2021 Nissan Armada Platinum: Overview
2021 Nissan Armada after its mid-cycle facelift claims a bigger market share in the big SUV segment. The Armada has a more square front end with prominent headlights. The fresh design reaches out back, too, with a new bumper and more prominent taillights.
Nissan has a rich history and strong references in SUVs. How can you disregard or forget the big, old Pathfinders (different from today’s more urbanized, more car-like Pathfinder), a road warrior you can still see in remote corners of South America, Asia and Africa beating the worst roads of the planet. On the other hand, American manufacturers, General Motors (Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac) and FoMoCo (Ford and Lincoln) largely dominate the market of three-row, full-size SUVs in North America. And the current generation of GM’s family of big SUVs is still new in terms of technology and design. These factors force the Armada play on tough terrain.
If you have a large family or some big stuff to tow like a boat or horses, (or both) you will probably look for these large, heavy and still gas-guzzling vehicles. (Even if the big claims of GM and Ford for electrification are in place.)
In this regard, a Japanese vehicle is usually a second choice. The other main Japanese option in this class is the Toyota Sequoia, which is outdated and due for replacement soon. The face-lifted Nissan Armada is now in a better position to change the destiny of this class or at least to stay relevant.
2021 Nissan Armada Platinum: Engine and Powertrain
2021 Nissan Armada Platinum has the same 5.6L, naturally aspirated V8 that delivers 400 horsepower (instead of previously 397) and 413 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, Nissan’s big boy meets the expectations of the segment, at least theoretically. But the Armada still falls a bit short compared to its American rivals.
With a curb weight of 2,742 kg, the Armada is heavier than the GMC Yukon Denali (2,587 kg). And GM’s rival product delivers 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque from its larger 6.2-litre V8 engine, mated to a standard 10-speed automatic transmission.
Unless you are towing something big, these differences are not felt much in daily driving.
2021 Nissan Armada Platinum: Interior
2021 Nissan Armada Platinum has a well-crafted interior even if the design is a bit outdated. One important update here is the redesigned centre stack, with a 12.3-inch widescreen infotainment screen. However, the resolution of the screen is a bit low and falls behind the competition. The instrument cluster with the 7.0″ colour display looks good and gives a more modern look to the interior. Below the centre stack, a cubby with a door that houses your phone is also a charger. It was big enough to keep my Android phone with a thick protective cover. In terms of connectivity, Apple CarPlay works wirelessly while Android Auto connection requires a cable. With a driver-side mounted controller on the centre console, you can switch between the audio and navigation screens or return back to the home screen. Nissan designers could have simplified this function.
Modern safety features such as; Intelligent Emergency Braking, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW) and Intelligent Backup Intervention (I-BI) are standard and provide strong reasons to opt for the Armada.
Despite the foldability of the second-row captain chairs (optional), access to the third row is not very convenient. And unlike the Tahoe/Suburban from Chevrolet and Yukon and Yukon XL from GMC, Nissan does not offer a longer-wheelbase option. This is a bit disappointing in the case of a big three-row SUV that costs almost 80K. In my humble, personal opinion, minivans still offer the best 3-row accommodation.
2021 Nissan Armada Platinum: Driving Impressions
Nissan’s big SUV drives and handles well for its size. And the high, commanding seating position with very comfortable and x-times power-adjustable leather seats makes you feel like sitting on a throne. With its large dimensions and big 22″ wheels, the Armada drives like a castle on wheels. The engine is just powerful enough to move this 2,7-ton vehicle forward. You are aware that you do not drive a sports car. With the four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, the Armada stops safely and securely. The cabin is silent and well insulated. You can fully enjoy the Bose 13-speaker sound system which is standard in the Platinum trim level.
However, GM’s four-corner adaptive air suspension works significantly better as we tested earlier with the Chevrolet Suburban, even if it is not a standard feature, at least at all trim levels.
In terms of fuel consumption, the Armada is not a class-leading vehicle. At the end of our one-week, mixed-mode driving, we came up with an average of just shy of 16 L /100 km.
We could not test the towing capacity and features of the Armada. According to specifications, the 2021 Armada does boast a best-in-class towing capacity of 8,500 lbs or 3,855 kg in both the SL and Platinum trim levels. A standard factory trailer brake controller, as well as trailer-sway control, are standard. An advantage for Nissan since the competitors offer these features as options.
2021 Nissan Armada Platinum: Pricing and Specifications
For details of pricing and equipment, please see the window sticker of our tester below:
2021 Nissan Armada Platinum: Conclusion
2021 Nissan Armada Platinum faces tough competition from its American rivals in a segment where brand loyalty is an important factor. On the plus side, Japanese reliability and engineering excellence combined with a more competitive price and almost complete comfort and safety equipment are Nissan’s trump cards.
For more detailed and up-to-date information, please visit: http://www.nissan.ca