The 2018 Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV with seating for up to eight passengers, plenty of room for cargo, and the capability to tow a heavy load. The Armada isn’t just for show. It’s a versatile SUV ready to handle work or play and it manages the feat with a surprising amount of style.
On the outside, the Armada looks massive with a wide, tall body and big, bold curves. There’s no attempt to make it look reserved or elegant. This is an in-your-face SUV that won’t go unnoticed.
Under the hood is a 5.6-liter V8 engine with 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission. It’s plenty capable for getting the Armada up to highway speeds, though it’s not exactly quick. Unlike many other vehicles this big, when you press the accelerator to pass slower vehicles or make last minute lane changes, the Armada is quick to respond.
Handling is good, but this is no sports car. Remember that whole size issue. On the highway, maneuver too quickly and you’ll feel a good bit of body roll. It’s never enough to make the Armada feel uncontrolled, but it is noticeable. Similarly, rough roads will set the Armada bouncing enough to make a car full of kids giggle.
This expansive interior has room for eight or seven if you opt for second-row captain’s chairs. When Nissan says eight, they aren’t kidding. The second-row bench seats in our tester made short work of three adults and even the third row is accessible and comfortable for all but the largest passengers.
It’s surprising how comfortable and well-equipped an interior you’ll find in the Armada. This is a big SUV that looks like it’s ready for work, but it’s just as ready to be a comfy passenger hauler.
Our test car was the Armada Platinum with the Platinum Reserve package which sits at the top of the lineup. It includes a 10-way power driver’s seat and 8-way power front passenger seat, both with 2-way power lumbar. Those seats are heated and cooled and second-row outboard passengers also have heated seats.
There’s leather everywhere from the two-tone seats to the steering wheel. It also adorns the shift knob and doors with a unique pleated design that adds extra visual appeal and helps give the Armada an upscale vibe. On the seats in particular, materials look fantastic and feel great.
Infotainment in the Armada includes an 8-inch color touchscreen and a 13-speaker Bose premium audio system. There’s navigation, SiriusXM, 5 USB ports, and NissanConnect services. The rear family entertainment system keeps the kids amused with two 8-inch displays and two pairs of wireless headphones.
When it is time to do the heavy lifting, the Armada can to up to 8,500 pounds. Inside, there’s 16.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 49.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and 95.4 cubic feet behind the first row. Even with a full load of people, there’s still ample room for cargo.
The base model has limited advanced safety features, but they arrive as options one step up in the trim range. These include blind spot warning, back-up intervention, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. The Platinum trim makes these standard along with blind spot intervention and lane departure warning with intervention.
Where the Armada doesn’t quite shine is fuel economy. It gets an EPA-estimated 14 mpg in the city, 19 mpg on the highway, and 16 mpg combined equipped with front-wheel drive. Drop all those numbers by 1 for all-wheel drive fuel economy. It’s a thirsty SUV, which makes longer trips more challenging.
Pricing starts at $46,090 for the base model and rises to $62,090 for the luxurious Platinum. That might make the Armada seem expensive, but when you compare it to similarly-equipped vehicles, it’s quite a steal. Full-size SUVs are not cheap and the Armada offers more than its competitors for a lower price across the lineup.
The 2018 Nissan Armada is the complete package for those who want the capability of a full-size SUV combined with a comfortable and expansive interior.