When the designers at Nissan were tasked with coming up with a full-size SUV that could seat up to eight passengers, they knew they had a monumental task on their hands. Nissan had been successful with the midsize Pathfinder, but it wanted to build on this accomplishment and create an even larger model that would offer enhanced seating and storage space. The result was the Pathfinder Armada, which was first shown in the spring of 2003 as a prototype. When the public and press responded with enthusiasm, Nissan went back, made a few tweaks, and launched the full-size SUV in 2004.
The Pathfinder Armada proved a bigger hit and more successful than the Spanish Armada, which lent the vehicle its name. In fact, it was so successful that Nissan separated it from the Pathfinder and renamed it simply the Armada after just one year on the market. Today, the Armada is in the midst of its second generation. If you are looking for a Nissan Armada for sale, you are sure to find plenty of new and used models to choose from. No matter what you opt for, you are getting a full-size SUV that can seat up to eight passengers comfortably while providing the powerful performance you would expect from a four-wheel drive vehicle with a big V8 engine.
The First Wave of the Nissan Armada
The 2004 Armada hit the streets here in Canada like a powerful wave hitting a beach. This was the full-size SUV that Canadian drivers had been waiting for. It combined roominess with performance like no other model in its class. This is probably due to the fact that Nissan built the Armada on the platform of its full-size Titan truck. This delivered serious strength and ruggedness not seen in many other SUVs.
No matter which trim you choose, you get a powerful 5.6-litre V6 paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. These first-generation models can deliver up to 305 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. This gives the first-generation Nissan Armada the strength to tow up to 4,128 kg, so it is perfect if you are looking to tow an RV or boat for recreation purposes.
Nissan offered the Armada with rear-wheel drive for better fuel economy and four-wheel drive for incredible traction on and off the road. This has always been one of the selling points of the Armada. While so many other full-size SUVs make perfect road cruisers, they aren’t something you would take out on the trail. Not so with the Armada, which is built to handle such challenges.
The Armada also stood out from the field of three-row full-size SUVs when it came to interior comfort and technology. Nissan has always offered drivers the option of captain’s chairs in the second row. While this reduces total seating to seven, it makes the third-row seats more accessible to passengers. In addition, drivers can opt for leather seats in the Armada that are not only gorgeous to look at but comfortable as well.
As for technology, the first-generation Armada comes equipped with an AM/FM stereo with an MP3 and CD player. Nissan also offered options like a rear-seat DVD entertainment center, a Rearview monitor, an onboard navigation system, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a premium Bose audio system. These came as standard features on some of the top trim levels.
Armada’s First Mid-Generation Update
As often happens with a new model, when it proves popular, the automaker decides to reward its fan base by offering a refreshed version. This was definitely the case with the Armada. After this SUV took Canada by storm, Nissan decided to make a mid-generation update for the 2008 model year. The result was a more stylish Armada inside and out. The exterior was more aerodynamic without losing the premium yet rugged looks of the original Armada. As for the interior, it was even more comfortable than before, with the addition of many new features that impressed Canadian drivers.
Probably the most welcome upgrade to the 2008 Nissan Armada was the decision to include the Bose audio system as a standard feature on this three-row SUV. This makes the sound system something to rave about in your Armada, no matter which trim you choose. Sure, some of the top trims have an advanced Bose system with added speakers, but even the standard setup on the base Armada SE trim makes driving across Canada more enjoyable than ever.
Upgrades are available depending on the trim level you choose. For example, drivers who opt for an Armada LE trim or higher get a power-folding third-row seat. This makes using the Armada’s spacious trunk for cargo easier than ever. In addition, people who choose the available second-row DVD player are sure to notice that it includes a larger 20 cm screen.
The Second Wave of the Nissan Armada Delivers a Tsunami
There may have been 13 years between the two generations of the Nissan Armada, but as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. For one thing, the 2017 Armada changed its platform, dropping the Nissan Titan frame to share its foundation with the rugged Nissan Patrol full-size SUV. Although it never made its way to Canada, Nissan has been selling the Patrol abroad since the early 1950s. This proved to be a better fit for the Armada, as it made handling more nimble.
The second-generation Armada features an exterior that is equal parts aggressive and refined, while its interior continues to be spacious and luxurious. Nissan would also introduce numerous active driver-assist features as standard equipment on the 2017 Armada, like Predictive Forward Collision Warning and Backup Collision Intervention. Inside, the 2017 model added a standard 20 cm touchscreen infotainment system that includes navigation.
This upgraded infotainment helped the Armada stand out from many other full-size SUV models that only included a built-in navigation system on the upper trim levels. A 13-speaker Bose audio system is standard on the second-generation Armada, with SiriusXM satellite radio improving your entertainment choices. The 2021 Armada would increase the size of the touchscreen to a huge 31 cm and make wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on all trims of this SUV.
Despite the numerous changes, Nissan still took the same approach with the second-generation Armada as it did with the first. This meant a powerful V8 engine and four-wheel drive as standard features. As a result, drivers don’t have to pay extra to get the performance they desire in an Armada. The 2017 Armada features a 5.6-litre V8 engine with a seven-speed automatic transmission. This delivers 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, which is more than the output on the first-generation Armada model.
The 2023 Nissan Armada has the same powertrain as the 2017 model. However, Nissan has taken steps to boost output. This dual overhead camshaft engine has 32 valves feeding its eight cylinders, with direct fuel injection producing up to 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. As a result, the 2023 Nissan Armada can go from 0 to 100 km/h in around six seconds with a top speed of 210 km per hour. In addition, if you need to do some trailering, the 2023 Armada can tow up to 3,856 kg. This is an SUV that doesn’t forget the “utility” part of the name.
The Nissan Armada Has Taken Canada by Storm
If you are looking for a three-row full-size SUV, you have plenty of choices. It was necessary for Nissan to figure out how to make its model stand out in a crowded field. It did this by combining a spacious interior, luxury features, superior performance, and technological innovation. The Nissan Armada gives you an interior space that looks like it can fit a fleet of Spanish galleons, with luxury details you’d expect in a more expensive full-size SUV. It has the speed and acceleration to get you around town, with the power to tow large trailers.
In addition, if you want to go off-roading, you can choose a Nissan Armada with four-wheel drive that is rugged enough to handle some of Canada’s toughest trails. As for technology, Nissan has always been on the cutting edge of infotainment, connectivity, and safety features. This tech-forward approach has helped set the Armada ahead of other vehicles in the full-size SUV market. This is truly a powerful combination that makes the Nissan Armada worthy of its name.