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2018 Nissan Armada

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2018 Nissan Armada Expert Review

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

Nissan’s largest and most expensive SUV, the luxurious 2018 Nissan Armada is perfect for families looking for a full-size, 3-row SUV that seats eight passengers and has the power to tow up to 8,500 pounds. All-new just last year, the Armada is attractive, comfortable and with a starting price of around $47,000 it’s less expensive than a Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition or Toyota Sequoia. It also costs $22,000 less than the similar Infiniti QX80. Under the hood is a burly 390-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 that gives the Armada more power than the trucks from GM, Ford or Toyota. Three trim levels are available, SV, SL and Platinum. Every Armada gets a 7-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but Nissan offers 4-wheel drive with a low-range for an additional $2,900.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2018 Nissan Armada is basically an Infiniti QX80 with $20,000 lopped off its sticker price. The two trucks are exactly the same size, use the same chassis, suspension, engine, transmission and they look pretty much the same. If you want an Infiniti on a Nissan budget you’ll like the new Armada.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for the smoothest ride in the class, you may not like the 2018 Nissan Armada. Its suspension doesn’t soak up the urban landscape quite as well as the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia. While large enough for adults, the Armada’s 3rd-row legroom also lags behind the Expedition, Sequoia and the Chevy Suburban.

How It Ranks

#22

out of 22

Fuel Economy

#1

out of 22

Horsepower
View all rankings
2018 Nissan Armada Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

For 2018, the new Nissan Armada gets considerable infotainment upgrades, and it becomes the first truck in its class to offer a high-tech rearview mirror. The system uses a camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle and an LCD monitor built into the glass of the standard rearview mirror. Nissan calls it Intelligent Rear View Mirror, and it’s standard on the top Platinum trim level.

Driving the Armada
2018 Nissan Armada Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

With its spacious interior and big V8-horsepower, the 2018 Nissan Armada is a fantastic road-trip vehicle. On highways, this 3-row SUV is smooth and quiet and the driver’s seat is...

... well shaped and firm enough to keep you well supported on long drives. Our test vehicle, a Nissan Armada Platinum, also featured a heated steering wheel and heated and cooled front seats and its navigation system was easy to program. Around town the Armada’s significant size makes it a handful to park, and some may find its steering heavy and its ride overly firm. Acceleration is strong and the rumble from the big V8’s exhaust is entertaining, but not loud enough to be intrusive or obnoxious. The 7-speed automatic transmission is smooth and responsive, and 4-wheel-drive models feature a low range for improved off-road performance. With its ample 9.1 inches of ground clearance the Armada isn’t exactly a Baja racer, but it’s surprisingly capable in the dirt.

INTELLIGENT AROUND VIEW MONITOR
Standard on the SL and Platinum trim levels, Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor is like a rearview camera on steroids. It not only shows you what’s behind the SUV, but additional cameras on the side and front of the vehicle give you a bird’s-eye 360-degree view of the Armada and its surrounds.

SECOND-ROW CAPTAIN’S CHAIRS
A popular option on full-size SUVs like the 2018 Nissan Armada are 2nd-row captain’s chairs. Although they drop the truck’s seating capacity from eight to seven, the two individual seats are more comfortable than the 3-across bench and they really improve 3rd-row access. This is a very affordable option at just $450. Unfortunately, it’s available only on the top Platinum trim level.

2018 Nissan Armada Details
2018 Nissan Armada Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

With its abundance of wood trim and modern amenities the interior of the 2018 Nissan Armada is luxurious and comfortable. It’s built with precision. Fit/finish is excellent and all controls feel sturdy and substantial. The Nissan Armada SUV has three rows and seating for eight. Top-line Platinum models offer a pair of captain's chairs and a center console in the second row, reducing seating capacity to seven. Room is generous in the first and second rows but tight in the third. The front seats are large and the Armada boasts a commanding view out front, but rearward visibility is limited. The center console features an 8-inch touch screen.

Exterior
2018 Nissan Armada photo

Rugged yet sophisticated, the Armada's new design evokes the luxury-meets-utilitarian style of its Infiniti QX80 sibling and even some Range Rovers. There's nothing small or dainty about this SUV, which can tip the scale at nearly three tons when equipped with all the trimmings. Base models roll on 18-inch wheels, while SL and Platinum Armada models go big with 20-inchers. This is Nissan’s largest SUV ever, but the Armada’s cohesive design hides that size well, with windows that appear to stretch nearly the length of the vehicle and strong bulging fenders. A smattering of chrome dresses its flanks without getting overly ornate, and sizable fender vents add a sporting flair.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2018 Nissan Armada full-size SUV is available in three trims: SV, SL and Platinum. A base SV model comes nicely equipped with dual-zone climate control, 8-inch infotainment system with navigation, 13-speaker Bose AM/FM/CD/USB/Satellite audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera, power-adjustable front seats, and front/rear parking sensors. If you want some nicer amenities, especially leather seating, we recommend at least an SL model, which also includes Nissan's handy Around View rearview-camera system, power liftgate, power-folding 3rd-row seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and remote keyless entry with 2-driver memory system, which is great for spouses who share the vehicle.

Optional Equipment

Stepping up to the Platinum Armada brings features that are optional on the SL, including moonroof, intelligent cruise control, blind-spot detection, backup-collision intervention, forward emergency braking and the Predictive Forward Collision Warning System. That top model also comes with lane-departure warning/prevention, heated and cooled front seats, heated 2nd-row seats and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 7-inch displays, wireless headphones and DVD player. That model can also be had in the 7-passenger configuration. Four-wheel drive is offered on all three trims.

Under the Hood
2018 Nissan Armada Engine photo

The 2018 Armada SUV is powered by Nissan's big Endurance 5.6-liter V8. The engine puts out 390 horsepower, which makes it the most powerful standard engine in this class. The Armada comes standard in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) form, with 4-wheel drive (4WD) optional. This naturally aspirated (non-turbo) engine is quite thirsty, topping out at just 19 mpg for RWD models and 18 for 4WD variants. A 7-speed automatic transmission is standard. The 2018 Armada's towing capacity is 8,500 pounds -- more than the Sequoia's 7,400, nearly matching that of the Chevy Tahoe, and less than the 9,200 pounds of the Ford Expedition, which uses a turbocharged V6.

5.6-liter V8
390 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
394 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 mpg (RWD), 13/18 mpg (4WD)

The 2018 Nissan Armada has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $46,895 for a rear-wheel-drive base model. Mid-trim SL models start around $51,500, and the top-of-the-line Platinum trim bows right around $60,000. Adding 4WD to any model is an extra $2,900. All-in, a 4WD Platinum Armada can approach $65,000. The Armada undercuts the starting prices of the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon siblings, as well as the Ford Expedition. It is only slightly less than the starting price of the Toyota Sequoia. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Armada. While we don't have precise predictions on this latest-gen Armada, the resale value of Nissan's full-size SUV has traditionally lagged its rivals in holding its value.

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