Along with its redesigned front end, the 2021 Armada is the first Nissan vehicle to wear the company’s new logo. (Nissan)

Along with its redesigned front end, the 2021 Armada is the first Nissan vehicle to wear the company’s new logo. (Nissan)

Nissan Armada SUV merges brute strength with gentle comfort

Styling changes for 2021 include a bolder front and redesigned center stack with a big new touchscreen.

The plus-size Nissan Armada SUV heeds the call of buyers looking for lots of room for passengers and cargo in an upscale cabin, with enough extra power to still haul a trailer after filling the cabin to capacity.

Armada is revamped for 2021 with significant exterior styling changes, a number of interior updates, a new Midnight Edition blacked-out appearance package, a horsepower boost and additional standard safety features. It’s the first vehicle to wear Nissan’s new logo.

The Armada’s grille, hood, front fenders, front bumper and headlights are all new, giving the SUV a more squared and sculpted look. A new rear bumper, LED taillights and combination lights complete the transformation.

Inside, the center stack has been redesigned with a new standard 12.3-inch touchscreen as its focal point. Wi-Fi and wireless Apple CarPlay are new standard features, and wireless smartphone charging is available.

A new 7-inch driver-assist color display in the gauge cluster has higher resolution for better visibility.

A new 12.3-inch infotainment display highlights the redesigned center stack inside the 2021 Nissan Armada. The Platinum interior is shown here. (Nissan)

A new 12.3-inch infotainment display highlights the redesigned center stack inside the 2021 Nissan Armada. The Platinum interior is shown here. (Nissan)

Included for the first time on Armada within the NissanConnect Services Convenience plan is Nissan Concierge, providing 24-hour access to a live assistant at the push of a button.

Every new Armada comes with a burly V8 engine making 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 10 horsepower and 19 pound-feet over the previous model. A smooth, quick seven-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board.

When properly equipped, the Armada is good for towing up to 8,500 pounds, for both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive versions.

Fuel economy ratings are a wince-worthy 14 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined for 2WD, and 13/18/15 mpg for 4WD.

Newly standard active safety features for all models include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear automatic braking and lane-keeping assist.

The 2021 Armada comes in S, SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels, with standard 4×2 or optional 4×4 configuration for each one. Pricing for the S model starts at $50,395 including a $1,495 destination charge.

Rear styling revisions on the 2021 Nissan Armada include a new bumper, new LED taillights, and new combination lights. (Nissan)

Rear styling revisions on the 2021 Nissan Armada include a new bumper, new LED taillights, and new combination lights. (Nissan)

I drove the Armada Platinum 4WD model, $69,795. In the Armada hierarchy it adds front seat ventilation, power folding third-row seats, 22-inch wheels, a rear seat entertainment system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and quilted leather upholstery to the impressively equipped base S model and the handful of niceties added to the in-between trims.

The new infotainment system is a true improvement, a real keeper. Its 12.3-inch touchscreen is fantastic. Manual dials are provided for volume and tuning control, along with push buttons and another dial on the center console for other functions. Operation is intuitive. The 13-speaker Bose premium audio system, standard on the Platinum trim, is glorious.

My tester had the optional ($650) second-row captain’s chairs arrangement, reducing seating capacity to seven rather than the standard eight, but greatly increasing the Armada interior’s appeal. The two seats are luxurious, separated by a big handsome and useful console, and legroom is grand. The seats fold flat and go back up easily. They also flip up entirely to simplify access to the third row, which is little-kids-only territory.

Armada is aptly named. It is massive and industrial-strength, with not a dainty thing to be found on it. For all that, the ride is gentle and peaceful. From the driver’s perspective, there’s no mistaking Armada for something less huge. It goes through curves leisurely and feels buoyant on the freeway.

2021 NISSAN ARMADA PLATINUM 4WD

Base price, including destination charge: $69,795

Price as driven: $71,250

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.

Talk to us

More in Life

Jeff Barnett, owner of Salish Sea-Boathouse during the soft opening in Edmonds on November 24, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Salish Sea sets sail at second location in Edmonds

In honor of the nearby waterfront, The Boathouse has a decidedly nautical feel — and it’s more of a taproom and brewhouse than its sibling brewpub up the street.

Jacob Akers in his replica Dude sweater from The Big Leboswki on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dude, you’re knitting some bodacious ‘Big Lebowski’ sweaters

Jacob Akers, 29, a Costco shelf stocker, knits cardigans made famous by the 1998 cult classic guy flick.

Bill Howell, a plant pathologist from Prosser, created the Lucy Rose apple variety as a cross between the Honeycrisp and an Airlie Red variety. They are notable for their red centers.(Jennifer Bardsley)
Sweet treats for the holiday season direct from Washington growers

Washington State farmers survived a difficult year. The fruits of their labor deserve admiration.

Roger Fisher pauses while jamming in the garden at his Monroe home.
Monroe resident Roger Fisher reflects on his time with Heart

He was a co-founder of the Seattle group that rose to worldwide fame in the 1970s. He left the band when his romance with Nancy Wilson went south.

This Jewish chef puts a Mexican twist on her latkes

Patti Jinich serves them with a crunchy, citrusy Mexican crema made with fresh squeezed lime juice and zest and finely diced fennel.

The Pacific Ice rink under construction at Port of Everett on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett unveils seasonal ice rink on the waterfront

The outdoor rink will be open through the end of January. The port plans for it to return annually.

The 2022 Mini Cooper is available in two-door or four-door hardtop models. A two-door soft-top convertible model is also offered. (Manufacturer photo)
2022 Mini Cooper reinforces the brand’s reputation for fun

An exterior freshening, new 8.8-inch touchscreen and value-driven Oxford Edition model are highlights.

Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 in Leavenworth, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Jan. 26, 2019, in Leavenworth. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Outdoors classes and activities around Snohomish County

The listings include Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest updates and REI Lynnwood workshops.

Baden-Baden: Getting naked with strangers

Relaxing at the spa resort of Baden-Baden in southern Germany’s Black Forest,… Continue reading

Where have all the workers gone?

Many of us wonder why there are so many vacancies in so… Continue reading

Book-related events in Snohomish County.
Author events and poetry readings around Snohomish County

The listings include Third Place Books, Everett Public Library and Neverending Bookshop events.

Lady Gaga in "House of Gucci." (Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc./TNS)
A stone-cold Lady Gaga brings down the ‘House of Gucci’

Ridley Scott’s movie dives into a luxury brand and a family laid low by greed and infighting.