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2018 Nissan Armada Platinum Test Drive Review

Bigger than the Nissan Pathfinder but smaller than a full-size Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition sits the 2018 Nissan Armada. This is the Pathfinder’s older brother, and it comes ready to tackle just about anything you can throw at it. It can seat up to eight passengers, and tow up to 8,500 pounds. Under the hood, it packs a 5.6-liter V-8 which pumps out almost 400 lb-ft of torque, so performance is pretty impressive for a full-size SUV that weighs almost 6,000 pounds.

For the full 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum review, specs, pricing and data read on…

 Nissan Armada

2018 Nissan Armada Platinum Exterior

If you think the Armada looks similar to the luxury based Infiniti QX80, you’d be right. You see they share the same platform along with most of the QX80’s mechanical underpinnings and some electronics. However where a QX80 equipped with similar features will run you over $83k, this 2018 Armada Platinum comes in at just over $63k, which, in our eyes, makes it one great bargain.

At first glance you’ll notice the Armada is big. Like really big. It rides on a 121.1-inch wheelbase, stands over six feet  tall and has an overall length that stretches in excess of 17’. Thus, it is in no way a subtle vehicle. Our Platinum Edition tester came covered in Brilliant Silver paint with dark gray wheel arches and running boards along with a large chrome grille and rugged looking lower fascia with auxiliary driving lights. Burly 20×8-inch machine-finished tinted aluminum-alloy wheels running 275/60-series all-season tires fill the wheel wells, while bits of black trim and chrome help to visually round out all of that sheet metal.

The sealed headlamps are a combination of HID projectors and LEDs and flow nicely into the front fenders. The doors themselves are large with chrome handles which means entering the cabin is a piece of cake, even with a step-in height of almost  two feet. A roof rack with a 100-pound load capacity sits up top while a rear mounted spoiler with integrated third brake light shadows the rear window. Clear LED taillights run from the body into the mechanized rear hatch, while a skid plate protects the rear bumper when the loading and unloading of heavy items occurs. Too maintain the Armada’s clean lines, Nissan also incorporated a body-colored cover to hide the factory mounted tow hitch in the lower rear bumper.

 Nissan Armada

2018 Nissan Armada Platinum Interior:

For a large SUV with a big exterior presence, the interior of the 2018 Armada Platinum is actually quite simplistic. The instrument cluster, for instance, includes a combination of large and small easy-to-read analog gauges with a small digital information screen set dead center. This setup gives drivers access to things like outside temperature, fuel economy and distance-to-empty (to name a few items). The console and center stack are beautifully trimmed in a combination of wood, double-stitched leather, soft touch plastics and brushed accents. The driver’s seat offers 10-way power adjustability (8-way for the passenger), has great support and will coddle you in comfort thanks to its vented and heated capabilities. Your passengers (all six of them) will be happy thanks to the Platinum Package, which offers dual 8-inch color monitors with remote and wireless headphones in the rear headrests. Second row seats are heated and recline as well.

Other amenities include a leather wrapped steering wheel with heat, an advanced climate control system, power 60/40 folding and reclining third row seats, and a power tailgate. There’s also Nissan Navigation, a total of five USB ports and a great sounding 13-speaker BOSE audio system. Cargo space is plentiful, with a total of 95.4 cubic feet behind the front seats, 49.9 cubic feet behind the second row and 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row.

 Nissan Armada

2018 Nissan Armada Platinum Performance

Power comes by way of a 5.6-liter V-8 with direct injection that produces 390-hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. Hit the starter, and you’re treated to a nice V-8 rumble, and when you push the go pedal, the noise only gets better. Shifts from the 7-speed auto were seamless with abrupt downshifts occurring when liberal throttle was applied.

What’s really interesting is that the Armada drives smaller than you’d think, and it’s actually quite confidence inspiring. It’s also very stable in bad weather, as we found out when we hit a rogue thunderstorm. The Armada was composed without a hint of instability, thanks to a four-wheel drive system that monitors and tunes torque between front and rear wheels to help maintain grip. The VDC (vehicle dynamic control) works in conjunction with the traction control system to provide the driver with a full-sized SUV that is not only capable, but also sure-footed even in the most inclement of weather.

Now granted, this is not a back road handler, however for a truck of this size handling was well mannered with little in the way of surprises. Get too anxious though, and that 5,969-pound curb weight becomes apparent. Otherwise the 2018 Nissan Armada is a joy to drive with good outward visibility. It will also tow up to 8,500-pounds and is  EPA rated 18-mpg on the highway, 13-mpg in the city and 15-mpg in combined driving*.

Nissan Armada

2018 Nissan Armada Platinum Performance Safety

Nissan takes safety seriously, which is why there are loads of standard safety features. Looking at the spec sheet, you’ll find airbags throughout the cabin, anti-lock brakes, vehicle dynamic control (VDC) with traction control, electronic brake force distribution, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, along with lane departure warning, to name just a few. Additional safety features can be explored by visiting NissanUSA.com.

Nissan Armada

2018 Nissan Armada Platinum Overall

With the capacity to tow 8,500-pounds, seating for up to eight passengers and an interior that makes long journeys a snap, the 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum is pure upscale SUV. It combines power and technology seamlessly, and provides owners a great driving experience. Thus, if you’re in the market for a full-size SUV and want something a bit different, then the 2018 Nissan Armada is definitely worth a look.

Drop by your local AutoNation Nissan dealer today to check one out!

*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.

**Vehicle MSRP of $63,095.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.

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