If you’ve got a big family, then you need an SUV that can keep up with anything life throws at you. Large SUVs like the 2020 Nissan Armada fit the bill, as these models offer unrivaled space and power.
However, the full-size SUV segment is a bit of an odd one. These models come at a high price, costing more than many luxury cars. Plus, these large vehicles aren’t known for getting good gas mileage, either.
The Armada isn’t as respected as its rivals, such as the Ford Expedition. However, many shoppers may still consider buying one since it has one of the lowest starting prices in its class at $47,500.
The major problem with the 2020 Nissan Armada is that it doesn’t lessen the common issues that large SUVs face. Instead, it just looks like an outdated model in a class ripe with better choices.
Where exactly did Nissan go wrong with the Armada, and is it still worthy of consideration? Let’s take an in-depth look at this three-row SUV.
An interior that’s not all it’s cracked up to be
Taking a test drive in a 2020 Nissan Armada is a deceiving endeavor. Shoppers will likely be swayed by all the standard features it has to offer. For instance, it comes with heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a navigation system.
The Armada doesn’t sound like a bad deal, especially considering that it costs $1,495 less than a base 2021 Ford Expedition. However, the 2020 Nissan Armada’s plush interior isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Car shoppers tend to buy a new vehicle for its upgrades. However, these drivers won’t be getting anything new with the Armada’s ancient infotainment system. Car and Driver’s review of the 2020 Nissan Armada called this system “obsolete” and noted slow response times. To make matters worse, it doesn’t even support Apple Carplay or Android Auto.
Additionally, Nissan’s large SUV lags behind many of its competitors in cargo space. For example, the Expedition has an extra nine cubic feet of max cargo capacity and more than four additional cubic feet behind the third row.
Making use of the 2021 Nissan Armada’s cargo space can be quite frustrating as well. Car and Driver noted how the SUV’s available power-folding third row is extremely slow to lower.
The 2020 Nissan Armada delivers lackluster performance
You’re never going to save at the pump by driving a large SUV. However, other manufacturers have improved the gas mileage of their bulkier vehicles. The 2021 Chevy Tahoe leads the class with its available 3.0-liter turbo-diesel six-cylinder engine, which gets an EPA-estimated 24 MPG city/highway combined.
The 2020 Nissan Armada doesn’t come close to the segment leaders. Its standard 5.6-liter V8 engine is potent, generating 390 hp and having a max towing capacity of 8,500 pounds. However, its fuel efficiency is abysmal. It achieves an EPA rating of just 16 MPG combined, and it drops by one MPG when equipped with a four-wheel-drive system.
Fuel economy isn’t the only drawback to the 2020 Armada. Industry experts such as Consumer Reports have also noted its poor ride quality. This large SUV can be tough to handle, and passengers may feel a side-to-side rocking motion.
The publication’s review stated, “No one expects sporty handling from large SUVs, but even in the realm of such giants, the Armada’s cornering feels downright clumsy.”
There are better options on the market
Don’t get sucked in by the 2020 Nissan Armada’s low starting price. Shoppers have much better options to choose from, even within the Nissan brand. The automaker is releasing a refreshed Armada for the 2021 model year, which will bring about many improvements.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Ford Expedition is still the class-leader and the best value for the money. Drivers would do well to consider one of these options before committing to an inferior vehicle.