2018 Nissan Armada Review

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality interior is appealing
  • Smooth V8 engine delivers ample power for towing and hauling
  • Rides more comfortably, less trucklike, than some rival SUVs
  • No getting around the V8's poor fuel economy
  • Infotainment system is dated
  • Third-row seating isn't as spacious as some rivals
List Price Range
$23,747 - $43,995

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Which Armada does Edmunds recommend?

If you need visual entertainment for young rear-seat passengers or just really want cooled seats for swampy afternoons, the Platinum trim makes sense. Otherwise, opt for the midgrade SL trim and add the optional Premium package of driver assistance features. That combination delivers nearly all of the Platinum's coveted features for less money

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Surprisingly luxurious and easy to drive, the 2018 Nissan Armada offers ample power, room and utility. With three rows of seats, robust towing limits and sophisticated four-wheel-drive capability, the Armada capably handles both the daily grind and the road less traveled.

Some of the Armada's special sauce comes from the Armada sharing its bones with the upmarket Infiniti QX80. It's the same SUV from Nissan's luxury division. There are some differences between the two models, and certainly the Armada lacks the Infiniti's more refined details, but overall the design and fit-and-finish rises above those of a standard SUV.

There's also plenty of room to highlight all that interior goodness. The Armada's total cabin space is larger than many of its competitors, and offers 16 cubic feet of luggage space behind its upright third row. Folding all rows opens up nearly 95 cubic feet of cargo space, which is better than average — less space than a Ford Expedition, but more than a Chevrolet Tahoe. The Armada also brakes, steers and handles with surprising coordination, and the 5.6-liter V8 engine delivers hearty acceleration.

There are a few drawbacks to the Armada. Fuel economy is poor even for a big SUV, the third-row isn't that roomy (for adults at least), and the infotainment interface is dated. But as an overall package that can tackle outdoor pursuits or the suburban mean streets with equal aplomb, the 2018 Nissan Armada is a heavyweight.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Nissan Armada as one of Edmunds' Best Family SUVs for this year.

2018 Nissan Armada models

The 2018 Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV that seats eight passengers. Second-row captain's chairs are available on the top Platinum trim and reduce seating to seven. All Armada trims use a 5.6-liter V8 engine (390 horsepower, 394 pound-feet of torque) paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional. The Armada's trim levels start at the SV, move up to the midgrade SL, and finish with the nearly fully loaded Platinum.

The standard SV trim starts with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, roof rails, side steps, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a reclining second-row bench split seat and a 60/40-split third-row seat.

Tech features include Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system, an 8-inch touchscreen display, and a 13-speaker Bose audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, two USB media inputs and two USB charge-only ports.

The optional Driver package adds a power liftgate, foglights, a power-adjustable third-row seat, an auto-dimming mirror and a trailering package.

The SL trim level includes the Driver package items plus 20-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers, remote engine start, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-preferences memory, leather upholstery, leather door trim, a 120-volt power outlet, and an enhanced 360-degree top-down parking camera with moving-object detection and warning.

The SL's optional Premium package adds a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, forward and rearward emergency automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The range-topping Platinum adds the SL's optional equipment along with different 20-inch wheels, speed-sensitive steering (requires less effort at slow speeds), heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat entertainment system and an upgraded rearview mirror than can display a constant video feed from the rearview camera.

Two packages are available for the Armada Platinum. The Captain's Chairs package replaces the second-row bench seats with two bucket seats and a center console with a padded armrest, and the Platinum Reserve package adds special exterior trim and two-tone leather upholstery.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum (5.6L V8 | 7-speed automatic | 4WD).

Driving

Sure, it's big, but the Armada certainly doesn't drive that way. It accelerates smartly, brakes with reassuring confidence, and feels composed and willing on mountain roads. Our biggest beef revolves around the steering, which lacks a defined sense of "straight-ahead" when cruising straight.

Acceleration

To look at it, you'd think the big Armada's engine has its work cut out for it. But the direct-injected V8 is more than up to the task. Acceleration is brisk, it never feels very sluggish, and it is easy to execute passing maneuvers. Ours accelerated to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds at our test track.

Braking

It's hard to find fault with the Armada's brakes. The pedal feels smooth and reassuring underfoot, and the brakes deliver their stopping power in a measured and predictable way. And they are indeed quite powerful, as evidenced by our 115-foot result in our 60-mph panic-stop test.

Steering

It imparts a poor sense of straight-ahead stability because the steering wheel feels numb and detached when making small corrections. The wheel doesn't return to center readily. And it feels huge when making U-turns — it needs a lot of room.

Handling

The Armada's cornering behavior is composed and reassuring. There's a decent amount of grip, and body lean is moderate and well-regulated. It drives through turns more smoothly than you'd expect of something that weighs nearly 3 tons.

Drivability

It's easy to be smooth in an Armada. The throttle pedal calibration is in the Goldilocks zone — neither too reluctant nor too eager. And the Armada's automatic transmission executes smooth and crisp shifts. Fuel economy programming can make it reluctant to downshift if you're too easy on the throttle.

Off-road

The Armada isn't ideally suited for severe off-road use. It is physically massive, body clearance isn't abundant, and its suspension lacks the necessary articulation. It also does not have the multiterrain traction control system found on the closely related Infiniti QX80.

Comfort

Our Armada proved to be quite comfortable for the long haul. It gives away almost nothing to its pricier cousin, the Infiniti QX80, but it manages to ride smoother on the road because it wears a more sensible (and absorbent) 20-inch tire and wheel combination.

Seat comfort

The supportive front and middle row seats are nicely sculpted with generous padding. The heated and cooled front seats work like gangbusters, but the setting is hard to interpret at a glance, especially at night. Middle-row seats have two-stage heaters. Flattish third row is still above average.

Ride comfort

The Armada rides quite smoothly, and its suspension is well-calibrated to resist float, heave and other boatlike motions. It handles bumps and potholes well too, much better than the last Infiniti QX80 we drove. It helps that this Armada has 20-inch wheels instead of the 22s found on the Infiniti.

Noise & vibration

Shhh. Do you hear that? Neither do I. It's really quiet in here. The cabin feels tight, and very little wind, road or engine noise makes it inside. Sure, the engine makes itself heard when you floor it, but it's a pleasantly powerful sound that fades into the background when you back off and cruise.

Climate control

We find it easy to set and maintain a comfortable temperature, and even though they look a little dated, the main climate controls are easy to figure out and use.

Interior

Despite its tall entry height and button-rich control layout, the Armada's interior is attractive and accommodating. The cabin is very roomy, the interior fit-and-finish is well worth the price, and the driver enjoys a commanding view of the road.

Ease of use

The switchgear is clearly marked and nicely separated by function, but there sure are a lot of buttons to master. And though the central control dial is a nice idea, it and its surrounding button array are a long reach away from the driver in this admittedly cavernous cabin.

Getting in/getting out

The doors open wide and there are grab handles for all, but there's no getting around the sheer height of this body-on-frame SUV, which has a higher step-up height than its competitors. The third-row entry tumble mechanism is nice enough, but it's still a job getting back there.

Driving position

A good amount of seat height adjustment makes it easy for most to settle in and reach the pedals, and the telescoping wheel has a fairly generous range of adjustment.

Roominess

No problem in this category. The first two rows provide generous head- and legroom, and even the third row is suitable for adults of average height. The cabin feels wide, too, with a decent amount of door clearance and wide center consoles that help preserve personal space.

Visibility

The windows are generous and the beltline isn't too high. The angled rear pillar gives the driver a bit of blind-spot relief, too. But the thing we like most is the available 360-degree camera system, which makes easy work of parking and backing up.

Quality

This is where the Armada looks and feels a cut above the competition, particularly at the Platinum level. The materials look and feel quite sumptuous, and in many ways are nearly indistinguishable from the Infiniti QX80.

Utility

There's a lot of cargo space, and the Armada is rated to tow a fair amount. The main thing holding it back from a higher score is the sheer height of the load floor and the long inward reach that results from the somewhat protuberant rear bumper.

Small-item storage

There's no lack of storage up front, where the glovebox, center console and door pockets are all good-size. And rear passengers have access to seatback pockets, decent-sized door pockets and a large center console. The rest is a collection of flat surfaces; there are no phone-specific nooks.

Cargo space

The Armada offers tons of cargo space, and the easy third-row seat folding mechanism exposes a flat load floor. But the middle-row center armrest sticks up like an island, the liftover height is among the tallest, and you must reach in deep because the rear bumper juts out quite far.

Child safety seat accommodation

The large middle row works well with seats of all types, even bulky rear-facing ones. LATCH anchors are obvious and only slightly buried in the cushions. But you'll have to lift infants up into this tall SUV, and it can be hard for adults to get into the third row if seat-belt help is needed.

Towing

5.0
The Armada is rated to tow 8,500 pounds, which is stout for this class. Standard rear air suspension is there for load-leveling, and the Armada comes prewired for four-pin trailer lighting and has a seven-pin socket that'll support trailer braking if you add an aftermarket trailer brake controller.

Technology

Our loaded Armada Platinum test vehicle came standard with tech that looks good on paper. But the reality is these systems feel nearly a decade old because the 2018 Armada is essentially the same as the 2011 Infiniti QX56. A lot has changed since then, but the Armada seems like a time capsule.

Audio & navigation

The 13-speaker Bose premium audio system sounds amazingly good, but the screen resolution and the control interface look and feel somewhat old. It's built around a central control knob, which might be OK if it wasn't such a long reach from the driver (and the front passenger) in this big cabin.

Smartphone integration

It has Bluetooth audio and a single USB port input that talks to iPhones, but it's hard to navigate through playlists and episodic content such as podcasts. In this respect, it's a shame the new Armada lacks modern smartphone features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Driver aids

It has the same lane departure and forward collision warning systems we first saw when the 2011 Infiniti QX56 (renamed QX80) was introduced. We thought these features were too sensitive then, and we still find ourselves reaching for the off button today. Adaptive cruise works quite smoothly.

Voice control

You need to adapt to a fairly strict and defined lexicon to work the voice controls in the Armada. And the system does not support push-and-hold access to Siri via a paired smartphone either.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Nissan Armada.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I love this vehicle!
Lisa,04/28/2018
SL 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 7A)
I/we have owned several nice SUV's including a '12 Ford Expedition, '14 Cadillac Escalade, '14 M-B ML550, '15 Explorer Sport as well as a Limited (also a '15) We trade cars frequently obviously and this is a tie for me with the ML550 (which by the way, used MORE gas and only 93 octane.) I love the power the Armada has and I really love the look of the interior. I was shopping the '18 Expedition and '18 Tahoe LTZ (What a boring interior for those dollars!) I previously owned a 2011 Tahoe and didn't care for it but was considering it anyway. What really sold me on the Armada is the torque and horsepower along with the outside restyling and posh looking interior. The 0-60 time on this vehicle is faster than most cars! It makes me feel as if the people who purchased the Infinity for 10K more kind of over-paid since it is essentially the same vehicle with a few more tech and luxury changes that I can live without. Additionally, it drives like it is smaller than it is. I have only had mine for 3 weeks and haven't had any problems. I am just over the initial break-in period (per the manual) of 1200 miles and I am averaging 16.3 mpg. Believe me, I am not a slow driver but by the same token I am not stomping the gas to leave every stop light; but I want to! The sound it makes! Sigh. Nissan makes a lot of these vehicles and like all makes, there are going to be "lemons" produced and someone is going to get them. As far as I'm concerned though, overall the Armada is a fantastic buy for a large SUV.
Class of the fleet
Swfl electrician,10/07/2018
SV 4dr SUV (5.6L 8cyl 7A)
I have owned several full size SUVs mostly suburbans and Yukon’s but had an 08 pathfinder that was the best vehicle I’ve ever owned and a RT Durango that was a blast to drive when it wasn’t in the repair shop. I’ve always been a Chevy guy but after the pathfinder a 2500 NV van and now this armada Nissans got me. They build the best highest quality vehicles at an affordable price hands down. They’re not the best looking or best equipped but when it comes to quality and reliability they’ve got the domestic brands beat by a long shot. The armada is a luxury SUV at an affordable price and is a delight to drive plenty of power and like most Nissans feels like a much smaller vehicle when you’re behind the wheel. If nissan would only make an XD version with that Cummins in it my prayers would b answered.
Exceeding My Expectations
Sam,11/04/2018
SL 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 7A)
My wife and I buy new cars every 3 years and are not loyal to any brand, having had Auidis, Lexus’s, Acura’s and more. Prior to this vehicle I had 2 Auidi Q7’s and liked them. My criteria changed when searching for a new vehicle this time. I wanted lots of cargo space, great snow driving performance, class 2 hitch, luxurious interior and descent handling. After trying almost everything, I selected this vehicle. The only one I like more was the Lexus LX, but that’s $100k. The Armada has exceeded my expectations in every category. It’s extremely well appointed interior is as good as my Audi’s, cargo space very generous, snow performance awesome and it handles well for a huge vehicle. Many complain about the MPG, but I’m getting 18 on average for mixed conditions which matched my Auidis. However, I’m spending less on gas because it uses Regular vs Premium gas. Highly recommend this vehicle. For the price, nothing comes close.
Infiniti at 10K less - give or take
Michael Hawxhurst,01/15/2019
Platinum 4dr SUV (5.6L 8cyl 7A)
My Take after 2,000 miles on the 2018 Armada Platinum. As a note, this is more a comparison of the QX56 - 2012 model than as a new SUV owner of the brand family. We currently have the QX and the Armada, and I can actively drive each in turn for immediate comparisons. Interior: Both Vehicles have similar interiors if looking casually. The layouts are nearly identical, with usually just button or feature placement changes for the console. The difference is found primarily in the materials used. The QX has much more luxurious feeling and looking materials for the doors, seats, dash and floor areas. In my experience so far the seat comfort is the largest let down on the Armada. It's tough to drive more than an hour or so, without having to fidget and squirm every five minutes due to rear end sleep syndrome. With the QX, even at 7 years old, I can drive 8 hours comfortably. The ride is very similar on the Armada as compared to the Infiniti with one exception. Road noise. Under 50 MPH, they are nearly identical. Get to HWY speeds and wind and road noise become substantial on the Nissan. I did some phone DB comparisons. Same day, same app. 65MPH. QX56 (7 years old mind you) had a noise db rating of 74 on average. The 2018 Armada in the prime of it's life had a rating of 78 at the same speed on the same road. Up at 75MPH it becomes a wider gap. I like a quiet car on the interstate. The Armada is simply not that. Overall, great SUV considering, however it has two primary flaws in my opinion as compared to the QX. Seating comfort and Driving Noise. I'm hoping that the seats break in, and that additional noise insulation (aftermarket install) will do the trick..... I would not purchase this model again as an Armada.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2018 Nissan Armada features & specs 

Safety

Our experts like the Armada models:

Blind-Spot Monitoring
The Armada's size and width make for reduced side and rear visibility. This feature helps compensate. Standard on Platinum, optional on SL.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Front radar monitors proximity to the vehicle ahead. In an imminent collision, the Armada can apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate impact.
Around-View Monitor
Four cameras display a 360-degree bird's-eye image of the car. Selectable curbside view works great for parking. Standard on SL, Platinum.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover23.6%

More about the 2018 Nissan Armada

Used 2018 Nissan Armada Overview

The Used 2018 Nissan Armada is offered in the following submodels: Armada SUV. Available styles include Platinum 4dr SUV (5.6L 8cyl 7A), Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 7A), SL 4dr SUV (5.6L 8cyl 7A), SL 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 7A), SV 4dr SUV (5.6L 8cyl 7A), and SV 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 7A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Nissan Armada?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Nissan Armada trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Nissan Armada SL is priced between $31,577 and$34,800 with odometer readings between 31097 and63851 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Nissan Armada SV is priced between $23,747 and$28,856 with odometer readings between 40736 and92788 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum is priced between $43,995 and$43,995 with odometer readings between 24891 and24891 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 Nissan Armadas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Nissan Armada for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2018 Armadas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $23,747 and mileage as low as 24891 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Nissan Armada.

Can't find a used 2018 Nissan Armadas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Armada for sale - 5 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $16,604.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 5 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $23,140.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Armada for sale - 8 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,273.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 4 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $18,495.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Nissan Armada?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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