The Nissan Armada took a year off in 2016 and was reintroduced for 2017. It’s the largest vehicle in the Nissan line-up with seating for seven or eight passengers.
The Armada is available in SV, SL and Platinum trims. Starting prices range from $44,900 to $60,490 which is lower than many competitors. Rear-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available.
The Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine that makes 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. There’s plenty of power; in fact the V8 easily and quietly propels this 5,800-pound behemoth down the road. Need to quickly accelerate or pass at freeway speeds while going uphill? No problem. It corners better than you might expect with little body roll. All in all, the Armada is very nimble for such a large vehicle.
The Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds when properly equipped. That’s more than many competitors. And while the Armada is not meant for serious off-roading, it’s still pretty capable and will be able to handle family outings off the beaten path.
Of course fuel efficiency is not going to be great for a large SUV. EPA ratings for my tester are 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway with a combined rating of 15 mpg. I got 14 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior is pleasant with many soft-touch materials. You may think you’re in Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti. The cabin is very quiet. Front seats are comfortable, and there’s lots of room in the second and third row. Nissan says the second-row seats have best-in-class leg- and headroom. While the third row isn’t as cramped as in other vehicles, it’s still probably best for kids. But adults should be comfortable there for shorter trips. Getting to the third row is fairly easy as the second row flips forward.
All Armadas come with a rearview camera, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, 13-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth, USB port and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen with navigation.
Unfortunately the infotainment system is a bit dated and doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and the touchscreen can be tough to reach. At least there are buttons and knobs so you can do simple functions without having to use the touchscreen. And there’s only one USB port which is a bit inconvenient.
Options include a power moonroof and many driver assistance features including adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, backup collision intervention, forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors and a surround-view camera system. The latter two were great to have when maneuvering the Armada in a tight parking lot in downtown Portland. My tester also had two DVD screens in the back seat which will keep the kiddos entertained.
The Armada has less cargo space than competitors with 16.5 cubic feet of storage with all seats in place, 49.9 cubes with the third row folded down and 95.4 with both rows down. The split-folding third row provides flexibility in hauling passengers and cargo. A large console box and glove box provide room to stash smaller items.
Priced lower than competitors
Nimble handling for such a large vehicle
Better towing capacity than many rivals
Upscale and quiet interior
Less cargo space than competitors
Dated infotainment system; touchscreen can be hard to reach
No Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Only one USB port
Third row is best suited to kids as you’d expect
Limited cargo room with all three rows of seating in place
There are only a handful of full-size SUVs including the Armada, Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon and Toyota Sequoia. With the improvements made in the relaunch of the Armada and its comparably lower price tag, it’s worth checking out if you’re shopping for a large family hauler.