“2018 Nissan Armada Platinum 4WD”
A Full size Adventure Machine
Last year’s (2017) Nissan Armada slimmed down and beefed up at the same time when compared to its predecessors. Up to that point, the last Armada that I had reviewed was a 2010 model in Titanium trim. Its engine was a 5.8-liter V8 that produced 317 horsepower and 385 pound feet of torque that delivered power to all four wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. It had a longer wheelbase, but was slightly shorter in overall length, and tipped the scale at 5,841 pounds. The 2010 version carried 2 more gallons of fuel, was narrower and was also taller.
The then all-new, full size, 8-passenger Nissan Armada for 2017 was based on the heritage of the globally acclaimed Nissan Patrol, which was around for decades. The motive force changed from the old 5.8-liter V8 to a more efficient 5.6-liter Direct injected Endurance® V8 delivering 390 horses at 5,800 rpm, while developing 395 pound feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Energy reached the driving wheels – either the rear wheels (2WD) or all four (4WD) via a seven-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, manual mode and Synchronized Rev Control.
The 2017 Nissan Armada offered three levels of trim: SV; SL; and Platinum. The 2018 Armada lineup adds a new Platinum Reserve model. All versions are capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds when properly outfitted, and Armada meets the current J2807 towing certification standard. Also new for the 2018 model year, Nissan Connect Services and Intelligent Rear View Mirror as standard features. The I-RVM comes standard on both the Armada Platinum and Platinum Reserve. The innovative mirror uses a high-resolution camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle that projects a clear image onto an LCD monitor built into the standard rearview mirror. A switch located at the bottom of the mirror allows accessing either the traditional rearview mirror system or the new Intelligent Rear View Mirror. Its benefits include “removing” interior obstacles such as oversize cargo and rear headrests, improving visibility in low-light conditions, reducing glare and providing an expanded field of view.
Visually, the Nissan Armada displays an overall athletic stance, starting up front with Nissan’s signature V-motion grille and standard low-beam headlights and familiar LED running lights that contribute to a more contemporary image. The boldness continues in the rear with combination lights including LED taillights.
The Armada’s interior blends tasteful styling, ample space and luxurious comfort. Cabin noise levels are “Library quiet” at idle, thanks to acoustic glass and extensive use of sound absorption materials. Second row headroom is best in class at 40-inches, as is the legroom at 41-inches.
The Nissan Armada provides an impressive suite of available advanced safety and security systems, including the Predictive Forward Collision Warning system, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist and Forward Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Prevention and Lane Departure Warning. Other available features include Blind Spot Intervention and Blind Spot Warning, RearView Monitor, Around View® Monitor, power liftgate, 20-inch wheels and tires, remote engine start system and a power 60/40 3rd row seat.
The Platinum trim level adds: a power sliding roof, front climate controlled seats, Family Entertainment system along with Nissan Safety Shield technologies. Only four option packages are offered: a Driver’s Package, Moonroof Package, Technology Package and 2nd row Captain’s Chair Package. Both Nissan Armada Platinum and Platinum Reserve models add a standard DVD Family Entertainment System with dual 8.0-inch head restraint DVD monitors, USB and HDMI ports, VTR jacks (two), two wireless headphones and remote controller. The wireless headphones offer three types of virtual surround modes (cinema, music and game) to match optimal sound for each media.
Oddly, the Armada does not offer Hill Start Assist or Hill Descent Control, as does the new Pathfinder, which are beneficial in off-road operation. The supposition that more Pathfinder consumers will go off-roading than Armada customers was given as the reason.
My 2018 Nissan Armada came in Platinum trim with a Brilliant Silver metallic exterior finish and a Charcoal interior with polished wood trim accents. The base price was set at $61,590. While the as tested price total came to $63,095.
SUMMARY: The full sized Nissan Armada SUV has managed to stand out in a crowd since its 2004 introduction, and while many Nissan admirers tend to think of it as an enlarged Pathfinder, it is actually a great deal more.
The Armada is high, wide and handsome and the power delivery is impressive from the potent 5.6-liter, Endurance® DOHC, 32-valve V8 with Direct Injection. Acceleration is instantly responsive, and handling is surprisingly nimble, despite the Armada’s “bigger-than-a-breadbox” mass. It corners well, with minimal body roll, and the ride quality is extremely comfortable.
The functionality and versatility of the Armada are outstanding, as is the standard inventory of equipment and features. It serves as a most worthy flagship SUV. Both 2WD and 4WD drive configuration Armadas are assembled by Nissan Shatai, Kyushu, Japan, while the Endurance® V8 engine is assembled in Decherd, Tennessee.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum
Base Price: $61,590.
Price as Tested: $63,095.
Engine Type and Size: 5.6-liter, Endurance® DOHC, 32-valve V8 with Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 390 @ 5,800 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 394 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: Seven Speed automatic with overdrive, manual mode and Synchronized Rev Control.
Drive Train: Longitudinally-mounted front engine / All-Mode® AWD automatic all-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent double-wishbone with 36 mm stabilizer bar and Hitachi twin-tube shock absorbers.
Rear – Independent double-wishbone with 26.5 mm stabilizer bar, automatic self-leveling and Hitachi twin-tube shock absorbers.
Brakes: Hydraulic power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD, BA and TPMS.
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler H/T 275/ 60 R20 BSW 684II All-Season, mounted on 5-Double-spoke alloy Gloss Black wheels.
Wheelbase: 121.1 inches
Length Overall: 208.9 inches
Width: 79.9 inches
Height: 75.8 inches
Curb Weight: 5,963 lbs.
Turning Circle: 41.3 ft.
Approach Angle: 20.9 degrees
Departure Angle: 22.3 degrees
Breakover angle: 20.7 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 26 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 13 mpg city / 18 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.37
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.