2022 Nissan Armada Review: The Other Other Full-Size Import SUV

Admit it, you kind of forgot about the Nissan Armada.

That’s understandable. Whenever you spy a large, non-premium SUV on the road, you’ve got roughly a 3-in-20 chance of it being Nissan’s big boy, based on 2021 sales figures. Like the large pickup segment, this is a category where the domestics dominate.

The 2022 Nissan Armada might sail under the radar, then. That being said, this overlooked road-boat offers a long list of appealing standard features, especially at its relatively bargain price tag.

Get a Quote on a New 2022 Nissan Armada

What’s new?

The Armada saunters into 2022 relatively unchanged, after a significant facelift last year. The biggest update this year is the addition of a special Midnight Edition Package. As it does on so many other Nissans, this option package blacks out a bunch of exterior trim pieces, including the grille, logos, mirrors, roof rails, and skid plates. The Midnight treatment builds on the SL trim, which is the penultimate grade in the US—and the entry point in Canada. Another important market difference: the top-trim Platinum gains a power-folding third row in the US, while every Canadian Armada includes the feature.

Nissan keeps the Armada drivetrain lineup nice and simple. A 5.6-liter V8 is the only engine choice, paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The important stats are an even 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, figures that gave the Armada the most standard power in the class until the 2023 Sequoia debuted. A full-time four-wheel-drive setup is optional in the US, and standard in Canada.

This three-row behemoth sits up to eight folks as standard, though many models—including our tester—feature a seven-seat layout courtesy of second-row captain’s chairs.

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2022 Nissan Armada interior and comfort

Nissan wisely updated the Armada interior last year, modernizing the center stack. Thankfully that doesn’t mean the erasure of physical controls, ensuring the Armada keeps its learning curve nice and gentle. The twin-cowl dashboard design remains, which is different enough to separate the Armada from the pack. The high-gloss trim lining the curves, and the odd, tooth-shaped vents combine to make it feel dated, however. Same goes with the ruched leather on the door panels. I half expect Ricardo Montalbán to pop up and tell me about rich Corinthian leather. The disparate plastics on the steering-mounted controls also feel unfairly chintzy on the flagship SUV of the brand, too.

There’s nothing dated about the front seats, however. They look flat but are surprisingly comfortable, offering up a wide range of adjustments for drivers. My ideal settings do leave me feeling a tiny bit tilted forward, but the flip-side there is good visibility over the tall hood.

The second-row seats are similarly comfortable. With 40.0 inches (1,016 millimeters) of headroom and 41.0 inches (1,041 mm) of legroom, even taller adults should be able to get comfortable back here. The seats also recline, though they don’t slide at all. A chunky center console provides plenty of storage space, though those wanting more natural light will rue the lack of a panoramic glass roof option. 

SEE ALSO: Chevrolet Tahoe vs Nissan Armada Comparison: Goliath vs Goliath

A one-touch tumble-forward button makes access to the third row about as easy as it can be. It’s all downhill from there though, with a tight (28.4-in / 721-mm of legroom) way-back that also sits low to the floor, so knees are up at chest height. It’s simply not a nice space back there.

With the third row up, you’ve got 16.5 cubic feet (467 liters) of storage space. That extends to 49.9 (1,413 L) with the powered third row folded—which takes its sweet time. Drop down both rows and there’s 95.4 cu-ft (2,701 L). You’ll want to avoid any big or rough objects though, lest you scrape the leather on that second-row console.

2022 Nissan Armada technology and features

Every model of Armada now comes with a big 12.3-inch touchscreen, running the latest Nissan infotainment system. It’s not the prettiest system at the UX ball, but it’s easy to understand and reasonably quick in its response times. The two most glaring problems include wired Android Auto support (Apple CarPlay is wireless), and the literal problem of sun glare. You see, the screen is tilted upwards, so there are plenty of times where the ol’ fireball in the sky washes out the on-screen menus. There’s also a redundant rotary controller to the right of the shifter, should you want to avoid smudging up that large screen.

A wireless charging pad is hidden behind a large flip-up panel in the lower dashboard. I appreciate the clean look of the setup, but it’s a massive heat sink for any phone dropped inside. Maybe make the most of it and stick a snack in there with your phone, so at least it stays warm.

SEE ALSO: 2023 Toyota Sequoia First Drive Review: Hybrid Power Makes For Big Improvement

The Armada sticks to old-school analog dials in the instrument panel. It’s not as flashy as the digital screens that are becoming increasingly common in the class, but at least it’s all very legible. A head-up display would go a long way towards helping the Armada feel more modern.

Nissan does an admirable job loading the Armada up with standard driving assists. Automated emergency braking is standard across the board, along with lane assists, full-range adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The SL, Midnight, and Platinum trims also include a crisp 360-degree camera, making it easy to slot this behemoth into tight underground spots.

2022 Nissan Armada driving impressions

It’s important to remember that the Armada is essentially the Patrol from other markets. Nissan strips out the hardcore off-roading gear for the truck’s North American duties, but the bones remain. This is a big, body-on-frame SUV, and it drives like one. Think vague steering and lots of body roll.

Thankfully, the independent rear suspension does a great job isolating the cabin from all but the harshest of bumps. The space is as large as a church and about as quiet as one, too.

I’m a big fan of the big Nissan V8. Smooth and responsive, it offers a lot more oomph than the standard 5.3-liter in the Chevy and GMC twins, and sounds far better than the industrial EcoBoost in the Expedition. The seven-speed auto is a good pairing too, shifting smoothly and consistently. But holy crap is it thirsty. I did almost nothing but highway miles with the Armada and it still fell just shy of its official combined 15 mpg (15.4 L/100 km) rating. That’s comfortably the worst in the class, with the Ford operating as the relative fuel-sipper, to say nothing of the 20-mpg-average Toyota Sequoia and its standard hybrid powertrain. Would the Titan’s updated nine-speed auto scavenge a few more miles out of each tank? I’d like to think so.

Nissan says the Armada is rated for a solid 8,500 pounds (3,856 kilograms) of maximum towing.

2022 Nissan Armada pricing and competition

In America, the Armada starts right around the $50,000 mark, which is a whole heap of SUV for the price. It includes standard dual-zone climate control, a robust suite of driver assists, and the surprising addition of a power-adjustable steering column. To this writer, the SL and Midnight are the sweet spots of the range, including plenty of luxury trappings at a price easier to swallow than the swanky Platinum. Sure, that one will net you quilted leather seating (with ventilation), big 22-inch alloys, and a second-row entertainment system. I missed the cooled buns on a hot July day, but I’d wager the larger wheels would make the ride worse, and anybody shopping for a $70,000 SUV probably has an iPad or three lying around for the kids during road trips.

In Canada, only the SL, Midnight, and Platinum trims are available, which explains the much higher $72,493 CAD starting price, including destination.

As equipped, our tester rang in at $64,445 ($74,148 CAD). That aligns it closer to the bottom two rungs of the Chevy, Ford, and Toyota trim walks, while including more standard niceties than any of them. It might feel a little older than the pack, but the Armada offers serious value on its side. What’s more, the Platinum’s fancy interior renders the Infiniti QX80, its posh platform-mate, essentially pointless.

Verdict: 2022 Nissan Armada Review

The 2022 Nissan Armada is an oft-overlooked large SUV that represents a tried-and-true recipe and big value. Yes, its V8 is offensively thirsty, and yes, its third row is cramped. Yet Nissan has crammed a whole heap of safety and tech goodies into that upright shape, and tuned it for a smooth, inoffensive on-road experience. Those wanting the classic V8 do-it-all, the one that can haul a boat and a family across the country, will find a whole lot of SUV for the money here. It isn’t a class-leader, but the 2022 Nissan Armada is worth remembering.


FAQs

  • How much does the 2022 Nissan Armada cost? 
    • The new model starts from $39,185 USD for a rear-drive, V6-powered Laredo model, including the $1,795 destination charge. In Canada, where AWD is standard, buyers can expect a $53,640 CAD sticker. A fully-loaded Summit Reserve V8 will set buyers back $68,455 ($83,630 CAD).
  • How many people does the 2022 Nissan Armada seat?
    • Eight as standard, or seven with the second-row captain’s chairs.
  • Does the 2022 Nissan Armada have a V8?
    • Yes, and that’s it. There are no turbocharged sixes, hybrids, or other options here.

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1 Comment

Octavious says:

pearl white with black trim?