The 2008 Nissan Armada full-size SUV caters to those who need serious towing ability along with space to haul up to eight passengers. The sturdy full-size 2008 Nissan Armada is based on the Titan pickup, so it’s built on a fully boxed truck frame.
The 2008 Nissan Armada comes with a 317-horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8, fitted to a five-speed automatic transmission and offered with either rear- or four-wheel drive. The powertrain affords a class-leading towing capacity of up to 9,100 pounds and has the capability to drive on ethanol-blend fuel. With 385 pound-feet of torque, it can move the 5,300-pound Armada quite authoritatively, even with a full load of passengers, thanks to the very responsive five-speed automatic, which doesn’t hesitate to downshift when needed. Fuel economy is a shameful 12 mpg in the city, which seems optimistic next to single-digit real-world results.
The 2008 Nissan Armada can handle up to eight passengers with standard second and third-row bench seats; second-row captain’s chairs are also offered for a seven-passenger capacity. When the third-row seats are up, there’s very little cargo space left. The front seats are quite good, and it’s easy to find a good driving position with the available adjustable pedals. In general, though the design of the instrument panel is eye-catching, the materials and plastics inside still lag those used in top rivals. For 2008, new gauges have also been added, along with a lockable glove box. The front seats are perched quite high, which gives good forward visibility, though rearward visibility is impaired by the thick rear side pillars. The Armada rides firmly but quite smoothly, soaking up most major bumps, but all of its heft is felt in corners and when braking.
Automatic dual-zone air conditioning, a 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seat, keyless entry, rear parking sensors, and the ability to play MP3-formatted CDs are all standard features on the Armada, which is offered in SE and LE models. For 2008, there has been slight styling changes to the Armada that match those given to the Titan pickup, plus some alterations in standard equipment. LE models add a load-leveling suspension, fog lamps, a power rear liftgate, leather trim, front parking sensors, a rear camera system, and an upgraded sound system. Power heated folding mirrors have been made standard on 2008 Nissan Armada LE versions, and the Tow Package is now standard on the SE Off-Road edition.
The 2008 Nissan Armada also gets 20-inch wheels as an option, as well as a power folding third-row seat, wood-grain trim, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system with XM NavTraffic information, and the available Music Box audio and DVD navigation system.
Side curtain airbags and stability control are standard, along with anti-lock brakes. The LE model adds front side airbags, which are also available in the 2008 Nissan Armada SE model’s Premium Package option. The Armada hasn’t been crash-tested by the insurance-industry-affiliated IIHS, but in the federal government’s tests, it received four- and five-star results in frontal impact protection
The 2008 Nissan Armada makes a serious statement with its large footprint and bulky exterior.
It’s hard to ignore the exterior of the Nissan Armada, which receives a face-lift for this model year. Edmunds says, “Its front fascia is nothing short of menacing, and its bumpers and fenders have the sort of bulging mass usually associated with power lifters and gridiron gods.” ForbesAutos notes “while not a fleet unto itself, the full-size Nissan Armada is certainly as large as some boats.” Kelley Blue Book writes that the Nissan 2008 Armada features a “raised roof, arched door frames and huge side fender flares,” which make it “one of the most ornate SUVs” that they’ve encountered. While Kelley Blue Book reviewers concede that the Nissan Armada’s “unconventional styling may not be to everyone’s liking,” most others, such as Motor Trend testers, find that the Armada sports a “handsome body.” Motor Trend adds that the Nissan Armada looks “chunky, modern, and sporty, and the big wheels and tires look great.”
Inside, the Nissan 2008 Armada boasts a restyled cabin that wins over reviewers who previously criticized the interior look. Cars.com is particularly impressed, writing that the Nissan Armada is “easily as elegant” as the “$63,000-plus Toyota Land Cruiser,” even though the Nissan Armada’s base price range is about $20,000 lower. ConsumerGuide praises the interior gauges for being “easy to read,” though they comment that the “simple three-dial climate system may be a stretch away for some drivers.” Edmunds reviewers enjoy looking at the “newly sculpted dash” that integrates a “7-inch color display,” and mention the “more luxurious ambiance” of the cabin, while noting, “The cabin’s aesthetic is just as testosterone-spiked as the rest of the ride. Buttons and displays are king-sized all around.”