2013 Nissan Armada Expert Review

Editor's Overview

Nissan's 2013 Armada SUV is a big machine intended for big jobs. With seating for up to eight people, a smorgasbord of electronic media and navigation equipment, and a tow rating of 9,000 pounds, the Armada is indispensable for large families on the go. That is if they can afford the monthly fuel bill.

You'll Like The 2013 Nissan Armada If...

If your next vehicle must have all the cutting-edge media electronics found in most high-end luxury cars, but you simply can't do without 8-passenger seating and a 9,000-pound tow rating, the 2013 Nissan Armada should fit you like a glove.

You May Not Like The 2013 Nissan Armada If...

If you're not able to deal with the size and poor fuel economy afforded by the 2013 Nissan Armada, there are many mid-size SUVs with slightly smaller interiors and much better fuel economy. GMC's Acadia is one, as is the Ford Explorer.

What's New

For 2013, the Nissan Armada now offers Bluetooth, a USB port, sliding sun visors with courtesy light and a 4-way power passenger seat on the entry level SV trim. A new Platinum Reserve package adds 20-inch dark chrome rims, dark chrome trim and 2-tone leather seating. The SV and SL models can now be equipped with dual 7-inch rear seat monitors, which are standard on the Platinum model.

Interior Features

Nissan's 2013 Armada's interior is designed to adapt to multiple needs, able to shuttle up to eight passengers, or just two people and 97 cubic feet worth of their stuff. The Armada's second row can be outfitted with either a 3-person bench seat or a pair of Captain's-chair-style seats divided by a removable center console creating a clear and easy pathway for the 3rd-row passengers to enter and exit. Passengers in the Armada SUV's 3rd-row seat have a slightly elevated perch designed to give them an equally good view ahead as well as make the area feel less claustrophobic.

Exterior Features

Nissan took a bit of a risk with the 2013 Armada SUV. Expressive body arches and door frames stand out from the 90-degree-angle designs expressed on the Armada's competitors, as do its raised roof and enormous side fender flares. Nissan's 3-opening chrome grille so familiar on their truck line is present on the Armada SUV as well, adding a bit of ruggedness on an otherwise luxurious SUV. Some of the styling cues actually hinder functionality, such as the high-mounted rear door handles that can be difficult for little kids to reach.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Nissan Armada SUV's hefty bulk and truck-like build might have you thinking that handling and ride comfort are not going to be its strongest attributes, and you would be half right. Nissan's adept double-wishbone suspension and speed-sensitive power steering make the Armada as easy to operate as a mid-size Nissan Pathfinder. Tight confines are still a bit tricky given the Nissan Armada's length, but its short front and rear overhangs make maneuvering in tight corners a bit less worrisome. On smooth pavement, the Armada sails along with little drama, but upon encountering rough seas like uneven pavement or large expansion joints, the Armada's Titan-based roots quickly make themselves – and the offending road surfaces – known. The 2013 Nissan Armada SUV's 317-horsepower V8 engine delivers great power and never feels tepid or short of breath, and its 5-speed automatic delivers decisive, nearly imperceptible shifts.

Pricing Notes

The 2-wheel-drive (2WD) 2013 Nissan Armada SV has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just around $42,000, while the same model with 4-wheel drive comes in just close to $47,000. The SL trim ranges from about $47,000 to $50,000, while a fully loaded Platinum tops out around the $60,000 mark. A look at the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price paid for an Armada in your area, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiations. Also be sure to check the Incentives tab to see what deals the manufacturer may be offering. In the all-important world of resale, the 2013 Nissan Armada SUV is projected to retain an average residual value, slightly lower than the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition, and well below the value retained by the Toyota Sequoia.

Notable Equipment

Highlighting the standard equipment on the 2013 Nissan Armada SV is front and rear air conditioning, floor- and ceiling-mounted consoles, Vehicle Dynamic Control, rear privacy glass, dual power heated outside mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, front and rear head-curtain airbags (covering all three rows), Bluetooth, 8-way power driver's seat, 4-way power passenger seat, and cruise control. The SL adds Intelligent Key keyless entry and start, leather seating, RearView Monitor, Bose audio, power-folding 3rd-row seat, power liftgate, heated front seats and auto-leveling rear air suspension. The Platinum Edition includes all of these features plus heated 2nd-row seats and steering wheel, a power moonroof, a hard-drive-based navigation system and rear-seat DVD entertainment.

Notable Options

Options for the 2013 Nissan Armada SUV vary by trim. The Armada SV can be equipped with the Driver Package that adds a 12-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth, power liftgate, RearView Monitor, fog lights and a power-folding 3rd-row seat. Also available on the SV is the Tow Package and a number of dealer-installed options. The Nissan Armada SL and SV can be equipped with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and to the SL, a power moonroof, while the Platinum Edition offers 2nd-row captain's-chair seating. All models offer the option of 4-wheel drive.

Favorite Features

The 2013 Nissan Armada SUV's versatile rear-seat design includes fold-flat seats that create a level loading floor.

In the event of a rollover, the Nissan Armada's standard head-protection-curtain airbags cover all three rows of outboard passengers from flying glass and debris.

Under the Hood

Nissan equips the 2013 Armada SUV with its most powerful V8 engine and the results are impressive. Tow rated at 9,100 pounds (with the available Tow Package), the Armada credits itself well in maximum towing capacity among lighter-duty, full-size SUVs.

5.6-liter V8
317 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
385 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 mpg (gasoline, 2WD), 12/18 mpg (gasoline, 4WD), 9/13 mpg (E85, 2WD), 9/13 mpg (E85, 4WD)

Editors' Notes

Nissan's 2013 Armada SUV is built for those with big families and big towing needs. The Armada SUV plays in a very small field of competitors that include the Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia. In the Armada, you get a very well-engineered SUV with a powerful V8, a 9,000-pound tow rating and room for up to eight people. The Armada's foldaway 3rd-row seat makes it easier to open up the massive cargo hold and is power activated on SL and Platinum trims. For those who must deal with inclement weather, 4-wheel drive (4WD) is also available. Of course, this much SUV doesn't come cheap and that includes the cost to fill the tank. But, if you can swing the 2013 Nissan Armada's $45,000-plus price tag, another $100 bucks a week probably isn't going to come as much concern.

Road Test Video Reviews

  • In Depth Look At The All New 2013 Nissan Armada Platinum - Presented By Morris Nissan Charleston, Sc
  • 2011-2014 Nissan Armada quick take | Consumer Reports
  • 2013 Nissan Armada Platinum Review
  • 2013 Nissan Armada Review
  • 2013 Nissan Armada Platinum 4x4 on theTXANNchannel
  • 2013 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve 4wd Review

Owner Reviews


13 Reviews

77% 8% 8% 8% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

I love the space and how reliable this vehicle is.

I love this truck. It is perfect for the amount of equipment that we have due to our daughters special needs. The only issue is that it is a gas guzzler. We have put a lot of mileage on it and it has been very dependable and the only issue that we have had is the battery dying but all of the other parts have been very good and have held up.

- Carrell L

The best for teens that are just trying to get by.

The gas goes super fast, but it does have very good features, comfort, etc. Also the look is very modern of this car. I recommend this cars to young adults or maybe moms of younger ones. I have found it very easy to clean also, my old cars have been hard to clean in the past.

- Elizabeth A

Love the Armada. Great space and great car.

We have not had any major problems. We love the space and the liftgate. My husband is very tall and he can fit comfortably in the car. It rides very well. It is hard to put adults in the 3rd row. We have plenty of room to take whatever we need when we travel.

- Sara W