2015 Nissan Armada Expert Review

4.0 Overall Score
Performance 3.8 Comfort 3.9 Styling 3.9 Value 4.0

Editor's Overview

The 2015 Nissan Armada is a throwback to when SUVs ruled the roads, literally and figuratively. Virtually unchanged since its 2004 debut, this big full-size SUV boasts a powerful V8 with an equally powerful thirst, up to 9,000 pounds of towing capacity, seating for eight, and plenty of electronic gadgets to keep you happy.

You'll Like The 2015 Nissan Armada If...

If comfort, utility, towing capacity and features at a reasonable price are most important to you, then the 2015 Nissan Armada has plenty to offer.

You May Not Like The 2015 Nissan Armada If...

Even among full-size SUVs, the Nissan Armada's fuel economy is pretty bad. Both the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition offer better numbers. In addition, there's no escaping that this is an 11-year-old vehicle, and many of the controls feel dated.

What's New

The 2015 Nissan Armada is virtually unchanged this year. There are a few minor trim changes inside, and SL and Platinum models get new 20-inch wheels.

Interior Features

Few people will feel claustrophobic in the 2015 Nissan Armada. With seating for up to eight passengers, the flexible interior can also be adjusted to seat two passengers and up to 97 cubic feet of assorted cargo, or anything in between. While the second row can be fitted with two captain’s chairs and a removable center console, the 2nd-row bench folds quickly and easily to allow good access to the third row. Once there, even adults will find enough head- and legroom, at least for shorter journeys. The Armada's interior materials and assembly are also up to modern standards.

Exterior Features

The only noteworthy changes for the 2015 Nissan Armada are new wheels for the SL and Platinum models, and a couple of new exterior colors. Otherwise, this big SUV is unchanged, for better or for worse. If you like a unique look, then you'll dig the Armada's big chrome grille, boxy fenders and unique curved roofline. However, not everybody is fond of the look, and at least one staffer quipped that the roof looks like an armadillo inspired it. On a more practical note, the high-mounted rear-door handles can be difficult for small kids to reach.

Driving Impressions

Even though the 2015 Nissan Armada hasn't changed much compared to the 2004 version, this big SUV’s independent suspension gives it a surprisingly good ride on the highway. Part of the credit also goes to the long wheelbase – the distance between the front and rear tires – which helps settle the Armada on the highway. It's also reasonably maneuverable in parking lots, although like most big SUVs, you need to watch your corners in tight spaces; parking sensors and a rearview camera help here. Out on the road, the 5.6-liter V8 engine has little problem motivating the nearly 3-ton mass of the Armada, and the 5-speed automatic transmission is smooth in its operation, and kicks down to a lower gear quickly for passing. However, that transmission is short at least one gear compared to its competitors, a fact that's reflected in the fuel-economy numbers.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base 2WD 2015 Nissan Armada SV starts a little over $39,000 including the $995 destination charge. Opting for 4WD adds nearly $5,000, but includes the Driver Package. Rear-wheel-drive Armada SL models start at about $44,000, while Platinum models start at about $51,500. Check off all the option boxes, and a fully loaded Platinum with the Reserve package will run up to the $60,000 mark. That compares pretty well against the likes of the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia, all of which easily crest the $60,000 mark. Before buying, check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see the typical transaction price paid for Armadas in your area. The Nissan Armada is on the lower end of the resale ladder, a bit lower than the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition, and well below the Toyota Sequoia.

Notable Equipment

The base model 2015 Nissan Armada SV comes standard with front and rear air conditioning, floor- and ceiling-mounted consoles, heated power outside mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, Bluetooth, 8-way heated power driver's seat, 4-way heated power passenger seat, and cruise control. SL models add keyless entry and push-button start, leather seats, a rearview camera, Bose audio, power-folding 3rd-row seat, power liftgate and auto-leveling rear air suspension. Top-line Platinum models add heated 2nd-row seats and steering wheel, a power moonroof, a hard-drive-based navigation system and middle-row DVD entertainment. All Armadas come standard with stability control and curtain airbags that cover all three rows.

Notable Options

All 2015 Nissan Armada models can be equipped with the 4-wheel-drive (4WD) package and a tow package. Other options vary by model level. A Driver Package for the base 2-wheel/rear-drive (2WD) Armada SV model adds a 12-speaker Bose audio system, power liftgate, RearView Monitor, fog lights and a power-folding 3rd-row seat; it's standard on 4WD models. The Armada SL offers a moonroof package, while the Platinum offers 2nd-row captain's-chair seating. Platinum models can also come with a Platinum Reserve package that adds 2-tone leather seats, dark chrome trim and other luxury touches.

Favorite Features

The 2015 Nissan Armada comes with a surprisingly roomy third row, one that offers enough legroom even for adults. We say "surprising" because many newer competitors – we're looking at you, Chevy Tahoe – don't offer nearly as much space.

You can load up the cargo and trailer capacity on the Armada SL and Platinum models without fear of a sagging suspension, thanks to the pneumatic rear suspension that automatically adjusts ride height to compensate for heavy loads.

Under the Hood

There's only one engine available for the 2015 Nissan Armada: a 5.6-liter V8 with 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque, which can be configured to run on gasoline or E85 fuel blend. In SL and Platinum models, the Armada can tow up to 9,000 pounds when equipped with the available towing package. While down on power compared to its competitors, the Armada makes good use of its power, and it rarely lacks for grunt around town or on the highway.

5.6-liter V8
317 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
385 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 mpg (gasoline, 2WD), 12/18 mpg (gasoline, 4WD), 9/13 mpg (E85, 2WD), 9/13 mpg (E85, 4WD)

Editors' Notes

The 2015 Nissan Armada full-size SUV is a throwback to the mid-2000s, literally, as it hasn't changed very much since its introduction 11 years ago. Compared to the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia, the Nissan Armada feels dated and lags in fuel economy. However, it's still a roomy and comfortable driving experience. There's seating for eight passengers, and the third row is reasonably comfortable for adults. There's plenty of power from the big V8 engine, and the Armada can tow up to 9,000 pounds. A power-folding third row makes it easy to exploit the massive cargo hold, and of course there's 4-wheel drive (4WD) available for bad weather and muddy roads.

Video Reviews

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