Powerful 2023 Nissan Armada will appeal to large-SUV fans  Featured

Posted On Tuesday, 12 December 2023 17:52 Written by
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The 2023 Nissan Armada is the brand's largest SUV offering. The 2023 Nissan Armada is the brand's largest SUV offering. Photo courtesy of Nissan


In times of change, some people like options that allow them to keep it the way it’s always been.
Forget EVs. They want a V8 under the hood.

In the automotive world, that is nowhere more true than when we talk about the few remaining holdouts offering truck-based, body-on-frame large SUVs toting powerful V8 engines.

Nissan’s Armada fits right into this category, and while it may seem to some folks like a relic in today’s world, vehicles like the Armada still have their places for fans of the big and bold. 

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2023 Armada; read on to learn more about the vehicle and who might want to pick one up.


The 2023 Nissan Armada is a massive vehicle with a rugged exterior design. It’s a tanklike design with a bold front grille and over 9-inch ground clearance. Running boards help with access to the vehicle for shorter folks.

My Platinum test vehicle featured 22-inch machine-faced wheels, while 18-inch wheels come with the base model. The Armada features LED headlamps, power sliding moonroof, power liftgate, and chrome power-folding heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. You can also add optional cross bars on top of the Armada.

With several of the Armada’s large-SUV competitors having a fresher face, it’s due for a more modern redesign. And that’s expected to come with the 2025 model. But the current model is still respectable if you can’t wait that long.

Moving inside the 2023 Armada, it features a versatile interior design that can host up to 8 passengers. That number drops to 7 passengers if the second row Captain’s Chairs are selected by the buyer, and those who choose this option will make their second-row passengers very happy.

Both setups offer roomy conditions for passengers in all three rows. You get easy access to the third row by simply flipping forward the middle seat, and you can lower the back seats with power buttons in the rear. The Armada also offers near luxury-level leather and design features such as wood trim throughout the vehicle, and that makes it the classiest offering from Nissan, flirting with the materials you would find in its luxury Infiniti lineup. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-wrapped shift knob are also featured.

Legroom is ample in the Armada, and cargo space is also quite impressive. Depending on your setup, it’s as low as 16.5 cubic feet (with all seats upright), and as high as 95.4 cubic feet (with both rear rows down).

Both the rear rows fold in a 60/40 split, increasing the number of cargo storage setups available and increasing flexibility. Beyond power, this level of flexibility is another big draw to the Armada.


In a time where small engines and less power is often the trend, the Armada is holding its ground. Specifically, the Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 delivering a healthy dose of 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque.

This power plant is standard across all trim levels, and is paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, but all trims can be upgraded to 4-Wheel-Drive (4WD) capability. The Armada also features Hill Start Assist, Trailer Brake Controller and Trailer Sway Control.

The Armada drives very much like a truck, meaning not gracefully. You're moving a lot of weight so it takes a bit longer to respond vs. smaller, more agile vehicles.

But the upside is that you’ll feel that V8 power, its 0-to-60 time is impressive at close to 6 seconds, and once it gets going this vehicle can haul, and the ride remains very smooth and quiet inside.

I would warn drivers of the Armada (or any large SUV) to beware tight spaces that may be hard to navigate or escape due to the Armada’s large size.

If towing is your thing, the Armada will not disappoint, offering the ability to pull up to 8,500 pounds.

All in all, the Armada comes across as a strong, reliable and powerful SUV that gives off big truck vibes.


The 2023 Nissan Armada features a strongly designed NissanConnect infotainment setup, centered around a massive 12.3-inch color touchscreen display with well-placed controls.

It’s less fancy and offers more dated visuals than rivals, but gets the job done without issue.

Touch controls are easy to master, voice controls are responsive. And rear seat entertainment is available in the Platinum trim level by plugging phones or other devices in via HDMI or USB, or wirelessly connecting to 8-inch second-row screens.

There is a wireless phone charger up front, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity come standard.

Nissan’s navigation system worked effectively for me and took input well, and you can stream music and phone calls to the vehicle via Bluetooth. There are also trial subscriptions to satellite radio and to NissanConnect Services (remote lock/unlock, warm up the car, etc., via phone app).

A 13-speaker BOSE audio system on both SL and Platinum trims delivers impressive sound, and USB ports can be found throughout the vehicle, along with several 12-volt power outlets.

There are also a ton of helpful safety features on the Armada.

The Intelligent Around View Monitor provides multiple camera angles to help you back out carefully in tight situations. And Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 includes features such as Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Automatic Braking, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Other safety features include: Forward Collision Warning,,Blind Spot Intervention and Backup Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control (to maintain distance behind vehicles in front of you), Traffic Sign Recognition, and a Driver Attention Alert that pops up if the driver appears drowsy.


As anyone who has shopped in this segment knows, you aren’t coming to the biggest SUVs with a goal of great fuel mileage. That’s a pipe dream.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise my test vehicle with 4WD featured numbers of 13 mpg in the city, 18 on the highway and 15 combined. Going with the RWD version bumps those numbers up to 14/19/15.

There’s a lot of benefits of V8 power, but it also has its detriments, and this is the main one. You’re going to be spending more on gas. No way around it.

Results from real world testing were actually pretty good considering the numbers, coming in at 17.4 mpg.

And compared with the remaining extra large SUVs for sale (from GM, Ford, Toyota and Jeep), those numbers are not too bad. At best, you might gain a mile or two per gallon from a competitor, which really won’t save you much in the long run.

This is one area where you just have to suck it up. While the Armada isn’t great on fuel mileage, neither are its rivals (unless you’re willing to drop down to a turbo V6 or diesel engine option like some rivals have).


The Armada’s base model starts around $52K, and the top Platinum trim level starts around $69K. With options, my Platinum test vehicle came to a total of $72,925. Trim levels offered include S, SV, SL and Platinum.

These numbers are favorable compared to all rivals, including the Tahoe, Yukon and Suburban from GM’s lineups, Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia and Jeep’s Grand Wagoneer. The Tahoe is closest to the Armada and is still about $5K more expensive.And most of them start at $60K or more and can reach into the high 80K or even 90K range at the top trim levels.

While some rival SUVs in this category may be more modern and have better features than the Armada, you’ll have to determine how much modernity you’re willing to pay for.

For those who like the Armada but don’t want to splurge on the Platinum trim, the SL trim also offers respectable options.

Regarding warranty coverage, Nissan offers a limited warranty for 3 years or 36K miles and powertrain coverage for 5 years or 60K miles. They do not include any complimentary maintenance.


A bit of a throwback, the 2023 Nissan Armada is aimed at buyers seeking V8 power in a roomy, versatile and capable large SUV, but aren’t focused on fuel mileage and agility. And it also comes with a more affordable price compared to its rival large SUVs.

For those who aren’t yet buying into the push for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, the Armada remains a standout option.


AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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