Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
It’s good to see the latest 2021 Nissan Armada rolling tough with innovation and interior renovation, bringing it closer to the large SUV playing field dominated by the beloved Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon. Although the overall outline of the square and aggressive Japanese utility remains the same, it now features a new grille, hood, front fenders, bumpers, and a unique LED headlight design comprising over 50 LEDs in each headlamp.
Our weekly loaner arrived as a 4×4 Platinum edition donning a Coulis Red Pearl coat, 22” machine-faced rims tucked in Bridgestone Dueler H/T 275/50R22 tires, rear tailgate spoiler, and integrated running boards that mold with the wheel wells. My vehicle came with a single-row sunroof, but it definitely needs more glass for the SUV’s size. The acceptance of the Armada’s polarizing body styling will be left up to the eye of the beholder. Some will love it, and many won’t, as Automotive Rhythms found out during our experience.
Ignited by Nissan’s 5.6-liter Endurance V8 engine (400-horsepower / 413 lb-ft of torque) and a 7-speed automatic transmission, power is authoritative but smooth. Its multi-function steering wheel is taught, giving the Armada a solid, luxury feel. The big guy also has a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 lbs. Various drive settings from a small rotary dial include Snow, Auto (4 High, 4 Low) Tow, and Traction Off. Owners will equally be satisfied with Nissan Safety Shield 360, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Intervention, and Intelligent Lane Intervention.
Inside, you will initially think that maybe it’s the Infiniti QX80 interior that is dominating the narrative. Nope, Nissan did an impeccable job gutting out the old for the new starting with a clean center stack and 12.3” Nissan Intelligent Mobility color screen. The touchscreen is simple to navigate and features two large dials, standard Wi-Fi and wireless Apple CarPlay, and wireless phone charging in my ride. It felt good jumping in the cabin and connecting to my Afro Beats playlist without having cords dangling everywhere.
The Dark Brown leather interior featured premium quilted captain chairs, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, 3rd-row power reclining and fold seats, USB-c ports in the front and back, front and rear center consoles with deep storage capacity, 2nd-row temperature control, and much more. Our vehicle came with Rear Family Entertainment System for added activity, including two 8″ QHD displays and dual wireless headphones.
The price out the door for the 2021 Nissan Armada 4×4 Platinum was $70,465 with an MSRP of $68,000. A Midnight Edition Package for the Armada SL is available as well.