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11 Best Old-School SUVs

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2015 Nissan Armada
Base-price range: $39,055 – $54,325

Armada is Nissan’s flagship SUV. Its basic design, powertrains, and overall look haven’t changed much since its debut in 2003. Armada comes in three trim levels and offers seating for up to eight passengers, all powered by a 317-horsepower 5.6-liter V-8 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and full-time four-wheel drive that can be left engaged on dry pavement is optional. The 4WD system includes low-range gearing for off-road use. Top-line models even include a self-leveling rear air suspension. Maximum towing capacity is 9,000 pounds. Unfortunately, with a 2003-era design and drivetrain come 2003-era fuel-economy numbers of just 14-15 mpg city/highway combined. If potentially stratospheric fuel consumption isn’t a major concern, you will Armada delivers an appealing blend of big SUV passenger and cargo room in a surprisingly maneuverable package that can undercut comparably equipped rivals by thousands of dollars. Perhaps you can put the money you save towards the fuel bill.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]