One of the largest SUVs on the market, the Nissan Armada, is plush and rugged. Its smooth V8 engine has quick acceleration and a stout towing capacity, with optional four-wheel-drive for challenging on- and off-road conditions. Behind its regal exterior is a large and comfortable cabin packed with features. The Armada remains very quiet at highway speeds, its air suspension providing a smooth ride while active safety tech helps avoid accidents.
Pros: Commanding view of the road; Quick acceleration; Top-notch ride comfort and smoothness; Authentic towing and off-road abilities
Cons: Fuel economy lags top rivals; Comfort-tuned suspension lacks agility; Limited third-row space
Powering the Nissan Armada is a large 5.6-liter V8 engine. It is one of the most potent motors in its class, with 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate to 60 mph in about six seconds, despite a 5,700-lb curb weight. That is even more impressive when one considers the Armada’s off-road abilities. Its 9.1 inches of ground clearance and available low-range four-wheel-drive system enable it to traverse difficult roads and terrain with ease. Nissan’s body-on-frame construction also gives it added ruggedness for inflexible trail environments.
This toughness extends elsewhere in the SUV, like with its towing capabilities. It can pull up to 8,500 lbs when properly equipped. This makes the Armada one of the best towing machines in the full-size SUV class, besting several pickup trucks, too. The SV and above trims come with a trailer brake controller that can help minimize sway while towing.
The engine uses regular unleaded gas. Power is sent through a seven-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can change gears themselves using the somewhat dated-looking gear shifter, but the gearbox works very well. One downside is the Armada’s fuel economy, which the EPA pegs at 14 mpg in the city and 16 mpg in blended driving. SUVs of its size are not well known for their efficiency, but several of Nissan’s newer rivals fare a little better in EPA estimates.
The Armada is offered in four trims: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. Each is available with rear- or four-wheel-drive. Pricing starts at $48,500 for the S trim. Notable features include an air suspension, automatic LED headlights, power-folding mirrors, running boards, cloth upholstery, power front seats, a flat-folding third-row, keyless entry/ignition, tri-zone climate control, wood trim, an AM/FM/CD sound system, satellite radio, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, navigation, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. All Armadas come equipped with Nissan’s full suite of driver safety technology, with features to help you avoid accidents before they happen.
Highlights include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, parking sensors at the front and rear, pedestrian detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. The SV adds a trailer brake controller, roof rails, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, and an upgraded audio system for $52,500. Stepping up to the SL adds leather seating, driver’s seat memory, a power-folding third-row, remote engine start, a surround-view camera, fog lamps, memory side mirrors, a power-operated liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 13-speaker Bose premium sound system for around $56,000.
The top-shelf Platinum model comes with chrome body accents, a premium leather interior, 22-inch forged alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, and a dual-screen DVD entertainment system for roughly $65,000.