertrain has been left untouched. Available in four trims, the SUV continues to offer a powerful drivetrain that effortlessly tackles the rigors of off-road driving and cruises comfortably on the highway.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: The 5.6-liter DOHC V-8 engine boasts 317 horsepower at 4900 rpm and 385 pounds-feet of torque at 3600 rpm. Mated to a floor-mounted 5-speed automatic transmission, the Armada can tow up to 9,100 pounds. So heading out for the open waters with a sailboat in tow will require little effort. Stability and handling are reinforced via a double wishbone front and a rear independent double wishbone suspension. A power rack-and-pinion steering system provides on-center and concise feel. The 12.6-inch brake rotors in both front and rear keep a tight rein on the 5,000-pound plus vehicle.
LOOK & FEEL: Built on a body-on-frame chassis, the muscular Armada gets freshly styled halogen headlights and fog lights, and a one-piece roof rack, among other updates. The grille still is body colored on the SE trim model, with chrome on the front-door handles and power-adjustable sideview mirrors. Side-step rails are standard just like the rear sonar system, which warns the driver about obstacles when backing up. The cabin has plenty of room for passengers in the flat-folding second-row seat and 60/40 split third-row seats. What will really grab your attention are the three-row overhead console storage area and the huge center console. There are at least 14 cup/bottle holders throughout the cabin. The three-spoke leather steering wheel with illuminated audio and cruise controls offers a firm grip. Other standard amenities are an eight-way power driver's seat, 7-inch LCD display, rear audio and climate controls and a remote keyless entry system.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front airbags, side curtain for all rows, four-wheel antilock brakes, Vehicle Dynamic Control, Electronic Brake Distribution with brake assist, front and rear crumple zones, front seat active-head restraints, three-point seatbelts for all rows and tire pressure monitoring system are some of the standard features.
OUT THE DOOR: $35,250, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 265/70R18 all season; wheelbase, 123.2 inches; length, 206.9 inches; weight, 5,302 pounds; fuel capacity, 28 gallons; highway, 18 mpg; city, 12 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: The rugged Armada offers a powerful performance with plenty of creature comforts to make the ride appealing, especially during long-distance travel. Factor in the reliability and durability that comes with the purchase of a Nissan vehicle and you are in for a treat.