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2020 Nissan Armada Review

The 2020 Nissan Armada has a strong V8 engine and impressive interior quality, but its somewhat-antiquated infotainment system and below-average cargo space sink it to the bottom half of our large SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine
  • Quality cabin
  • Comfortable seating
  • Outdated infotainment system
  • Poor fuel economy, even for the class
  • Below-average cargo volume
  • Less comfortable ride than rivals

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Nissan Armada's #5 ranking is based on its score within the Large SUVs category. Currently the Nissan Armada has a score of 6.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 29 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

6.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 6.4
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Nissan Armada?

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Is the Nissan Armada a Good SUV?

The 2020 Armada is an OK large SUV. This 3-ton Nissan drives like a smaller vehicle, and its standard V8 engine has plenty of power on tap. It also boasts a quality cabin that looks nicer than its price point suggests.

Compared to the rest of the segment, the Armada has poor fuel economy, slightly subpar cargo space, and an outdated infotainment system with plain-looking graphics and an unrefined interface.

Should I Buy the Nissan Armada?

The Nissan Armada is a little less expensive than most large SUVs, and it comes with a decent list of standard features. If you can spend just a bit more money, however, you’ll get a better vehicle. The Ford Expedition boasts ample passenger and cargo space, and it has athletic handling despite its large size. The Chevrolet Tahoe has user-friendly infotainment features, including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Compare the Armada, Expedition, and Tahoe »

Should I Buy a New or Used Nissan Armada?

The 2020 Nissan Armada is part of the generation that began with the 2017 model year. For 2020, the Armada gains standard heated outside mirrors and an optional wheel package.

If you're looking at older models in this generation, consider the 2019 model. It was the first Armada to come standard with several driver assistance features, including forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. For 2018, the Armada gained the standard Connect telematics system and the Platinum Reserve trim.

You can save considerable money by purchasing a used model from the previous generation, which ran from 2004 to 2015 (Nissan did not produce an Armada for 2016). However, the previous-generation model is vastly different from the current one. The 2015-and-earlier models have a 5.6-liter V8 engine – only rated at 317 horsepower – and a five-speed automatic transmission. The latest generation has a 390-horsepower V8 and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The previous generation also has different interior and exterior styling, and there are fewer standard features than in newer models.  

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Armada, 2018 Armada, and 2019 Armada reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Armada »

We Did the Research for You: 27 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 27 Nissan Armada reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2020 Armada is the right new car for you. This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Armada generation, which runs from 2017 to 2020.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Nissan Armada Cost?

With a starting price of $47,100, the 2020 Nissan Armada is one of the least expensive large SUVs on the market. The next least-expensive SUV in the segment is the Chevy Tahoe, which starts at $49,000.  

The Armada’s three higher trims start at $51,900, $60,530, and $65,030. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional in any trim for $3,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Nissan dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Nissan deals page.

Nissan Armada Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Nissan Armada or Ford Expedition?

The Ford Expedition is a better SUV than the Armada. Both of these vehicles have plenty of engine power, but the Expedition offers a higher towing capacity and better fuel economy. The Expedition generally drives like a smaller SUV, and it has responsive, well-weighted steering. The Expedition is a more capable off-roader, with almost 10 inches of ground clearance and trail-ready upgrades like all-terrain tires, a limited-slip differential, off-road shocks, and skid plates.

Inside, the Expedition impresses with its user-friendly infotainment features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It also has more cargo space than any SUV in the class, and there's even an extended-length Expedition Max. Compared to the Armada, the standard-length Expedition gives you 4.4 more cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 13.7 more cubic feet behind the second row, and a higher maximum cargo capacity by 9.2 cubic feet. The extended-length Expedition Max extends these gains to 19.5, 29.7, and 26.1 cubic feet, respectively, over what the Armada offers. Overall, the Expedition is simply the better SUV. 

Which Is Better: Nissan Armada or Chevrolet Tahoe?

The Chevrolet Tahoe finishes ahead of the Armada in our large SUV rankings, but these two are a little more evenly matched than they may appear. They both have upscale interiors, comfortable seating, and similar amounts of cargo space. The Tahoe has a smooth-operating infotainment system with features you won't find in the Armada, such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Plus, the Nissan's infotainment screen has unimpressive graphics and some unintuitive controls.  

The Armada’s V8 engine lays down plenty of power, while the Tahoe gives you two V8 options. The standard offering can feel a little underpowered, but the Tahoe's upgraded engine is more potent. You may want to take both of these rivals out for a spin and see which one you like more.

If you like the Tahoe but find that you need more space, consider the Chevrolet Suburban. That model is basically an extended-length Tahoe that offers more cargo space and roomier third-row seats.

Compare the Armada, Expedition, and Tahoe »

Armada Interior

How Many People Does the Armada Seat?

In its standard configuration, the Nissan Armada SUV seats eight people. Opting for the available second-row captain's chairs reduces the seating capacity to seven.

The front seats are well-bolstered, so you'll have no problem staying comfortable on long drives. Both the first and second rows have ample head- and legroom, leaving taller adults with plenty of space. The third row can handle adult travelers on short trips, but it's not as roomy as the third rows in some other large SUVs.

The Armada's step-in height is slightly high. Additionally, the third row can be difficult to access.

Armada and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connections for the second-row outboard seats. Models with a second-row bench have a tether anchor for the middle seat, and all models have another tether anchor for the passenger-side third-row seat.

The system is fairly straightforward to use, at least when it comes to locating and accessing the lower anchors. The tether anchors are a little hard to find, so look for them on the backs of the seats near the bottom. It also takes a good amount of effort to connect the straps to the tether anchors.

Armada Interior Quality

Despite having the lowest base price in the class, the Armada has an impressive interior quality. Most surfaces are soft to the touch, and there's good fit and finish.

With elegant leather, wood, and metal accents, some reviewers note that the Armada is more reminiscent of an upscale SUV from Infiniti, which is Nissan's luxury brand.

Armada Cargo Space

The Armada has 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row. That's about average for the class. Fold those seats down and you'll get 49.9 cubic feet, which is the lowest total in the class for that cargo configuration. With both the second and third rows folded, the Armada serves up 95.4 cubic feet of space.

The load floor is high, so it may be difficult to load heavy items. Additionally, because the rear bumper sticks out, it can be hard to reach deep into the cargo hold to retrieve items.

Armada Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

All Armada models come standard with an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, which also includes a 13-speaker Bose stereo, satellite radio, navigation, and four USB ports.

The screen's graphics are not particularly crisp, making it look a little behind the times, and the system can be slow to process inputs. The Armada's infotainment system also lacks Android Auto or Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, further highlighting its outdatedness.

There's a large number of buttons and knobs on the center stack, along with a rotary knob that’s mounted high. While all of these are clearly labeled, it’s a lot to take in and understand. It can also be tough to reach some buttons from the driver's seat.

Read more about interior »

Armada Performance

Armada Engine: Big and Brawny

Like most large SUVs, the Nissan Armada has a potent V8 engine. With a 390-horsepower rating, it's the strongest base engine in the class. It's also perfectly capable of moving the bulky Armada around with authority. Acceleration is swift from a stop, and you can easily pass and merge at higher speeds.

A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. It mostly functions unobtrusively in the background. However, you really have to jump on the throttle to get the transmission to downshift and unlock the engine's full power. Otherwise, it resists downshifting for the benefit of fuel economy.

Armada Gas Mileage: Terrible, Just Terrible

The Armada gets incredibly poor fuel economy. With standard rear-wheel drive, this SUV gets an EPA-estimated 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Efficiency drops to 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway with the optional four-wheel-drive system.

Large SUVs aren't known for great gas mileage, but the Armada still comes in near the bottom of the class. In fact, the Armada boasts some of the lowest fuel economy numbers of any mainstream consumer vehicle on sale today.

Armada Ride and Handling: Just OK

The large Armada mostly drives like a smaller SUV. It's pretty easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and it goes around corners with little body roll. However, when you're cruising on the highway, you may find that you need more frequent steering inputs than usual to keep the SUV on track or centered in the lane.

Ride quality is similarly mixed. The Armada travels comfortably enough over most surfaces, but the suspension can feel stiff sometimes.

Armada Towing

When properly equipped, the Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds. That's about average for a large SUV. The Ford Expedition leads the class with a capacity of 9,300 pounds, while at the other end of the spectrum, the Toyota Sequoia manages 7,400 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Armada Reliability

Is the Nissan Armada Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Nissan Armada a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Nissan Armada Warranty

Nissan covers the Armada with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Armada Safety

Armada Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Nissan Armada an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. The Armada received three out of five stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests, as well as five stars in the side crash test.

Armada Safety Features

The Armada comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. Optional active safety features include rain-sensing windshield wipers, a surround-view parking camera system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a rearview camera mirror, rear cross traffic alert, and reverse automatic emergency braking.

Read more about safety »

Armada Dimensions and Weight

The Nissan Armada is 17.4 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 5,577 to 5,958 pounds, and its gross vehicle weight rating is between 7,300 and 7,500 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Nissan Armada Built?

Nissan builds the 2020 Armada in Japan.

Which Nissan Armada Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Nissan Armada is available in four trims: SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve. All models come standard with a V8 engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is optional in any trim for $3,000. The SV, SL, and Platinum models have standard seating for eight, while second-row captain's chairs are optional in SL and Platinum. The Armada Platinum Reserve has standard captain's chairs.

The base model is fairly well equipped, with its infotainment system, Bose stereo, and some driver assistance features. However, it's worth stepping up to the SL to get leather seats and convenience amenities such as a power liftgate and a surround-view parking camera system.

The Platinum model offers additional features including a moonroof, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert, but you can get these in an optional package with the SL trim. If you want ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, however, your only choices will be the Platinum or Platinum Reserve models.

Nissan Armada SV

The 2020 Nissan Armada SV starts at $47,100. Standard features include cloth upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated outside mirrors.

The standard 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system includes a 13-speaker Bose stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, navigation, HD Radio, and four USB ports. Standard driver assistance features include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

The Driver package adds fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener, a power liftgate, power-folding third-row seats, and a trailer harness.

Nissan Armada SL

The Armada SL retails for $51,900. Additional features include leather upholstery, power-folding third-row seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. You'll also get a power liftgate, remote start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a surround-view parking camera system, a trailer harness, and fog lights.

The optional Premium package adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, and a moonroof. Captain's chairs are also optional in this model.

Nissan Armada Platinum

Starting at $60,530, the Armada Platinum comes with ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a moonroof, and a rear-seat entertainment system. It also adds blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a rearview mirror camera, rear cross traffic alert, and reverse automatic emergency braking.

Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve

The Armada Platinum Reserve retails for $65,030. It features unique upgraded leather upholstery and other special interior and exterior design elements.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Nissan dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Nissan deals page.

See 2020 Nissan Armada specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Nissan Armada is a mixed bag. It has a powerful engine and a composed ride, but poor fuel economy. Inside, materials quality is great, but the infotainment features and cargo space could be better. We recommend checking out some other large SUVs before committing to an Armada.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Loaded with features and packing a big V8 engine under its hood, the Armada also happens to be quite capable, with a lower base price than the Chevrolet Tahoe, more horsepower than the Toyota Sequoia and a more upscale interior than the latest Ford Expedition. Compared to the first-generation Armada, the current model is a bit smaller, more maneuverable and far less trucklike." -- Autotrader
  • "The … Nissan Armada competes well against other full-size SUVs in its class. Like the others, it has a strong engine that is well-suited for towing duties and enough four-wheel-drive capability to get you and your family off the beaten path with confidence. … Unfortunately, the Armada's V8 is one of the least efficient among its SUV competitors. Additionally, the infotainment system is behind the times and the third row of seats isn't quite as spacious as some of its rivals." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The … Nissan Armada is a highly capable and highly capacious full-size SUV. It also reaches Infiniti heights of luxuriousness in its plushest model (Platinum Reserve), while even the entry level (SV) still comes well equipped." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 22, 2020

Slow Sales: Sales of the Armada trail the majority of the large SUV class in 2020. Nissan dealerships have moved 28.8 percent fewer Armadas in 2020 compared to the same timeframe in 2019. Only the Toyota Sequoia has fewer sales than the Armada.

Research more buying advice »
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2020 Nissan Armada

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