$20,168 - $28,435

2014 Nissan Armada Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Nissan Armada was new.


Performance: 7.2

Reviewers agree that the 2014 Nissan Armada has good handling for a large, truck-based SUV, but it pales in comparison to a crossover. They say the V8 delivers strong acceleration and the five-speed transmission shifts smoothly, though the Armada gets lower fuel economy than its rivals. Critics think the Armada is a refined highway cruiser, but suffers a harsh ride on imperfect roads. Still, they say its excellent towing and off-road capabilities mean it won’t let an adventurous family down.

  • "The Armada is based the platform used by Nissan's Titan full-size pickup. While these roots give the SUV its hauling and mudding capabilities, they also make for a clumsier driving experience than most crossovers offer." -- Left Lane News
  • "On normal roads, the Armada feels harsh and trucklike, with considerable body roll in corners. The vehicle's high center of gravity will encourage drivers to reduce their speed dramatically on curves. For these reasons, the Armada is not an ideal people mover. But for those who are used to the ride and feel of a big pickup, the Armada will suit them just fine." -- AutoTrader
  • "A pleasure to drive, the steering is responsive and the Armada corners with ease. The V-8 provides excellent acceleration. For a big SUV, the Armada is agile." -- Car and Driver (2012)
  • "Not only is it a pain to maneuver the Armada past errant shopping carts, it's tough to find a parking space that can accommodate the giant SUV. That said, the overall driving experience is actually very good." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Nissan Armada comes with a 5.6-liter V8 engine that makes 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2014 Armada with two-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 13/19 mpg city/highway, which is below average for a large SUV.

Most reviewers think the Armada delivers good acceleration, especially for highway passing. Test drivers say the five-speed transmission shifts smoothly.

  • "It also seems to labor under hard, off-the-line acceleration. But once this big SUV gets its momentum going, it moves along swiftly, particularly at highway speeds." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2014 Armada is quick off the line, and its 5-speed automatic transmission is smooth and kicks down readily for passing, (though competing SUVs have at least six forward speeds)." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Acceleration is more than adequate thanks to a standard 5.6-liter V8 that pumps out 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft." -- Left Lane News

Handling and Braking

The Armada is available with two- or four-wheel drive. Reviewers say the Armada’s ride is smooth on the highway, but bumpy over uneven roads. They think it handles fairly well for a large SUV, despite steering that can be somewhat unresponsive. Test drivers write that the brakes are strong, but some say that the pedal feels too spongy. Critics say that the Armada is adept off-road, thanks to a capable four-wheel drive system.

  • "Off-road, the Armada is very confident. It can climb and crawl over most terrain, in large part because of its very competent all-mode 4-wheel-drive system." -- AutoTrader
  • "Independent double-wishbone suspension makes the Armada a little more agile than some, and ride quality is smooth on decent pavement, though it can become choppy on patchy surfaces and large expansion joints, or on washboard stretches of dirt road. The speed-sensitive steering reduces the work of maneuvering this big SUV in parking lots, but lacks tactile feedback in back-road maneuvers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Stopping control is good overall, but our testers are divided on brake-pedal modulation. Some find it spongy, with too much free play, while others cite fine response." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The ride quality is generally good, though it deteriorates quickly when traversing broken pavement, a trait that puts it at a disadvantage compared to competitors like the Toyota Sequoia." -- Edmunds (2013)

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