Video: New 2021 Nissan Armada – A Surprising 4×4 Family-Hauler Bargain?

Nissan's flagship SUV gets an update!

2021 Nissan Armada Midnight Edition

The 2021 Nissan Armada has just debuted – and now it’s at the TFL Studios!

Fresh with lots of cosmetic updates, the 2021 Nissan Armada represents a unique opportunity for those seeking a real, full-size, three-row SUV. Known as the Nissan Patrol worldwide, the Armada still maintains the same running gear as the previous model. It comes with a 400 horsepower 5.6-liter V8 that makes 413 lbs-feet of torque. It is hooked up to a seven-speed automatic transmission and optional four-wheel drive.

This is the previous generation Nissan Armada, with illustrations indicating where changes took place. Images: Nissan

The main changes consist of all-new front and rear-end styling. From our perspective, it looks a lot more like a truck, and less like a modern Nissan Pathfinder. The chiseled, beefier looking actually help approach and departure angles by 0.1-degrees. It may not seem like much, but any increase is welcome.

As for the rest of the updates: it mainly internal with a new center stack that houses an optional 12.3″ infotainment screen. It’s one of the largest in the business, but it’s horizontally wide in its placement. It provides a much different perspective than the vertically long screens on many competitors. It looks good, as does the new center stack and revised supporting components.

It is beginning to look as good as an Infiniti QX80 internally.

Infiniti’s QX80 is a more luxurious version of the Armada – but they share a high percentage of components. It also starts at $67,000. Currently, the Nissan Armada starts at $47,500. While we don’t know the pricing of the 2021 model, Nissan says they will release an “S” model, which is their value-priced model. We suspect it will be around the same base price, if not slightly less.

Why is that a big deal? Think about who the Armada competes against in this category. I am omitting the painfully expensive Toyota Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser is a much higher end vehicle with a multitude of expensive off-road components. Other than that, the Nissan Armada directly competes against the Toyota Sequoia, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition.

Armada’s rugged yet refined exterior matches its capability – with a more squared and chiseled appearance from the A-pillars forward. The new front fenders, grille and bumper are framed by a new LED headlight design with more than 50 LEDs in each headlamp, helping create a wide, bright headlight pattern.

Here are those base prices (based on their website’s 2WD pricing):

  • 1. 2021 Ford Expedition – $52,810
  • 2. 2021 GMC Yukon – $50,700
  • 3. 2021 Toyota Sequoia – $50,100
  • 4. 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe – $49,000
  • 5. 2020 Nissan Armada – $47,500

*A 2020 Nissan Armada SV 4X4 with the tow package starts at $53,390.

Off-road, the older Nissan Armada is big, heavy and capable. Sure, its 2.94 rear axle-ratio isn’t optimum for towing (but, a maximum tow rating of 8,500-lbs isn’t too shabby) it works for smooth driving around town. Combined with the old-school four-wheel drive system, the Armada was one (missing) locking-rear diff away from excellent. Still, using the traction control/ABS system as a helper, the Armada is just as, if not more off-road worthy than the GM and Toyota competitors.

In the upcoming weeks, we intend to do a series of tests with the 2021 Nissan Armada. For now, here’s an introductory video!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.