2022 Nissan Armada

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2022 Nissan Armada Test Drive Review: A Refreshed Battleship

The big three American automakers typically dominate the full-size SUV market, but the 2022 Nissan Armada goes into battle equipped with some important updates, helping it to remain competitive. Nissan introduced the second-generation Armada for the 2017 model year, though its bones actually date back to 2011 when Infiniti launched the more luxurious QX56 (now called the QX80). Masking a decade-old platform is no easy task, but Nissan facelifted the Armada last year, giving it updated styling and several important interior upgrades.

Under the hood, the Nissan Armada rolls with a tried and true 5.6-liter V8 engine from the original first-generation model. Though it's not the most efficient option in the category, Nissan can claim best-in-class standard output with 400 horsepower and a meaty 413 lb-ft of torque. This gives the Armada a strong 8,500-lbs tow rating. The full-size segment is stronger than ever with a new Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, an updated Ford Expedition, and Jeep's new entrant, the Wagoneer. Can a facelift help the 2022 Nissan Armada remain relevant in an ever-crowded space? For our Armada review, we spent a week driving a Midnight Edition Armada to find out.

2022 Nissan Armada Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 Nissan Armada?

Nissan gave the Armada a thorough facelift last year, so the 2022 mode year is mostly a carryover. The most significant addition is a new one-touch power-folding 3rd row for the top Platinum grade. Pricing for the 2022 model year increases by approximately $400 across the board.

Pros and Cons

  • It's handsome
  • Infotainment system is improved
  • Lots of standard safety features
  • Smooth V8 engine
  • Affordable pricing
  • Strong towing capability
  • Extremely thirsty
  • Dated driving experience
  • Third row is tight
  • Lacking some luxury amenities
  • Technology isn't class-leading

Best Deals on Armada

2022 Nissan Armada Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
5.6L V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$49,150
SV
5.6L V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$53,150
SL
5.6L V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$56,960
Midnight Edition
5.6L V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
Rear-Wheel Drive
$61,700
Platinum
5.6L V8 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$65,550

New Nissan Armada Exterior

The facelifted Armada's exterior is a giant leap in the right direction compared to the old car. It used to have a droopy face that reminded us of Eeyore. The facelifted model just looks more amped about life in general, thanks to a more rugged V-design grille surround and a square jawline. The new LED headlights look incredibly cool, and the rear is also a design success. The redesigned taillights are now connected by a chrome strip, which works better with the protruding rear bumper. S and SV models ride on 18-inch 12-spoke wheels, while SL and Midnight Edition models get 20-inch alloys. The top-spec Platinum rides on an impressive set of 22-inch 14-spoke alloy wheels. The SL trim and above receives a power sliding glass moonroof as standard.

2022 Nissan Armada Front View CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Armada Rear View CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Armada Front-End View CarBuzz
See All 2022 Nissan Armada Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Armada is an old-school body-on-frame SUV with considerable dimensions. It has a 121.1-inch wheelbase, and on top of that, we find a body that's 208.9 inches long, 79.9 inches in width, and 75.8 inches tall. The Armada is only slightly lighter than the average planet, thanks to the old-school chassis and heavy lump under the hood. Even the base 4x2 model weighs 5,650 lbs, going up to 6,034 lbs for the 4x4 Platinum derivative. The approach, breakover, and departure angles on the S and SV are 20.8, 20.5, and 22.2 degrees, respectively. The SL, Midnight Edition, and Platinum improve on these figures, but not by much. The higher-trim models are rated at 21, 20.7, and 22.4 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
  • Curb Weight 5,577.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

The new Nissan Armada is available in Aspen White TriCoat, Hermosa Blue Pearl, Coulis Red Pearl, Mocha Almond Pearl, and Super Black. Metallic options include Brilliant Silver and Gun Metallic. It's not a wide assortment of colors, but all the available options contrast nicely with the chrome exterior trim and bright alloy wheels. If it's style you're after, the Midnight Edition is worth a look. Nissan blacks out most of the exterior, which makes a reasonably mundane vehicle look pretty sinister.

There are some limits per trim in terms of colors. The base model is only offered in Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, or Super Black. The SV adds Aspen White but that's a $395 option, and the SL also gets access to Mocha Almond Pearl and Hermosa Blue Pearl. The Midnight Edition is only compatible with Aspen White, Gun Metallic, and Super Black. Finally, the Platinum is available with the entire palette including Coulis Red Pearl.

  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Super Black
  • Gun Metallic
  • Aspen White TriCoat Pearl
  • Gun Metallic, Build Out: 08/13/21
  • Hermosa Blue Pearl
  • Mocha Almond Pearl
  • Coulis Red Pearl
  • Gun Metallic

Armada Performance

All Armadas are equipped with a naturally-aspirated 5.6-liter V8 engine producing 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. All trim levels are available with rear-wheel drive (4x2) or as a 4x4 with high and low range. Unfortunately, the Armada isn't equipped with many advanced off-roading features.

Nissan doesn't provide 0 to 60 mph or top speed figures because it's completely irrelevant. If you must know, the less powerful, pre-facelift Armada could hit 60 in under six seconds according to independent tests, so it's certainly fast enough. We can tell you that despite the weight penalty, the Armada gets up to speed with vigor. It's kind of like watching an NFL lineman running the 40-yard dash; unexpected yet impressive. It can also cruise at the top legal speed all day long, but you can hear it guzzling down gas at a rapid rate. Nissan claims a towing capacity of 8,500 lbs across the range which is strong but not class-leading for the category. Trailer Sway Control is standard from the SL upwards, while Trailer Brake Control is standard from SV upwards. The Nissan beats the Toyota Sequoia by a good 1,100 lbs. That figure will matter to the towing crowd, as it's the difference between leaving the jet ski at home or dragging it along on the family vacation.

2022 Nissan Armada Front Angle View CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Armada Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Armada Wheel CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

As mentioned, the old-school 5.6-liter received a power boost last year. It's nowhere near enough to notice, but the 400 hp and 413 lb-ft outputs are good for the segment, although there are more powerful rivals to choose from.

These big V8 lumps tend to provide more grunt at lower rpm, but the Armada's 413 lb-ft only arrives at 4,000 rpm. The Armada never feels slow or hesitant, but you can't help but glance over at the power output of the new Toyota Land Cruiser and its twin-turbo V6. It produces 479 lb-ft of torque. We know the new Land Cruiser isn't available in the US, but the engine will end up in the new Lexus LX and possibly other models in the future.

The seven-speed automatic gearbox is equally old-school, but it's still modern enough to not be annoying. It's a bit lazy to kick down, but the car hurls forward accompanied by a faint V8 burble when it does. Most manufacturers engineer large luxury SUVs to be sensory deprivation tanks, and Nissan does the same. The cabin does allow some of that satisfying V8 noise to siphon in when you push it hard, which is somewhat gratifying. It somehow makes the fuel bills less damaging to the soul.

  • Engine
    5.6L V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

While Nissan USA removes most of the serious off-road mechanical bits, the Armada remains a car that was designed to spend a large chunk of its life off the beaten path. It floats pretty well over imperfections, but you can feel the Armada's bones are a decade-old based on how the vehicle rocks like a boat when it rolls over large dips. As we found on our test drive, the suspension setup is compliant around town, so the kids certainly won't be complaining about potholes and such.

That being said, the Armada is still a body-on-frame SUV. It tries hard but fails to disguise its humble roots on the freeway. The Armada doesn't feel dangerous, but the steering is vague at highway speeds. There's also a noticeable dead spot in the steering when it's pointed straight ahead. We initially thought this was limited to our test car, but some research reveals that it's pretty much standard. Though the steering feels vague on-center, it provides pretty nice feedback after initial turn in; a positive side effect of the older steering setup.

Treat it gently, and the Armada should be a good long-distance cruiser. As for off-roading, the Armada can handle more than most, but it is limited by the lack of locking differentials. Add aftermarket units, and you'd be surprised what this car can do. Without the differential lockers, it's still outstanding in soft sand. We've been lucky enough to drive an Armada in Dubai's dunes, and it's ridiculous how easily this large SUV just laughs in the face of humongous dunes. In low range, with the tires running a barely discernible psi, it feels unstoppable. Out there, you also realize why the steering is so vague. Dune driving requires a lot of steering input. You basically sit there hoofing it, sawing away at the steering wheel. If the Armada had a faster, more direct rack, the Dubai desert would be lined with toppled Armadas. Locally, the Armada is perfectly capable of handling snow and rain. The permanent 4x4 system ensures power is always going to the front and rear, giving you massive amounts of confidence in slippery conditions.

Armada Gas Mileage

The Armada SUV is marginally more frugal than the Toyota Sequoia, but that's hardly an accomplishment. Look, it was never going to be good news. A big SUV with a lump of old-school V8 under the hood would never receive an award from Greenpeace. According to the EPA, the 2WD Armada is capable of 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined. Adding 4WD takes the gas mileage estimates down to 13/18/15 mpg. We averaged 15.7 mpg in our 4WD tester.

Thankfully, the Armada has a large 26-gallon tank, which limits visits to the gas station. The 2WD model can theoretically do 416 miles before needing a refill, while the 4WD can go 390 miles before needing gas. Depending on how much driving you do, the Armada's consumption means it'll be quite expensive to run.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    26.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 14/19 mpg
* 2022 Nissan Armada S 2WD

Armada Interior

Thanks to its off-roader roots, the interior of the eight-seater Armada is screwed together properly. In other words, because there are other parts of the world where people hoon Armadas over dunes regularly, the Armada you buy in the USA is built to take a proper beating without falling apart. The quality is good as well, even if the wood trim on the top-spec models comes across as a bit over the top. The interior is easy enough to understand and operate. The Armada is an older design with modern technology shoehorned into it. This sounds terrible, but it works. You get the new modern touchscreen interface and a digital display in the instrument cluster, but you also get traditional buttons and knobs. You turn the music on by pushing a button, and you turn the volume up by twisting that same button. How novel is that? And the buttons for the climate control and seat heating are all clustered together, utterly separate from the touchscreen. The more we drive cars that integrate absolutely everything into the touchscreen, the more we appreciate cars with a traditional interface like this.

2022 Nissan Armada Steering Wheel Design CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Armada Drive Mode CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Armada Climate Control CarBuzz
See All 2022 Nissan Armada Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Nissan Armada is a three-row vehicle with seating for up to eight passengers. If you opt for the second-row captain's chairs, this becomes a 7-passenger SUV. This upgrade deletes the middle seat in the second row, replacing it with an armrest/storage area. Passengers in the front row have plenty of space, but the second row is a bit disappointing in this category due to the Armada's older platform. Second-row occupants receive a decent 41 inches of legroom and 40 inches of headroom, although, unlike some competitors, the Armada's second-row seats do not slide. With only 28.4 inches of legroom and 36.4 inches of headroom, the third row feels small for this segment.

  • 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 S model comes with Charcoal cloth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. On SV models, leatherette is standard, available in Almond or Charcoal. SL trim upgrades to genuine leather, available in the same colors. The Midnight Edition is only available with Black leather trim, while the top-spec Platinum gets quilted leather available in Almond, Black, or Espresso Brown. Wood-tone interior trim is standard on the SL, while the Platinum gets Birdseye Maple wood-tone trim. These faux wood options are tacky, and we much prefer the standard Silky Carbon trim on the base models.

Armada Trunk and Cargo Space

With all three rows up, the 7- or 8-seater Armada has 16.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity. It's an acceptable amount of space for a large family's daily needs. The Armada also has additional underfloor storage. With the third row dropped down, the luggage capacity increases to 49.9 cubes. With all the seats folded down, you get 95.4 cubes to work with. The top-spec Platinum has a power-folding third row, but it takes so long your toddler will be finished with college by the time it folds down. At least on the 2022 Platinum trim, the power third-row is now one-touch. The manual system on lesser models works much better, though the straps to pull the seats up are far too short.

Interior storage is impressive. You get more cupholders than seats, and there's a large storage space between the front seats. The door pockets are also large, and there's ample space for things like smartphones and tablets. With the seven-passenger layout, rear occupants have more storage options.

2022 Nissan Armada Back Seats CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Armada Third Row Seats CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Armada Trunk Space with Third Row Folded CarBuzz

Armada Infotainment and Features

Features

We'd be delighted with a base-spec Armada. Nissan is particularly generous, especially from a safety standpoint. All models get a bunch of features with the word Intelligent in front of them. Cruise control, driver alertness, lane intervention, forward collision warning, and blind-spot warning are all standard. You also get automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, front/rear parking sensors, rear automatic braking, and high-beam assist. Well done, Nissan. This is a family car where there's no need to pay extra for advanced safety systems.

In addition to the above, the S has dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable driver and passenger seats, a seven-inch display for the advanced assistance features in the instrument cluster, and four USB ports. The SV adds heated front seats, a wireless charger, and several style additions. The SL adds some more useful features like a surround-view camera system, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a power liftgate. The Midnight Edition is primarily cosmetic, apart from the standard second-row captain's chairs package. The top-spec Platinum trim adds several niceties like ventilated front seats, traffic sign recognition, and heated second-row outboard seats.

Infotainment

Nissan was decades behind the competition with regards to technology, but last year's facelift brought the Armada firmly into the modern era. A 12.3-inch touchscreen comes standard on all model grades, giving the Armada the largest standard screen in the class. Unlike the aging system it replaces, this infotainment system features wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. All models get Bluetooth and SiriusXM satellite radio. It's a huge improvement, but far from perfect. We noted a few glitches during our week-long test, including the screen going completely black. And, although the screen is large, around 40% of the real estate is taken up by a split display, which can show a clock or weather information. Sadly, there's no way to get a full-screen navigation map or phone mirroring.

The base S grade only gets four speakers, while the SV upgrades to six. The SL and higher trims get a Bose audio system with 13-speakers that sounds much better. Finally, the Platinum has an entertainment system with dual eight-inch display screens, two pairs of wireless headphones, and an HDMI input.

Armada Problems and Reliability

The 2022 and 2021 Armadas don't have a J.D. Power Ownership Survey score, but the pre-facelift model scored an excellent 87 out of 100. It scored 80 and above in every category, but owners were particularly impressed with the quality and reliability. In that department, the Armada scored 91. That makes the Armada the best consumer-rated SUV in its category, followed by the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. 2018 and 2019 models were all recalled for a rearview camera not displaying images on the center screen. The 2021 model was also recalled for a fuel pump module that could fail. Other than these few issues, the Nissan Armada J.D. Power ratings are no surprise.

The Armada comes with a three-year/36,00-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. However, the Nissan does not come with complimentary scheduled maintenance.

Warranty

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

Armada Safety

The 2022 Armada doesn't have a complete NHTSA safety rating, although it did receive a three-star rollover rating. The 2020 model scored four out of five stars overall. Interestingly, it achieved the full five stars in the side-impact crash, but three out of five in the front and rollover crashes. No Nissan Armada safety reviews have been published by the IIHS either.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

All Nissan Armada models come standard with ABS, EBD, brake assist, a rearview camera, and six airbags. Nissan's safety suite for the Armada consists of cruise control, lane intervention, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, front and rear sonar, lane departure warning, driver alertness, and rear automatic braking, to name just a few. The only additions to the top-spec models include a surround-view camera and traffic sign recognition.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Nissan Armada a good SUV?

Before it was refreshed last year, the Nissan Armada belonged firmly near the bottom of the full-size SUV class, down with the equally outdated Toyota Sequoia. Newer options like the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition, and Jeep Wagoneer simply outclassed the Armada under the hood and inside the cabin. With its latest update, the 2022 Nissan Armada finally becomes somewhat competitive, though we'd struggle to call it best-in-class. Buyers will enjoy ample standard power, strong standard features, capable towing capability, and handsome changes for the exterior and interior. It's also less expensive than the American competitors, which is a nice bonus.

If money was no object, we are more impressed with higher trim variants of the Tahoe, Yukon, Expedition, and Wagoneer. As for the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan's updates firmly put the Armada ahead in our eyes. However, if you are a budget-conscious buyer who wants the best bang for their buck, a reasonable argument can be made for the 2022 Armada and its standard 400-hp engine. The 2022 Nissan Armada is a competent full-size SUV, it's just not the one we'd rant and rave about.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Nissan Armada?

The price of the Nissan Armada begins at an MSRP of $48,900 for the S, increasing to $52,900 for the SV trim. The SL will cost $56,710, going up to $58,700 for the Midnight Edition. The top-spec Platinum has an MSRP of $65,300. Adding a 4WD system to all trim levels costs an additional $3,000. These prices exclude a $1,495 destination and handling fee.

2022 Nissan Armada Models

There are five trim levels in the Armada range: S, SV, SL, Midnight Edition, and Platinum. All are powered by the same 5.6-liter V8 engine. 2WD is standard, but 4WD is available on all models.

The S comes standard with Nissan's Safety Shield 360, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, rear air conditioning with rear controls, power-adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, a 12.3-inch touchscreen display with door-to-door navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, and a four-speaker sound system.

The SV trim adds heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a wireless charger, a six-speaker sound system, heated side mirrors with a memory function, a trailer brake controller, a dark-painted roof, and rear privacy glass.

The hefty price leap to SL is justified by the addition of a surround-view camera system, genuine leather upholstery, puddle lights, a power-sliding moonroof, a power liftgate, remote engine start, a Homelink remote, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a memory function for the driver's seat and power-adjustable steering column, and a Bose 13-speaker premium sound system.

The Midnight Edition is mostly a cosmetic upgrade and includes 20-inch dark alloy wheels, a black grille, a black rear finisher, black exterior badges, and Midnight Edition floor mats.

Platinum trims build on the SL specification. It adds a heated steering wheel, Intelligent Back-Up Intervention, an intelligent rearview mirror, 22-inch alloys, chrome side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a power-reclining third row, quilted leather seats, and a tri-zone entertainment system with dual eight-inch monitors and two pairs of wireless headphones.

See All 2022 Nissan Armada Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Nissan keeps it simple when it comes to options. There's a $2,500 Appearance Package for the SV, including 20-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, and a Homelink universal remote. SL and Platinum models can be ordered with the $650 Captain's Chair package, which includes two separate captain's chairs in the second row and a padded center console with cupholders.

πŸš—What Nissan Armada Model Should I Buy?

If we were in the market for a 2022 Nissan Armada, there are two trim levels we'd consider. The Midnight Edition offers stealthy styling and strong features starting at $58,700 for the 2WD or $61,700 for the 4WD. Although it's the most expensive in the lineup, the Armada Platinum is less expensive than a loaded full-size American SUV, starting at $65,300 for the 2WD model or $68,300 for the 4WD version. We feel the Platinum is up to par with the "luxury" Infiniti QX80, so it's kind of a bargain at its starting price.

2022 Nissan Armada Comparisons

Infiniti QX80 Infiniti
Toyota Sequoia CarBuzz / Ian Wright
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Armada400 hp14/19 mpg$49,150
Infiniti QX80 400 hp14/20 mpg$69,150
Toyota Sequoia 437 hpTBCTBC

2022 Nissan Armada vs Infiniti QX80

The 2021 QX80 was an ergonomic nightmare on the inside. The screen was awkwardly placed, the dash sat at a weird angle, and for some reason, Infiniti placed the rather handsome analog clock in a spot where it's not easily visible. Thankfully, it received the same updates as the Armada, resulting in a much nicer and more user-friendly interface for the 2022 model year. But the QX80 has a big problem. It's based on the Armada, right down to the suspension, gearbox, and engine. When you look at the two interiors side-by-side, you have to wonder why the Infiniti costs so much more. It does have a few more standard features like tri-zone climate control and wireless charging, but the base model starts at over $70,000 - over $20,000 more than the base Armada. Style-wise, the QX80 looks like an unwanted wart compared to Nissan's new rugged appearance. As a final nail in the coffin, you can get a top-spec Platinum Armada for around the same price as a base QX80. We'd spend our money at Nissan.

See Infiniti QX80 Review

2022 Nissan Armada vs Toyota Sequoia

As we state in our full Sequoia review, it's a rolling fossil. The current car dates back to 2007, so Nissan doesn't have to try hard to beat it. Nissan's 5.6-liter V8 (400 hp and 413 lb-ft) easily trumps Toyota's 5.7-liter V8 which produces 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. Its six-speed automatic doesn't help get the most out of the powertrain either. The Nissan can also tow 1,100 lbs more than the Sequoia. The Toyota's interior is also a mess, while the outside is dated enough to be generic. It's best described as just some SUV on four wheels. Toyota fanboys will point to the Sequoia's renowned reliability, but the Nissan is hardly an Italian car, is it? There is one proviso, however. If you intend to head off-road, you have to go for the Sequoia. The TRD Pro comes with a bunch of off-road performance upgrades that make it nearly unstoppable. If you don't require a hardcore 4x4, go with the Armada.

See Toyota Sequoia Review

Nissan Armada Popular Comparisons

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