If you happen to have read my last review or heard it on the show, you know I was railing on the wussification of the American car buyer. I was testing the loaded out Nissan Armada and the amenities threw me for a loop. The interesting thing about that to me was the extremely harsh reaction I received from everyone. Men, women, and kids alike it seems are destined to enjoy the easy life of power doors, seats, and navigation.
Ok, I get it. I just don’t agree. Cars today have more options than one of Donald Trump’s grand kids. Amazingly the car gods sent me the automobile to prove my point.
The all new Ram Tradesman came with zero power options. Your hear that? No power windows, and not even power locks are included in the great package for the working man or woman.
Start with a beefy 5.7 liter Hemi that produces almost 400HP and over 400 lbft of torque. Continue with a very cool bed storage system that has more ability to change on the fly than either of our current political parties. There are storage boxes on the outside of the bed that are lighted and could comfortably fit tools, guns, fishing gear, whatever you want. Also the bed is designed to adjust to secure any type of load you may be carrying.
The cab of the 2012 Ram Tradesman is a single cab. When was the last time you rode in a single cab pickup? Let me tell you it’s a lot different from an extended or crew cab. First of all, there is obviously half the room, secondly, there are limited storage compartments. In fact the only one I found doubled as the middle of a bench seat. The bench seat was cool. Wanted to take the wife on a ride and stick her in the middle just for the fun of it. Interestingly enough she wasn’t interested. It turns out women are less attracted to work trucks than fish are to eagles.
Inside the singe cab you find zero extra knobs to twist and break. No seven-inch video screen to distract you and last of all, no carpet. Yes no carpet. Seems dirty boots don’t agree with the frail nature of carpet.
Here’s the cool part. The truck was easy to drive, quick and comfortable despite lacking all of the modern amenities. I can’t wait to show the truck to my stepfather this week. He is the man who said sunroofs don’t belong in trucks. If he gives his stamp of approval for the Ram Tradesman I say job well done
The mileage, as you would expect is not the greatest. Gearing and grunt usually don’t help you pass gas stations. Ha, I just said “pass gas”. Sorry, I digress.
If it’s a work truck you need you should visit your local Dodge house and have a look. Just tell them Lonnie said, “Show me the man truck”.Read More
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In the interest of comparison, the Nissan Leaf is to the Nissan Armada what I am to William F Buckley Jr.
You’re welcome to do the math on that one if you want but, I could just save you the time and tell you there is a huge difference.
What the Nissan Armada drives home to me is that somewhere there has to be a family not hampered by the crazy spikes in gasoline prices. My co-host on The Car Show is always quick to point out that, if you can afford it and want it, there should be a product for it. From a capitalist approach I understand that argument but, do we really need a vehicle intended to move people getting 12 mpg city, in 2012.
The Nissan Frontier offers 317 horsepower which is needed due to the weight of the Armada. Actually, a little more would be great. At 12/18 the Armada falls in line with most large SUV’s. That’s good news for Nissan but, is it good enough for us.
I have a twenty-one year old brother who is in many ways indicative of the Gen-Y crowd. Talks a lot of green but drives a Ford Crown Vic. The truth is he could care less about cars. He’s busy laying the ground work for a successful life. So I’ll give him a pass. But, what is interesting to me is how much Gen-Y talks about being green when the Hippies of the 60’s and 70”s seemed far more concerned with the fragile nature of our planet.
Obviously I won’t save the world here. My one contribution may be the untimely use of pop culture metaphors.
The reason I bring this up is because I am very impressed with the Nissan Armada. With the one exception of needing arms with more ability to stretch than Lindsey Lohan’s attorney to turn the station on the radio, I enjoy every minute behind the wheel.
The Armada is extremely comfortable offering leather seating and more eight inch plasma screens than a Starbucks at six in the morning. The Bose sound system is sublime and 8-way adjustable driver’s seat leaves you feeling in command of your ship. The Armada has dual zone Automatic A/C with rear A/C controls so your squids being chauffeured about town can keep themselves cool while you burn more fuel than 50 rednecks at a bond fire.
Another thing about the Armada is its massive list of standard features. On my test car the only options were floor and cargo mats and a rear cargo net totaling $475.00. With a thousand dollar destination charge it brings the cost of acquiring an Armada Platinum $55,400.00.
On the show David and I constantly debate the people mover concept. His view, and I concede he is right, is that if you have many people to move it is far cheaper to move them in one gas guzzler than three cars that get 25mpg. My argument is what happens when the massive ship in not full of passengers.
I guess if Yachts can have dingys then you should have a Nissan Leaf in your driveway next to your Armada. There you’re welcome Nissan