2020 Nissan Armada

Performance


#4 out of 6 in Large SUVs

MSRP
$47,100
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Nissan Armada Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.4

The 2020 Nissan Armada has a powerful V8 engine and a smooth transmission, but it gets poor fuel economy. The steering can feel heavy, and this SUV can be hard to navigate through tight spots. Additionally, the ride is a bit on the firm side.

  • That Nissan's based the Armada on the Patrol -- and not the Titan, which underpinned the previous-generation Armada -- has improved the Armada's ride quality and somewhat tamed its driving experience. But it's still a brute when it comes to road manners, as is the case with most large, trucklike SUVs." -- Autotrader
  • "You have to deliberately turn the wheel back to straighten out, an issue compounded by a 'slow' steering ratio that means you also have to turn the wheel farther than normal. The latter combines with the Armada’s tall build to contribute to slightly cumbersome handling. Ride is mostly good, for while the large tires patter with a slight jolt over small bumps, larger ones are easily absorbed." -- Consumer Guide (2019)
  • It accelerates smartly, brakes with reassuring confidence, and feels composed and willing on mountain roads. Our biggest beef revolves around the steering, which lacks a defined sense of 'straight-ahead' when cruising straight." -- Edmunds (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The Nissan Armada comes standard with a 5.6-liter V8 engine that produces 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Armada has plenty of power and delivers swift acceleration in most situations. The transmission also shifts smoothly and precisely.

The Armada gets an EPA-estimated 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive. Fuel economy ratings drop to 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway with four-wheel drive. Those values are poor for the large SUV class. When properly equipped, the Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds, which is about average for the segment.

  • "Power is always available and always ample, at least when the vehicle is lightly loaded. Nail the gas from a stop, and the huge Armada jumps off the line. Do the same while underway, and the transmission kicks down quickly for strong passing response." -- Consumer Guide (2019)
  • "The … Armada’s 5.6-liter V8 makes a healthy 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission and deploying rear-wheel (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), this is a robust and capable drivetrain, albeit a relatively thirsty one." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • The throttle pedal calibration is in the Goldilocks zone — neither too reluctant nor too eager. And the Armada's automatic transmission executes smooth and crisp shifts. Fuel economy programming can make it reluctant to downshift if you're too easy on the throttle." -- Edmunds (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Armada receives mixed reviews for its ride and handling. This Nissan drives like a smaller vehicle according to some critics, but others note that it has a heavy steering feel and can be hard to maneuver in small places. Reviewers also disagree over ride quality, with some claiming it's comfortable and others calling it stiff.

  • "In spite of its mammoth proportions, the Armada is easy to maneuver. The steering is responsive, and the brakes are firm. We wouldn't want to have to parallel park it every day, but the Armada drives smaller than it looks." -- Autotrader
  • "In the negative column, that large size can be a liability around town, where generally rougher road surfaces also tend to expose limitations in the Armada’s suspension setup. This is also when the steering might feel heavy to some drivers." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The Armada's cornering behavior is composed and reassuring. There's a decent amount of grip, and body lean is moderate and well-regulated. … The Armada rides quite smoothly, and its suspension is well-calibrated to resist float, heave and other boatlike motions. It handles bumps and potholes well too." -- Edmunds (2018)
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2020 Nissan Armada

MSRP: $47,100 - $63,530

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