Entry price: $47,100
Price as tested: $69,425
This week, we’re reviewing one of the biggest SUV’s on the road, namely the 2019 Nissan Armada. The entry Armada SV starts at $47,100 in 2WD trim and is the recommended start point for prospective consumers. Our upper-crust Platinum Reserve 4WD tester starts at $68,030 and is fully loaded including a Tri-Zone DVD entertainment system with dual eight-inch monitors.
Sharing many dimensions and mechanicals with big brother luxury SUV Infiniti QX80 4WD, Armada features an enhanced seven-speed automatic transmission with downshift rev match and a new chassis that debuted in 2018. Notably, Armada’s two-inch shorter chassis is called its global “Patrol” build featuring a fully independent suspension for enhanced comfort while still delivering the needed strength that body-on-frame builds demand. Gone is the tough riding Titan truck chassis, which previously served as the base for Armada underpinnings.
With a final assembly point in Los Angeles, Armada for 2019 is powered by powerful albeit fuel thirsty V8 engine. In fairness to Nissan, when consumers consider buying a full-size to extra-large SUV where towing, passenger and cargo capabilities are prioritized, there are no gas-powered vehicles out there that deliver excellent fuel mileage. Thus, all manufacturers of the big SUVs struggle in the MPG area as moving 3 tons with authority takes plenty of V8 power.
Under the hood sits Armada’s 5.6-liter V8 that delivers 390 horses and best-in-class towing of 8,500 pounds for both the 4WD and rear 2WD models. Delivering 394 lb. ft. of torque, serious towing or transporting up to eight passengers in comfort is a breeze. Armada delivers 13 city and 18 highway in 4WD dress and 14 and 19, respectively, for the 2WD trim.
For 2019, Armada features standard Nissan Connect services with SiriusXM, eight-inch multi-touch display, Bose 13-speaker setup, HD radio, SiriusXM travel link with three years free service, voice recognition, hands-free text and five USB ports. Notable is all Armada Platinum and Platinum Reserve models now feature a flip-of-the-switch intelligent rearview mirror that delivers high resolution images on the LCD monitor built into the rear view mirror. Additionally, a movie or video game in just seconds away as a dual eight-inch monitor entertainment system is standard and includes a DVD player with remote control, two wireless headphones and that fifth USB/HDMI input.
Our Platinum Reserve features 22-inch tires on dark chrome wheels, dark chrome grille, dark chrome door handles, and matching outside mirrors. Further, a two-tone leather interior with unique stitching and Platinum Reserve logos is standard, as are black quartz highlights and special wood trim that makes spending time in the interior a most luxurious experience. A Platinum Reserve exterior badge on the rear deck lid let’s everyone know this Nissan Armada is very special.
On the road, the 390-horse V8 allows Armada to motivate with authority while the 4WD system is a computer controlled two-speed transfer case with a four-low lock and automatic 4x4 modes. When in automatic mode, traction is distributed to wheels that need it most but never more in front than in back to prevent torque steer.
The Patrol suspension/chassis features fully independent double wishbone setups front and rear and when you need to tow, (and tow it will) a seven-pin wiring harness is ready for your brake controller. The rear bumper tow hitch accepts all trailer hookups and there’s also a transmission “tow/haul” mode switch to activate modern day suspension technologies. Overall, you’ll be able to hook up 8,500 pounds easily.
As for safety, Armada’s curb weight alone plays a major role. When you add all the airbags, traction control, brake assist, ABS four wheel discs, vehicle dynamic control and a host of other standard safety features, you’re riding in one of the safest vehicles on the highway.
Included as standard equipment are high-tech features like lane departure, electronic brakeforce, intelligent distance cruise control, emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind spot intelligence, back-up intervention, all around view safety mirror and more. Your Nissan dealer will gladly explain everything when you visit.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 121.1 inches, 5,841 pound curb weight, 9.2-inch ground clearance, 26-gallon fuel tank, and from 23.6 to a massive 95.1 cu. ft. of cargo space available depending on seat position variations.
If you’re thinking “big” SUV, ala Ford Expedition, GMC Denali, Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade or Toyota Sequoia, you owe yourself a test drive in a Nissan Armada. You can choose either seven or eight passenger seating, and the chassis and suspension improvements assure a very comfortable ride on the turnpikes.
I also liked that the third row seating powers down with the touch of a button. For 2019, all Armada models feature Standard Rear Door Alert (RDA), Standard Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Standard Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Standard Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW). Adding $1,395 for delivery, our Platinum Reserve came in at $69,425 retail.
With leftover incentives coming into play as the fall season moves on, Armada is a great buy for those who need comfort, towing, passenger room, safety and cargo space. Look for discounts on these 2019 models, as the 2020 Armada is identical.
Likes: Low entry price, V8 power, quiet interior, multi-task vehicle.
Dislikes: Fuel mileage, more difficult to park, can get very expensive.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at email@example.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.
Test Drive: 2019 Nissan Armada
Entry price: $47,100