2023 Nissan Armada Platinum | Huge SUV


2023 Nissan Armada Platinum: Overview

Over the past four decades, Japanese auto manufacturers have successfully carved out a substantial presence and garnered considerable market share in North America. In the last decade, Korean brands have further contributed to this landscape, with virtually all major Japanese and Korean automotive players establishing manufacturing or assembly plants in the United States, Canada, or Mexico. Despite this, American brands continue to maintain a significant stronghold in a specific market segment, notably full-size, body-on-frame SUVs and trucks. However, Japanese automakers have not merely observed but actively engaged in this domain, presenting formidable products that compete at a superior level. In this context, we recently conducted a comprehensive assessment of the Nissan Armada, a prime example of Japanese craftsmanship and innovation within the full-size SUV category.

Yes, Armada is probably not the first name you will remember among Tahoes, Suburban Escalades or even Wagoneers and Grand Wagoneers. Going back to the last century, I can remember very well (as a babyboomer) that big Japanese SUVs such as Toyota Landcruiser or Nissan Pathfinder were performing amazingly on the worst road of this world from the Himalayan Mountains to Gobi Desert to rainforests of Latin America. (BTW, today’s Pathfinder is much more urbanized and almost not comparable to Pathfinder of the 1970s or 80s.)

To look closely at today’s big Japanese SUVs, we chose Nissan Armada as our tester. We drove the 2023 Armada, with the range-topping Platinum trim.

Since the 2021 model year, Armada practically remained unchanged. The most important new feature for 2023 is the addition of Amazon Alexa.

Engine and Powertrain

The 2023 Nissan Armada Platinum is a full-size SUV that offers a lot of power, luxury, and space for a relatively reasonable price compared to its American rivals. It is based on the same platform and drivetrain as the more luxurious Infiniti QX80 but with a more rough and modern design. Under the big and high hood, there is a 5.6-litre V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel, paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel drive system with a two-speed transfer case. The towing capacity of up to 8,500 pounds, is impressive and arguably one of the main reasons why you should choose Armada but not an Escalade, Suburban or Yukon XL.


The Armada Platinum also has a comfortable and spacious interior, with three rows of seats that can accommodate up to eight passengers. The Platinum trim features quilted leather heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, a power sunroof, a power liftgate, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa, a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 8.0-inch screens, and a surround-view camera. The Armada Platinum also comes with a comprehensive suite of safety and driver assistance features, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

The Armada Platinum also has quite outdated interior styling, with some cheap-looking plastic and buttons.

Driving impressions

It is already annoying and a challenge on the busy streets of Toronto where a lane closure or construction site is the rule more than the exception. The imprecise and slow-reacting steering almost ruins the remaining joy of driving. Finding a parking spot is already challenging, but fitting the vehicle into this spot is much more so. Cruising and passing on the highway may require Litres of fuel when you want to use the torque and power under your foot. The commandingly high seating position is probably the best.

Fuel economy

Even if this vehicle segment is not known for its fuel economy, The Armada Platinum performs especially badly. The NRC-measured fuel consumption is rated at 17.5 L/100 km in the city and 12.9 L/100 km on the highway. During our one-week test drive in the city and on the highway produced almost 15 L on average and thus disappointing.


Overall, the 2023 Nissan Armada Platinum is a solid contender for those who are looking for a big, powerful, and luxurious SUV that can handle any terrain and haul any load. Nissan Armada does not reach the refinement level a Cadillac or Yukon provides, but it offers a lot of value and charm for its price. The Armada Platinum starts at $80,548 MSRP in Canada, which is considerably lower than the QX80 or other rivals like the Chevrolet Tahoe, Jeep Wagoneer, or Ford Expedition.

The MSRP of our fully equipped tester was $82,943. (Please see the spec sheet)

Engine5.6-litre DOHC V8
Transmission7 Speed Automatic Transmission with Tow/Haul Mode
Max power400 hp @ 5800 rpm
Max torque413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Curb Weight5,958 lb – 2702.5 kg
Fuel Economy (observed)15.4 L/100 km
Price (as tested)$82,943

For more SUV models

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *