When Nissan previewed a lineup of 10 extraordinary new vehicles in a mid-2020 "Nissan Next A to Z" video teaser, among the sleek, silhouetted forms, one vehicle stood out for its sheer size and powerful shape – the new 2021 Nissan Armada.
As the Nissan brand's flagship SUV, Armada has established a reputation as a true family adventure-ready vehicle for everyday and weekend use – with comfortable seating for up to eight and flexible cargo space. For the refreshed 2021 Armada, all these strengths remain with even higher levels of authentic capability, advanced technology and premium style, comfort and connectivity.
The new Armada features an array of standard safety technologies, including Nissan Safety Shield® 360 and features such as Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Blind Spot Intervention. Other key technology enhancements include a new 12.3-inch colour touchscreen display, the largest standard screen in class3, wireless smartphone charging, NissanConnect® with Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless Apple CarPlay®.
Powered by a proven 5.6-litre Endurance® V8 engine, the 2021 Armada offers best-in-class1 standard 400 horsepower and best-in-class2 standard 8,500 lbs. maximum towing capacity. It also adds an integrated Trailer Brake Controller and a Trailer Sway Control for the first time.
The new Armada is also the first vehicle to carry the new Nissan logo, found on the front grille, back, wheels and steering wheel.
A new aggressive, chiseled exterior design
The 2021 Armada again features rugged body-on-frame construction, providing a balance of strength, durability and utility – including the ability to tow up to 8,500 pounds2 with confidence (when properly equipped). But the look for the 2021 model year is new.
Armada's revised exterior appearance features a rugged, yet refined look – with a more squared and chiseled bodywork appearance from the A-pillars forward. The new front fenders, grille and bumper are framed by a new LED headlight design. More than 50 LEDs are utilized in the low beams, high beams, side reflectors, turn indicators and bold Daytime Running Lights – creating a wide, bright headlight pattern. High Beam Assist is standard, switching high and low beam projection as needed when the system's camera senses the taillights of a vehicle ahead or the headlights of oncoming traffic. The new rear combination lights are full LED specification as well (70 LEDs per side), providing a modern lighting appearance that is highly visible from following vehicles.
Other exterior features include body-colour overfenders, dark-painted roof rails (220-lb weight rating), an acoustic windshield and front side windows. Standard exterior items include: side mirrors with memory; heat and puddle lamps; side step rails; and power liftgate with auto-closure feature. Rain-sensing front windshield wipers and front wiper de-icer are standard on the Armada Platinum.
Standard on the Armada SL are 20-inch painted aluminum-alloy wheels with 275/60R20 all-season tires, while Platinum models feature large machine-faced 22-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 275/50R22 all-season tires.
Five exterior colours are available: Hermosa Blue Pearl, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Aspen White TriCoat and new Coulis Red Pearl.
Premium interior with largest display screen in class, reservation for eight
The 2021 Armada's new, refined interior offers simplified everyday usage and an enhanced driving experience. The new Armada combines style, roominess and premium interior comfort – with a special emphasis on quietness and new, easy-to-navigate connectivity features.
Most noticeable is an all-new standard 12.3-inch display screen that is 4.3-inches larger than the previous generation screen, features a higher resolution display (WXGA 1920 x 720 versus WVGA 800 x 480) – and is the largest display screen in the class?3. The customizable home screen includes shortcut/widgets to user favourites and one-line destination search. The navigation function includes 3D map premium traffic and over-the-air updating.
Standard smartphone connectivity includes wireless Apple CarPlay® and wired Android Auto™. The wireless phone charging pad supports smartphones of various sizes and through a wide range of cover thicknesses (up to 4mm). Charging starts immediately when the phone is laid down and a charging indicator on the center stack shows charging status. Every 2021 Armada also includes Wi-Fi connectivity for over-the-air map and software updating.
Also new for 2021 is a 7.0-inch monitor display, replacing the previous 4.0-inch dot matrix display. Located between the tachometer and speedometer, the new display offers full colour and higher resolution for improved visibility. Quick operation and access of multiple information screens is available through the steering wheel switches.
Every Armada also includes standard Nissan Door to Door Navigation with SiriusXM® Traffic and Travel Link (with three-month complimentary trial access), NissanConnect® Services powered by SiriusXM® (with 5-year Plus and 6-month Premium complimentary trial access), SiriusXM® Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), enhanced Voice Recognition and Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant.
NissanConnect Services can be accessed from inside the vehicle, on a computer, on a smartphone or smartwatch app.
"Library level" interior noise levels (at idle) are achieved through the use of acoustic glass on the windshield and the front side windows. The windshield design also helps reduce wind noise while the vehicle is in motion.
Utility is another area where Armada delivers, with a highly functional front center console that has been redesigned for 2021 and can be opened/closed from both the front and rear. A removable tray has been added to hold small, frequently used items, while a deeper well is available to hold larger ones. Dog bone-style cupholders have been adopted for the front and 2nd rows, allowing easy use of big-handle mugs or iPads®. Illumination has been added in the bottom of the front console cupholder on the Platinum grade.
Family adventures will be a little more enjoyable thanks to the roomy, 8-passenger Armada interior that offers 39.0 inches/989 mm of 2nd row headroom and 41.0 inches/1,015 mm of 2nd row legroom. The standard seating configuration includes front heated 10-way power-adjustable bucket seats with a large center console, 2nd row fold flat 60/40 split bench seat and 3rd row 60/40-split folding bench seat, which folds flat into the floor for extra cargo carrying flexibility.
A 3rd row seat power-folding feature is standard. The Platinum model is available with optional 2nd row Captain's Chairs and a removable 2nd row console.
Armada SL offers leather-appointed seating as standard. Armada Platinum features standard quilted leather-appointed seating.
Armada's Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control system (with microfilter) uses direct/indirect airflow, including a 2nd row "curtain" vent to effectively distribute cool air to every seat. Heated 2nd row seats are standard on Platinum, along with climate-controlled (heating and cooling) front seats. Heated front seats and heated steering wheel are standard.
Armada Platinum includes a standard Intelligent Rear View Mirror4 (I-RVM), which has been enhanced for 2021 with a higher resolution (170 ppi versus previous 98 ppi), frameless versus previous bezel design and a 50 per cent larger screen size (9.4 x 2.0-inch versus previous 7.5 x 1.6-inch).
The I-RVM uses a high-resolution camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle to project a clear image onto an LCD monitor built into the standard rearview mirror. A switch located at the bottom of the mirror allows the driver to access either the traditional rearview mirror system or the Intelligent Rear View Mirror. The consumer benefits of the I-RVM are many, including "removing" interior obstacles such as oversize cargo and rear headrests, improving visibility in low-light conditions, and providing an expanded field of view.
The 2021 Armada standard Bose® audio system features AM/FM/SXM/MP3/CD with 13 speakers and subwoofer and digital amplifier to provide rich and realistic sound reproduction.
Armada Platinum adds a standard Family Entertainment System, which has been enhanced with simplified menus, revised dual 8.0-inch head restraint monitors and new HDMI input. It includes two wireless headphones.
Power door locks with illuminated switches and anti-lockout system with auto door lock speed-sensing function, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System and RearView Monitor are standard.
The long list of comfort and convenience features continues with power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory, Remote Engine Start System5, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and available front footwell lamp and step lamp and rear step lamp. A large sliding moonroof with front tilt and rear slide is standard.
The 2021 Armada also features standard Rear Door Alert6, which can help remind customers of items that may be forgotten in the rear seat – pets, valuables, dry cleaning, groceries and more.
Four interior colours are offered: Charcoal, Almond, Brown and Black.
Best-in-class standard 400 horsepower and 8,500-lb towing capacity
Nowhere is the 2021 Armada's balanced combination of strength and refinement more apparent than in its advanced powertrain – which offers a mix of brute strength, off-road prowess and refined ride and handling.
Starting with a durable, heavy-duty ladder frame as its foundation, Armada features a proven 5.6-litre Endurance® V8 with best-in-class1 standard 400 horsepower (at 5,200 rpm). Torque is rated at 413 lb-ft (at 4,000 rpm).
As part of its adventure-ready spirit, the 2021 Armada also offers a standard maximum towing capacity2 of up to 8,500 pounds (when properly equipped).
For 2021, Armada adds a standard integrated Trailer Brake Controller with tow hitch receiver on both grades. Trailer Sway Control is also standard. Trailer Sway Control is a feature that assists the customer when the truck and trailer are in sway situation. When the vehicle senses sway, brakes are automatically applied and the vehicle is slowed to eliminate the sway.
The engine's Direct Injection Gas (DIG™) system provides better wide-open throttle performance and improved fuel economy and emissions performance (versus a non-direct-injection system) by reducing engine knock, improving combustion stability and offering precise injection control. An 11.2:1 compression ratio aids overall engine efficiency and performance, and a Multi Control Valve (MCV) assists in managing the engine's thermal efficiency better than a traditional thermostat.
The engine also incorporates Nissan's advanced VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) technology, which combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake and exhaust sides to provide high performance and crisp response. Throttle response is enhanced by directly controlling the intake valve (rather than using the traditional method of controlling intake with a throttle valve) and valve timing and opening with non-variable camshafts.
The standard, advanced 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and Downshift Rev Matching helps enhance fuel efficiency through use of its wide gear ratios, ATF (automatic transmission fluid) warmer and adoption of idle neutral control. A 98 litre fuel tank provides ample driving range.
EPA Fuel economy7 is rated at 17.5L/100km city/12.9L/100km highway/15.4L/100km combined7. Canadian fuel economy ratings will be released at a later date.
Every 2021 Armada in Canada is exclusively offered with Nissan's advanced All-Mode 4-wheel drive system, which features Auto/4H/4LO modes, electronically controlled part-time transfer case and 2.70:1 4LO gear ratio.
Under normal driving conditions, the system operates in two-wheel drive mode, but it can distribute torque to all four wheels when road conditions warrant (up to 50 per cent of torque can go to the front wheels on demand).
Responsive braking is provided by a 4-wheel disc brake system with Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake force Distribution and Brake Assist. The braking system utilizes a hydraulic booster (versus a vacuum booster found on some competitive vehicles). During emergency braking, even with full passengers, the brake pedal can be operated with light force linearly until ABS starts operating. It also has a higher limit of fluid pressure, which is beneficial in emergency braking. Additionally, Armada offers standard Hill Start Assist.
Also standard are 2-wheel or 4-wheel limited-slip and a Vehicle Dynamic Control system (which includes a deactivation switch). Steering is provided by an engine-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system.
Armada's durable independent double-wishbone front and rear suspension provides smooth ride comfort and responsive handling for both on-road and off-road driving. The front stabilizer bar is 36 mm in diameter, while the rear measures 26.5 mm. Twin-tube shock absorbers are featured on each corner.
Advanced safety technology, security features and driving aids
The 2021 Armada's purposeful safety features allow peace of mind for an adventurous family road trip or a simple drive to the market – and everything in between. Nissan Safety Shield® 360 is standard on all grades. It includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking.
Also standard are Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range), Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention, RearView Monitor and Intelligent Driver Alertness8. Armada Platinum includes class-exclusive Intelligent Backup Collision Intervention9.
Intelligent Around View® Monitor10 is standard, which helps provide extra sets of "eyes" when backing out or parking. The innovative Intelligent Around View® Monitor can also come in handy when negotiating tight off-road trails, providing multiple camera views up to 14 km/h. Platinum grade also adds class-exclusive Traffic Sign Recognition11.
A Choice of Two Well-Equipped Models
The 2021 Nissan Armada is available in SL and Platinum models in a 4WD drive configuration.
Some of the many standard features on the Armada SL include: leather-appointed seats and door trim, heated front seats and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED fog lights, memory power driver's seat and steering wheel, power-sliding moonroof, Intelligent Around View® Monitor10, Remote Engine Start System5, power liftgate, 13-speaker Bose® Audio system, 3rd row power recline and fold seats and Trailer Sway Control and 20-inch wheels and tires.
The Armada Platinum includes quilted leather-appointed seats, front climate controlled seats, rear heated seats, Rear Family Entertainment System, Intelligent Rear View Mirror (I-RVM)4, wiper de-icer, front rain-sensing wipers, rear step lamp, Traffic Sign Recognition11, Intelligent Backup Collision Intervention9, illuminated cupholders and 22-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
One option package is offered. The Captain's Chairs Seat Package (Platinum) replaces the 2nd row bench seat with 2nd row Captain's Chairs and 2nd row center console with padded armrest.
1 Comparison based on 2021 Nissan Armada vs. latest in-market Ward's Large Sport Utility segment. Base models compared. Based on manufacturer's website.
2 Comparison based on 2021 Nissan Armada SV 4x4 vs. latest in-market Ward's Large Sport Utility segment. Base models compared. Towing capability varies by configuration. See Nissan Towing Guide and Owner's Manual for proper use. Based on manufacturer's website.
3 Comparison based on 2021 Nissan Armada vs. latest in-market Ward's Large Sport Utility segment. Base models compared. Based on manufacturer's website.
4 I-RVM is not a substitute for proper vehicle operation. Cannot detect every object and does not eliminate blind spots or warn of moving objects. Always check surroundings and turn to look behind before moving vehicle.
5 Provincial or municipal laws may apply; review local laws before using.
6 Rear Door Alert does not detect people or cargo. Always check rear seat before exiting.
7 CITY, HIGHWAY and COMBINED: 2021 EPA Fuel Economy estimates 14 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined for 2WD models; 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined for 4WD models. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions – use for comparison only.
8 It is the driver's responsibility to remain alert at all times. I-DA is only a warning to inform the driver of a potential lack of driver attention or drowsiness. It does not detect and provide an alert in every situation. See Owner's Manual for details.
9 Comparison based on 2021 Nissan Armada Platinum vs. latest in-market Ward's Large Sport Utility segment. Intelligent Backup Collision Intervention may not detect every object. Driver should always turn and check surroundings before driving. See Owner's Manual for safety information. Based on manufacturer's website.
10 Intelligent Around View Monitor cannot eliminate blind spots and may not detect every object. Driver should always turn and check surroundings before driving. See Owner's Manual for safety information. I-AVM includes Moving Object Detection.
11 Comparison based on 2021 Nissan Armada Platinum vs. latest in-market Ward's Large Sport Utility segment. Traffic Sign Recognition may not detect and read all traffic signs in all conditions. Driver should monitor all traffic signs and obey all traffic laws. See Owner's Manual for details. Based on manufacturer's website.