The Nissan Armada is the company’s largest SUV, and it just got a refresh in 2021. Though it’s Nissan’s only full-size SUV, the Armada has never been a serious contender in the segment. Several factors played to its disadvantage.
Still, and maybe because of that, the Armada is an appealing option for some. So, what are the best years for the Nissan Armada? Let’s find out in this article.
What are the best years for the Nissan Armada?
The best years for the Nissan Armada are as follows: 2009, 2012-2014, with 2013 having exceptionally high reviews and ratings, and 2019-2020. These models have shown the least amount of issues and higher ratings in magazines such as JD Power.
Some of the positives that you can find in the Armada include comfortable seating for eight, a suspension that absorbs bumps well, a spacious and luxurious interior, and a decent towing capacity of 8,500 pounds.
Also, though the V8 isn’t as powerful as other competitors, it still provides a decent 390 hp and 394 lb-ft. And that’s not mentioning that, for the newest model, the Endurance engine got a 10 hp increase and more torque.
As far as the transmission, the first-generation Armada had a 5-speed automatic which felt clunky at times. However, it was durable and reliable. The second-generation model came with a 7-speed automatic which improved acceleration and fuel economy.
Speaking of fuel economy, you cannot expect a good performance from any Nissan Armada. Its 5.6L V8 is thirsty and has an average of 14 mpg. Still, with the 4WD option, you know you have an SUV that can get in and out of many places.
While the Nissan Armada is a comfortable SUV, it comes with body-on-frame construction. This gives it excellent ground clearance but also makes it heavy and affects handling. One common complaint people have about the Nissan Armada is that the suspension might feel too soft.
Also, in curves, turning is slow. So, don’t expect sportscar performance. Instead, the Armada is an SUV that can gobble up miles at a decent speed and smooth driving.
There are two Armada generations, starting in 2004. While there isn’t much difference mechanically, it’s still vital to see what makes each one stand out. Plus, we’ll also explain which year from each generation is the best.
Which are the best years for the first-generation Nissan Armada?
The best first-generation models for the Nissan Armada are 2009, then 2012 to 2014. The 2013 Nissan Armada has excellent reviews and ratings. In addition, these specific years have shown to have the least amount of mechanical issues in Car Complaints.
The first-generation Nissan Armada launched in 2004, and it was a pleasant surprise. As part of the NRP (Nissan Revival Plan), it surprised the automotive world.
The Armada was the largest SUV Nissan ever produced for the US market. Plus, its angular design and roomy interior made it a worthy option.
The Armada came with a 5.6L V8 putting out 317 hp and 385 lb-ft, which was decent at the time. The five-speed automatic was sluggish but reliable, and buyers could pick between RWD and 4WD.
If you’re looking to buy a first-generation, you should look for the model years that we mentioned. Ideally, opt for the 4WD option, and one that hasn’t spent much of its years in the rust belt.
One aspect worth noticing is that the first-generation Nissan Armada lasted for 13 years, only having an aesthetic refresh in 2008. This makes the latter production models one of the oldest in the full-size segment.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it means that most of the issues have disappeared by the production’s end. But, it also means that the Armada isn’t as modern as other options.
In 2017, Nissan released the new Armada, which maintained a lot of its predecessor’s DNA. It still kept the body-on-frame construction.
In fact, Nissan used the Titan’s platform to save money, as the company was struggling financially at the time. So, let’s find out which of the second-generation model years are the best.
Which are the best years for the second-generation Nissan Armada?
The best years for the second-generation Nissan Armada are the 2019 and 2020 models. Though they are the most recent, they’ve proven to have the fewest issues and highest ratings in magazines such as JD Power.
Another great addition is the upgrade in transmission. The new, 7-speed automatic transmission gave smoother acceleration and improved fuel performance. These figures are respectable and provide the Armada with good performance.
Since the Nissan Armada used the Titan platform as a base, it isn’t the most technologically advanced SUV. Instead, it used existing technology and improved from there.
As a result, you can expect great interiors, comfortable seating, and adequate performance. However, the ride can be floaty at times due to its soft suspension and large size.
It’s important to note that the second-generation Armada is relatively new. As it was released in 2017, there’s little information out there about its performance and reliability.
However, knowing this, it’s also worth highlighting that the newer Armadas have had fewer uses than the older ones.
Though it’s been in the market for close to twenty years, the Nissan Armada isn’t perfect. Some issues with it might be concerning. So, let’s discuss which are some of the worst models to buy.
What are the worst years for the Nissan Armada?
The Nissan Armada has had issues since its launch in 2004, and most revolve around one particular aspect: brakes. So, let’s see what the worst models to buy from each generation are.
What are the worst years for the first-generation Nissan Armada?
The worst years for the first-generation Nissan Armada are from 2004 to 2008. These first years had a lot of issues around braking and interior problems as well. Therefore, the worst year to buy is 2006, as it has the most problems and the most expensive.
Drivers have reported that braking feels sluggish, and the pads can wear out quickly. Other braking issues include ABS failure, brake light coming on randomly, and a soft pedal. Given these situations, it’s best to avoid these years.
What are the worst years for the second-generation Nissan Armada?
As we mentioned before, the second-generation Nissan Armada is relatively new. But, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have problems. So, let’s look at the worst model years to buy.
Though there are few issues with it, it’s best to avoid the 2017 Nissan Armada. This year of the second generation and has some transmission problems.
Reports include that the transmission doesn’t shift properly and can feel jerky at times. However, for the following years, Nissan has apparently solved the issue. Other issues with the 2017 model include the typical braking problems.
From 2018 onwards, the Nissan Armada improves in reliability and is a model that’s worth looking at. However, if you want to avoid unnecessary headaches, it’s best to avoid the 2017 Nissan Armada and opt for the newer models.
The Armada is Nissan’s largest SUV. Its 5.6L V8 has adequate power and torque, plus its roomy interior sets it apart from the competition. So, it makes sense that people want to buy it.
But, for those possible buyers, we wanted to answer the question: what are the best years for the Nissan Armada?
The best year to buy a Nissan Armada is 2013, preferably with 4WD. This year has shown the least issues, plus the highest ranking in reputable magazines like JD Power.
As part of the first generation, the 2013 Nissan Armada is in the latter years of production, so Nissan has weeded out most problems. Also, it comes after the refresh, which means a bit more power and torque.
In the first generation, you should avoid the 2006 Armada, as it has the most problems, some of which can be serious and expensive to fix.
In fact, from 2004 to 2008, the Armada has more issues than usual. It’s after 2008 that the SUV becomes more reliable.
If you’re looking for the newer, second-generation Armada, the best models to have are the 2019 and 2020 Armadas. These models have shown excellent performance, plus they come with an improved engine, putting out close to 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
However, it’s best to avoid the 2017 Armada. It comes with typical problems for first-year models.
We hope that this article provides you with enough information to find the Nissan Armada that’s right for you. Until then, happy motoring!