Luxury and easy to drive, the 2018 Nissan Armada offers enough power, utility and space. With three-row seats, large towing capacity, and sophisticated four-wheel-drive capabilities, the Armada capable of handling day-to-day work or off-road activities.
Some of the 2018 Nissan Armada’s advantage comes from sharing bones with its upscale sibling the Infiniti QX80. This is the same SUV from Nissan luxury division. There are some differences between the two models, and of course the Armada lacks the Infiniti more refined details, but overall the design and quality builds up above those of a standard SUV. The Armada total cabin space is also larger than many of its competitors, and offers 16 cubic feet of trunk space behind the third row.
But there are some weaknesses in the Armada. Fuel economy is poor even for large SUVs, the third row is not that roomy (for adults) and the infotainment interface is out of date. But as a vehicle that can handle off-road activities or suburban streets, the 2018 Nissan Armada is one of the best.
Trims level and feature
The 2018 Nissan Armada is an eight passengers full-size SUV available in three trim levels: SV, SL and fully loaded Platinum. The available second-row captain’s chairs on the top Platinum trim reduce seating capacity to seven.
Standard equipment for the SV trim include keyless ignition and entry, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, side steps, roof rails, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable heated front seats, a reclining second-row bench split seat and a 60/40-split third-row seat.
Tech features include an 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, a 13-speaker Bose audio system with a CD player, two USB media inputs, two USB charge-only ports, HD and satellite radio.
The SV optional Driver package adds foglights, a power liftgate, an auto-dimming mirror, a power-adjustable third-row seat and a trailering package.
The 2018 Nissan Armada SL trim gets the Driver package items along with 20-inch wheels, remote engine start, rain-sensing wipers, leather door trim, driver-preferences memory, a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, a 120-volt power outlet, and an enhanced 360-degree top-down parking camera with moving-object detection and warning.
The optional Premium package for the SL adds adaptive cruise control, a sunroof, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, forward and rearward emergency automatic braking.
The 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum adds the SL optional equipment plus different 20-inch wheels, speed-sensitive steering, a heated steering wheel, ventilated and heated front seats, heated second-row seats, a rear-seat entertainment system and an upgraded rearview mirror that display a constant video feed from the rearview camera.
The Platinum optional Reserve package adds special exterior trim and two-tone leather upholstery. The Captain’s Chairs package replaces the second-row bench seats with two bucket seats and a center console with a padded armrest.
Every 2018 Nissan Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. The optional four-wheel-drive system features a limited-slip differential, low range, hill start assist and a tow mode function.
The Armada feels peppy, although it’s not as fast as its more powerful rivals. But the direct-injected V8 is more than up to the task. Acceleration is quick and never feels very sluggish. In performance testing, the 2018 Nissan Armada 4WD accelerated from zero to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds.
EPA estimated fuel economy stand at 16 mpg combined (14 city/19 highway) with rear-wheel drive and 15 mpg combined (13 city/18 highway) with all-wheel drive. For comparison, the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe return 18 mpg with rear-wheel drive.
Properly equipped, the 2018 Nissan Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds.
The difference between the 2018 Nissan Armada interior and the more expensive Infiniti QX80 is not too far. It offers almost the same design, material quality and overall comfort as the luxurious QX. Actually, there’s a much smaller gap between these two related siblings than you’ll find in the Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator or the Chevy Tahoe/Cadillac Escalade.
For some of the differences, the standard six-way driver seats are in contrast to the more extensive adjustability offered by the eight-way seats found in the Infiniti and most competitors. Drivers may have a difficult time finding an ideal seating position. Seats are not always a deal-breaker, but it’s definitely something to look for during a test drive.
Comfort is limited in the third row. There is plenty of space between it and the second-row seatback, but the seat cushions were set too low to the floor. It’s still better than Chevy Tahoe’s third row, though, but the Ford Expedition is much better. The same can be said in terms of cargo space. There is 16.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 49.9 behind the second row and 95.4 cubic feet total with the third and second rows folded down.
Release Dates and Price
The 2018 Nissan Armada is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. Key competitors include the GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.
The SV 2WD price starts at $45,600 and $48,500 for the 4WD model. The SL 2WD priced at $50,350 and $53,250 for the 4WD variant. The range-topping Platinum 2WD costs $58,690 and the 4WD demand $61,590.