16 Best & Worst Nissan Armada Years (With Pictures)

The Nissan Armada is a large SUV that was introduced as a 2004 model year. 

It provides a comfy ride, impressive towing capabilities, and plenty of luxury features. 

In this article, we’ll examine all of the best and worst model years of the Armada.

2023 Nissan Armada

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Nissan Armada Are:

The best Nissan Armada model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. The worst model years of the Armada are 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2017, 2018, and 2019. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Nissan Armada?

2023 Nissan Armada

The 2023 Armada is a high-quality, large and powerful SUV that has an appealing interior and commanding exterior.

The model comes in 4 trim levels: S, SV, SL, and Platinum.

Among these 4 trims, the top-spec Platinum, priced at approximately $69,000, has plenty of luxury ambiance.

Regardless of trim, however, you would be getting a massive 5.6-liter V8 engine (400 horsepower) mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission.

It comes standard as a rear-wheel-drive but four-wheel-drive (with low-range gearing) is available for those looking to tackle more rugged terrain.

It has plenty of standard and optional safety and driver assistance features, including: Intelligent Back-up Intervention, Intelligent Rear View Mirror, and Intelligent Around View Monitor. 

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2023 Armada, Edmunds review:

“I have rented Armada’s many times and always enjoyed driving them. So much so that I finally bought one. I cannot think of a car that rides better than this vehicle, and my other car is a Lexus, and I will drive this one any day over that vehicle. Smooth, quiet, and powerful.”

2022 and 2021 Nissan Armada

The 2022 and 2021 Armada models are modern-day full-size SUVs that have the powerful characteristics of a truck and the stylistic traits of an SUV.

Both models are known for having a quiet interior at highway speeds, numerous safety features, and comfortable seating.

Potential owners get to choose from 4 trims: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. 

All models are powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine (400 horsepower) paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission.

Owners praise these models for their infotainment system, overall comfort, appearance, and luxe interior. 

Auto critics, on the other hand, find both performance and storage capacity as the most alluring qualities of these models. 

2022 Nissan Armada:

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2021 Nissan Armada:

  • Edmunds: 3.78 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2022 Armada, Edmunds review:

“My first impression when looking to buy a new large SUV was that the Nissan gave me more for less… Nissan uses a number of parts from the Infinity version and you have those high quality bits. In short, the vehicle is well built, I have had no problems in 15K miles, tow well up to 5000 lbs, above that a pickup is better, but it will still do it. Note I find the driver’s seat not as comfortable for those over 6’1″ and the third row is for kids.  It also has excellent back seat leg room. As far as the price, I can only come up with that Nissan has lower margins on this vehicle than GM or Ford does of theirs.”

2020 Nissan Armada

The 2020 Armada is a second gen model that is a massive improvement over the previous models (of the same generation) dating back to the 2017 model year.

While the rise of crossovers has been quite noticeable, the few body-on-frame SUVs that remain are still worth considering, especially when it comes to this one.

It has 3 trim levels: SV, SL, and Platinum.

The base SV starts with 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display, and a 13-speaker Bose audio system.

The midrange SL includes every offering of the SV plus the Driver package, which integrates a power liftgate, fog lights, a power-folding third row seat, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.

The near complete Platinum package is jam packed with features, such as a sunroof, rear automatic emergency automatic braking, and rear cross-traffic alert. 

  • Edmunds: 3.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 87 / 100

2020 Armada, Edmunds review:

“This truck is a great vehicle. It is big, comfortable and powerful. If you are looking for fuel economy then you are looking at the wrong vehicle.It’s size weight and engine are not made for economy.If you judge this vehicle by a ragged out rental you are missing out. The infotainment system is out dated but still has most things you need. You get this vehicle for the ride and towing capacity and it does these things very well.It is a well made and reliable vehicle.The comfortable ride and road presence are its best qualities.”

2020 Nissan Armada

2015 and 2014 Nissan Armada

The 2015 and 2014 Armada models are capable full-size SUVs with a classic touch and modern safety features.

Either model year provides owners with strong V8 performance, substantial towing capacity, and an attractive and comfortable interior.

When properly equipped, the maximum towing capacity of both models is approximately 8,200 pounds.

This capacity is more than enough to tow a wide range of trailers and smaller recreational boats and watercraft.

The 3 trims (SV, SL, and Platinum) all come with a standard 5.6-liter V8 gasoline engine (317 horsepower) alongside a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Due to how big the engine is and the size of the vehicle, do not expect great gas mileage.

According to EPA estimates, you will be getting around 15 MPG for combined driving, 13 MPG for city driving, and 19 MPG for highway driving. 

2015 Armada:

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2014 Armada:

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2014 Armada, Edmunds review:

“I stepped up from my Honda Pilot and purchased this beast. I love it. I have the blue one. Very pretty color. I purchased this certified used. I love the comfort. More comfortable than my couch. I love the ease of getting in and out including the 3rd row. I pull a small trailer with 4 wheelers. I would have never done that with the honda.  The honda pilot was very difficult to get into the 3rd row. This one is perfect. I have never never been so pleased with a vehicle before. I did not think I would like it because of its size. Then I drove it. WOW…”

2014 Nissan Armada

2013 Nissan Armada

The 2013 Armada provides owners with an attractive interior, comfortable seating, a high-powered engine, and commendable towing capabilities. 

New to this particular model is the Platinum Reserve appearance optional package.

In addition, all Platinum trim models get integrated 7-inch headrest-mounted screens to add to the standard video entertainment system found in front.

For the entry-level models, a power front passenger seat and Bluetooth functionality are now standard.

According to owners, these are the best aspects of the model: engine, minimal road noise, interior design, and overall appearance.

Critics and reviewers, on the other hand, praise its powerful performance-oriented engine and its 8,200-pound maximum towing capacity.

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2013 Armada, Edmunds review:

“I did a TON of research before deciding to purchase the Armada. This truck has been everything I hoped it would be. The exterior has a beauty about it and is in a class by itself. It doesn’t look like any other full- size SUV on the market. The interior is spacious and well equipped but it should be for a $40k truck. The ride is smooth and the vehicle has excellent performance with all stock equipment. My kids have a hard time opening the rear doors with the handles mounted so high but they will grow into it. The only drawback I have found is the fuel economy. Don’t expect to get anything over 15 mpg with this vehicle. It’s just too heavy to get anything better.”

2013 Nissan Armada

2012 Nissan Armada

The 2012 Armada may be outshined by the newer models in terms of design and interior quality, but this particular SUV stands out as one of the highest rated based on owner reviews.

New features for 2012 included the integration of a power liftgate and heated front seats as standard for the SL trim.

This full-size SUV also provides owners with massive towing and hauling capabilities.

According to technical specs, the maximum towing capacity, when fitted with the right equipment, is 8,200 pounds.

Under the hood, the vehicle is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine (317 horsepower) and is partnered with a 5-speed automatic transmission, and comes standard as rear-wheel-drive.

Owners get to choose between 3 trims (SV, SL, and Platinum), up to 7 colors, and up to 2 different interior color schemes. 

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2012 Armada, Edmunds review:

“This is my second Armada I also owned a 2005 SE I love the power and reliability we use ours to tow a travel trailer extensively the self leveling rear end never gave us a problem and the power this unit has a fully loaded 29′ trailer fells like your not pulling any thing I’ve owned Ford, Chevy and Dodge you can keep em these are in my opinion the most comfortable, powerful, and reliable SUV/truck 4×4 on the market.”

Consumer Scores For Best Nissan Armada Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Nissan Armada3.8 / 5.04.3 / 5.078 / 100
2022 Nissan Armada3.8 / 5.04.3 / 5.078 / 100
2021 Nissan Armada3.7 / 5.04.3 / 5.0NA
2020 Nissan Armada3.4 / 5.04.3 / 5.087 / 100
2015 Nissan Armada4.1 / 5.04.5 / 5.078 / 100
2014 Nissan Armada4.5 / 5.04.5 / 5.080 / 100
2013 Nissan Armada4.5 / 5.04.5 / 5.085 / 100
2012 Nissan Armada4.5 / 5.04.5 / 5.082 / 100

Related: How Long Do Nissan Armadas Last? (12 Important Facts)

What Are The Worst Years For The Nissan Armada?

2004, 2005, and 2006 Nissan Armada

According to auto industry data, the 2004, 2005, and 2006 Armada model years are the most problematic years to date, amassing over 1,000 complaints collectively.

The most frequently reported issue is brake system defects.

These defects included brake disc rotor malfunctions, brake pad defects, and brake light warning indicator turning on.

These problems led to safety risks as owners were faced with intermittent weakness in brake pressure/power and abnormal delays in braking response (these were often accompanied by grinding and clunking metal noises).

One owner describes his circumstances as follows:

“Several times when driving my brake light will come on while the brake does not engage. When you press on the pedal you hear a loud grinding sound similar to springs being ejected from the car. It does not slow down the vehicle at all and the grinding is loud and seems to be damaging internal parts. When you turn the engine off, and restart it the problem goes away. I took it to the Nissan dealership in Fremont, CA. They advised me to change the brake pads and rotors. Which I elected to do and cost me a lot of money…”

  • The 2004 Armada had a total of 623 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 38 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2005 Armada had a total of 491 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 35 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2006 Armada had a total of 313 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 20 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Sudden unintended acceleration
  • Brake problems
  • Paint fading
  • ABS light comes on
  • Exhaust manifold issues
  • Air bags did not deploy
  • Cracked windshield
2005 Nissan Armada

2007 and 2008 Nissan Armada

The 2007 and 2008 Armadas had significantly fewer complaints and problems logged but they still possessed the very same issue that haunted the previously discussed model years – brake system problems.

Most reports state that the brake light would come on at random intervals, grinding noises can be heard (as if the emergency brake was activated), the brakes are unresponsive, and that there is high variance in required brake pressure to bring the vehicle to a full stop.

Unfortunately, a lot of owners had to resort to the “quick fix” of restarting the vehicle, as detailed below:

“Brake light indicator came on. Brakes became unresponsive. When pushing the brake pedal, the brakes made a crunchy noise, like metal rubbing together. There was a lot of noise. It was difficult to stop the vehicle. I was in motion on a city street. When I turned the car off and back on, it went back to “normal” with no brake light indicator on.”

It is important to note that while this may temporarily solve the problem immediately, it must only be considered a band-aid situation and proper check-up must be done to rectify the defects in the brake system. 

  • The 2007 Armada had a total of 101 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 14 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2008 Armada had a total of 200 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 30 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Coolant leakage
  • Damaged radiator
  • Window cracked
  • Shifting issues
  • Overhead console fell down
  • Transmission cooler line blew
  • Brake booster failure
2008 Nissan Armada

2017, 2018, and 2019 Nissan Armada

The 2017, 2018, and 2019 were problematic due to their powertrain and electrical system defects.

Owners reported vehicle stalling on multiple occasions, especially when the vehicle is idling or when the vehicle is being driven at relatively slow speeds.

Stalling issues were linked to transmission problems, as described by one owner below:

“The transmission on my 2017 Armada seems to shift improperly and even seems to shift prematurely causing a stall or loss of power to the vehicle. I’ve notice this as I’m starting to accelerate from a stopped position and it appears to happen sometime between shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear.”

There were multiple mentions of failure to start as well, which most technicians and owners associated with a prematurely drained battery.

A handful of reports also talked about issues with the brake switch, which is a small electrical component that is responsible for brake detection.

Here is one owner’s unfortunate experience with all the aforementioned concerns:

“Repeatedly drained battery, and won’t start. Replaced brake switch, replaced battery, problem continued, system updated, problems still continue. Several others are complaining of similar issues on Facebook Armada group so I know many others have experienced the same problems.”

2017 Nissan Armada
  • The 2017 Armada had a total of 83 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 13 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2018 Armada had a total of 63 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 6 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2019 Armada had a total of 64 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 8 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Not shifting properly
  • Upper oil pan gasket issues
  • Engine will not start
  • Erratic shifting
  • Paint chipping
  • Rusted frame
  • BCI (backup collision intervention) malfunction
2019 Nissan Armada

Related: Nissan Armada Beeping? (14 Common Causes)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2023 Nissan Armada0
2022 Nissan Armada0
2021 Nissan Armada151
2020 Nissan Armada0121
2019 Nissan Armada8641
2018 Nissan Armada6631
2017 Nissan Armada13830
2015 Nissan Armada4203
2014 Nissan Armada4111
2013 Nissan Armada3202
2012 Nissan Armada3181
2011 Nissan Armada12490
2010 Nissan Armada2534
2009 Nissan Armada4323
2008 Nissan Armada302003
2007 Nissan Armada141011
2006 Nissan Armada203131
2005 Nissan Armada354910
2004 Nissan Armada386230

What Problems Do Nissan Armadas Have?

  • Brake light comes on
  • Brakes stop working
  • Overhead console fell down
  • ABS light comes on 
  • Brakes grind
  • Sudden unintended acceleration
  • Paint fading
  • Exhaust manifold issues
  • Brakes lock up
  • Air bags did not deploy
  • Cracked windshield
  • Coolant from radiator damaged transmission
  • Window cracked
  • Shifting issues
  • Transmission cooler line blew
  • Brake booster failure
  • Heater stopped working
  • Speakers stopped working
  • CD player stopped working
  • Upper oil pan gasket problems
  • Engine will not start

Related: 11 Common Nissan Armada Problems (Explained)

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Nissan Armada?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Jeep Wagoneer8.5$58,995 – $77,220City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 20 – 22
Chevrolet Suburban8.2$55,500 – $79,100City: 14 – 21 /Highway: 19 – 27
Chevrolet Tahoe8.2$54,200 – $77,400City: 14 – 21 /Highway: 19 – 28
Ford Expedition8.2$52,905 – $84,670City: NA /Highway: NA
GMC Yukon8.1$57,400 – $97,255City: 14 – 21 /Highway: 97,255
Toyota Sequoia7.2$58,365 – $78,365City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 22 – 24
Nissan Armada6.6$50,400 – $69,720City: 13 – 14 /Highway: 18 – 19

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 7 Best & Worst Nissan Juke Years (With Facts & Stats)











  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...