The 2019 Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV that competes directly with rivals like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon and Toyota Sequoia. In higher trim levels, the Armada turns into a luxurious cruiser with seating for up to eight onboard. Choosing the optional captain’s chairs, like those fitted to the test vehicle we drove for our comprehensive review of the Armada, brings the total seating count to seven occupants.
Related: 2019 Nissan Armada Review: A Friendly Big Fella With Some Rough Edges
When equipped with nearly every available option, as our review car was in the range-topping Platinum Reserve trim, you might find that this Nissan can be a palatable, less pricey alternative to luxury-branded models including the Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade and Lexus LX 570. Thanks to its strong V-8 engine and ample towing capacity, the Armada can be a willing work tool when you need it, too. The cabin is filled with quality trim, though interior tech features are something of a grab bag between modern and outmoded.
You can find our complete review of the 2019 Nissan Armada by Cars.com’s Fred Meier via the related link above. For a quicker rundown of our impressions of this big body-on-frame SUV, keep reading.
Here are eight things we like, and four to take back to the drawing board, in the 2019 Nissan Armada.
Things We Like
1. Big on Value
The Nissan Armada has a starting price of $48,495 in entry-level SV trim, including a $1,395 destination charge. Our test vehicle, an Armada Platinum Reserve, carried a substantially higher price of $64,725 once all the options were factored in. That’s not cheap, but it’s thousands less than what you’d pay for many of the Armada’s rivals, including the Ford Expedition and Chevy Suburban.
2. Strong V-8 Engine
You only get one choice of engine in the Nissan Armada, but it’s a good one. Under the hood is a 5.6-liter V-8 that delivers 390 horsepower and 394 pounds-feet of torque. We appreciated the power of this motor, not to mention how it worked in cooperation with the smooth seven-speed automatic gearbox.
3. Impressive Towing Capacity
When properly equipped, the Armada can tow a maximum of 8,500 pounds. In Meier’s review, he noted this impressive figure is aided by the fact that every Armada comes standard with a self-leveling rear suspension.
4. Quiet, Comfortable Ride
The Armada isn’t going to be your first pick for hot laps at your nearest racetrack — in tight maneuvers, this SUV exhibits plenty of lean. Yet, if you want a quiet and comfortable four-wheeled companion for long drives, or any stressful daily commute, you’ll appreciate the cosseting ride and how the suspension takes the edge off rough road surfaces.
5. Upscale Interior
Not everything is perfect in the Armada’s cabin but, by and large, the materials used are classy and upscale given this SUV’s price. This holds true for the base SV model and definitely applies to the posh Platinum Reserve model we tested. Leather seating, soft-touch surfaces and elegant headliner material make the Armada feel like a premium SUV. Step into a much more Spartan rival, such as the Sequoia, and you’ll see what we mean.
6. More Standard Safety Equipment Than Before
Nissan has fitted the 2019 Armada with more standard safety equipment than the outgoing model. This includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, adaptive cruise control and Nissan’s rear door alert system.
7. 360-Degree Camera System
We know you’re the world’s best driver (aren’t we all?), though sometimes it helps to have a second pair of eyes on the road. In the 2019 Armada, it’s an enormous help to have many more of them, and those come courtesy of a 360-degree camera system that’s standard on all models except the entry-level SV. If you want to avoid embarrassing parking struggles, you’ll love this handy feature.
8. Imposing Exterior Design
Styling is rather subjective, though we think the Armada does a good job at looking imposing without going overboard. The 20-inch wheels on our test truck were handsome, the front end is relatively restrained, and even the side fender vents add a nice design flourish to this full-size SUV.
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Things We Don’t
1. Thirsty V-8 Engine
You can’t be too surprised that an SUV of this size — powered by a V-8 engine, no less — will have a healthy appetite for fuel. The 2019 Armada returns an EPA-estimated 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined in rear-wheel-drive format, and these numbers all drop by 1 mpg when you add all-wheel drive. Get ready to be on a first-name basis with your local gas station attendant.
2. Dated Interior Tech
The cabin of the Armada is comfortable and spacious, though the tech features are a very mixed bag. On one hand, you have modern niceties like wireless smartphone charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot and multiple USB ports. On the other, between the two main gauges is an information screen that looks rooted to the original Apple iMac era. The infotainment system itself is messy, with multiple buttons and a screen that’s too small and uses dated graphics.
3. Snug Third-Row Seating
Despite its size, room in the third row isn’t great. Legroom is limited, the bottom seat cushion is low to the floor, and you’re surrounded by cheaper plastics than what you find in the first and second row.
4. Cumbersome Console With Captain’s Chairs
If you choose the second-row captain’s chairs in the Armada, be forewarned, they are separated by a large and immovable center console. This limits access to the third row and generally seems an inefficient use of space.
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