Thanks for a great first year!

Hard to believe, but TireKicker turns 1 on Monday, August 24. Thanks for your visits, hits, clicks, links and recommendations. You've taken us from a blank computer screen to 151 posts and counting. And the best is yet to come!


Nissan Armada Titanium Review

When I first booked a week in the Nissan Armada Titanium, I had exactly the wrong idea.

The name "Titanium" had me thinking this would be a new top-of-the-line trim level.

Nope. It's actually a mid-level version...adding leather, 20 inch wheels, a backup camera without requiring a navigation system, keyless ignition and a Bluetooth hands-free phone interface to the stuff found standard on the base SE, for a little less than $5,000 extra.

While the SE is probably the smartest buy, the Titanium gets you a lot of neat features without springing for the top-of-the-line Platinum (interior shown below), which throws in navigation, DVD entertainment, a sunroof and sonar for 7 grand more than the Titanium and a whopping 12 large over the SE.

The one I had recently was a four-wheel drive version, a $2,800 premium over the 2wd Titanium. But Nissan's people held the line on optional equipment (just $220 for floormats and a rear cargo mat), showing just how good a stock Titanium is. And that kept the bottom line to $46,940 with delivery charges...by no means cheap, but a relief after a series of 50-grand plus full-size SUVs.

It's still big...very big...and it still gets marginal gas mileage (even with a 5-speed automatic, the 317-horsepower 5.6 liter V8 is only EPA rated at 12 city/18 highway). But if your needs dictate a full-size SUV, the Armada should be considered and the Titanium strikes me as a reasonable way to step up from the SE (which is the real bargain of the bunch).