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Nissan makes important changes to 2021 Armada

2021 Armada

The 2021 Nissan 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. Image courtesy of Nissan North America)

Whenever anyone asks me what full-size SUVs I’d recommend, the Nissan Armada tops my list for seat comfort as well as the smooth ride and handling. Now, the 2021 Armada gets that much more attractive.

In addition to exterior and interior design freshening (think grille, bumpers, center stack), here are the big changes of note.

New Nissan logo

Earlier this year, Nissan revealed a new corporate logo, or “calling card.” This new logo’s purpose is to help Nissan usher in a new chapter – while staying connected to its rich heritage. The Armada will be the first vehicle in the Nissan lineup to sport this new badging.

2021 Armada

The 2021 Nissan Armada is the first vehicle in Nissan’s lineup to get the new logo. (Image courtesy of Nissan North America)

More horsepower

Though the Armada retains the 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 engine, it manages to eke out 10 more horsepower for 2021. So, the 2021 Armada will deliver 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, which puts it on the same level as its more expensive brother, the Infiniti QX80.

It will retain the 8,500-pound max towing rating.

One caveat: According to Wards Auto, that 400 horsepower is only achieved if you use premium fuel, which we tend to think is a bit misleading. If you use regular fuel, output returns to 390 horsepower.

Wireless stuff

New for 2021, Armada cuts the cord on charging and Apple CarPlay. Both of these features will now be wireless – standard. The press release makes no mention of Android Auto, so we assume this will still need to be wired in to connect.

2021 Armada

The 2021 Nissan Armada features a redesigned, highly functional front center console that can be opened/closed from the front and rear. A removable tray has been added to hold small items, while a deeper well is available for larger ones. (Photo courtesy of Nissan North America)

Bigger screenage

And the screen wars continue. Each automaker is trying to outdo the other with larger and larger infotainment screens, and anything below 12 inches seems outdated at this point. Armada will get a “best-in-class” (per Nissan) 12.3-inch horizontal screen that pops up over the center stack. Navigation and around-view monitor screens appear really nice with this new setup.

From the photos, it looks like the integration is more seamless than, say, the Ford Explorer, but we’ll be curious to check this out in person to see if it looks well designed or tacked on.

The bottom line on the 2021 Armada

I have to admit I’ve been impressed with Nissan’s product onslaught in the past year. From refreshed to next-gen, its vehicles are offering more standard safety and more cool tech than we’ve seen on some other full-size SUVs (cough, GMC Yukon).

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the 2020 Armada starts at $48,895, including destination, so we expect the 2021 model to stay under $50K. This new Armada should hit dealers in January of 2021.

We’ll be curious to see – and drive – the 2021 Armada. But on paper, it looks like another winner from Nissan.

Related posts:

2020 Infiniti QX80: A plush and sophisticated full-size SUV

Misleading! These trucks recommend (or require!) premium fuel

2021 Chevy Tahoe: Controversial styling, gearshift bring on the comments



Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

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