Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
Road-trip ready and possibly off-road-trip ready as well, the 2019 Nissan Armada full-size SUV gains more safety equipment while still being priced keenly against the competition. The 3-row Armada impresses even further with its ability to seat eight and tow 8,500 pounds.
You'll Like The 2019 Nissan Armada If...
You really want an Infiniti QX80, but would prefer to spend $22,000 less. The 2019 Armada SV starts at $48,185; the entry-level QX80 starts at $66,500. They’re essentially the same vehicle. The Nissan doesn’t have as much cachet, but doesn’t cost as much cash.
You May Not Like The 2019 Nissan Armada If...
You really want the smoothest-riding mainstream full-size SUV. The suspension in the 2019 Armada isn’t quite as refined as its rivals. And if 3rd-row passenger space is a priority, the Expedition, Sequoia and the Chevy Suburban (like a Tahoe, but longer) all enjoy more legroom in that area.
For 2019 the Nissan Armada receives more standard safety equipment in the form of forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a feature called “Rear Door Alert.” If a rear door is opened at the beginning of a trip but not at the end, the system will assume something has been left on the back seat, like shopping, dry cleaning, pets or kids.
There’s an upscale atmosphere to the 2019 Nissan Armada, thanks to things like wood trim, various modern features, substantial-feeling switchgear, quality of the materials, and the exemplary fit and finish. Large glass areas make for excellent outward vision, especially when sitting in the raised driving position. Adjustments of seats and steering wheel have a wide enough range for most people to get comfortable. Behind the third row is 16.5 cubic feet of cargo area. This expands first to 49.9 and then a maximum of 95.4 cubic feet when both the second and third rows are folded down.
Considering this is the largest SUV made by Nissan, the new Armada carries its bulk well. That said, it’s still pretty chunky, but at least it doesn’t try too hard to make a visual impact. The eagle-eyed will notice that the rear pillar is exactly the same as the QX80’s. The entry level rides on 18-inch alloy wheels, which is okay, but the 20-inch versions in the higher trims look more appropriate (even if they do have a slightly adverse effect on ride quality).
In the positive column, the 2019 Armada is roomy and quiet, while its muscular V8 makes road trips something to look forward to rather than dread, not least because of its subdued-yet-thrilling rumble. The front seats are nicely cushioned and supportive, enabling long driving stints, while the availability of a heated steering wheel and cooled front seats adds to the overall comfort. The automatic transmission does its job efficiently and all-wheel-drive versions have a low gearing range for optimum off-road ability, which is enhanced by a useful ground clearance of 9.1 inches. In the negative column, that large size can be a liability around town, where generally rougher road surfaces also tend to expose limitations in the Armada’s suspension setup. This is also when the steering might feel heavy to some drivers.
The 2019 Nissan Armada range has an opening Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $46,790. Factor in the destination charge of $1,395 and the total is $48,185. The SL versions starts at $52,985, Platinum is priced from $61,085 and Platinum Reserve comes in at $64,085. All-wheel drive is an extra $3,000 in every variant. Putting these figures into context, they’re either slightly or appreciably lower than the competition, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition. Those two popular models boast better resale values, but the KBB 2019 5-Year Cost-to-Own Awards reveal that the Armada is actually more affordable to own over time. If you decide this Nissan is right for you, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their 2019 Armada. OK, so what’s next?I’m interested in the newest version of this car. What’s for sale near me?I’m interested in this car, and I’d like to trade in my current car while I’m at it.Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.
The 2019 Nissan Armada full-size SUV comes in SV, SL and Platinum trim levels, with a Platinum Reserve as a kind of range-topping sub-trim. The SV comes with a 14-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, 8-inch infotainment touch screen, hands-free text-messaging assistance, keyless entry/ignition, and parking sensors front and rear, and the aforementioned new safety features. SL trim kicks off with 20-inch alloy wheels, adds a powered tailgate, fog lights, puddle lights, self-dimming mirrors and rain-sensing wipers. Platinum has a heated steering wheel, rear-seat entertainment system, 360-degree camera system, and an intelligent rearview mirror displaying the feed from the rear-facing camera.
The SV trim is eligible for fog lights, self-dimming rearview mirror with universal garage-door opener, power tailgate, power-folding/60-40-split 3rd-row seats, and a trailer package. The SL may be optioned with blind-spot monitoring, power moonroof, Intelligent Distance Control/Back-up Intervention, and 2nd-row captain’s chairs. Platinum has virtually everything as standard, including leather upholstery, while Platinum Reserve has the captain’s chairs and some bespoke cosmetic touches. All-wheel drive is available in every version of the 2019 Armada.
INTELLIGENT AROUND-VIEW MONITORThis kind of feature is often found in luxury vehicles, but it’s a) really helpful and b) kind of cool to have a camera system that does so much more than provide a rearward-looking aspect. Drivers get a full 360-degree picture plus a bird’s-eye view. Standard in the SL and above.SECOND-ROW CAPTAIN’S CHAIRSFor those families and/or businesses that can sacrifice one seating space, selecting the optional pair of captain’s chairs brings far more comfort to the second row while improving access to the third row. At $450, it’s a reasonably priced extra, but only available in the SL/Platinum (standard in the Platinum Reserve version).
Under the Hood
Topping the class in the standard-issue power stakes, the 2019 Armada’s 5.6-liter V8 makes a healthy 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission and deploying rear-wheel (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), this is a robust and capable drivetrain, albeit a relatively thirsty one. Being able to tow 8,500 pounds sounds impressive, but is around average for this vehicle category.5.6-liter V8390 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm394 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 mpg (RWD), 13/18 mpg (4WD)
The 2019 Nissan Armada is a highly capable and highly capacious full-size SUV. It also reaches Infiniti heights of luxuriousness in its plushest model (Platinum Reserve), while even the entry level (SV) still comes well equipped. The Armada can accommodate up to eight occupants over three rows of seating, tow 8,500 pounds, and is built using an old-school (but extremely effective) “body-on-frame” construction, in common with rivals like the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia. The engine tasked with moving all this mass is a 5.6-liter V8 generating 390 horsepower, which is more grunt than the competition. A 7-speed automatic transmission sends that muscle to the rear wheels in standard configuration, but naturally there’s an optional all-wheel drive system.