The 2020 Nissan Armada full-size SUV is available in four grades: SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve, with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Nissan Armada full-size SUV is available in four grades: SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve, with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. (Manufacturer photo)

2020 Nissan Armada has V8 power with a gentle, quiet ride

There’s a new Wheel Package this year featuring 14-spoke wheels wrapped with all-season tires.

The Nissan Armada carries on as a viable alternative to more mainstream full-size SUVs. It offers a big V8 engine, sturdy body-on-frame construction, a substantial tow rating, and off-road ability. At the same time, Armada can accommodate up to eight passengers in a luxury-like cabin.

The 2020 Armada is available in SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve trim levels, with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Pricing ranges from $48,495 for a 2WD SV to $69,425 for a 4WD Platinum Reserve. Four-wheel drive is an extra $3,000 on all models.

New for 2020, heated outside mirrors are standard on all models, and there’s a new 22-inch Wheel Package featuring fancy 14-spoke 22-inch wheels and all-season tires.

The same powertrain is used in every Armada, a 5.6-liter V8 generating 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque, joined to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Between them the towing capacity amounts to 8,500 pounds, and they propel the hefty Armada with admirable grace. The rate at which they consume fuel is considerably less graceful: 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, and 15 mpg combined.

Armada’s ride is gentle and quiet, so there’s hardly any sensation of speed, ever. That’s either good or not good, depending on your mindset, but in either case it’s easy to go a lot faster than you think you’re going.

The 2020 Nissan Armada has a lavish interior. The top-tier Platinum Reserve version is shown here. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Nissan Armada has a lavish interior. The top-tier Platinum Reserve version is shown here. (Manufacturer photo)

I drove a 2020 Armada Platinum 4WD for this review. Like every other model in the lineup, it has safety and driver-assist technologies galore. Comfort and convenience features on this model are expectedly generous as well, including a rear-seat entertainment system with 8-inch individual displays mounted on the front seatbacks.

The infotainment system is a no-frills affair. It has an 8-inch display with touch control, navigation, 13-speaker Bose premium audio, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth, and five USB ports. Large, easy to use push-button controls and dials are arranged below the screen in perfect symmetry, and below them, on the lower dash, are the climate system controls, also in perfect symmetry.

The touchscreen has excellent response without effort, and the whole infotainment system is straightforward. However, it does lack the graphics showmanship of most other contemporary infotainment systems. And it doesn’t have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay compatibility, but it does have a CD player. That, like the sensation of speed mentioned above, is either good or not good, depending on your mindset.

A Platinum Reserve Package was added to the tester as an option ($2,250), and it sported the fancy 22-inch wheels (another $2,250). Captain’s chairs ($450) occupied the second-row space in lieu of the standard bench.

The 2020 Nissan Armada can accommodate up to eight passengers and has a tow rating of 8,500 pounds. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Nissan Armada can accommodate up to eight passengers and has a tow rating of 8,500 pounds. (Manufacturer photo)

2020 NISSAN ARMADA PLATINUM AWD

Base price, including destination charge: $64,925

Price as driven: $71,730

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

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