The full-size 2004 Nissan Armada, the newest member of Nissan's diverse family of authentic sport utility vehicles, takes Nissan’s reputation for innovation to a new dimension. Designed to be a full-size SUV for full-size lives, the new Armada will be available at Nissan dealers nationwide beginning in fall 2003.
The Nissan lineup of SUVs now includes vehicles for practically every use or desire – from the "everything you need, nothing you don't" simplicity of the popular Xterra, to the versatile Pathfinder, to the "on-road adventurer" Murano, and now the powerful, roomy, eight-passenger Armada.
"The new Armada is designed for owners with active lifestyles, families that need all of the traditional full-size SUV strengths but who are looking for a higher level of style, rewarding features and the flexibility that encourages spontaneity and adventure," said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "More than just a passive carrier for passengers and their cargo, Armada is a vehicle that allows – and inspires – larger-than-life moments."
Expressive Exterior Styling
The new Armada offers a distinctive image, led by its advanced design concept. The combination of a long wheelbase and manageable overall length gives the Armada enhanced stability and handling, and a longer interior with plenty of cargo room - yet short front and rear overhangs for good maneuverability.
In researching the full-size SUV market, Nissan designers and product planners found that many SUV buyers are looking for fresh styling appearance beyond the current offerings in class.
"Along with improved driving dynamics and more functional flexibility, one of the key unmet needs of the segment is uniqueness and distinctiveness," said McNabb. "Buyers are ready for something new and different – not just another generic SUV."
The Armada design starts with its wide stance, with the body gesture following from the tire sidewalls up. The headlights are straightforward but powerful, the hood massive yet refined. The sheer A-pillar design calls attention to the tight, tailored precision of the upper body with the B-, C- and D-pillars acting as a frame for the highly polished feel of the body structure. The tailgate has a substantial look without feeling heavy and the massive bumpers project the Armada's strength and power.
Other exterior features include a standard body-color grille (SE model, chrome grille on LE model) and chrome front door handles, dual power-adjustable heated chrome side mirrors (with puddle lamps on LE models), standard running boards, privacy glass for the 2nd and 3rd rows and available power rear liftgate, manual flip-out rear quarter windows (power-operated on LE models) and halogen headlights. All models are also offered with a standard proximity sensor system (back-up obstacle warning) in the rear bumper.
"From the stepped-up roofline and two-piece roof rack to the standard 18-inch wheels and tires, you get a strong sense of quality, style and individuality. There's a familiar Nissan link without being a virtual copy of our other SUVs – a freshness that we think will endure for a long time to come," said McNabb.
An Inspired Interior Design
Though the Armada is Nissan’s first full-size SUV, it follows in the tradition of other authentic Nissan SUVs in providing an interior environment designed for active families. Its advanced, ergonomic interior styling combines a modern appearance with traditional ruggedness.
Key to the Armada design concept is exceptional versatility, roominess and flexibility - including standard fold-flat 2nd and 3rd row seats, the most 2nd row leg room in the full-size, light duty SUV class, choice of 8-passenger seating or 7-passenger, ample cargo space behind the 3rd row seat, and a full-length overhead console with map lights, vents and available DVD Family Entertainment System.
In front, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and available 6-way adjustable front passenger’s seat provide a sense of comfort and luxury, while the fold-down front passenger seat features cup holders and a recessed “work area.” The large front console offers excellent storage capacity. Three 12-volt power outlets are located on the console and instrument panel for use with cellular phones and portable electronic devices.
The standard floor-mounted shifter (first in the full-size, light duty SUV class) adds a sporty appearance and enhanced shift control when towing. Also standard are adjustable brake and accelerator pedals with transmission interlock.
Seton leather-appointed seats (leather standard on LE and SE Off-Road, optional on SE) and a satellite-based navigation system with 7.0-inch LCD screen are also available. The standard full-length overhead console includes individual map lamps and ventilation outlets.
The 2nd row features a choice of a fold-flat 2nd row bench seat or available fold-flat 2nd row captain’s chairs with an innovative, removable 2nd row center console. The 2nd row leg room of 41.9 inches (best in the full-size, light duty SUV class) provides passengers room to ride in comfort, while an available DVD Family Entertainment System with two wireless headphones and remote control and 10-speaker Bose® audio system offers a variety of entertainment options. The Bose system's dual media capability allows use of radio and CD at the same time (headphones must be used to listen to second audio source).
The fold-flat 3rd row seats are designed for easy operation and easy access. "In addition, a thoughtful design feature raises the 3rd row seats higher than the 2nd row to facilitate easier conversation and better visibility for the occupants," said McNabb.
There is also a large amount of storage space behind the 3rd row seat. With the 2nd and 3rd row seats folded down, the Armada offers a nearly flat floor. And, with the front passenger seat in the fold-down position, it is possible to carry items up to 10-feet in length with the rear liftgate closed. In addition to ample headroom, the 3rd row includes side storage bins and cupholders. The rear cargo area also includes ceiling and floor-mounted cargo hooks, while available accessories include a cargo net and cargo tray.
Up to 14 cupholders are available throughout the Armada, with some capable of holding 64-ounce size cups. Other storage areas include instrument panel side pockets, the center console main storage bin with side pockets, bottle holders in the front and side doors, and a driver’s seat rear pocket.
The Power To Pursue Big Adventures
The Armada is the most powerful Nissan SUV ever built. Utilizing an all-new platform, the Armada features a rugged, fully boxed high-strength steel frame for enhanced crash performance and long-term durability; an independent double-wishbone rear suspension designed for improved roominess, comfort and responsive handling; and an all-new 5.6-liter DOHC 32-valve Nissan Endurance V8 engine offering one of the highest standard horsepower/torque ratings in the full-size, light duty SUV class and the highest maximum towing capacity in class (when properly equipped) of up to 9,100 pounds. The Endurance V8 engine is tuned for use in the Armada to produce 305 horsepower and 385 lb-ft torque.
The Nissan Endurance V8, which is assembled at Nissan's advanced engine facility in Decherd, Tenn., is shared with the all-new Nissan Titan full-size pickup. Nearly 90 percent of the engine's impressive torque is available below 2,500 rpm – where it's needed for hauling, towing or slow-speed off-road driving.
The engine's advanced design includes features such as an aluminum engine block with cast iron cylinder liners, chain-driven dual overhead camshafts with silent single-stage timing chain, microfinished forged steel crankshaft and microfinished camshafts, molybdenum-coated pistons and electronic drive-by-wire throttle for precise control.
An electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode is standard on every Armada. The transmission utilizes a unique gear set chosen specifically for use in high torque situations, along with an advanced torque converter design for improved fuel economy and an advanced powertrain management program for improved shift quality. The tow/haul mode revises the shift pattern when towing and hauling.
Armada models equipped with the towing package also receive a higher axle ratio and a transmission temperature gauge. Other tow package equipment includes a receiver hitch, heavy-duty radiator, additional 7-pin wiring harness plug, trailer brake pre-wiring, heavy-duty battery and rear suspension air levelizer.
The new Armada's off-road credentials are equally impressive, with 4-wheel drive models featuring an advanced full-time automatic control system. Utilizing all-wheel drive technology derived from Nissan’s world-class Skyline GT-R sports coupe (rather than less sophisticated truck-based systems), the Armada 4WD system is designed to instantly distribute torque to all four wheels whenever road conditions warrant (up to 50 percent can go to the front wheels on demand), resulting in optimal traction with improved fuel economy and enhanced cornering capability.
The two-speed electronic transfer case allows the driver to select between auto, full-time 4-wheel drive and 4Lo. The crawl ratio in 4Lo is among the best among competitors, providing enhanced low speed driving force and hill descending ability. Under normal driving conditions, 4WD Armadas operate in two-wheel drive mode.
The Armada’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) includes standard off-road tuning for improved braking on loose gravel. There is also a high ground clearance (9.9 inches for 2WD models, 10.6 for 4WD models). Heavy-duty skid plates (oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case) are available as part of the Off-Road Grade. The Off-Road Package also includes Rancho® off-road performance shocks.
While the Armada is well equipped for rugged activities, it is equally capable of tackling everyday driving tasks with comfort and style. The standard all-steel front double-wishbone suspension with coil-over shock absorbers and stabilizer bar is matched with a responsive independent double-wishbone rear suspension.
Along with compliant handling, the rear suspension design also provides a high ride quality for 2nd and 3rd row passengers and maximizes rear interior space by minimizing the intrusion of suspension components into the interior compartment.
A rear air leveling system (available with towing package) provides improved handling stability and ride comfort when towing or carrying heavy cargo. The system, which automatically adjusts the air pressure in the suspension bladders, helps maintain a uniform ground clearance and departure angle when towing or when carrying heavy cargo.
Other key platform components found on every new Armada include engine speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and 4-wheel disc brakes with Bosch Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system with Traction Control and Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS).
Large 265/70R18 tires are offered with standard aluminum-alloy wheels (5-spoke on SE, 6-spoke on LE models), while Off-Road Grade equipped models feature P285/70R17 BF Goodrich Rugged Trail All-Terrain tires on 17x7.5J 7-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels. A standard 28-gallon fuel tank provides an excellent driving rang
An Emphasis on Advanced Safety Technology
The new Armada offers an extensive list of standard and available safety features, including standard supplemental curtain air bags for side-impact and rollover to all three rows and available side-impact supplemental air bags (front seat-mounted).
Every Armada also features Nissan's Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front passenger occupant classification sensor, 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, 3-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants (including center position), LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for CHildren) child seat anchor system and Zone Body construction with front and rear crushable zones.
A Wide Range of Models and Equipment
The new Armada will be offered in Armada SE, Armada SE Off-Road and Armada LE models in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive. A number of optional packages are available to allow buyers to tune their vehicles to their exact needs and desires.
The SE model, like all Armadas, starts with the 5.6-liter Nissan Endurance V8, 5-speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel independent suspension and fold-flat 2nd and 3rd row seats. Key SE features include a body color grille, P265/70R18 tires on 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, 8-passenger seating and full-length overhead console, step rails, 6CD in-dash autochanger and proximity sensors.
The Armada SE Off-Road model adds equipment specially designed for enhanced all-terrain capabilities, including Rancho performance shock absorbers, a lower final gear ratio (3.357:1), P285/70R17 BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires mounted on unique “off-road” style aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lamps and three skid plates.
The Armada LE adds a higher level of luxury appointments, including a chrome grille with black mesh insert, 2nd row bucket seats with removable center console and leather-appointed seats with side-impact air bags.
Available equipment packages include SE Bose Package, SE Leather Package, SE/SE Off-Road Sunroof Package, SE Journey Package and SE Off-Road Adventure Package.
Armada LE packages include the LE 2nd Row Split Bench Seat Package, LE Upgrade Package, LE Sunroof Package and LE Technology Package with power liftgate and navigation system with 7.0-inch LCD screen.
A pair of function packages are also offered: the DVD Family Entertainment System with rear display, center console video port, two wireless headphones and DVD changer, and the Tow Package (SE only) with rear suspension levelizer and other special towing equipment.
Eight exterior colors are offered: Blizzard (white), Galaxy (black), Coolness (silver), Smoke (dark silver), Copper, Deep Water (blue), Sedona (red/brown) and Canteen (green). Interior color combinations include Sand/Sand, Graphite/Titanium and Steel/Titanium.
"The all-new 2004 Armada enters the full-size SUV market with a proud heritage and a laser-like focus on innovative solutions to customer needs," said McNabb. "Its standout design, unique features, advanced performance and safety technology, built on a foundation of exceptional performance, create in the Armada a vehicle that's ready for anything – a worthy flagship among Nissan's full line of adventurous SUVs."