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I am planning to purchase either an 05 Armada (SE 4x2) or an 05 Sequoia (SR5 4x2) tomorrow. No one in my family, that I can recall, has ever owned a Japanese vehicle, so this has all been new to me. I bought a 99 Expedition used with 47k miles on it 2 1/2 years ago, and it has been a COMPLETE disaster, so that is what pushed me in a different direction. I have research and shopped the two to death already. Your thoughts and opinions would really be valuable to me at this point.

This is going to be a family vehicle (I have two kids ages 6 and 4). The Expedition was down for repairs for at least a week four or five different times, and this causes so much disruption in getting my wife and I to work, the kids to school, soccer practice, etc. I am looking for a reliable trouble free vehicle for the next 8-10 years that I don't have to worry about my wife breaking down in, assuming it will get regular maintenance.

I really like both vehicles. I am not really (nor is my wife) into some of the gadgets that come on the top of the line models (i.e. DVD, GPS, etc.) and won't be taking this vehicle off road (since I also have an F150 4x4), so I am not looking at the loaded out models. I won't be towing anything with this vehicle. The Armada has GREAT power, the body looks new and edgy, I like how the third seat folds flat, and it is noticeably roomier than the Sequoia. The Sequoia, on the other hand, seems a touch smaller on the inside (kind of like it is 7/8 of full size), I don't like the set-up of the third row seat, and while it looks clean and classy inside and out, it seems sort of plain and outdated. However, the Sequoia, to me, is noticeably quieter and smoother riding. I have always wanted a vehicle that doesn't squeak or rattle.

I have heard and read that Honda and Toyota have the best quality and reliability among the Japanese brands. In your guys' experience, how does Nissan compare to this? Price wise, the Armada would be $2500 cheaper (because of the $1500 rebate), but most of this is offset by the Nissan's factory extended warranty (6 yr 100,000 miles) being $2000 more than the same warranty from Toyota (hard to believe but that is what I was quoted). So, as a package with warranty included, the two are priced very close.

So, what do you guys think? If I follow my heart, and get the Armada, will I regret it because it is a little noisier and less refined? Am I likely to have problems and live at the dealership, like I did with my Expedition? If I follow my head, and get the Sequoia, will I regret it because it is too plain-jane and you see them all over town? Also, I would think the Sequoia is due for a re-design anytime now, and that would probably hurt its resale value some. It would be great to get real world opinions before spending $35k, rather than the same old BS that you get at the dealership. If you made it to the end of this long post, thanks.
 

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here's my opinion

well 1st thing i noticed is that u dont say anything about testing either the armada or sequoia. i have, and while u will ALWAYS FIND a squeak or two on ANY vehicle here are some facts:

ARMADA:
- rommier than sequoia :)
- more power
- model u want is cheaper than that of toyota
- better value

SEQUOIA:
- reliable :)
- refined

and while on both u will get 15- 17mpg avg. i will say folllow what u REALLY like, i dont see myself on a car that need but DONT LIKE. i shud say that armada and sequoia too have problems with brakes.
 

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Tuff Call

Tuff call, the big towing advantage and back seat room tipped the scales for me. The Sequoia is probably your best bet, but you will be missing the 5.6 driveline, which will be sad. The Sequoia being smaller will be a little easier for your wife to deal with maneuvering. I am a big Toyota fan, but after a year with the 5.6 driveline I have all new respect for Nissan products. Put that engine/trans in a Sequoia body and you will have the best of both worlds.

BTW, Toyota is going to re-design the Sequoia/Tundra for 2007 from what I've heard. Might want to wait. We might see HD Tundra's!
 

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I agree with the other club members if you don’t need the power and room of the Armada go with the Sequoia. I would take the family to both dealerships and test drive the vehicles and decide as a family. This way you would get a good idea of what vehicle fit’s you best. Good Luck
 

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I was also in the same situation. It came down to the Armada or Sequoia.

Sequoia Pros: Reliable, period.
Cons: Out dated dash, shift on the column (should be in a Ford or
Chevy), and was introduced in 2000. Base SR5 cost more
and less standard equipments than the Armada.

Armada Pros: Good looking, Power, better steering feel, more standard
equipments, price and modern ext/int styles.
Cons: Rattles and brakes are known issues.

My first vehicle is a 1994 Nissan truck 4x4 KC. It is very reliable at 150K miles. Unbelievable, the muffler and clutch are still original. The Air cond is still cold.

My second vehicle was a 1999 Nissan Maxima. It was very reliable and sold it to my good neighbor's daughter.

My third one is an '05 Nissan Armada. The reliability is very unpredictible. So far it has 3,300 miles. I am hearing a few rattles already, but I'm not worry about it. I did not listen to critics when it comes to buying the Armada. This is the best vehicle I've ever owned so far, will see.

My fourth vehicle is an '05 Max. Reliability is excellent.

Either vehicle will be an excellent choice. I could easily bought a Sequoia and be happy with it.

Good Luck
 

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hmmm

Here is one for you..... Armada by a long shot........I had a Tundra and loved it at first but I had so many problems it was rediculous, I wont go into detail b/c its to much, I had it for five years and I miss it jsut not the hassles with bringin it to the dealer etc. all cars are oging to have some type of problems at some time, but toyota did me injustice when they would not fix my brakes(one of the problems) that had a TSB no recall and said they would not fix it under warranty b/c I did my own maintenence and that shows I not loyal to toyota......hmmm since I purchased a tundra I then purchased a Echo, then I purchased a brand new sienna last year. sound loyal to me, anyway love the sienna to death but guess what with 22k miles I am have the nice toyota problems, reall rediculous, the adjustments on the front endd are fully adjusted and it is still out of alignment basically it cannot be alligned properly anymore, the auto door is giving probkems and the brakes are giving problems( and alread had to bring it in at 10k miles for them to fix warranty problem with brakes) anyway can you tell I used to be a fan and now I am not...
now nissan can definatly run with toyota and honda, I ve had a 81 datsun that run to 255k miles with nomajor suprises, dad has a 84 z perfectly nice. now as far as long term, I dont think anything can hang with the reliability of a honda, if you dont need towing or lots of room, buy a PILOT. If you want the best SUV out there and best looking buy the armada you wont regret it. now go to the toyota forum and you will get all the oppostie ansews..
oh yeah I forgot to mention that I really really wanted a sequioa but not anymore not after the crappy vehicles I had from them
now stiill
armada
bigger
stronger
roomier
better llooking
better quality(IMO)

the only thing I give props to sequioa is it a little more plush.
ride is nicer
fit and finish is nicer, on the inside.
sorry just had to vent a little on this one.
 

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What a nice problem to have

Either way, I think you win. Having driven both, and being a former Toyota owner (Cressida and Camry), I have to agree the Toyota might be a bit more plush. A Sequoia in Black with gold lettering is pretty good looking, I'm not so crazy about the other colors vs. the Armada. I'm putting 4 kids in the back of the Armada, and I'm doing it with a very good feeling of safety. This was key to me. Having come from a Suburban, I like the feeling of a big, heavy SUV. The fact that this one has sport sedan type gogo out of the blocks is just a bonus for us, but it is a pretty sweet thing. Everyone is just zipping around now-a-days, it's just EASY to merge when you are in the Beast, and got the goods to back up the look. Anyways, I recently had your problem, and went with the Armada because of interior cargo room, power, and the 5yr. old flipped up the 2nd row and got right in the 3rd row without needing help..........cool. Good luck to you, no matter which way you go!
 

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Sequoia might be due for a make over as with the Tundra. That's why I settle for the Titan (was debating between Titan and Tundra, my friend who work at a Toyota dealership said they are due to change) didn't want to buy a new vehicle and a few months later they have something new. :D
 

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Pros for Armada:
Speed (faster than a 325 BMW) with a 0-60 of 7.0 seconds.
Size. You said it yourself, Sequoia is a 7/8 vehicle. Armada is between a Tahoe and a Suburban and larger than the Expedition. Has the most cabin room.
Strength. Has a boxed steel frame, not unibody. Tows more though you said you won't need it. It will feel stiffer rather than flexy.
People carrying. You can cary 8 adults easily and comfortably. Sequoia is too small inside to do this.
Newer design. Design is most advanced available being the newest to the market at 2 years old. Sequoia is old and showing its age. EX. Armada has independent rear suspension, Sequoia has a solid rear axel. Armada actually rides nicer in most cases.
Resale. Both will be good, but Sequoia model will be replaced sooner. With a new model. resale will drop noticably. Armada won't have a new model for years.
Cons Gas mileage. Lower, but then it is larger and faster.
Stock tires. Stock tires stink and give a poor ride, loud, and bad handling.


'05 is a second year vehicle. Best year to buy. They got the bugs out of the '04 such as random rattles, etc. I have no rattles, etc. Only two issues I've heard are brakes and rear end clicks. The earlier '05s didn't have the rear hubs greased. Haven't heard anyone say the clicks didn't go away after greasing. Dealer did mine for free. Other was brakes. The early Armadas had warping rotors. Nissan just released revised pads and rotors, cover all Armada brakes 100% under warranty and replace brakes for free with new parts if you don't have them when you get the vehicle. New parts have pretty much solved the brake issue. Very few problems with '05. Compared to the blowing head gaskets GM has on Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/Escalade/HummerH2 and the laundry list on Ford, etc., this is very minor.

Toyota
Pros Gas Mileage
Continually refined over years so it now has no bugs and refined interior.
Build quality. Toyota is good. However, even Chrysler is getting good at this these days. I would put Nissan ahead of Honda for build quality by far after owning both for years. I would put all 3 way ahead of Ford. But I'd put a 2005 Ford over a 2000 toyota when it was new. Its all relative and they are all improving continuously.
Cons Slow. Very slow with weakest and smallest motor of class.
Small Tightest inside of all in class. Difficult to put adults in 2nd and 3rd rows.
Overpriced. Toyotas are usually overpriced by a great deal due to the fact that people will pay for them blindly without looking elsewhere. Kinda the cow following the herd mentality.

A good analogy comparison would be the BMW vs. the Merc. The Merc. is more luxurious, and the BMW is more of a drivers car. A Merc man wouldn't want a BMW and a BMW guy wouldn't settle for a Merc.



Bottomline, more bang for the buck with the Nissan. My priorities in order were speed, size, and towing ability. I didn't care if it was domestic, import, or martian. I don't care about plush. If I did, I would have spent the extra $8 grand from where I was and gotten the Infiniti QX56 with better leather, wood dash, and additional sound proofing. I just wanted the best value for my money. If giving up a couple of miles or so mpg doesn't scare you, get the nissan. Change rims and tires to get greater handling and road mannerisms such as softer ride and additional quiet. I blame the tires for the loudness of our SUVs. I can barely hear sirens inside but I heard the stock tires. My new more aggressive tires are just as quiet or more so than stock.

Here's a good comparison of the specs. http://www.edmunds.com/apps/nvc/edmunds/VehicleComparison;jsessionid=CtFppJM1hhsd1Dv1zWxkfDRBsDGQhZp7LFGPvplC7s1DXls9CqwX!-1368565031?basestyleid=100413101&styleid=100487648&maxvehicles=5&refid=&op=3&tab=features
 

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Can't resist this one!
I started with the '05 Pathfinder, very nice, but after test drives with the whole family we were looking at Sequioa and Armada.
Anything made, concieved or remotely related to Detroit- forget it.
Why Armada over Sequioa for us..
Way better value - more features for the $
Sequioa design is Toyata "safe" and a bit dated now.
Hauls A#*
Towing capacity - we tow, and might go to a bigger boat (ha ha, always)
Financing - 2% vs. 3.9% at the time
Shifter on the tree is definitely funky in the Sequoia

Other things to consider...
Check Edmunds Sequioa forums and you will see there are gremlins in the Sequoia.
I have seen a few photos (I think some here at CA) of crashed Armada's and a story or two and the passenger compartment looks very well protected.
Just when you don't think you need big towing capacity, you'll be at the boat show or RV show and..... :D

I have had two Toys and am on my 3rd Nissan and put both manufacturers on the prospective list.
If you do get the Toy, make sure to get black.

Hope to see you on CA showing off your new rig!
 

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yes sir!!

92tripleblack has good points and bad ones for u. the bad ones are that u need and suv for ur family whether he choose the armada cuz it was fast and handles good.... well u have kids and buy the vehicle of ur needs. u wont be disappointed with the ARMADA... buy it my friend. :D
 

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Armada is the ONE! Plus it has bigger Huevo's!
 

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I've driven both, and by far the Armada is the way to go. The Toyota drives like a tank. I was going to buy an '05 this week as well, but I have heard that the '06 should be out by Aug. If you can wait, you might want to in order to get a better deal on the '05. Good luck!
 

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Wonder what he got?
 
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