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The Armada was launched in 2004 as part of the revival plan for Nissan. The vehicle was a pleasant surprise from Nissan. Is there a best year Nissan Armada?

The Armada is Nissan's largest SUV, and it wears a unique angular design. It features a spacious interior and a powerful engine, everything that SUV enthusiasts love to have in their vehicle. Few vehicles out there have a towing capacity to beat or even match that of the Armada.

The Armada has remained the same for quite some time. But the 2013 model receives the best ratings and reviews from several car experts. It is considered the most reliable year for the SUV, and it comes with ample features to make the vehicle a safe and comfortable choice for your getaways.

For the 2013 model, most of the past issues have been refined and corrected, making the model one with fewer complaints. There is a lot to love about the Armada from its cabin space, smooth ride, and impressive performance capabilities. It is a vehicle suited for large SUV lovers and large families.

Our car experts explain that the high ground clearance of the Armada comes thanks to the body-on-frame design. This design allows Nissan to make the vehicle comfortable inside while remaining rough and tough on the outside. Whether you use it on or off the road, it is a reliable vehicle. It can easily tow a horse trailer and is an excellent choice if you love camping trips with your family and friends.

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2013 Nissan Armada

The 2013 Nissan Armada is an SUV designed for performance and comfort. With a powerful engine, a suspension that absorbs most dips and crests on the road, a spacious cabin that can comfortably seat up to eight passengers, and a towing capacity of up to 8,500 pounds, the Armada is a powerhouse of a vehicle.

 The vehicle features a rugged and muscular exterior with an aggressive and respect-demanding stance. With a distinct roofline that arcs over second and third-row passengers and door handles mounted in the rear pillars, its features make rivals look plain and simple.

The 2013 Armada is available in three different trims, SV, SL, and Platinum. Every variant is available with rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive powered by the same engine and a five-speed automatic transmission.

Design Features

It wears a heavy, big, and imposing look. It might not be as popular as its rivals like Tahoe and Expedition, but it is still a common sight and easy to spot. The first feature that grabs attention is the exaggerated wheel wells that stand out from the body on the already flared fenders.

But the most significant feature, which makes the Armada stand out from the crowd, is the roofline that arcs over the second-row seat. Most SUVs are equipped with a straight roofline, and the arc just cuts through. Everyone might not like the vehicle's overall design, but for those who want their SUV to stand out from the crowd, the Armada is a great choice.

Take a big step up, and enter the Armada to find the interior toned down and quite the opposite to what it looks like on the outside. The interior is contoured quite softly, is laid out nicely, and is pretty straightforward. We do have a slight issue with the delicate buttons and small controls. Nissan probably wanted to feature a luxury look with these controls, but in our opinion, the huge vehicle deserved slightly larger controls.

Overall, the dashboard is well laid out, with a screen located in the center between two large AC vents and above audio system controls. The climate control buttons and knobs are just below the audio system. The gauge cluster features large and easy-to-read dials with an orange outline that makes them stand out from in the cabin. The center console is as big and wide as you would expect it to be on a vehicle this size. It houses the shifter next to two cup holders in front of a large storage bin.

Overall, the cabin is nicely laid out and feels soothing, spacious, and comfortable.

Performance Features

A lot on the Armada reminds us of the Nissan Titan truck. The SUV's engine feels rather loud with all the right kinds of noises. The powertrain and the drive-train, which comprise the suspension and steering, are coupled nicely and complement each other well.

The 2013 Nissan Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine that can produce 317 hp and 385 lb-ft torque. Rev it up a little, and you get a similar sound to a muscle car. It is coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission on all variants. The vehicle comes in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

The powertrain makes the Armada quick to take off from traffic lights and gives the vehicle more than enough power for passing on highways. It takes the 5,800-pound SUV from zero to sixty in just 7.1 seconds. The Nissan Armada can tow up to 9,000 pounds with four-wheel drive and the tow-package equipped.

The design of the automatic gear lever and the steering wheel are car-like. Looking at these two, one might expect the Armada to drive and handle like a car; it doesn't. The Armada feels a little slow to respond to driver inputs. Still, given that it is a utility vehicle targeted towards families and offers flexibility for cargo and towing, it will not be just to expect it to handle like a sports car.

Since the suspension is designed for comfort, any quick changes in steering quickly remind us of the vehicle's bulkiness and size with body roll. The soft suspension, tall body, and tall tire sidewalls are hugely responsible for this significant body roll, which is also evident during high-speed cornering or running over mountain hairpins.

We find the braking performance of the Armada quite impressive, especially considering the size and weight of the vehicle. The ride quality is also very smooth, and the Armada is a real bump eater. Hardly any bumps or crests get transferred to the cabin; the suspension and tires absorb most shocks, ensuring a comfortable ride.

Comfort Features

If there is one thing that you cannot be short of on the Armada, it is legroom for the driver and front passenger. The cabin is very spacious, with ample legroom and headroom. Only a few vehicles offer space that can match the one found on the Armada.

However, the luxurious space is not easy to access. It takes a little effort to climb into, especially the front seats, making the vehicle not ideal for the elderly. However, once inside, you find the seats are wide and offer significant bolstering and support. The adjustable pedals help achieve a perfect driving position and a superior outside view.

The second-row seat also offers ample legroom, almost similar to the front seats. If you can find a 2013 Armada with captain's chairs in the second row instead of the standard bench, you will end up with even more legroom. But this optional seating layout cuts the passenger capacity from eight to seven.

The third row is best suited for smaller adults for two reasons. It is difficult to get in and out of the third row, and the headroom is slightly tight back there. Move further back, and you find a cargo space of 20 cubic feet between the third row and the tailgate.

You can fold the third-row seat to more than double the cargo space to 56.7 cubic feet if you need to haul extra cargo. With all seats in the rear compartment folded away, you get 97.1 cubic feet of space behind the front seats.

There are multiple storage bins located around the cabin, including a large glovebox, deep door pockets, numerous cup holders, and a large console box between the driver and front passenger seat. You can never run short of storage spaces for your belongings.

We have a slight issue with the quality of the materials used in the cabin. It feels more plastic than luxurious. Even on the higher trim, the quality is no different. The vehicle is also slightly noisy on the road. We like the V8 roar, but even that can get the better of you on hilly roads or when towing heavy loads. There is also considerable tire and wind noise, pointing to insufficient insulation for the cabin.

Safety Features

The 2013 Nissan Armada comes with several standard features. The features standard across all variants are:

  • Electronic Stability Control monitors the vehicle's performance and handling limits. If the SUV is nearing its limits, the system can reduce engine power to ensure that it remains under the driver's control.
  • Antilock Braking System senses the speed of all wheels. During a hard brake, the system can control the braking pressure on the wheels to prevent them from locking up. This feature helps maintain traction during hard brakes and prevents uncontrolled skidding, especially on slippery surfaces.
  • Frontal airbags help keep the front passengers safe from severe head injuries if the vehicle gets in a frontal crash.
  • Side impact airbags deploy when the vehicle is impacted from the side or rolls over. They protect the occupants from severe upper-body injuries.
  • Overhead airbags protect the occupants' heads if the vehicle is impacted significantly from any side or rolls over.
  • Rear parking sensors help the driver know when the vehicle is getting close to the obstacle behind. They are an absolute necessity on a vehicle this size.

The Rearview camera comes standard on the SV and Platinum trims. We feel that Nissan should have made it standard on all variants, especially considering the size of the vehicle.

One feature that we think plays a vital role in the vehicle's safety is its exceptional outside visibility. With a high seating position and large windows, the vehicle makes it easy to anticipate its corners. However, the high seating position and rear headrests can make reversing the SUV a daunting task.

The vehicle is not adequately rated by the federal NHTSA or the IIHS. The last partially rated model was 2010, which shares the same body structure as 2013. The vehicle was only tested for frontal crash and rollover, and there were no side-impact tests.

The 2010 Armada received five stars for frontal driver side-impact, four stars for frontal passenger side-impact, and three stars for rollover resistance.

Trim Features

There are three variants of the 2013 Nissan Armada, SV, SL, and Platinum. All trims come with either a rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The trim levels have standard features found on rivals, but the 2013 Armada did not offer too many options for extra customization.

The basic SV trim features:

  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry
  • Power door locks, windows, and mirrors
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Flip and fold third-row seat
  • A standard CD player with AM/FM radio

At the middle of the lineup is the SV trim, which adds the following to the SV:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and Bose audio
  • Rearview camera
  • Power-folding for the third-row seat
  • Auto-leveling suspension

The top-of-the-line Platinum trim adds the following features:

  • Heated front and second-row seats and steering wheel
  • Navigation with live traffic updates
  • Power-operated tailgate
  • Moonroof
  • DVD entertainment system

For the optional features, there is a towing package that increases the towing capacity of the Armada to 9,000 pounds. There was also a choice to swap the second-row bench for bucket seats.

Fuel Economy Features

We cannot expect a 5,800-pound vehicle powered by a V8 to deliver top-notch fuel economy like a sedan. If you are shopping for an SUV the size of the Armada, chances are you are already aware that these big SUVs are gas guzzlers.

The 2013 Nissan Armada gets EPA ratings of 13 mpg in the city, 19 on the highway, and 15 mpg combined. These numbers are for the rear-wheel variant. Mount on the heavy four-wheel-drive system, and the numbers change to 12 mpg on the highway, 18 mpg on highways, and 14 mpg combined.

Price Range of 2013 Nissan Armada

The prices of the 2013 Armada start at around $10,000 and go up to $26,000. The average price of the vehicle is around $18,000. Several factors play a role in governing the cost of the Armada; these include, but are not limited to, location, trim level, mileage, drive-train, and vehicle condition.

Best Year Nissan Armada

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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