2019 Nissan Armada

Performance


#5 out of 6 in Large SUVs

$47,100 MSRP
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2019 Nissan Armada Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.1

The 2019 Nissan Armada features a powerful V8 that's stronger than some competitors' engines, though that power comes at the expense of fuel economy. This Nissan handles well despite its large size, but some rivals have a smoother ride.

  • "You really want the smoothest-riding mainstream full-size SUV. The suspension in the 2019 Armada isn't quite as refined as its rivals." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Armada also brakes, steers and handles with surprising coordination, and the 5.6-liter V8 engine delivers hearty acceleration." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "Nissan's new global SUV surprised us with its engaging, yet refined road manners and impressive acceleration." -- Left Lane News (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Armada features a 390-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The engine moves this big SUV well, and the Armada accelerates quickly whether you're taking off from a stoplight or passing vehicles on the highway. When properly equipped, the Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds. That's a respectable total for a large SUV.

According to EPA estimates, the Armada gets 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Even by this class's admittedly lax standards, those are poor fuel economy numbers.

  • "Topping the class in the standard-issue power stakes, the 2019 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
  • "To look at it, you'd think the big Armada's engine has its work cut out for it. But the direct-injected V8 is more than up to the task. Acceleration is brisk, it never feels very sluggish, and it is easy to execute passing maneuvers." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • In normal operation, the 5.6-liter engine is strong and quick, emitting a great V-8 burble under moderate acceleration but remaining quiet and in the background when power demands are lighter. However, with steady-state cruising over only slightly hilly terrain, the transmission constantly hunts for gears, there's a little surging in the throttle and an odd behavior to the overall experience that shows evidence of some jumpy throttle mapping. It's not as smooth as it could be in around-town operation and strangely doesn't feel as well sorted out as the same powertrain combination in the new Titan half-ton pickup." -- Cars.com (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Armada has better handling than some of its classmates. It feels composed on winding roads and around town, though its size does make it challenging to maneuver at times. It rides smoothly, though some competitors are more cushioned. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

  • "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
  • "The Armada's cornering behavior is composed and reassuring. There's a decent amount of grip, and body lean is moderate and well-regulated. It drives through turns more smoothly than you'd expect of something that weighs nearly 3 tons." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "Steering effort belies the vehicle's size as you maneuver through traffic. Highway ride is smooth. On rougher secondary roads, the suspension doesn't so much eliminate rough patches as round them off and smooth them. Yes, it handles like the truck it is, but these days that's an acceptable condition, not the put-down it once was." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
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