2019 Nissan Armada: A Hidden Gem

If you have a large family that needs transporting around, there are a limited number of vehicles that fit the bill. A minivan has the space, practicality and versatility you need, but it’s a minivan. Another option is a crossover SUV, but most will only seat up to seven at best.  

There is another way to achieve affordable family mobility, though: the 2019 Nissan Armada. The Armada is a full-size, traditional ladder-frame SUV with all the capability and versatility you want. And it’s price won’t scare you away.

Let’s take a closer look at this hidden gem in the Nissan family.

Exterior Styling

The 2019 Nissan Armada isn’t a minivan, and it doesn’t look like one. For a lot of buyers, that could be enough to choose the Armada. And it’s not a bad starting place for this inherently practical, large, family hauler.

The Armada certainly looks like a large, truck-based SUV, but in a market increasingly dominated by models with sharp lines, angular creases and squinting headlights, it can seem a little bulbous. Some buyers will like the look, as it does have individuality about it. There’s a hint of Toyota Land Cruiser about it, and there’s even more Infiniti QX80 in there, but with less chrome.

Interior

If you want space for passengers and cargo, there’s plenty of both inside the Armada. And considering this isn’t a luxury model, there’s more comfort and luxury on display than you might expect, especially for the money.

Only the base SV trim level gets cloth seats; all other trims come with leather upholstery. Every version of the Armada has an interior awash with soft-touch materials, faux-wood trim and some tasteful chrome accent. And the outward view from inside the Nissan is commanding.

At the back of the Armada, the second-row seat can be specified as a three-person bench or as a pair of captain’s chairs. Although the third-row is hard for adults to access, it’s perfectly serviceable for children.

Overall, the interior of the Armada at all trim levels looks and feels more like a luxury model. In some respects, it may be slightly dated compared to some of its rivals’ interiors, but it’s not something that should put off buyers.

Engines and Performance

Even though the Armada is an “old-school” body-on-frame SUV and not a unibody crossover, it doesn’t mean this truck-based model is a hard-core off-roader. The Nissan won’t be scared of the pavement running out when it’s specified with all-wheel-drive instead of the standard rear-wheel-drive. But its truck-based credentials are better applied to towing and hauling than canyon crawling.

Under the hood of the 2019 Nissan Armada is a 5.6-liter V-8. This unit develops 390 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque, and when properly equipped, it allows the Armada to tow up to as much as 8,500 pounds. It’s hard to not be impressed by this 6,000-pound SUV capable of managing it in around seven seconds. What it does tell us is the powerplant is more than capable of handling a full load of passengers and cargo when it’s called upon to do so.

The Armada runs on a four-wheel independent suspension and coil springs, instead of the air suspension setup of the Infiniti. It means the ride is smooth, comfortable and predictable. And if you plan to keep your Armada for a long time, the coil springs are likely to prove more durable and reliable.

Safety

Buyers who base their vehicle decision solely on ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS might be concerned with what testers say about the 2019 Nissan Armada. However, the testing agencies are rarely impressed by any large, body-on-frame SUVs.

Every Armada comes standard with six airbags, traction control, a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and a rear-seat reminder. Other safety features like blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and parking sensors are also available. Platinum and Reserve trims even have a standard camera-based rearview mirror.

The Last Word

The 2019 Nissan Armada isn’t the latest, greatest example of cutting-edge SUV design and technology. Instead, the Armada is a large, spacious, capable, luxurious, and great value vehicle for getting up to eight people and their stuff around town. If you’re interested in a vehicle for you and your family, the Armada is an option to seriously consider.

Ed Aldridge / Shutterstock

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