The 2021 Nissan Armada got a significant refresh, adding a new front fascia, C-shaped headlight clusters, and the brand’s new logo. Based closely on the global market Patrol, the Armada is closely related to the Infiniti QX80. Other than the exterior styling, specific luxury features that you can’t get in the Nissan, and the hydraulic suspension, which is exclusive to the Infiniti in the U.S. market. Otherwise, both vehicles are essentially the same under the skin; however, the biggest problem for the QX80 is that the Armada exists and it’s a better value proposition thanks to its $48,900 starting price before destination and tops out under $70,000.
Inside the 2021 Nissan Armada, you get generous seat adjustments for both front seats but only two-way lumbar support. The second row, while comfortable, falls short due to the SUV being narrower than its peers and it doesn’t fold like the ones you find in the smaller Pathfinder, meaning you can’t leave a child seat in and let people into the third row. Seven-passenger models get a center console with additional storage and cupholders. The tumbling seat design of the second row makes accessing the third row easy. Unfortunately, they don’t slide forward and back. As a result, there’s still a reasonable amount of head- and legroom for short trips to lunch. The Cargo area is also limited with all seats up due to the Armada’s body-on-frame structure and rear suspension design. Its protruding rear bumper also makes loading a little bit of a hassle.
The biggest change inside the Armada is the new user interface, which now features a 12.3-inch touchscreen with a permanent split-screen. This makes a huge difference and adds a much-needed modern touch while keeping this easy to use. As for the rest of the cabin, the fit and finish are fairly good thanks to good material choice. Excellent cabin insulation keeps things quiet on the road especially, during highway driving.
Powering the 2021 Nissan Armada is a 5.6-liter V8 with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission offered is a seven-speed automatic putting power down through the rear or all four wheels. EPA fuel economy ratings are 14/19/26 mpg city/highway/combined in RWD guise or 13/18/15 mpg with 4WD. Regardless of the drivetrain configuration, maximum towing stands at 8,500 pounds when properly equipped. Trailer brake control is standard on all but the base trim while trailer sway control requires going up to at least the SL grade.
Despite its size, the Nissan Armada moves assertively thanks to that standard V8 engine. The taller gearing of the seven-speed automatic, however, becomes most noticeable when you’re towing because there are times when it’s not in the right ratio. Its lack of fuel-saving measures is also why the Armada sucks down fuel at an alarming rate, meaning you’ll be visiting the gas station quite frequently.
For its size, the Armada feels confident despite wearing tires that aren’t as grippy. The optional 22-inch alloy wheels don’t hurt ride quality as much as you’d think thanks to the control alarm suspension design, which keeps things cushy and compliant. However, the competition has caught up with some featuring both air suspension and magnetic dampers on more expensive models.
0 to 60 mph: 6.3 seconds
60 mph to 0: 130 feet
Cabin Noise: A; 71 dB
Fuel Economy: D+