2012 Nissan Armada

2012 Nissan Armada Exterior

In this time of downsizing, many large sport-utility vehicles are being eliminated and replaced with smaller, lighter crossover vehicles that have little towing capacity. Nissan’s Armada is still a large, truck-based SUV made in Mississippi with serious towing capability. Power comes from a 317-horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8 engine, hooked up to a five-speed automatic transmission and you can choose either rear- or four-wheel drive at ordering time. Armadas are rated to tow up to 9,100 pounds, which makes them able to tow the majority of conventional travel trailers.

Armadas offer seating for up to eight, with lots of room for adults to spread out in the first and second rows, and there’s a third row for smaller folks. The is 20 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row, and 97.1 cubic feet with all the rear seats folded

2012 Nissan Armada Interior
The navigation system now includes XM NavTraffic for real-time traffic avoidance.

The Armada is offered in three trim levels, including the entry-level SV, midrange SL and top-of-the-line Platinum. It can be fitted with a long list of options, including a moonroof, rear entertainment system, and the navigation system now includes XM NavTraffic for real-time traffic avoidance. Prices begin at $38,490.


  1. Looks to be quite the soccer mom type vehicle at a hefty price tag. It would be nice to see some idea of the gas mileage. And since Trailer Life is for recreational vehicle enthusiasts, has the Armada been approved to be towed?

    • We just returned from a trip to Texas on a rather circuitous route, with total miles in excess of 5000. The reason for the “in excess” is because we drove to various scenic spots without the trailer at each stop. But, the moral to the story is, we had purchased a 2011 Nisson Armada. We also purchased an Outback with net weight of 7500 lbs. We loaded to the max. and throughout the trip averaged 11 mpg. and the Armada had ample power to handle tough hills. I did not enjoy pulling though, in strong winds. We had sold our class A to eliminate maintenance. We lived in same for just a couple days shy of 3 months and are still happily married. Hope this helps. Thumbs up, Nisson

  2. Ok, just to show what the 2011 Nissan Armada can tow, here are my weights.

    7240lbs- Trailer loaded with all except clothes and food. (The trailer is listed in having around 5600lbs dry weight to give you an idea how far off it can be from loaded.) I do have the fresh water tank about 1/3 full.

    800lbs Hitch Weight (11) percent of total weight

    As for the Armada:

    GVWR- 7150
    CVWR- 15100
    MAX TOW- 9100
    MAX TONGUE- 910
    MAX FRONT AXLE- 3399
    MAX REAR AXLE- 4299

    Actual weights with difference from max:

    5400lbs with a half tank of gas (Another 10 gal until full about 80lbs)
    7150-5400= 1750 left for payload not including tongue weight
    1750-800 (tongue weight)= 950 for rest of payload

    Front axle- 2640
    3399-2640= 759 left

    Rear Axle-3520
    4299-3520= 779 left

    Tongue weight- 800 (11 percent of total trailer)
    910-800=110 left

    Gross combined- 12640
    15100-12640= 2640 left

    With my family of 4 including me, we are under all weights. The “shorter wheel base (123.2 inches)” is no problem with this 33.5ft trailer. I do have dual friction sway bars with a curt wd hitch. I tow at 64mph getting 10mpg. When towing, I can feel the trailer behind me but it is very stable. You will get the standard suck and blow when large vehicles pass on the highway. Great tow vehicle in my book.

    • We tow a 29′ Airstream with our 2010 Armada SE which we have equipped with Firestone Air Bags as a supplement to the tow package. Our weights are very comparable (about 500 lbs lighter) to those of ‘Steel’. We use a Reese Strait-Line hitch with dual cam sway control which really works well. We took a 5,000+ mile trip from UT to FL last summer and averaged 12.8 mpg @ 57-62 mph. This is the best all-around tow vehicle we’ve had compared to our previous 1/2 ton Burb w/5.3 l and 3/4 ton Yuke w/8.1 l. Unburdened it regularly gets 18+ mpg at highway speeds.

  3. The 2012 Armada makes use of the same F-Alpha design platform underpinning the well-known Titan pickup and the QX models, but the latest Nissan large SUV still does not feature the “goodies” its parent automaker has included to the 2012 QX56 like the new engine.


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