A white 2022 Nissan Armada is shown driving in a rainstorm.

Past to Present: The Road to the 2022 Nissan Armada

The 2022 Nissan Armada isn’t considered a luxury SUV, but no one has dared to tell the Armada that. Keep your lips sealed. Why? Because the Armada is a rare gem in the segment that proves a full-size SUV can be luxurious and affordable, opulent and practical, functional and stylish. For Nissan drivers, the 2022 Armada’s opulence doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Since its debut in 2004, the Armada has raised the standards of the segment in terms of power, performance, and standard features. As Nissan promised with the 2004 Armada’s debut, “It’s more than just a passive carrier for passengers and their cargo… Armada is a vehicle that allows–and inspires–larger-than-life moments.”

The 2022 Armada continues that legacy and sets the stage for modern-day adventures, larger-than-life moments, and priceless memories. To better appreciate everything the newest Armada has to offer means looking back to that first adventure-ready rig that essentially declared war against best-selling models like the Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition, and Chevy Tahoe. Today, that war continues as the 2022 Armada raises the standards of the segment.

Power and Performance

The new millennium marked the rise of the crossover, a lightweight SUV built on a car platform and designed to deliver the comfort and efficiency of a sedan with the spaciousness and higher driving position of an SUV. In 2004, crossovers were growing in popularity, but Nissan looked elsewhere and sought to shake up the market with a full-size SUV known as the Armada. “Nissan says it had to establish a strong macho image to convince traditional truck buyers that both vehicles (Armada and Titan) are in fact trucks and not converted cars,” Car and Driver reported in 2004.

Built on the Titan truck frame, the 2004 Armada was designed as a road warrior with the heart of a workhorse. Nissan promised it was the most powerful SUV to ever join the Nissan lineup. Fortunately, the Armada lived up to that promise.

The 2004 Armada came equipped with Nissan’s all-new 5.6-liter Endurance V8 engine to deliver one of the highest horsepower and torque ratings in the segment at 305 horses and 385 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, the Armada also offered a best-in-class tow rating of 9,100 pounds. Its available four-wheel drive systems and standard features like anti-lock brakes, double-wishbone front suspension, and independent double-wishbone rear suspension defined the Armada’s exceptional handling and capability, allowing it to live up to Nissan’s promise to deliver larger-than-life moments at every turn.

A white 2022 Nissan Armada is shown from the front driving on a forest road.

The Armada Has Changed Quite a Bit Since 2004

The 2004 Armada set the stage for a new generation of full-size SUVs. For 2022, Nissan builds on the Armada’s legacy by offering more power and better performance than ever with its rugged body-on-frame construction and independent, double-wishbone front and rear suspensions that explain the Armada’s exceptional handling, durability, and versatility. Surprisingly, Nissan’s 5.6-liter Endurance V8 keeps its place under the hood after all these years but has seen numerous updates to deliver best-in-class standard 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque.

The 5-speed automatic transmission has been long gone from the Armada and is replaced by an advanced 7-speed automatic transmission. The transmission features Adaptive Shift Control with Downshift Rev Matching, both of which balance efficiency and performance. The integrated Trailer Brake Controller and innovative tech like Trailer Sway Control give you more confidence when making use of the Armada’s 8,500-pound tow rating.

Safety Features

Offering three rows of seating and ample cargo space, Nissan designed the Armada with families in mind. Think about your priorities in a vehicle and where safety falls on your list of must-haves. For many, safety is a top priority, and that’s why Nissan equipped the 2004 Armada with an extensive suite of standard and available safety tools.

The 2004 Armada, which offered Zone Body construction with front and rear crush zones, was innovative for its time because it came standard with Nissan’s Advanced AirBag System, three-point seatbelts, and a LATCH child seat anchor system. The airbag system included dual-stage front supplemental airbags with seat belt sensors and supplemental curtain airbags across all three rows for side-impact and rollover incidents. Nissan gave you the option to add side-impact supplemental airbags for added protection.

The Armada’s safety features look a little different for 2022 and show just how far the industry has advanced in terms of safety and driver-assist technology. The 2022 Armada continues to offer advanced airbags, three-point seatbelts, and the LATCH child seat anchor system. However, it extends your safety even further with the Nissan Safety Shield 360 and a variety of enhanced tools that are designed to extend your visibility and minimize the potential for collision.

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite comes standard on every Armada and includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection that can bring the SUV to an emergency stop if a collision is imminent. The Blind Spot Warning aids in changing lanes, and Lane Departure Warning alerts you when the SUV drifts out of its designated lane. The suite also includes High Beam Assist that automatically brightens and dims the high beam headlights. Finally, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Automatic Braking minimize the risk for rear-end collisions by alerting you to traffic or bringing the SUV to a stop when a rear collision is unavoidable.

The 2022 Armada also comes standard with a long list of enhanced tools like Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention, RearView Monitor, and Intelligent Driver Alertness. The traditional cruise control found on the 2004 Armada is replaced with Intelligent Cruise Control that actively monitors the flow of traffic and adjusts the Armada’s cruising speed as needed. Tools like Intelligent Driver Alertness alert you to driver fatigue, while the RearView Monitor gives you a wider, unobstructed view behind the SUV.

Just when you thought the 2022 Armada couldn’t offer any more in terms of safety tech, Nissan once again raises the bar. Top-tier trims like the Platinum come equipped with class-exclusive Intelligent Backup Collision Intervention, an Intelligent Around View Monitor, and Traffic Sign Recognition. This is how the 2022 Armada offers the most tech and safety features in the segment.

The black and brown interior of a 2022 Nissan Armada shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

A Gift From the Past to the Present

Nissan gifted American drivers with an SUV that meant they no longer had to settle for less because they had to choose between luxury and affordability, functionality and sophistication. The 2004 Armada instantly distinguished itself as a full-size SUV built on the Titan platform and offering the same warrior-like heartbeat and impressive capability. The Armada wasn’t a crossover, and it never intended to be; that remains true today.

The 2004 Armada ignited fierce competition against automakers like Chevy and Ford as they rushed to improve best-selling models like the Suburban, Tahoe, and Expedition. This competition has only made the Armada better as competition fuels innovation across the industry. This is apparent in the 2022 Armada that offers the most standard horsepower, tech, and safety features in its class. This extends from the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety and driver-assist tools to the Armada’s largest-in-class 12.3-inch color touchscreen display.

What’s even more remarkable is that the 2022 Armada builds on Nissan’s early promise. In 2004, Nissan promised to deliver an SUV that was not only ready for adventure but would also inspire larger-than-life moments both on and off the pavement. Today, that promise continues in the 2022 Armada that’s affordable, luxurious, wildly capable, and ready for whatever adventure you have in mind.