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Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       01-15-2013, 6:44 AM Reply   
Looking to possibly upgrade my tow vehicle from my 04 sequoia. I am considering the 08+ Nissan Armada LE rated for 9500 lbs. Anyone here tow with the Armada? Or have a recommendation for an SUV under $25k. Wish I could go with a newer Sequoua but they are out if this price range.

Thanks for any info.

Btw, boat I am considering is 6500 lbs fully loaded.
Old    Diggs (pdxWAKE) (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       01-15-2013, 7:21 AM Reply   
Fman
I have towed with an armada and a titan (same power plant and chasis) and it tows great. They are total gas pigs though so be ready. If you are comparing it to a Tahoe with a 5.3L, I would say all day long go for the Armada. It is better and more power. I would say it would be similar to towing with a newer Tundra or Sequoia.....
Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       01-15-2013, 9:21 AM Reply   
Is it much worse than 12 / 17 with sequoia unloaded, 9 mpg towing?
Old    William Burell (williamburell)      Join Date: Sep 2011       01-15-2013, 9:35 AM Reply   
I tow with an 06 denali. Can be found well below budget. 6.0 is a gas hog 24-7 but the awd and 6.0 come in handy towing. Also love the leveling system for towing
Old    Patrick Castro (patrick232)      Join Date: Aug 2008       01-15-2013, 10:29 AM Reply   
Had a 05 QX56 for about 4 years and almost 80K miles. It towed better than our 2002 Sequoia and 2007 Suburban (company car).
Old    Diggs (pdxWAKE) (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       01-15-2013, 10:38 AM Reply   
Travis
Those numbers are probably similar to your Sequioa. I doubt you will ever see 17MPG but maybe. The QX is the same rig, motor and chasis as the Armada too and sounds like Patrick just posted similar comments. You will definitely be happy with it.... If you really do bump up to a 23' boat this year, I would start thinking about a truck if you tow a lot though....
Old    Mark (FunkyBunch)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-15-2013, 10:59 AM Reply   
I have been doing the same research over the last few years and the Armada, and the older diesel Excursions are the only vehicles that I have found in that price range. The Armada is a great large SUV but as noted the gas mileage is poor and I have read of some issues with the brakes in the older model years.

I really like the looks of the Armada but I would really like to see a more modern drive train in a gasser than what the Armada has and for the price even used. Think its the original 5.6 with some minor updates and a 5 speed that was introduced almost 10 years ago.

I really like the size ,towing ability, and gas mileage of the 7.3 Excursions but just don't think I can live with the size everyday for work. My 1/2 ton truck is bad enough in the parking garage.

In the end I just have not pulled the trigger on this upgrade yet. I am hoping that Nissan comes out with the cummins diesel in the future. They have been working on a diesel with cummins for the new Titan due in a few years and hope it becomes an option here as well. If not I will probably wait for the used 11+ QX56 to fall in used price some more. Not sure if this helps any but I have been going back and forth on this for awhile.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       01-15-2013, 11:16 AM Reply   
07' Armada here. Love it. Awful mileage but wife drives it around as a kid hauler. 9k towing capacity, lots of space without being "too big" to daily drive/garage. Factory air suspension in the rear. $200 gets you a nice set of shocks up front. Can haul your friends and your gear.

Advise it.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by jeff_mn; 01-15-2013 at 11:19 AM.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       01-15-2013, 11:19 AM Reply   
9 towing sounds about right on the flats. Something less in the mountains. Bullards is 100 miles exactly each way (200 round trip). I can't make it there and back without gassing up. But that's pulling over the pass.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       01-15-2013, 11:21 AM Reply   
Typical mileage

14.5mpg freeway with 22's
Winter freeway at 75mph - 10mpg
In town with 22's - 12.5
Towing with 22's - under 10 depending on conditions.

Totally worth it as long as you aren't commuting with it.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       01-15-2013, 11:22 AM Reply   
Be very picky about front suspension too when you are test driving these. They are very prone to bump steer. Shocks, bushings, and allignment can cure 95% of it, but when it's bad it will almost rip the wheel out of your hands if you hit an expansion crack mid curve (you can mitigate that by being ready for the behavior, but still...).
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       01-15-2013, 11:23 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
9 towing sounds about right on the flats. Something less in the mountains. Bullards is 100 miles exactly each way (200 round trip). I can't make it there and back without gassing up. But that's pulling over the pass.
I get 9 towing in the flats without wind, without doing 75.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       01-15-2013, 11:24 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
Be very picky about front suspension too when you are test driving these. They are very prone to bump steer. Shocks, bushings, and allignment can cure 95% of it, but when it's bad it will almost rip the wheel out of your hands if you hit an expansion crack mid curve (you can mitigate that by being ready for the behavior, but still...).
100% accurate. $200 in shocks takes care of this completely. Improves ride quality on top of killing the bump steer (which is nasty).
Old    Mark (FunkyBunch)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-15-2013, 11:41 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_mn View Post
100% accurate. $200 in shocks takes care of this completely. Improves ride quality on top of killing the bump steer (which is nasty).

I think this was the other thing that was mentioned when reading the reviews. Good to know its a simple fix. I believe I had read about some that have not gotten it addressed and it messed up the front end.
Old    Jerry McClain (cedarcreek216V)      Join Date: Aug 2011       01-15-2013, 11:45 AM Reply   
Our old tow vehicle was an 03 Z71 tahoe and this past summer we made the switch to a 2010 Armada and have loved it. At times I have missed the four wheel drive on slippery ramps but nothing new tires and better driving won't correct. I get much better MPG on this vehicle than I did with the Tahoe. Infact, I just took a 10 hour round trip, no boat, and got almost 18 MPG for the entire trip. That was at high speeds too as the speed limit was between 75-85 most of the way.

We picked this car up, stil under factory warranty with only 22k miles on it, for right at $25k. The only options it has are leather seats and the tow package but still a very nice vehicle. Towes so much better than the Tahoe did and provides quite a bit more interior room and a third row that stays in the vehicle. I can't tell you how many times I had to remove the third row out of the Tahoe for traveling purposes but once I reached the destination wished I had it to use.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       01-15-2013, 11:48 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_mn View Post
I get 9 towing in the flats without wind, without doing 75.
yeah, I'm ignorant of how I'd do in the flats because I don't have any. I will say at 60-65 it tows great. Fman, put your vlx behind a titan/armada/qx and you would be loving life. Plenty plenty plenty of power for that sized boat. You'd still be getting close with an lsv when packing for a long trip, but shouldn't be a real problem. If you were towing an lsv to tahoe on a weekly basis, I think you would end up wanting a 3/4 ton (be it a pickup, suburban or excursion).
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       01-15-2013, 11:59 AM Reply   
Oh and when looking at armadas MAKE SURE that it really has the tow package. The presence of a hitch alone is not indicative of the "big tow" package which includes a lower final drive ratio and (iirc) a tranny cooler. Lots of people are surprised to find that their armada doesn't really have a 9k tow rating because it doesn't have the tow package.

If memory serves, all QXs have the tow package std (or maybe just 4x4 QQxs?).
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       01-15-2013, 12:05 PM Reply   
if you can find an 07 denali or escalade for under 25k you will get the 6.2L motor and the 6 speed transmission.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       01-15-2013, 12:24 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
Oh and when looking at armadas MAKE SURE that it really has the tow package. The presence of a hitch alone is not indicative of the "big tow" package which includes a lower final drive ratio and (iirc) a tranny cooler. Lots of people are surprised to find that their armada doesn't really have a 9k tow rating because it doesn't have the tow package.

If memory serves, all QXs have the tow package std (or maybe just 4x4 QQxs?).
I believe that this topic is only related to newer Armada's (when they shifted the model to include SV's, etc). Something like 2010 or so. The older ones all have the big tow package iirc - but Shawn is right, make sure you research.

I wouldn't get one without 4wd - but we live in Minnesota so unlike above poster, that's not a realistic option.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       01-15-2013, 12:28 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_mn View Post
I believe that this topic is only related to newer Armada's (when they shifted the model to include SV's, etc). Something like 2010 or so. The older ones all have the big tow package iirc - but Shawn is right, make sure you research.

I wouldn't get one without 4wd - but we live in Minnesota so unlike above poster, that's not a realistic option.
easy way to tell here: http://www.clubarmada.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14951

(self leveling suspension is the giveaway)
Old    Jerry McClain (cedarcreek216V)      Join Date: Aug 2011       01-15-2013, 12:32 PM Reply   
After reading the link posted above, I guess I don't have the tow package after all but it still tows like a dream, much better than the Tahoe. I would like to add air bags to the rear axel as the rear end sags a bit when loaded up with the boat.

Last edited by cedarcreek216V; 01-15-2013 at 12:39 PM.
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       01-15-2013, 12:51 PM Reply   
What about a suburban 2500 with the 6.0L or 6.2L? Can those be had for around 25k? If the rig isn't going to be an everyday driving one of those would probably be my choice.
Old    Tampa Wake (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       01-15-2013, 12:56 PM Reply   
I would so love to get a diesel excursion. Buddy has one and that thing is SOLID.
Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       01-15-2013, 3:01 PM Reply   
Depending on what boat I end up ordering will dictacte what I end up going with. I have been towing with my '04 Sequoia with 4.7L 245 HP/315ft lb torque engine for the last four years with no problems. It does have 4 wheel disc brakes, trans cooler, tow package... for a 4.7L it even does not do to bad on the hills, but adding another 500 lbs with an LSV would make me feel like I was over the safe zone. If I decide on another VLX I will just keep my '04, its been a great vehicle and only has 84k miles on it. I really hate to see it go... love or hate Toyota, they do build a pretty solid, dependable vehicle.

If I go with an LSV the Armada is definitely going to be top of my list, apparently in '08 is when they upgraded the brakes and increased HP to 317/385ft lb torque. I am demoing an LSV tomorrow, but beginning to think this boat might be too much for my use. The extra space would be great, but my family is on the downside (one kid out and another leaving in 1.5 years for college), so we will be down to three in less than 1.5 years.... the VLX never has not accomodated our typical riding crew (6-10 people).

Thanks again for all the feedback, really appreciate it.
Old    Patrick Castro (patrick232)      Join Date: Aug 2008       01-16-2013, 2:22 PM Reply   
Travis, I was pulled away for I could add more to my post about the QX56.

We did tow 3 differnt boats with it from Columbus OH to Norris Lake TN. With the Rinker 232 cuddy and the Moomba XLV could set the cruise and relax. It towed and stopped like a dream. The Ebbtide 2600 was a tough tow for the QX56. Stopping was never a concern, 8 wheels with disc brakes I think it stopped better then without the boat.

The wife drove it most of the time and averaged about 15mpg, her current Traverse is only getting 17.5 mpg. On the road trips it would get into the upper teens running around 75 mph.

I think you will enjoy the upgrade.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       01-17-2013, 2:04 PM Reply   
You can get into an '07-'08 Escalade for 25k. 403HP, 6-speed - that will have no issues handling 6500lbs.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       01-17-2013, 5:57 PM Reply   
How did the demo go, Fman? Did you pull home a new LSV?

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