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Expert's Rating

4.3Excellent | Details

MPG

14 City / 19 Highway
Contributing Editor -

Nissan’s biggest wagon continues to provide a lot of SUV for the money, especially for those who need plenty of go-power for hauling. That potential includes carrying up to eight passengers in its three rows of seats. Or, hauling a mass of cargo in its cavernous cabin, with all of those seats folded down.

Towing a trailer or boat is another merit, thanks to the Armada’s V8 powertrain, which is even brawnier than before. Among full-size SUVs, the Armada just might be more of a value than its substantial starting price suggests.

What's New For 2017

Nissan has redesigned the Armada, giving it a more powerful, direct-injected V8 engine and new seven-speed automatic transmission as well as fresh exterior styling. Like its predecessor, the second-generation model has body-on-frame construction. The fully boxed ladder frame has been expanded from 60-millimeter width to 100 millimeters. Measuring 1.2 inches longer than before, on a slightly shorter wheelbase, the 2017 Armada features a V-motion grille, LED low-beam headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights.

Newly available safety features include predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, lane-departure prevention and warning, blind-spot warning and intervention, backup collision intervention, a rearview camera, and an Around View monitor with moving-object detection. All are standard on the Platinum edition.

Choosing Your Nissan Armada

Armada buyers all get the same engine and transmission: a new 5.6-liter V8 that generates 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque, driving a new seven-speed automatic transmission. Nissan claims best-in-class power. The previous-generation 5.6-liter V8 made 301 horsepower, working with a five-speed automatic. The new automatic includes adaptive shift control and downshift rev matching.

Trim levels differ primarily by equipment level and appointments, though certain features are exclusive to each grade. Nissan also claims best-in-class second-row headroom and legroom. Towing capacity, when properly equipped, is 8,500 pounds. Available safety options include "intelligent" cruise control.

As expected from a big SUV, fuel economy is not a strong point. The EPA estimates the rear-drive Armada at 14 mpg in city driving and 19 on the highway (16 mpg combined). Four-wheel drive knocks 1 mpg off each figure.

As before, three trim levels are offered, each with a choice of rear-drive or four-wheel drive.

SV

Starting at $45,395 (destination included), the SV comes well-equipped, with standard features such as Bluetooth, 18-inch alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, adjustable pedals, heated front and second-row seats, rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Also standard are a navigation system with NavTraffic and NavWeather information, an 8-inch color display, and a 13-speaker Bose audio system. Four-wheel drive adds $2,900 to the price.

The optional Driver Package for SV adds such features as foglamps, an auto-dimming inside mirror with compass, power liftgate, power third-row seats, trailer harness, and universal garage-door opener.

SL

For an additional $4,750, the mid-level SL adds a batch of amenities, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, Bose audio, an Around View camera with moving-object detection, keyless entry and start, a power liftgate, and 20-inch wheels. The only individual option for the SL is a power moonroof. A Technology Package adds safety features: adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, forward emergency braking, predictive forward collision warning, blind-spot warning, and backup collision intervention.

Platinum

Topping the lineup at $58,085, the Platinum is "loaded," including a rear entertainment system with dual 7-inch screens, navigation, a power moonroof, front parking sensors, a heated steering wheel, and machine-faced 20-inch alloy wheels. Heated/cooled front seats also are standard. Second-row captain's chairs are available, reducing passenger capacity to seven. A Captain’s Chair Package is available.

Armada options, depending on trim level, include a moonroof, climate-controlled front seats, a family entertainment system, remote starter, power third-row seat, power liftgate, and 20-inch wheels.

CarsDirect Tip

Because newer rivals are more refined, the Armada might make more sense as a workhorse than a premium-level conveyance for passengers. Therefore, logic tends to dictate sticking with the more basic SV edition. That said, the SL adds a lot of amenities that would cost thousands more on a similarly equipped Chevrolet Tahoe or Ford Expedition. So, that might be the Armada buyer's sweet spot.

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Nissan Armada

Best Nissan Deals & Lease Offers: September 2018

Leases from Nissan are a mixed bag. On one hand, the 2018 Rogue Sport is a terrific value at just $199/month with $1,849 due at signing and an effective cost of $250/month. View All Nissan Lease Deals »

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