2022 Nissan Armada Platinum 4WD Review

The unpretentious brother to the Infiniti QX80


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Conservatively handsome exterior, non-nonsense infotainment system and controls, ample amounts of passenger space in the first two rows, super-cushy ride.
Negatives: Vague and lifeless steering, V8 is thirsty, still overly bulky dash and center console, third row is tighter than competitors.
Bottom Line: The Armada does most things pretty well, at least the ones that large SUV buyers care about. The styling is way better after the refresh. Too bad it doesn't get a twin-turbo V6 for better efficiency, as well as more third row space.
The luxury (or near-luxury) three-row SUV game is competitive. There are some big players in the space, and some new ones that have emerged lately, which makes the Armada a bit more challenging to make a case for in 2022. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Genesis GV80, and the redesigned Acura MDX are all pretty impressive, which means the Armada might not be quite up to snuff anymore in terms of styling, amenities, driving dynamics, tech, and efficiency. We drove the fully-loaded Platinum version for a week to see if it's as appealing as when we drove it last year. Read our full review below.
 

Driving Experience

6.6

 

Other than straight-line acceleration, the Armada isn't particularly fun to drive. Buyers who are searching for a very plush ride, thrust V8 power and don't mind the handling of a large, luxury SUV will be more than satisfied.

Ride Quality: It rides just like its Infiniti QX80 sibling. It absorbs just about everything on the road and feels like it's on a cushion of air.

Acceleration: The Armada delivers a quick 5.9-second 0-60 sprint. Throttle response is good, as is the shifting from the dual-clutch automatic.

Braking: Braking distances for the Armada are very good, and that's impressive for a vehicle of this size. Pedal feel is good and travel is progressive.

Steering: Steering is on the light side, and it's not quite on-center at high speeds. It's also not as quick to respond as we would like.

Handling: There's definitely some body roll in the Armada due to its high center of gravity, but the fully independent suspension setup manages the size decently.

Technology

7.7

 

The in-car tech in the Armada is certainly far better than the previous generation. Overall, it's a very good system, but in the face of stiff competition, it could be better-looking. While it might not win any beauty contests, it is pretty easy to use, and the inclusion of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto sweeten the pot.

Infotainment System: The large color touchscreen jumps a couple of generations from the old one. It's larger and now sits on top of the dash rather than placed into it. The result is a much better user experience and interior design. The rear entertainment system that's included in the Platinum trim is great for kids. The screens are clear, and the Bluetooth headphones have no problem connecting.

Controls: There are a fair amount of on-screen controls, but at least they are pretty easy to find. It's good to see a normal shift knob and good center console controls, as well as buttons and knobs for climate and audio.

Styling

8

 

The refreshed Armada is definitely better looking than the 2020 thanks to heavily reworked front and rear fascias. It also benefits from some minor changes inside, and the overall result is a more attractive Armada that looks and feels more upscale than the vehicle it replaces.

Front: While the lower fascia remains largely unchanged, the V-Motion grille has been updated to look bolder, and the headlights now have notches at the outer edges, giving the Armada a more distinct look. The grille could actually use more chrome for more premium appearance in this segment.

Rear: The taillights look good, and they're joined by a black bar across the tailgate.

Profile: From the side view, the Armada looks like the Infiniti QX80's twin. That's not a bad thing since the proportions are good, and the distinct D-pillar remains.

Cabin: The center stack and infotainment system get the most significant style changes, and the rest of the cabin look mostly the same, with the exception of some some trim additions. The dash is still too bulky for our liking.

Comfort

8.3

 

The Armada is not as opulent as the Infiniti QX80, but it's a very nice place to spend time. The seat are big, legroom is more than sufficient, and visibility is also very good.

Front Seats: The fancy quilted leather seats are big and accommodating with great cushioning. It could use more bolstering and a bit more thigh length in the seat cushion.

Rear Seats: The Captain's Chairs are nice to sit in, and there's 41 inches of legroom, a tad less than the Hyundai Palisade. The third row has a smaller 28.4 inches of legroom that doesn't compare to the Grand Cherokee or the Q7.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The Armada has ample sound deadening, and the ride is quiet and composed. Build quality also seems to be very good with no errant noises in the cabin.

Visibility: Big windows and manageable pillar size results in good views all around.

Climate: The large rectangular vents move big volumes of cool air, and the climate control system responded well to inputs.

Safety

6.1

 

The Armada has yet to be crash tested by either body, but it does have good standard safety features that should be good news for buyers.

IIHS Rating: Not tested.

NHTSA Rating: Not tested.

Standard Tech: Our SL trim tester came standard with High Beam Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking w/ Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Automatic Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert; Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention, and Driver Attention Alert

Optional Tech: None.

Storage/Cargo

8.9

 

The Armada is plenty big in back, but it's cabin could use better storage options, especially in the front row.

Storage Space: Both the front row and second row have huge armrest compartments for keeping items out of sight. There is a retractable door compartment in the center stack and decent door pockets, but really only the front cupholders are good for quick-to-reach item storage.

Cargo Room: The Armada has a 16.5 cubic feet of space behind row three and 95.4 cubes with these seats folded flat. That's quite a bit of room, but it's a bit smaller than the Lincoln Navigator at 20.9 and 103.4 cubes, respectively. It's too bad the third row seats don't quite fold all the way down.

Fuel Economy

5.6

 

There's no large three-row SUV with a V8 that gets great gas mileage. When just about everyone else is using a turbocharged V6, it seems the V8 in the Armada is outdated. The efficiency (or lack thereof) reflects that.

Observed: 12.8 mpg

Distance Driven: 115 miles

Audio

8.8

 

The Bose premium audio system that's standard on the SL is a very good one. There was no distortion even with the volume cranked up, and the bass and clarity were wonderful. It's a great system that's just right for this vehicle.



Final Thoughts

Was it important for Nissan to refresh the Armada? Yes. Was it enough to keep pace with newer entrants in the game? Not really. It could use fancier styling, a better engine, more third-row space, and better tech. But it's still a very good three-row SUV that warrants a look from shoppers. It's comfortable to sit in and to drive, and there are very few distractions from the tech and controls. Two years from now, however, it will feel dated.
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