2020 Nissan Armada

2020 Nissan Armada Review: Luxury Cruise Liner

by Sebastian Cenizo

The 2020 Nissan Armada is a large SUV with space for up to eight individuals, and a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 lbs, making it one of the most spacious and capable SUVs on the market in the US With a 5.6-liter V8 producing 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque, the Armada is not the fastest SUV on the planet, but it is one of the most comfortable and capacious at this price point. All models come with a seven-speed automatic and a Bose sound system too. Starting values begin at just over $47,000 for the rear-wheel-drive base variant, but four-wheel-drive is available on each trim for $3,000.

2020 Nissan Armada Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Armada?

The Armada carries over mostly unchanged from the 2019 model with the exception of some added standard features. All models now feature heated wing mirrors, while the option of 22-inch wheels is now available on the Platinum trim.

Pros and Cons

  • Luxurious interior
  • Impressive off-road ability
  • Smooth engine
  • Plenty of space
  • Numerous standard features
  • Affordable price
  • Good reliability rating
  • Extremely thirsty
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • Dated interior design
  • Vague handling

2020 Nissan Armada Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SV
5.6-liter V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$47,100
SL
5.6-liter V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$51,900
Platinum
5.6-liter V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$60,530
Platinum Reserve
5.6-liter V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$65,030

New Nissan Armada Exterior

With LED headlights and a large grille, the Armada is a car that looks impressively wide, yet not overly aggressive. The overall design lacks the bling of most American rivals, but you do still get various chrome accents and fender vents. 19-inch wheels are standard at either end of a side-step running board, while the SL gains 20-inch wheels and the top trim gets forged 22-inch rims. Fog lights and a sunroof are available too.

2020 Nissan Armada Front View Nissan
2020 Nissan Armada Front Angle View Nissan
2020 Nissan Armada Front Angle View 1 Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Armada Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Armada is a rather hefty machine, with curb weight starting at 5,577 lbs on the rear-wheel-drive base model and going up to 5,958 lbs on the heaviest four-wheel-drive variant. Length measures a not inconsiderable 208.9 inches with a wheelbase of 121.1 inches. Width is similarly large at 79.9 inches with the mirrors folded in, while height is a lofty 75.8. With 9.1 inches of ground clearance, off-roading is no problem for the Armada, which has approach, break-over, and departure angles of 20.8, 20.7, and 22.1 degrees respectively (base SV cars have a breakover of 20.5 degrees).

  • Length 208.9 in
  • Wheelbase 121.1 in
  • Height 75.8 in
  • Max Width 79.9 in
  • Front Width 67.5 in
  • Rear Width 67.9 in

Exterior Colors

The Armada is available in a choice of four no-cost colors on the base model: Hermosa Blue Pearl, Super Black, Gun Metallic, and Brilliant Silver Metallic. Pearl White Tricoat is also available for $395. The SL has access to the same colors as well as Forged Copper Metallic and Mocha Almond Pearl at no cost, the former of which is exclusive to this model and only available in limited quantities. The top Platinum Reserve trim doesn't gain any new colors, but is distinguishable by Dark Chrome exterior trim and wheels.

  • Hermosa Blue Pearl
  • Gun Metallic
  • Super Black
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Pearl White Tricoat
  • Mocha Almond Pearl
  • Forged Copper Metallic, Build Out: 10/31/2019

Armada Performance

All variants of the Nissan Armada feature the same 5.6-liter V8 with 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, with output sent through a seven-speed automatic transmission to either the rear, or all four, wheels. Despite its weight, the Armada is capable of sprinting from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, according to some independent tests. Top speed is less impressive, but still more than adequate, at an estimated limit of 120 mph. Nevertheless, SUVs like this are less about their car-like performance and more about their off-roading ability and capacity for towing - both of which are areas in which the Armada excels. Maximum towing capacity is rated at 8,500 lbs. Although this isn't the highest in its class - the Ford Explorer can tow up to 9,300 lbs - it's still plenty for most lifestyle activities. And that's what the Armada is all about - taking a full cabin of family and friends anywhere with all their stuff and possibly some leisure vehicles on a trailer too.

2020 Nissan Armada Front View Driving Nissan
2020 Nissan Armada Rear Angle View Nissan
2020 Nissan Armada Engine Nissan

Engine and Transmission

The Armada's 5.6-liter Endurance V8 is a robust engine that produces 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a smooth and civilized seven-speed transmission, progress is strong although not vicious. Off the line, the weight of the Armada comes into play, but once the wheels start rolling, the SUV makes good use of its power and accelerates smoothly. On the freeway, overtaking opportunities are neither scary to take advantage of, nor especially easy, making the Armada a decent companion for long-distance and town driving. Throttle response is good as can be expected from a naturally aspirated vehicle, and although you won't see the Armada win any awards for the most beautiful engine noise, it's not an intrusive or particularly unpleasant sound either. The gearbox seems to know which gear is right for the conditions and kicks down quickly enough so as not to be frustrating. Overall, the Armada is a vehicle that's a solid performer that will neither enthrall nor bore. It's not meant to be a sporty SUV and doesn't pretend to be. It just gets the job done and works.

  • Engine
    5.6-liter V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

If you know your history, you'll know that the Spanish Armada was a formidable fleet of warships that famously encountered adverse weather conditions on its way to attempt conquering the world. While this SUV is neither menacing nor so unprepared for conditions that it fails at its main job of getting people from point A to point B, it does exhibit boat-like handling. The steering is vague and imprecise, not to mention devoid of feel. In addition, it can feel floaty over bumps, leading to the automotive equivalent of seasickness if too many large bumps are crested at speed. On the plus side, it is at least exceptionally comfortable, and that's what a people-carrier ought to be, particularly on long voyages. The braking is as effective as an anchor too and is dependable time after time with a minimal amount of pedal travel and good feel that makes judging how much pressure to apply for a smooth stop an easy task. With the available four-wheel-drive system and its dual-range transfer case, the greatest test of its drive is in progress over unflattened terrain and slippery surfaces is equally impressive. Yes, its long wheelbase hinders its ability to tackle the biggest obstacles in the way a Jeep Wrangler can, but the high ground clearance and torquey engine don't make trailblazing impossible either. Not all-conquering, but not even close to being dead in the water either.

Armada Gas Mileage

With a 5.6-liter V8 and over five and a half thousand pounds of weight to lug around, the Armada SUV is far from economical in terms of gas mileage; in fact, the Armada is one of the greediest gas guzzlers in the segment. In rear-wheel-drive form, the Armada returns EPA estimates of 14/19/16 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. Each of these figures drops by one mpg if you spec the four-wheel-drive option. With a large 26-gallon gas tank, however, the 4WD Armada can go at least 390 miles under mixed driving conditions, with the RWD variant upping that slightly to 416. One of the Armada's chief rivals, the Toyota Sequoia, is even worse, albeit just. This model scores best figures of 13/17/15 mpg on the EPA cycles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    26.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 14/19 mpg
* 2020 Nissan Armada SV 4x2

Armada Interior

Step into the Armada and there's a distinctly old-school feel that is nevertheless homely and luxurious at the same time. It feels spacious and solid, and quilted leather is available but that dated feeling is amplified when you realize that Apple and Android smartphone integration are absent from the otherwise decent infotainment system. If you can look past that, the Armada comes standard with navigation and a powerful sound system from Bose. The seats are also pleasantly comfortable, which is always a win in a vehicle like this.

2020 Nissan Armada Dashboard Nissan
2020 Nissan Armada Dashboard 1 Nissan
2020 Nissan Armada Steering Wheel Controls Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Armada Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

In standard configuration, the Armada seats two in the first row, three in the second, and another trinity in the third row. Opt for the captain's chairs that are available on all but the base model and standard on the top trim, and seating drops to 7 passengers, but ease of access to the last row is improved and passenger storage space is increased. There is no eight-seater configuration available. With large doors, numerous grab handles, and standard running boards on every model, getting in and out of the Armada is relatively simple. Ample headroom and legroom are on offer in every row but the third, making squabbling over seating assignments easier to manage. Relegate your youngest to the back if you want to maximize comfort for all. In the front, the driver gets a ten-way power-adjustable seat while the occupant to the driver's right gets eight-way power-adjustment. This allows the driver to get to a commanding driving position with ease, and thanks to large buttons and good ergonomics, changing settings and media playback on the fly is easy.

  • Seating capacity
    8-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.9 in
  • Front Head Room 40.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 41.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.0 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The base model in the lineup features Charcoal fabric upholstery and a glossy wood trim while the next two models, the SL and the Platinum, get perforated leather in either Charcoal or a light Almond coloring. On the top Platinum Reserve trim level, premium Black perforated and quilted leather is overlain on Brown. This model also gets imitation open-pore wood trim and Black Quartz accents.

Armada Trunk and Cargo Space

The Armada is an impressively spacious vehicle with all its seats down, offering up to 95.4 cubic feet of volume. With just the third row folded, you get 49.9 cubic feet, while keeping all seats in place gives you 16.5 cubic feet, a less impressive figure. Fortunately, under-floor storage improves that figure for more than just shopping bags. The third row also folds electrically on all but the base model, but unfortunately takes longer than is practical, begging the question of why you wouldn't leave a manual system in place.

In the cabin, you get cupholders and bottle recesses in each row, but the glovebox is not particularly large and there isn't a convenient spot for your phone. A center storage bin beneath the middle armrest at least offers a place for wallets, keys, and other sundries. If you spec captain's chairs for the second row, you get a center console with more storage and dedicated cupholders between the two passengers.

2020 Nissan Armada Trunk Space with Seat Folded Nissan
2020 Nissan Armada Maximum Cargo Space Nissan
2020 Nissan Armada Trunk Space Nissan

Armada Infotainment and Features

Features

As standard, the Armada features a rearview camera, hill start assist, cruise control with braking, automatic LED headlights, power-folding heated mirrors, keyless entry with push-button start, dual-zone climate control with vents for each row, heated front seats with power-adjustability, parking sensors, and forward-collision warning with autonomous emergency braking. Available features include remote start, a power tailgate, a surround-view camera, rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers, a power-folding third-row, memory functions for seating, steering, and wing mirror positions, a sunroof, and a rearview mirror display. Also available are heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard rear seats, a heated steering wheel, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and ambient lighting.

Infotainment

All variants of the Armada come with a NissanConnect infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen display and navigation. The system is hooked up to a Bose 13-speaker sound system and features SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, voice control, and four USB ports. On the Platinum trims, a rear-seat entertainment system with two eight-inch screens is added. This allows for DVD playback and HDMI input, and comes with a pair of cordless headphones. An additional USB port is also added for a total of five. The screen up front is simple to use and attractive, but is slow to respond and lacks staple features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, neither of which are available anywhere in the range.

Armada Problems and Reliability

The 2020 Nissan Armada has thus far been free of recalls, but the 2019 model suffered one in September of 2019 for no rearview camera display image.

Each Armada comes with a limited three-year/36,000-mile warranty as well as a powertrain warranty for the first five years or 60,000 miles of ownership, but no complimentary scheduled maintenance is included.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles

Armada Safety

While the IIHS has not yet performed comprehensive reviews of the Nissan Armada, the NHTSA's review of the Armada resulted in a four-star rating out of a possible five for overall safety.

Key Safety Features

As standard, the Armada features a rearview camera, hill start assist, front and rear parking sensors, and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. On the SL trim, you get upgraded to a surround-view camera and rain-sensing wipers, and get access to options like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. The Platinum trims add a rearview mirror display, lane-keep assist, and the SL's optional features. All models feature a suite of six airbags that include deployable cushions for frontal and side impacts, as well as curtain rollover airbags.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Nissan Armada a good car?

The newest Nissan Armada is not the most advanced SUV in the USA, and lacks some of the modern amenities that have come to be expected - namely Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also don't get a huge deal more for the top trim. In addition, the handling is sleepy and the fuel economy is horrendous. Nevertheless, the base model is well-equipped and each trim level with the exception of the highest, adds various meaningful features. Each model is also exceptionally comfortable and capable off-road, and the level of interior space is worthy of praise. If you can look past the dated interior design and care little for handling ability, the Armada is certainly worth considering for its comfort, features, and capability on treacherous terrain. That said, rivals like the Ford Explorer offer more, and opting for one of the Armada's competitors will likely fulfill more of your needs, even if you have to spend a little extra to get everything you want.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Nissan Armada?

The Armada has a starting MSRP of $47,100 for the SV. The SL trim starts at $51,900, while the Platinum costs $60,530. The top Platinum Reserve Model costs $65,480. Each base price excludes a destination charge of $1,395 and you can add four-wheel-drive to any model at the cost of $3,000. Fully loaded, the most expensive Armada will cost you around $73,000. The Nissan Armada's price is relatively affordable in comparison to most rivals.

2020 Nissan Armada Models

The Armada comes in four trims: SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve.

The SV rides on 18-inch wheels and comes with fabric upholstery, LED headlights, power-folding heated mirrors, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, voice control, satellite radio, and Bluetooth. A 13-speaker Bose sound system is also included, along with power-adjustable heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, hill start assist, cruise control, and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

The SL adds 20-inch wheels, fog lights, chrome mirror caps, and gets features like remote start, a power liftgate, a surround-view camera, rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery in a choice of two colors, and a power-folding third row.

The Platinum gains body-color over fenders, a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

The top Platinum Reserve trim adds 22-inch forged wheels, dark chrome exterior trim, premium quilted leather upholstery, standard second-row captain's chairs, and premium interior trim.

Each model comes with a 5.6-liter V8 developing 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel-drive is an option on every model.

See All 2020 Nissan Armada Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The base model has access to the Driver package for $1,100, adding a power-folding third row, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, fog lights, a power tailgate, and a tow hitch receiver. The SL has access to two packages, one of which simply adds captain's chairs and a second-row console for $450. The other is the Premium package, which gives you blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a power sunroof, and adaptive cruise control for $1,480. The Platinum model gets access to 22-inch wheels for $2,250 as well as the Platinum Reserve package which essentially adds the aforementioned wheels and the top trim's appearance enhancements, premium perforated leather, and interior trim. This costs $4,500, which takes the Platinum's price to $450 below that of the Platinum Reserve. However, you still have to pay $450 extra for the top model's captain's chairs. Yet, it begs the question of why the top trim exists at all.

🚗What Nissan Armada Model Should I Buy?

Our pick out of all the Nissan Armada models is the all-but-fully-loaded Platinum trim. This model gets a sunroof, leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated outboard rear seats. You also get a rear-seat entertainment system, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keep assist. Thus, you have all available safety features and conveniences. We would, however, spend the extra 450 bucks on the second-row captain's chairs, thus making access to the third row easier and comfort in the second row better - all for less than $68,000 before delivery charges.

2020 Nissan Armada Comparisons

Infiniti QX80 Infiniti
Toyota Sequoia
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Armada390 hp14/19 mpg$47,500
Infiniti QX80 400 hp14/20 mpg$66,750
Toyota Sequoia 381 hp13/17 mpg$49,980

2020 Nissan Armada vs Infiniti QX80

Infiniti is Nissan's luxury brand, just as Lexus is to Toyota. Despite being the more premium of the two, the resemblances are not just beneath the surface and you can see a certain amount of similarity in their designs. There are upgrades on the Infiniti, however, which benefits from a slightly more powerful output of 400 horses. It also gets improved cabin materials to justify its lofty starting price of over $65,000. Nevertheless, the QX80 also fails to offer smartphone integration from Apple or Android and is just as thirsty and unwieldy as the Nissan. The Infiniti also demands premium fuel to achieve its higher horsepower rating, making it more expensive to run too. Dimensions and abilities are largely identical, so unless you're a brand snob, the Nissan is certainly a better buy.

See Infiniti QX80 Review

2020 Nissan Armada vs Toyota Sequoia

Toyota's 8-seater competitor is very similar to the Nissan in many respects. It too uses a V8, albeit with 5.7-liters of displacement. The Sequoia produces a little less power at 381 horses but generates more torque with 401 lb-ft. Even so, it can only tow 7,400 lbs compared to the Nissan's 8,500. On the plus side, it has a much better-looking interior, but it's not as well-executed as that of the Armada and offers less legroom than the Nissan, despite a total of 121 cubic feet of cargo space being available. The Armada has it beat in terms of price too, starting over $2,000 cheaper. Some features are better for the Toyota, like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa, but navigation costs extra. It also gets more safety features and two extra airbags and offers excellent off-roading ability in TRD Pro guise. Overall, choosing between these two will come down to the features you value. The Toyota is more expensive but offers more features while the Nissan is more luxurious and can tow more weight.

See Toyota Sequoia Review

Nissan Armada Popular Comparisons

2020 Nissan Armada Video Reviews

Check out some informative Nissan Armada video reviews below.

$47,500 - $65,030
Price Range (MSRP)
Nissan Armada