The 2020 Nissan Armada is a full-size, three-row, body-on-frame SUV. Now in its second generation, which debuted for the 2017 model year, this big SUV boasts a lot of space and comfort, and feels quite luxurious despite a starting price almost $20,000 less than the Infiniti QX80, with which it shares its underpinnings. There’s only one engine option, an adequately potent but thirsty 5.6-liter V8, and it is offered in rear-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive.
What’s new for 2020?
Little has changed for the 2020 model year. All trim levels now have standard heated side mirrors. Additionally, there is now an optional 22-inch wheel package ($2,250) for the Platinum trim level, which adds the 22-inch, 14-spoke forged aluminum-alloy wheels and 275/50R22 all-season tires that come standard on the Platinum Reserve.
What’s the Armada’s performance and fuel economy?
The Nissan Armada’s single powertrain option is a 5.6-liter V8, paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. With 390 horsepower, it outguns the base engines of the Chevy Tahoe (355 hp), Ford Expedition (375 hp) and Toyota Sequoia (381 hp). It produces an ample 394 pound-feet of torque.
The tradeoff for this engine is the Armada’s fuel economy. The 2WD version gets 14 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined. With 4WD, it sacrifices 1 mpg across the board, at 13/18/15 mpg. For comparison, the Toyota Sequoia is similarly poor, but the base Chevy Tahoe gets 18 (2WD) or 17 mpg (2WD) combined, while the base Ford Expedition and its powerful, turbocharged V6 gets 19 mpg regardless of drivetrain. When talking about mpg figures in this range, these differences matter a lot.
What’s the Armada like to drive?
The Armada is big, but it is easier to drive than it looks. Steering is a bit numb and vague, so we had to pay a bit more attention than we’d like to keep it tracking straight down the highway — that’s not completely unexpected. It’s easy to navigate through city streets as visibility is excellent. Even putting the seat as low as possible, you’re still sitting up high, and you’re looking through tall, upright glass all around. The corners are easy to spot, and the steering is very light, so you don’t have to wrestle it in slow motion to drive it.
What features are available and what’s the Armada’s price?
The base Armada, the SV trim, costs $48,495 (including destination fees) for the two-wheel-drive version, and $51,495 with four-wheel drive. It comes standard with 18-inch aluminum allow wheels, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, auto-leveling rear suspension, dual-zone auto climate control, proximity entry and push-button start, a power-adjustable steering wheel, heated power front seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, integrated navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition and a Bose 13-speaker audio system.