To power the large SUV market, Nissan supplies every Armada with a 400-horsepower V-8. That gives even the base model plenty of scoot, and it comes with an impressive 8500-pound towing capacity. Offered in either rear- or four-wheel drive, the Armada is a three-row entertainment and luxury barge. At the top end of the Armada trim level, heated quilted leather seats, a headrest-mounted display screen and open-pore wood trim give this Nissan a bit of Bentley flair. Recent updates have gifted the Armada with more power and fresher styling, but can’t avoid the fact that big power requires a solution by the gallon. Although it is not the best of the mondo-SUV group when compared to the Chevy Tahoe, Jeep Wagoneer or Ford Expedition, the Armada’s style and powerful engine make it very attractive.
What’s New for 2023?
After the Armada received a major refresh for 2021, the 2023 Nissan SUV’s changes are subtle. Nissan adds Amazon Alexa to Armada SV, SL, and Platinum. Remote start, LED fog lights and an auto-dimming rearview mirror have all been added as standard equipment for the Armada SV. The 2023 Armada SL adds a heated steering wheel to its standard luxuries.
Price and Which One to Buy
We think the SL trim is the best value. In addition to all the desirable standard features inherited from the base SV model, it comes with a 13-speaker Bose audio system, 20-inch rims, leather interior appointments, power liftgate, a heated steering wheel and a sunroof. The SL also unlocks an optional second-row captain’s chair, which we’ll be adding.
Engine, Transmission and Performance
A powerful 5.6-liter V-8 with a civilized seven-speed automatic transmission is the Armada’s only powertrain. The engine, which gains 10 horsepower and 19 pound-feet of torque in 2021, produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel. It is paired with either rear or four-wheel drive. We haven’t tested the Armada with the revised V-8, though we have driven one and appreciate the easy thrust. Despite its large proportions, the Armada drives very well thanks to the fully independent suspension, but its handling is no match for agility. Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. Our test vehicle had a smooth and quiet ride even though it rolled on 22-inch wheels (18-inch is standard). Its soft ride didn’t negatively affect our sense of control, but the steering was imprecise and slow to respond, allowing the SUV to roam the highway like its Spanish namesake.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The maximum towing capacity for the 2023 Nissan Armada is 8500 pounds. That’s true for rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models. That’s not as high as the Jeep Wagoneer, but it beats rivals like the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe.
Real World Fuel Economy and MPG
All Armadas are powered by the same V-8 engine and automatic transmission, a combination that makes the Nissan less fuel-efficient than many of its competitors. The EPA estimates the rear-drive version will get 14 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway. Adding four-wheel drive to the mix drops both numbers by 1 mpg. As soon as we can run one on our 75-mph fuel economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can judge the real world mpg. For more information on Armada fuel economy, visit the website EPA website.
Interior, Comfort and Cargo
A comfortable and spacious interior complements the Armada’s stylish exterior. The cabin is well insulated from outside noise, and most materials are nice and soft. Armada has three rows of seats and can accommodate up to eight passengers, but capacity drops to seven with an optional second-row captain’s chair. This folds easily and quickly with a handle that projects the seat forward; resetting the seat must be done manually, however. The power-folding third row (standard on SL and up) can be raised and lowered via a button in the cargo area or on the third-row armrest, but the snail moves faster. Compared to newer rivals, the Armada feels just as luxurious—if not more appealing—but its third-row legroom isn’t as generous. The top Platinum model has quilted seating surfaces and open-pore faux wood trim, accentuating the luxury SUV feel.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Armada has a large 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with rotary controls for volume and tuning. The unit rises from the top of the center stack and comes with built-in navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio (subscription required), standard Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, and wireless smartphone charging. The mid-level SL model adds a 13-speaker Bose audio system, and the top Platinum trim features a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 8.0-inch screens.
Safety Features and Driver Assistance
Each Armada has various standards driver assistance technology. For more information on Fleet crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website. Key safety features include:
- Standard automatic emergency brake
- Standard lane departure warning and lane keeping assist
- Standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Fleet warranty coverage is about average. Nissan also doesn’t offer any free scheduled maintenance, unlike the Tahoe and Yukon.
- The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No free scheduled maintenance
2021 Nissan Armada
TYPE OF VEHICLE
front engine, rear drive or four wheel drive, 7 or 8 passenger, 4 door wagon
BASE PRICE (C/D EST)
Trim level 1, $49,000
DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
339 in35552 cm3
400 hp @ 5800 rpm
413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Wheelbase: 121.1 in
Length: 208.9 inches
Width: 79.9 inches
Height: 75.8 inches
Passenger volume: 156–157 feet3
Cargo volume: 17 feet3
Curb weight (C/D estimate): 5700–6000 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 5.8–5.9 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.6–14.7 seconds
Top speed: 130 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 15–16/13–14/18–19 mpg
More Features and Specifications