2020 Nissan Armada


The 2020 Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV named after a fleet of warships, and it’s nearly as spacious and powerful as one.

The 2020 Armada is a throwback to SUVs of yesteryear, with some concessions to modernity such as active safety tech and a thumpin’ stereo. Though it’s far from perfect, the Armada is a good choice among big SUVs for those who tow or occasionally go off-road. We score the lineup at 5.6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Available in SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve trim levels, the Armada lineup starts a hair under $50,000 and climbs to nearly $70,000. Changes this year are limited to standard heated rearview mirrors (that’s good news) and 22-inch alloy wheels now available as a standalone option on some trims (save your money).

Review continues below

The best value is at the bottom of that heap since all trucks share a strong 5.6-liter V-8 rated at 390 horsepower, a slick-shifting 7-speed automatic transmission, and a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. Sold as the Nissan Patrol overseas (and with dressier leather and real wood trim as the Infiniti QX80 over here), the Armada is the latest in a long line of Toyota Land Cruiser-challenging mega-SUVs. That may help explain its decent off-road chops and its luxurious interior, even in versions with cloth upholstery.

Passenger space is excellent in rows one and two, and tolerable in row three. Room for cargo is, predictably, enormous, and the Armada can lug up to 8,500 pounds worth of additional stuff should you run out of space inside. Interior materials are near Infiniti-grade, which makes the QX80 a real head-scratcher unless the extra year of warranty and presumably a nicer service department are must-haves.

The Armada has been around for a decade now, which helps explain its lackluster infotainment that doesn’t include Apple or Android compatibility, though Bluetooth and Bose speakers are standard fare. At least its collision-avoidance tech is up-to-date with standard automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, plus available active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and a surround-view camera system.

Fuel economy is a sore spot, even by big SUV standards. Don’t look for 20 mpg unless you’re coasting downhill with a big tail wind.

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