2012 Nissan Armada Platinum Edition
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Published on Thu, Jun 14, 2012
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By Zoran Segina THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST Around Los Angeles in the 2012 Nissan Armada Platinum Edition The telephone ring has an ominous sound to it—the one that portends the bad news even before you pick up the receiver. Mark, my colleague, is on the line. His boss back East requires the entire team to return to headquarters as soon as possible, so everybody is rescheduling their plane tickets. The call destroys my elaborate travel guide plans, laid months in advance because I am missing the key ingredient: The first time visitors to Los Angeles. It all started several months before when Tanya, Eli, and Mark told me they were coming here for a week-long business meeting. If they can spare a couple of hours—in essence a long lunch—I am ready to take them on a tour of the most recognizable cultural spots of Los Angeles: The Disney Hall, Olvera Street, the Hollywood sign and the stars on the boulevard below, the billboards and the clubs of Sunset Boulevard, the Magic Castle—in short, the neighborhood places that we, denizens of LA, pass by every day without casting a second glance. At the same time, millions of people travel here from all over the world to admire these landmarks, take photographs, and recall the memories thereafter.
Distinguished out-of-town guests need proper transportation for their first time trip around LA. After all, we are the center of the car universe (or so we claim). The vehicle should be spacious yet comfortable, with good visibility all around, capable of climbing the hills and dales of Hollywood and Bel Air, and yet civilized enough not to look out of place on the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. Having reviewed the above requirements, the folks at Nissan offer us a 2012 Nissan Armada Platinum. The Armada is a big, unapologetic hunk of steel. In this day and age of automotive equivalency and the metrosexual search for the meaning of self (am I too much of SUV or not enough?), it is reassuring to see the vehicle that is not afraid of its DNA. The user of the Armada will encounter a long, tall, large, heavy, body on frame, sport utility vehicle that looks and feels proud of what it is. Ain’t nobody crossing over with this thing. Despite its bulk, the Armada doesn’t appear too big, because the angular body is well proportioned. Inside, the SUV offers a remarkably civilized mode of transportation. The two rows of optional captain chairs clad in beige leather exude VIP treatment. There is a video screen that can drop down for the passengers’ viewing pleasure. There’s also a pair of earphones in the center console for the aural sanity of parents on long trips. The luxury interior is so complete that the only other listed options are floor and cargo mats and the rear cargo net and organizer. That means eight ways to adjust the driver’s seat with a push of a button, lumbar support, adjustable pedals, heating for the gluteal muscles in the captain seats, as well as heated leather wrapped steering wheel.
The occupants’ sense of well-being and the Very Important Person status is further enhanced by a satellite radio, MP3 player connection, Bose Audio system, rear air conditioning with its own set of controls, power moon-roof, keyless operation, and navigation system. A button opens and closes rear door. A rear view camera which is a part of the Platinum equipment package is a necessity rather than a luxury. Around town, the Armada is quite agile for its size. The high perch offers great visibility, and the large mirrors, plus the aforementioned rearview camera, take the uncertainty out of parking chores. Should an occasional curb stand in the way, the twenty inch Michelins have a wonderful ability to disregard it. With 317 horses, and nearly 400 pound-feet of torque available, the Armada can get out of tight traffic situations. Do not expect to slink a six-yard long vehicle through an LA rush hour, but the strong engine and firm architecture provide a solid and reassuring ride. Based on the number of compliments I received, and the longing looks from passers-bye, I cannot be convinced that Americans have lost interest in the big and powerful SUVs. After all, we inhabited this nation by being adventurers and explorers, and that pioneer spirit is still alive and well. The Chisholm Trail can be now traversed on the Interstate 35, and the covered wagon comes with satellite stereo and G.P.S. navigation, but the love affair with a transportation devices that can take people and cargo far away continues unabated. The real problem is that the object of our desire, while still gorgeous, remains a full-figured lady (this one weights over two and a half tons) who drinks a bit too much. It was a known fact that she always imbibed a lot, but recently the booze has had become expensive.
An average Armada owner will find the happiness in double-digit fuel consumption. Even a slightest deviation from a very light touch on a gas pedal, a mere notion of an aggressive take off at the red light, and the consequence is immediate and unforgiving—the numbers on the gauge drop faster than the stock price of a recent IPO. Controlling the right foot’s muscular impulses is made harder by the fact that the Armada accelerates, handles and brakes remarkably well, almost daring the driver to push it to the limit. So, dear Tanya, Eli, and Mark, here are the pictures from the trip around the LA that we almost took. Until the next West Coast conference, and for you to see these places in person, I remain sincerely, Your man in Los Angeles For more information about Nissan products, go to www.nissanusa.com
SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2012 Nissan Armada 4x4 Platinum Price: $53,950.00 (base) $55,850.00 (as tested) EPA fuel economy ratings (miles per gallon) 12 city/18 highway LA Car observed: 11.3 mpg Engine type: 5.6 liter, DOHC V8 32 valve gasoline engine Horsepower: [email protected] rpm Torque: [email protected],400 rpm
Transmission type: Five-speed automatic transmission with Tow/Haul mode Drive configuration: All-Mode 4WD® with 2-speed transfer case Suspension Front and rear independent double-wishbone, front and rear stabilizer bars, auto-leveling rear suspension Wheels and tires: 20 x 8.0 inch six-spoke chrome-clad aluminum-alloy wheels with P275/60R20 Michelin Lattitude all-season tires Brakes: 13.8 x 1.2-inch vented disc front 12.6 x 0.6-inch solid disc rear Dimensions Overall length: 207.7 inches (5276 mm) Overall width: 79.3 inches (2014 mm) Overall height: 78.0 inches (1981 mm) Curb weight: 5,814 pounds (2,633 kg)