If there’s a Nissan that follows the “go big or go home” mantra, it’s the 2022 Armada. This is a big three-row SUV powered by a big and thirsty V8 engine. It’s essentially the same vehicle as to the Infiniti QX80, but with less glam, fewer features, and a lower price.
This shared lineage with the Infiniti means the Armada is remarkably refined, but it also means the underlying design and engineering are more than a decade old. Nissan refreshed the Armada last year, updating its styling and technology.
Rugged good looks, a high-quality interior with simple analog controls, legit off-roading capability, and competitive towing capacity all make the Armada a viable pick for a large SUV among top rivals such as the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Jeep Wagoneer. Learn more about the 2022 Nissan Armada by reading our in-depth Expert Rating of this SUV.
ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION
A powerful 5.6-liter V-8 with a civilized seven-speed automatic transmission is the Armada’s only powertrain. The engine makes up to 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel. It pairs with either rear- or all-wheel drive, and every model can tow 8500 pounds.
We haven’t track-tested an Armada with the extra power, but we have driven one and appreciated its effortless thrust. Despite its large proportions, the Armada drove surprisingly well thanks to its fully independent suspension, but its handling doesn’t hold a candle to the nimbler Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.
Our test vehicle had a smooth and hushed ride even though it rolled on 22-inch wheels (18-inchers are standard). Its soft-riding nature didn’t negatively affect our sense of control, but its steering was imprecise and slow to react, which allowed the SUV to wander on the highway like a member of its Spanish namesake.
Along with impressive results in our emergency-braking test, the Nissan’s brake pedal delivered a good feel and consistent feedback.
ENERGY AND REAL-WORLD MPG
All Armadas are powered by the same V-8 engine and automatic transmission, a combination that makes the Nissan less fuel-efficient than most of its rivals. The EPA estimates the rear-drive version will earn 14 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway.
Adding all-wheel drive into the mix reduces both numbers by 1 mpg. Once we can run one on our 75-mph fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the 2022 Nissan Armada’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH
A cushy and spacious interior supplements the Armada’s classy outer shell. Its cabin is well insulated from outside noise, and most materials are attractive and soft.
The 2022 Nissan Armada has three rows of seats and can accommodate up to eight passengers, but capacity drops to seven with the optional second-row captain’s chairs. These fold easily and quickly with a handle that springs the seat forward; resetting the seat must be done manually, however.
The power-folding third-row (standard on the SL and up) can be adjusted via buttons in the cargo area or on the third row’s armrests, but snails move faster.
Even compared with newer rivals, the 2022 Nissan Armada feels fancy and has plenty of third-row legroom. The top-of-the-line Platinum model has quilted seat surfaces and imitation open-pore wood trim, accentuating the luxury-SUV ambiance.
IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS
Every 2022 Nissan Armada features a large 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with rotary controls for volume and tuning.
The unit sprouts 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-of-the-line Platinum trim features a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 8.0-inch screens.
PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS
Every Armada has a host of standard driver-assistance technology. For more information about the 2022 Nissan Armada’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
2021 Nissan Armada
front-engine, rear- 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 heads, direct fuel injection
339 in3, 5552 cm3
400 hp @ 5800 rpm
413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Wheelbase: 121.1 in
Length: 208.9 in
Width: 79.9 in
Height: 75.8 in
Passenger volume: 156–157 ft3
Cargo volume: 17 ft3
Curb weight (C/D est): 5700–6000 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 5.8–5.9 sec
1/4 mile: 14.6–14.7 sec
Top speed: 130 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 15–16/13–14/18–19 mpg