2018 Nissan Armada

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MSRP: $46,090 - 62,090

2018 Nissan Armada Review

The 2018 Nissan Armada has a powerful engine and strong towing capability, but its interior leaves a lot to be desired. A relatively small cargo hold and outdated, confusing infotainment features relegate the Armada to a spot near the bottom of our rankings.

7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.5
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Strong V8 engine
  • Good towing capacity
  • Expansive second-row seats
  • Well-built cabin
  • Outdated infotainment system
  • Smaller cargo space & front seat
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

Is the Nissan Armada a Good SUV?

The Nissan Armada is an OK SUV, but it looks more mediocre when stacked against the competition. It comes with a muscular engine that gets you moving quickly and never feels strained under the vehicle's heavy weight. The Armada can also tow more than some large SUV rivals. Thanks to a 2017 redesign, it has an upscale and quiet interior.

However, the Armada gets worse gas mileage and offers less cargo space than most of its competitors. While the recent redesign improved the interior's look and quality, it did nothing for the infotainment system, which feels outdated. Also, the front seats aren't as roomy as you'd expect for a hulking SUV, and the Armada's predicted reliability is below average.

Should I Buy the Nissan Armada?

We've laid out the Armada's highs and lows, but deciding whether or not to buy it might come down to how much you prioritize price. The Armada has the lowest MSRP in its class – several thousand dollars less than top-end competitors that start at over $50,000. If you’re willing to go with a lower-rated SUV to save some money, the Armada could be a good choice. But if you have more room in your budget, you’re better off with another SUV.

The Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia are both well-rounded SUVs that finish higher than the Armada in our rankings. Both rivals have refined infotainment features, spacious seating, and capable performance.

Compare the Armada, Tahoe, and Sequoia »

Should I Buy a New or Used Nissan Armada?

For 2018, the Nissan Armada gains some standard features: NissanConnect services, satellite radio travel information, hands-free texting, and additional USB ports for all trim levels. The Platinum Reserve model (which upgrades the interior and exterior) also debuts for this year, and a rearview mirror camera is available for the first time. Aside from that, the 2018 Armada is similar to the 2017 model, which was fully redesigned. You can likely save thousands of dollars by going with a used Armada instead of a new one, without sacrificing too many features. Keep in mind that 2015 and older models won't have any of the benefits of the redesign.

To do more research on a used Armada, check out our reviews of the 2017 Nissan Armada or the prior-generation 2015 Armada. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for savings and incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2015, 2017, and 2018 Armada »

We Did the Research for You: 19 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank. This 2018 Nissan Armada review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which includes the 2017 and 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Nissan Armada Cost?

The Armada has a base price of $46,090, which is the lowest starting price in the class. This Nissan also costs less than the competition on the high end; the Armada’s top trim has a starting price of almost $62,200, which is less than most other large SUVs’ top trims.

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.

Nissan Armada Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Nissan Armada or Chevrolet Tahoe?

The Chevrolet Tahoe is in the upper echelon among large SUVs. Its cabin is awash in soft-touch materials and boasts an elegant overall design, giving it one of the nicest interiors in the class. The Tahoe also seats up to nine, which is one more than the Armada's capacity. The Tahoe's spacious front seats remain comfortable on drives of any length, while the Armada has snug front seats. Both SUVs have a back row that is best left for children. Chevy's infotainment system is easy to use and has amenities like Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, and an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spot – none of which are offered in the Armada.

Performance-wise, the Tahoe employs responsive steering and a quiet ride, along with better fuel economy than the Armada. The Tahoe also has a much better predicted reliability rating. All of those positives make the Tahoe a better all-around choice for most buyers.

Which Is Better: Nissan Armada or Toyota Sequoia?

Like the Armada, the Toyota Sequoia can seat seven or eight depending on whether it’s equipped with the available second-row captain's chairs. Both SUVs offer similar performance in that they come standard with an energetic V8 engine, a cushioned ride, and strong brakes.

Inside, the Sequoia has a lot of space and a well-appointed design. The front seats are supportive, while the optional second-row captain's chairs are extremely comfortable. The Sequoia's Entune infotainment system has a user-friendly interface, but like the Armada, it lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Sequoia offers a larger cargo hold than the Armada, and it has a much higher predicted reliability rating as well. Most buyers should opt for the Sequoia.

Compare the Armada, Tahoe, and Sequoia »

Armada Interior

How Many People Does the Armada Seat?

The Armada seats seven or eight, depending on whether you want the available second-row bucket seats. The front seats aren’t as roomy as competitors’, and the third-row seats are best left for children (this is common for a 3-row SUV). The second-row seats are superb, and they’re among the roomiest in the class.

Armada and Car Seats

There are four sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the Armada. Most child seats will fit without much of a problem, and the lower anchors are generally easy to use. The tether anchors are easy to find, but attaching car seat straps to the hardware can be difficult.

Armada Interior Quality

You’ll appreciate the Armada’s well-built cabin, which looks good and remains quiet even at highway speeds. It also features plenty of high-end materials.

Armada Cargo Space

All large SUVs have lots of cargo space, but most have more than this Nissan. It has 16.5 cubic feet of space behind the third row, which is enough room for about a dozen shopping bags. However, it may not fit vacation luggage for the whole family.

With the second and third rows folded, the Armada has more than 95 cubic feet of space. That’s enough room for just about anything you can fit through the Armada’s hatch. Just note: the cargo hold has a high liftover height, so it might be tough to load heavy objects.

Armada Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Armada include a 13-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, four USB ports, and voice recognition. Available features include a moonroof and a dual-screen entertainment system in the rear seat.

The only good thing you can say about the infotainment system is that it has redundant physical controls. It feels outdated, the interface can be confusing, and the touch screen is hard to reach from the driver’s seat.

Read more about interior »

Armada Performance

Armada Engine: Not Much Choice

The only engine option in the Armada is a 390-horsepower V8. It’s strong and quick, and it delivers more horsepower than some rivals’ engines. The seven-speed automatic transmission holds the engine back slightly, as it must hunt for the right gear at times.

Armada Gas Mileage: Fill It Up Again!

Even for a large SUV, the Armada’s fuel economy isn’t good. It gets 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Those aren’t the worst ratings in the class (hello, Toyota Sequoia), but you’ll spend about $450 more per year on gas if you drive the Armada over the Chevrolet Tahoe.

Armada Ride and Handling: Solid for Its Size

Large SUVs weigh a lot, which can make them feel sluggish or ride a bit roughly. The Armada has neither problem. It handles corners without complaint, and its ride quality is good over most road surfaces. That's a pleasant positive from a tough, body-on-frame SUV.

Armada Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds. That’s a good total for a large SUV, and it’s ample capacity for towing recreational vehicles like ATVs, dirt bikes, or a small boat.

Read more about performance »

Armada Reliability

Is the Nissan Armada Reliable?

The 2018 Nissan Armada has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Nissan Armada Warranty

The Nissan Armada is backed by a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. These are the same warranty terms you’d get with many other large SUVs.

Read more about reliability »

Armada Safety

Armada Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Armada a four-star overall safety rating. It earned three out of five stars in frontal and rollover crash tests and five stars in side crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2018 Armada.

Armada Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features in the Armada include a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. Available features include adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, blind spot monitoring, backup collision intervention, forward collision warning, automatic forward emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

Read more about safety »

Which Nissan Armada Model Is Right for Me?

The Armada comes in four trims: SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve. All trims feature a 390-horsepower V8 engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available in any trim for $2,900.

The two trims to consider when buying an Armada are the SL and the Platinum. The Platinum comes standard with just about every feature you can get in an Armada, and it’s also the lowest trim to offer second-row captain’s chairs. However, it’s also a pretty big step up in price from the lower trims, owing largely to the fact that some of its features aren’t offered in the SV or SL.

If you’d like almost all of the amenities of the Nissan Armada Platinum SUV for a lower price, the SL is for you. It offers just about everything the Platinum does, except for a few premium comfort and entertainment features (like heated second-row seats and a rear-seat entertainment system). Yet, it costs several thousand dollars less.

Nissan Armada SV

The Armada SV has a base price of $46,090. Standard features include heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, four USB ports, and voice recognition.

The SV doesn’t have many available features, but the Driver package ($600) adds a power liftgate and power-folding third-row seats.

Nissan Armada SL

The Armada SL has a starting price of $50,850. The SL comes standard with all of the SV’s features, as well as a power liftgate, remote start, a surround-view camera system, and leather upholstery. The Premium package ($2,200) adds a moonroof and several driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring.

Nissan Armada Platinum

The Armada Platinum starts at $59,190. This trim comes standard with a moonroof, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system. You can add second-row captain’s chairs for $450 and the Platinum Reserve package for $3,000, which turns this into the Platinum Reserve trim.

Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve

The Armada Platinum Reserve has a starting price of $62,190. As with the Platinum, this trim comes with nearly every feature you can get in an Armada. You can add second-row captain’s chairs for $450. This model is mostly focused on appearance upgrades, like dark chrome exterior trim, 20-inch dark chrome wheels, two-tone leather seats with unique stitching, and premium wood-tone interior trim.

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 2018 Nissan Armada specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Nissan Armada is a solid SUV overall, but it has some notable warts. While it’s more capable than some other large SUVs, it falls short of the competition in key areas like cargo space, infotainment technology, and predicted reliability. Because it’s not as well-rounded as some class rivals, the Armada finishes near the bottom of our large SUV class rankings. In the end, you’re probably better off exploring other options.

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

  • "There are a few drawbacks to the Armada. Fuel economy is poor even for a big SUV, the third-row isn't that roomy (for adults at least), and the infotainment interface is dated. But as an overall package that can tackle outdoor pursuits or the suburban mean streets with equal aplomb, the 2018 Nissan Armada is a heavyweight." -- Edmunds
  • "Even Nissan concedes that large-SUV buyers are quite brand loyal, meaning conquest sales aren't going to bring a major bump in Armada volume. Instead, the company feels that those moving up from midsize SUVs are the primary audience. But with all the improvements made – and the capabilities it offers – the Armada should really be given strong consideration by anyone looking for a vehicle that can seat up to eight while providing coddling comfort, lots of luxury and safety features, ample performance, and high towing limits. Even if they've always bought something else." -- Consumer Guide (2017)
  • "Though the design is already dated, the 'new' Armada nevertheless stands out as a premium product on sale for a song, helping to make it one of the coolest entries in the stale, stagnant full-size SUV segment." -- New York Daily News (2017)
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