Standing as a synonym for utmost practicality and capability since 2004, the Nissan Armada owns up a decent chunk of the full-size SUVs sales in the United States. While ruggedness and functionality have never been a problem for this Nissan, modern issues like safety and tech have affected the sales in recent years. However, for the year 2021, Nissan is back with a bang as it brings to the table a refreshed Armada with a new fascia and upgraded tech to lure more customers.
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Pricing and Features
Engine and Performance
Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide
The 2021 MY is offered in a total of 4 main trims along with a special edition by the name of Midnight Edition. It falls in a price range that extends from $48,900 for its base variant and goes up to $68,300 for its top-rack Platinum variant. The 2021 Armada comes with the same 5.6-liter V8, although the engine has been slightly juiced up to bring out 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. Can the updated and refreshed Armada take on the likes of Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Toyota Sequoia? Let’s find out.
8.2/10 Engine and Performance
7.4/10 Fuel Economy
5.6/10 Final Verdict
2021 Nissan Armada Features
The 2021 Nissan Armada is available in four main trims, namely S, SV, SL, and Platinum, and the price range revolves between $48,900 to $68,300. Apart from these four trims, Nissan has also provided a special edition for 2021 called Midnight Edition that offers unique features and a blacked-out exterior. The base S trim of the SUV has decent features under its belt including dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable steering wheel, 12.3-inch infotainment screen, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and more. As usual, the list of features will continue to grow as you move up the trim ladder.
In addition to the S trim;
In addition to the SV trim;
In addition to the SL trim;
20-inch alloy wheels
22-inch alloy wheels
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Heated front seats
Ventilated front seats
Power-adjustable steering column
Heated steering wheel and second-row seats
12.3-inch center touchscreen
Simulated leather upholstery
Driver’s seat memory settings
Power-reclining and power-folding third-row seats
Apple CarPlay with wireless functionality
Wireless device charging
13-speaker Bose stereo system
Rear-seat entertainment system
Forward collision mitigation
Integrated trailer brake controller
360-degree camera system
Lane departure warning
Choosing a trim solely depends on what you expect from your vehicle, however, if we have to go ahead with a trim, it will be the SL trim. The SL trim of the Armada offers all the features of the base trims and also comes with many more features which you find in the top-end Platinum trim. However, we would advise you to go ahead with the AWD variant as it provides better capability on the roads. All in all, for $59,300, the SL AWD variant makes for the best value for money option in the lineup.
2021 Nissan Armada Engine and Performance
While there have been many changes on the exterior and tech side of the SUV for 2021, the powertrain setup remains the same as the last year, which is a 5.6-liter V8 mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. However, for 2021, Nissan has tuned up the engine a bit, and now it puts out 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque in comparison to 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque offered last year. The SUV comes with RWD as standard, although one has the option of AWD with all the trims for a premium of 3,000 bucks.
The powertrain setup works smoothly and offers the best-in-class power figure. Also, the SUV manages to perform impressively in real-world scenarios. The SUV takes a class-leading time of just 5.9 seconds which ties it with the Ford Expedition for the 0-60 mph. The 2021 Armada takes 15 seconds for a quarter-mile drag race and tops out at 130 mph, making it the fastest SUV in terms of top speed in the competition.
3.5-liter Ecoboost V6
10-speed shiftable automatic
10-speed shiftable automatic
6-speed shiftable automatic
400 hp @ 5,800 rpm
375 hp @ 5000 rpm
355 hp @ 5600 rpm
381 hp @ 5600 rpm
413 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
470 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
383 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
401 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
When comparing the SUVs in the competition, Ford Expedition manages to get past the rivals with its class-leading torque output of 470 lb-ft, all thanks to the Ecoboost V6 while the rivals get sourced by a naturally aspirated mill. Both Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia stay behind the other two rivals in acceleration numbers. When comparing the price tag, Ford Expedition comes out to be the most expensive option in the competition.
How well does the 2021 Nissan Armada handle?
The ride and handling of the 2021 Nissan Armada are better than you expect from a full-size SUV. Of course, there is going to be body lean around the corners, but the SUV manages to not feel as big as its dimensions, which results in better handling on the roads.
As expected, the 2021 Armada feels strong as you push the pedal although not as quick as some of the other rivals in the segment. The SUV offers a smooth and comfortable ride, all thanks to the auto-leveling suspension that manages to absorb all uneven bumps on the road. Thanks to the acoustic windshield, the people sitting inside will enjoy a calm and serene journey.
Taming a full-size SUV of more than 5500 pounds is no trivial task, however, Nissan has granted impressive power to stop this beast in just 115 feet from 60 mph. The 2021 model of the SUV comes with 13.8 inches of brake rotors at both ends, which as we said before, take the least distance in the competition of just 115 feet to reach a halt from 60 mph.
The SUV weighs 5,672 lbs, making it the second heaviest option in the competition after Toyota Sequoia which weighs 5,730 lbs.
Brake Rotors: Front (inches)
Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)
Curb Weight (lbs)
Both Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition manage to score lower on the weighing scale than Armada and Sequoia, measuring 5,473 and 5,443 lbs, respectively. When it comes to braking distance, no rival performs better than Armada in the competition. The two American rivals take 121 feet to reach a halt from 60 mph, whereas the Toyota Sequoia takes the most distance of 125 feet to achieve the same feat.
2021 Nissan Armada Fuel Economy
Under the hood of the 2021 Armada sits a 400hp V8, thus we can’t expect from it a lot of frugality, although that is the case with all the rivals with a naturally aspirated V8 mill in the competition. The EPA rated the 2021 Armada for 14 mpg in the city, 19 mpg on the highway, and 16 mpg combined in its RWD configuration. The AWD configuration results in 1 mpg less than the base RWD one. The SUV comes with a fuel tank capacity of 26 gallons, resulting in a range of 364 miles in the city and 494 miles combined.
Fuel Capacity (Gallons)
Range (City/Hwy/Combined) (mi)
The 2021 Ford Expedition dominated the department, thanks to the Ecoboost Turbocharged V6 under the hood. The SUV offers a class-leading fuel economy of 17 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined. The Toyota Sequoia stands as the thirstiest rival in the comparison with a fuel economy of 15 mpg combined. When comparing the overall range, the Expedition gets past the rivals with a highway range of 600 miles.
2021 Nissan Armada Interior
The 2021 Nissan Armada can be seen as a cheaper version of Infiniti’s QX80, although when compared with the rivals like Ford Expedition and Chevy Tahoe, the interior of the Armada is pretty impressive to give stiff competition. Not a lot has changed from last year’s model in the Nissan Armada except the inclusion of a bigger 12.3-inch infotainment screen at the center of the dash. The dash of the SUV is covered with a lot of high-quality and soft-touch materials, giving it a premium look.
When it comes to seating, the 2021 Armada comes with a standard seating capacity of 8, although it reduces to 7 in the top-of-the-line Platinum trim, thanks to the captain’s chairs in the second row. The first and second rows of the SUV are quite spacious for a comfortable journey, although that is not the case with the third row. The seats are covered in high-quality synthetic leather, while original leather upholstery becomes standard with the high-end trims.
Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
Third Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
Cargo Capacity (ft3)
Practicality still remains one of the most important aspects of buying a full-size SUV, and all the SUVs in the competition have taken care of that. All the rivals come with a seating capacity of 8, although not a single one provides adequate space in the third row for fully grown adults. When comparing the cargo capacity, Chevy Tahoe manages to offer the most whereas the Armada offers the least, measuring 25.5 and 16.5 cubic feet, respectively. Few standout interior features available with the SUV include:
Dual-zone climate control
8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
6-way power-adjustable passenger seat
Ventilated front seats (Premium trim)
Heated steering wheel and second-row seats (Premium trim)
For 2021, the biggest change apart from the refreshed fascia has to be the inclusion of a bigger 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen which replaces the old 8-inch screen and works on the Nissan Connect System. The SUV has all the regular tech expected from a $50,000 vehicle in the market. Features like USB ports, wireless Apple CarPlay, USB-capable Android Auto, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and more are part of the SUV.
The base trim comes connected to a 4-speaker setup for audio needs, while the SL trim and above offer a 13-speaker Bose Sound System which works wonders for entertainment for the passengers inside. The top-end Platinum trim offers a rear entertainment setup consisting of two 8-inch screens at the back of the front-seat headrests. Major infotainment features include:
12.3-inch touchscreen Nissan Connect infotainment system
The biggest difference from last year’s Armada has to be the freshened front which now holds a new LED headlights setup, fenders, front bumper, and hood. However, the exterior still looks big and bold, giving it a solid presence on the roads. The SUV carries at the front the signature V-motion grille along with new LED headlights and running lights, while the LED taillights complete the overall look of the SUV.
The rear has a big bumper which can be a pain while loading and unloading the luggage. The use of chrome at the side which goes around the D-Pillar and then windshield gives the SUV a classy and premium look. The base trim runs on 18-inch wheels, while the high-end Platinum gets 22-inch alloy wheels which improve the overall impact of the SUV.
Curb Weight (lbs)
Ground Clearance (in)
All the SUVs are built big and bold to perform in any condition thrown at them. However, the Toyota Sequoia stands as the heaviest option whereas the Expedition stands lightest, measuring 5,730 and 5,443 lbs, respectively. When comparing the ground clearance, Toyota offers the most at 9.9 inches, followed by Expedition, Armada, and Tahoe at 9.8, 9.1, and 7.9 inches, respectively. Few standout exterior highlights of the SUV include:
LED Daytime Running Lights
Rain Sensing Wipers
All-LED exterior lights
Sunroof (SL and Premium trim)
22-inch alloy wheels (Premium trim)
Midnight Edition comes with a fully blacked-out exterior
It’s hard for big blocky SUVs to keep rollover in check, and that’s the case with the Armada too. While the agencies like NHTSA and IIHS haven’t crash-tested the 2021 model, the 2020 Armada disappointed us with its 3-star rating in both rollover and front crash impact tests. The only place the SUV performed decently is the side impact test where it received an acceptable 4-star rating out of 5 stars. While the standard safety features are present as before, however, for 2021, Nissan has offered a variety of advanced safety features under the umbrella of Nissan Safety Shield 360, which is standard across the trims. Major safety features from the package include:
Forward collision mitigation
Lane departure warning
Rear automatic braking
Rear cross-traffic alert
Front and rear parking sensors
2021 Nissan Armada Competition
2021 Nissan Armada vs 2021 Ford Expedition
With a price difference of around $3,000, the 2021 Ford Expedition comes out to be the expensive option. When comparing the two SUVs, both of them take the same 5.9 seconds to complete 0-60 mph, however, Expedition gets ahead in the quarter-mile by a difference of around 0.2 seconds. While the 2021 Armada is more powerful, the Expedition offers a better torque figure.
The Ford Expedition also enjoys better fuel economy and range, thanks to its Ecoboost V6 in comparison to Armada’s naturally aspirated V8 mill. If we have to select between the two, the 2021 Ford Expedition seals the deal.
2021 Nissan Armada vs 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
The 2021 Nissan Armada enjoys an advantage over Chevy when it comes to all-out performance but Chevy balances it out with better space for passengers and cargo at the back.
The 2021 Chevy Tahoe also manages to offer better fuel efficiency between the two along with better high-speed stability, whereas the Armada offers a more refined interior in reply. All in all, opting between the two depends on what you expect from your full-size SUV.
2021 Nissan Armada vs 2021 Toyota Sequoia
Just like in Chevy’s case, the 2021 Nissan Armada offers better figures in the power and performance department. It also gains an advantage over its Japanese rival by offering better space and efficiency.
However, the Toyota Sequoia provides bigger cargo space at the back of the third row. The Sequoia continues to be in the second generation since 2008, making it look old and archaic in front of the Armada which got a refresh for this year. The Nissan Armada comes out to be a better pick between the two.
2021 Nissan Armada Final Verdict
The Nissan Armada has been consistent in offering ruggedness and practicality since it came into existence in 2004, however, the 2021 model comes with more than just that as it offers better comfort, safety, and tech to the people sitting inside. The capable 5.6-liter engine under the hood performs impressively on paper and in real-world scenarios. However, fuel efficiency does take a back seat in achieving that feat. The Ford Expedition manages to offer a better package with a perfect balance of comfort, power, efficiency, and safety. However, if a tough-built SUV with enough grunt is your main concern, then the 2021 Nissan Armada can be a sweet deal for you.