1. I have no scratches with 10k miles. Any I had vanished with a 10 second hit from a heat gun. Minimal. No more than GM.mada_maybe said:Hi everyone! Great forum...
I have a family of 5 and we are going to trade in
our minivan for an SUV, and we are doing the typical Suburban, Sequoia, Armada comparision thing... The Armada appears to be the clear winner, but I am concerned about reliability. If you research the discussion boards for each vehicle, you'll find unhappy folks, happy folks, and lemon law stories abound with each vehicle. So it is hard to draw any clear conclusions.
Personnally, I think it inappropriate to discount an entire brand /
vehicle because someone got a lemon. Unfortunately, every manufacturer turns out a lemon, some more frequently than others, but this is why we do have lemon laws. The totally empirical evidence of just reading many discussion boards gives me a good feeling that Nissan will at least work with their customers and will buy back bad cars.
So where we are at, the Armada (off road) is by far the best for us on paper.
1) Best air bag coverage for passengers
2) versatile interior
3) best ground clearance
4) good engine
The negatives appear to be (from these forum discussions & a test drive...)
1) Interior plastic scratches easily, which actually bothers me more
than it maybe should.... It seems if you are going to pay a premium
price (40K+) for a vehicle, then you should expect premium materials. (Toyota probably is better here). Can anyone give me an idea of how bad the scratching really is?
2) You need external cargo carrier if you load up the vehicle with 7-8 passengers. (again Sequoia, Suburban are better here). In fact can folks put in a weeks worth of groceries with the back seats up?
3) If you have the 8 passenger version, routinely getting to the back
seat is not nearly as convenient as a van. However, this is common
across all SUVs with a middle bench seat.
4) I'm a bicycle racer, so getting a bike inside is also important. Has anyone had any experience with the internal bike carrier?
Thanks in advance!
2. Sequoia is smaller and not better here. It is substantially smaller than the rest of the field, about 7/8ths size. There is plenty of grocery space with seating for 8. The suburban gives you 6" more depth than armada, that's it. Sequoia is more narrow and less deep. It would also be a struggle to fit 8 adults. I've fit nine comfortably in the Armada.
3. True, but it isn't a big deal. Takes 3 extra seconds. Once your kids learn how, they will do it, not you anyway.
4. No experience. I personally like a hitch mounted external carrier myself. Easy to use and fits more bikes. Course, it doesn't have the weatherproofing that putting it inside does, but then I mountain bike so why would I want to put a muddy bike inside anyway?
Bottomline, the '04s had some bugs. The lemon claims were almost exclusively for bad brakes (warping rotors) which every maker has experienced. Nissan fixed the problem last summer and now they all come with the new rotors and pads. No systemic or chronic problems now exist. Its just a great vehicle. In contrast, TOYota had the same brake issue, took 4 years to acknowledge it, and then wouldn't honor the warranty and replace the defective stuff on the first couple years they made. GM has had 83 TSBs, 3 recalls, and a host of much more serious and common problems such as valve tap, transmission, piston slap, brakes, etc. Buy with confidence.