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Like hanging out with friends you haven’t seen in a while, the 2022 Nissan Armada is where you want to spend time. Comfortable and familiar, and maybe even better than you remember. The Armada is that underrated gem in the large SUV segment, and it deserves more of your attention. Its hearty yet smooth V8, coupled with a luxurious and spacious interior, make for a compelling buy over the competition. It’ll charm you all the way to the gas station and have you feeling glad to fill its thirsty belly.

Price and Value 

The MSRP range for the 2022 Nissan Armada is $50,495-$66,895. It is available in four trim levels, with a suite of standard features that includes auto leveling rear suspension, wireless Apple CarPlay and a host of safety features like intelligent forward collision warning. Some of the major differences in trim levels are noted below. 

S: $50,495 

  • Intelligent cruise control
  • Intelligent lane intervention
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection

SV: $54,495 

  • Heated front seats 
  • Trailer brake controller 
  • Wireless cellphone charger 

SL: $58,305 

  • Intelligent Around View monitor 
  • Moonroof
  • Bose premium audio system 

Platinum: $66,895 

  • Heated and cooled front seats/heated second row seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Tri-zone entertainment system with dual 8-inch monitor

Our tester was the SL trim equipped with the Midnight Edition package, and we think it’s the best value. It comes with a host of black accents, rear LED lamps, unique wheels and an overall sharper looking appearance. Stickering for $64,630, our model was not cheap. But, if you’re looking for something cozy, comfortable, luxurious, powerful and capable of towing 8,500 pounds, the Armada is a great choice. 

The warranty is about standard for the industry, with 3-year/36,000 mile basic coverage and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage. 

2022 Nissan Armada driving down a road

Photo Credit: Nissan Official U.S. Newsroom

Performance 

Best-in-class power is the name of the game here, thanks to an old school — yet still loveable — 5.6-liter V8 that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. The Armada really moves when you need it to, providing effortless power with a subdued attitude. There’s no replacement for displacement, and the Armada will have you thinking it’s worth the premium price to experience such an engine. Thanks to its performance, the SL Armada offers families a little more capability and freedom compared to other SUVs on the market.

Engine 

Naturally aspirated V8s are hard to come by these days, and the one in the Armada is excellent. Its best-in-class power production, coupled with legitimate towing capabilities, make this engine a gem in a sea of smaller, less robust SUV engines. 

Fuel Efficiency 

With any large V8, there’s going to be a price to pay with fuel consumption. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 13 mpg in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg combined. In our week of driving, we experienced around 15-16 mpg combined. Not great, but considering the power, sizable engine and sheer heft of the Armada — almost 6,000 pounds — it’s not surprising. 

Drivetrain 

The Armada is available in two- and four-wheel drive. Our tester had the latter, which features selectable drive modes to conquer whatever mother nature throws your way. The 7-speed automatic transmission was well behaved and intuitive. 

Acceleration and Handling 

It may be huge, but the Armada is no slouch in getting off the line. Car and Driver rated its 0-60 mph time in a swift 5.8 seconds — pretty quick for any SUV. There’s always plenty of burly power waiting, and it’s delivered so smoothly you won’t even notice the eight cylinders working under the hood. 

Handling, however, is another story. Much akin to some body-on-frame SUVs from the early 2000s, the Armada loves to wander, requiring constant steering micro corrections. The relaxed handling demeanor isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just takes more effort than what most drivers are used to.

Braking

The Armada’s brakes did a good job slowing it down. However, the rear automatic braking feature is much too sensitive and nearly snapped my neck — twice. If your driveway is on an incline, be prepared when backing out. The Armada will think you’re literally going to hit the road and very abruptly halt the vehicle. The feature is painful and unnecessarily sensitive. Thankfully, you can mute that system's notifications. 

the wheel and dashboard of a 2022 Nissan Armada

Photo Credit: Nissan Official U.S. Newsroom

Interior Comfort and Convenience 

The Armada is full of surprises, and this is especially true for the interior. While not quite up to full luxury levels, the Armada is plush with comfortable surfaces and seats, providing a lovely driving experience. There is an abundance of room for passengers in the second row. The third row isn’t too shabby, although it seems more fitting for two small children. Sure, the interior is a little dated. But it’s so comfortable and straightforward, who cares? 

Seats 

The front two seats are just about as close to La-Z-Boy chairs as you’ll find in a non-luxury SUV, and you’ll love them. Soft, plush and supportive, it’s clear the Armada was designed with family road trips in mind. It’s a shame the front seats aren’t ventilated in the SL trim. Same for the second row seats, which aren’t heated either. Regardless, you’ll still love spending time in these. Well, maybe not the third row if you’re an adult, but still. 

Climate Control 

The climate control worked great. The front seats and cabin all warmed up quickly on a cold day. However, there is one glaring omission in the SL trim. For $64,000, it should have a heated steering wheel. It’s an inexpensive option and we don’t understand why it's not standard. 

Cargo Space and Cabin Storage 

Inside the Armada’s cabin there are plenty of good storage compartments. Behind the third row, there’s 17 cubic feet of cargo space. With the second and third rows folded down, it increases to 95 cubic feet. 

There is a wireless cellphone charger, but it’s tucked away in the center stack where it’s hard to see and even harder to get your phone out of. 

Infotainment System 

The third major zonk against the 2022 Nissan Armada is the infotainment screen. Its 12.3-inch color touchscreen looks nice, but it is buggy and doesn't always load the Apple CarPlay and other menus. Its greatest offense, though, is its placement.

Shoehorned onto the top of the center stack, the screen and its backward tilt are too hard to reach. Unless Nissan finds a way to better integrate the screen below the air vents, you’re better off using the control dials near the cupholders. The Bose premium stereo system sounded great, though, and was lots of fun to play our favorite music on.

2022 Nissan Armada driving near a forest

Photo Credit: Nissan Official U.S. Newsroom

Exterior Appearance and Functionality 

I’m a sucker for body-on-frame SUV proportions. The Armada’s big, boxy and composed appearance is similar to its even posher Infiniti brother, but for a fraction of the cost. The design is a classic for a reason — it endures.

Towing Capacity

Some compromises are made with the Armada, but you gain a whole lot of towing capacity. The Armada boasts a rather cushy independent rear suspension, and yet it’s still capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds — more than enough for hauling a camper trailer, ATVs or whatever else you might want.

Wheels 

Lower trims include 18-inch wheels, but our Midnight Edition came with 20-by-8-inch 12-spoke black painted wheels. Even with larger wheels, road noise is minimal in the Armada and the ride quality is serene. Trust us when we say this is an excellent road trip vehicle, fuel economy notwithstanding. 

Lights and Turn Signals 

The Armada got a facelift for the 2021 model year that included upgraded lighting. The SL trim our tester was equipped with had excellent projection from its LED headlights and fog lights.

Cameras and Side Mirrors 

The SL trim cameras provide a 360 degree view, especially handy when parking and backing up this sizable vehicle. Mirrors are large and allow a clear sightline to side and rear lanes. 

Front and Rear Windshield 

Visibility in the Armada is excellent. The high seating position and large windows help the driver see all around without much restriction, except for the third row headrests. 

Safety 

The Armada is big, burly and heavy, with a host of standard safety features. You’ll feel safer in this rig than in most SUVs, simply because of its sheer heft.

Features 

For more than $64,000, you can expect the Armada to have some nice safety features. And it does. Here are a few of the highlights:

  •  Standard automated emergency braking
  •  Standard lane departure warning and lane keeping assist
  •  Standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert

Awards and Ratings 

The 2021 and 2022 Nissan Armada models haven’t been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as of this writing. However, the 2019 Armada received a 4-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. 

red Nissan Armada by two people

Photo Credit: Nissan Official U.S. Newsroom

Final Impression 

The 2022 Nissan Armada SL was really enjoyable to spend a week with. From commuting to running errands, all time spent in the Armada was good. But the Nissan was especially at home on longer drives. We appreciated its cozy, comfortable and soft ride quality and consider it one of the best SUVs. The Armada feels substantial, powerful and trustworthy when you’re behind the wheel, and it's clear that it's one of the most underrated entries in its segment. 

The SL seems to be the sweet spot with value, although it does seem a little overpriced given the absence of features like a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats.

A smooth, powerful ride is just a few clicks away. Find a Nissan Armada on KSL Cars, then take it for a spin to determine if you need a little more luxury in your life.