There is no better way to get summer 2021 started than cruising around in a brand-new vehicle. If you have a big family or a lot of friends (or all the above), you won’t just be looking to buy any type of vehicle. You’ll likely need something that seats up to eight, can store plenty of stuff, and even tow a 30-foot sailboat. If pickup trucks and minivans aren’t your thing, then a full-size eight-passenger SUV is right up your alley. If you’re a fan of Japanese makes and models, the 2021 Nissan Armada should be on your test-drive list.
The 2021 Nissan Armada is among the best eight-passenger SUVs according to U.S. News
The 2021 Nissan Armada received an overall score of 7.0/10 from U.S. News, earning it a place on the web-based news magazine’s review of “The 14 Best 8-Passenger SUVs of 2021.” It’s not the hottest score a vehicle can get—more or less room temperature—and barely made it, if you ask us.
With an overall score of 7.1/10, the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is the only other midsize eight-passenger SUV that scored nearly as low as the Armada. The 2021 GMC Yukon, 2021 Subaru Ascent, and 2021 Chevrolet Suburban all scored between 7.7/10 and 7.9/10.
The Armada comes with a lot of cargo space. With the third-row seats up, you get 16.5 cubic feet; with the third-row seats folded down, you get 49.9 cubic feet; with the third and second-row seats folded, you get 95.4 cubic feet. But, you should keep in mind that a few class competitors provide more.
Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard across all trims, but you at least have the option to add four-wheel drive (FWD) to every trim as well. And don’t expect any love at the pump, getting only 13 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway. You may as well be driving an M117 Guardian around.
The Armada’s interior is nice but outranked by several competitors
A full review of the 2021 Nissan Armada published by U.S. News states that it “isn’t the most modern SUV in the class.” However, the author wrote that its interior is still attractive and offers plenty of premium materials. For those who have ever driven an Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury vehicle division, they might find the quality of the materials as nearly as good. While all three rows are fairly comfortable, the first and second rows are more suitable for adults.
Second-row bench seats come standard while second-row captain’s chairs are optional. Since a small center console replaces the second-row-middle seat, the latter option decreases seating capacity to seven people.
Other standards include a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and synthetic leather upholstery. The driver and front passenger enjoy comfortable captain’s seats while enjoying exceptional visibility.
If you only need seating capacity for seven passengers, the optional second-row captain’s chairs are the finest seats in the 2021 Nissan Armada. If you’re willing to spend the extra money, you can get genuine leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, reclining second-row seats, and heated second-row seats.
While adults can still ride in the third-row seats without feeling too confined, the Armada’s third-row isn’t as spacious as in several rivals. Some examples include the 2021 Ford Expedition and the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe.
A brief overview of the 2021 Nissan Armada’s trims and pricing
The 2021 Nissan Armada comes in only four trims: SV, SL (starting MSRP $56,300), Platinum (starting MSRP $65,300), and Midnight Edition (starting MSRP $58,290). If you’re seeking variation, the Armada is definitely not the way to go. Each model is powered by a 5.6-liter 32-valve V8 engine that produces 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
With a starting MSRP of $52,900, the Armada SV 2WD (two-wheel drive) is the base trim. For an additional $2,500, you can add the “SV Appearance Package” for “A Little Something Extra,” per the Nissan website. That “little something extra” includes 20-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels, “practical and effective” fog lights, and the power liftgate that can be opened using the Nissan Intelligent Key or by lightly pulling its handle.
As stated by Car and Driver, “It gets a new infotainment system this year, addressing a major shortcoming in previous models. However, this SUV still lacks the all-around quality you get with a few other large SUVs because of its poor gas mileage and uninspiring handling and ride. That’s why it finishes near the bottom of our class rankings.”