Despite its size and massive engine, the Armada is surprisingly responsive. It incorporates anti-lock brakes, active brake limited slip, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist. It also has independent double wishbone suspension front and rear, with the rear being auto-leveling.
The Armada comes with standard automatic headlights, heated power outside mirrors and rear sonar for assistance while backing up. The differences between the three Armada styles start with the exterior. The SV sits on 18-inch wheels and a body-color grille, while the SL and Platinum get 20-inch rims and a chrome grille.
As for the interior, it comes with dual-zone temperature control, rear air conditioning with rear controls, cruise control, 8-way driver's seat and speed-sensitive windshield wipers. The SL and Platinum trims add standard keyless ignition, Bluetooth, a 4-way passenger seat, power 60/40 third-row seat, leather seats and wood trim. Exclusive to the Platinum level is the Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with XM NavTraffic, heated front seats with memory and heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Seating eight people means there are rear-seat passengers who need entertainment, so the Armada has a standard 6-CD system with MP3 playback, auxiliary jack and rear audio controls with wireless headphone capability and headphone jacks. The stereo can be upgraded in the SL and Platinum Armadas to a 12-speaker Bose system, while a 9.3GB Music Box hard drive and card reader are standard equipment at the Platinum level.
Nissan's original Armada SUV launched way back in 2003 and soldiered on without substantial changes for over a decade. That's an eternity in the automotive world, making the arrival of the second-generation truck a welcome sight. Revamped looks, a cushier cabin, more technology offerings and improved road manners all help the Armada once again become a serious player in the full-size SUV game, duking it out with the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia.
If the 2018 Nissan Armada reminds you an awful lot of the Infiniti QX80, your eyes aren't deceiving you. The two are platform mates and share a lot of exterior sheet metal, often making it difficult to tell them apart from the side and rear. At the front, the Nissan does differ from the Infiniti with a blockier design and the company's signature V-motion grille.
Inside, it's difficult to shake the Infiniti feeling, too, with the dash mirroring the QX80's. Major surfaces use soft-touch materials with lots of leather throughout, and wood trim and chrome accents gussy things up further. The seats are cushy and space in the first and second rows is generous enough to keep taller passengers happy. Accessing the third row is easy with fold-and-flip middle row captain's chairs and there's sufficient room for normal-sized adults in the back.
The Good Attractive sheet metal and plush interior surroundings. Impressive ride comfort and handling for a full-size SUV. Potent and smooth drivetrain.
The Bad Infotainment system is slow and lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. Overly sensitive lane departure warning system. Poor performance in snow from the stock tires.
The Bottom Line Even with its flaws, the Nissan Armada deserves strong consideration from people shopping for a large SUV.
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