Nissan has redesigned its flagship SUV, the Armada, adding a host of family-friendly features and technologies to give every parent a reason to take a second look.
Even we – as empty nests – would enjoy having an armada in the garage as it proved easy to drive and maneuver and offered plenty of extra space.
This year, the Armada has a largely redesigned exterior with changes that include a new grille, hood, front fenders and front and rear bumpers, and all new LED headlights and taillights. This new look had a more robust personality.
This is by no means bad as we loved the new look. As the company moves away from some of the curves that dominated some of its earlier products, the new Armada will appeal to many and have a rugged appeal without detracting from the vehicle’s upscale feel.
Another side note on the launch of the 2021 Armada is that it will be the first new vehicle from Nissan to feature the new logo. The recently released design is slimmer and easier to read on a flat surface.
Nissan did a great job integrating the LED headlights into the surfaces and coming up with some great angles that create a fierce look when driving at night. The new aesthetic really moves the gaze around the vehicle and doesn’t just focus on big lights in front.
The new Armada is one of the last full-body SUVs on the market and ready to take on any challenge. Equipped with a 5.6 liter Endurance V-8 engine with a peak output of 400 horsepower and 413 foot-pounds of torque.
All of this performance includes the ability to pull up to 8,500 pounds with a standard built-in trailer brake control on the SV trim levels and higher. This shows how committed Nissan is to making their SUV a complete package for every family.
We bought a couple of different full size SUVs when our family was still home and would have liked to have the trailer brakes on the vehicle.
Higher trim levels, like the SL that we received for a week, also have a standard hitch receiver and trailer sway control that automatically apply the brakes when the trailer starts moving, giving the driver more confidence in its ability give to pull a trailer trailer behind the Armada.
Inside, the designers really improved things with a new standard 12.3-inch screen in the center that dominates the front console. We found this high resolution screen to be a great addition as it is easy to see and use with great graphics that were helpful when backing up or in tight parking spaces.
This screen is definitely the biggest we’ve seen in a Nissan, and we loved it during our week with the Armada. Though stretched across the dash, it was easy to use and navigate, and Nissan built a rotary knob into the center console that also moves through the menus.
Our favorite part of the technology included was – again – the wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that comes with the new system.
Below the screen was our test drive with a compartment that opened to hold a wireless charger. It could be closed with a phone on the charger to keep it safe no matter what we were navigating in the SUV. This is especially useful for keeping the phone charged in the mountains or off-road.
Of course, the rest of the interior was top notch on our SL test drive. The seats were covered with leather and heated to make the cold winter mornings easier to cope with. We could have just wished for a heated steering wheel.
Additional amenities included the easy-to-fold second-row captain’s chairs that allowed third-row access and temperature control in two zones, as well as the premium Bose audio system that was included in the Armada.
In recent years, Nissan has made safety a higher priority and integrated the Safety Shield 360 into all vehicles. This year he found his way to the Armada. This system includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic warning, lane departure warning, high beam assistant and automatic rear braking – all great safety features that come as standard.
Forward collision warning, intelligent cruise control, intelligent lane intervention, intelligent blind spot intervention, reversing monitoring and intelligent driver warning monitoring are also part of the standard of the new vehicle.
Since our week with the new Armada included the New Years holiday, on New Years Day we took the opportunity to head to the Spanish Fork Canyon and drive Diamond Fork as far as possible before the closed gates kept us from getting caught in some real snow.
The new armada did very well, even when we got to snow-covered roads. With all-wheel drive on, it was almost like driving on the dry sidewalk.
It was a wonderful day to drive and got even more enjoyable with the new SUV.
The Armada would be a great addition to the family with the ability to hold everything necessary for any adventure while keeping mom and dad even more in control in all possible driving conditions.
Base price: Vehicle price to be determined before production
Craig and Deanne Conover have been test drivers for over eight years and have had the opportunity to drive many makes and models. You will receive a new car every week for a week-long test drive and adventure. Both love to have the unique opportunity to try out new cars. You live in Springville.