But what's taking so long?
The refreshed 2021 Nissan Armada full-size SUV is not a dramatic departure from the outgoing model, though its list of updates is still very much welcomed. Most importantly for some, the naturally aspirated 5.6-liter V8 not only remains but has increased output from 390 horsepower to 400. Torque is also up from 394 lb-ft to 413. Unfortunately, the updated Armada did not receive the Titan pickup truck's nine-speed automatic transmission and instead has to make do with the existing seven-speed unit.
A new report from Motor Trend indicates this situation won't last for much longer. "The development timing didn't work out to add the nine-speed to the  Armada," Nissan product planner Brent Hagan told the publication.
He further added that although the Armada "[doesn't] really need [the nine-speed] for this application," this transmission is "something you can bet we're considering and looking at in the future." The additional two gears are not expected to improve the Armada's straight-line performance, just like they didn't in the Titan, but rather could help with fuel economy.
For example, the 2020 Titan RWD, equipped with the nine-speed, bests its seven-speed 2019 counterpart in both city and highway fuel economy by 1 mpg each, now rated at 16/22 mpg. Four-wheel-drive models, unfortunately, return the same 15/21 mpg rating as before.
Clearly, a 1 mpg increase isn't earth-shattering but it would allow the Armada RWD to match the fuel figures of the all-new 2021 Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon powered by the optional 6.2-liter V8. The fact that automakers are finding new ways to improve the often poor fuel economy figures of their big SUVs thanks to advanced transmissions and engines, it only makes sense for Nissan to upgrade the Armada's gearbox.
Nissan did not provide a timeline as to when the nine-speed slushbox will make its way to the Armada, but we expect this to happen in the next year or two. Engineers simply ran out of time to make the change for 2021.