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History of the Nissan Armada

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2021 Nissan Armada
Photo: Nissan

The Armada is the largest SUV in the Nissan lineup, offering seating for up to eight people. This full-size SUV was introduced in 2004 specifically for the North American market. Knowing consumers wanted a large family SUV, Nissan got to work and debuted the Armada at the New York Auto Show.

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Early history and updates

The Armada was originally named the Pathfinder Armada, but Nissan dropped the prefix for the Armada’s second year of production. Although, you may recognize the Pathfinder name from an SUV that already existed in the automaker’s lineup. The Nissan Armada was built on the capable Nissan Titan frame and offered two trim options until 2010 when the more expensive LE option was split into two different trims: Titanium and Platinum.

Until 2007, just three years into its first generation, the Armada offered an additional SE Off-Road trim for more adventurous drivers. The Off-Road trim included features like skid plates, a lower final-drive ratio, and all-terrain tires. A redesign happened in 2008 with minor exterior changes and a major interior overhaul. New technology such as keyless ignition, Bluetooth, and a hard-drive-based navigation system were also introduced to the Armada that year.

Rear side view of a white 2011 Nissan Armada parked in front of a city building
A 2011 Nissan Armada in the wild
Photo: RLGNZLZ via CC

In 2017, the Armada entered its second generation and was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show. The SUV was moved to the Nissan Patrol platform, the same used for the luxury Infiniti QX80. With this change came performance-based upgrades like a more powerful V8 engine capable of up to 390 horsepower. Then in 2021, the Nissan Armada received a slight refresh with a redesigned front end, a larger grille, updated LED lights, and new exterior colors.

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Recent generation

The 2022 Nissan Armada arrives with very few changes from the 2021 iteration. Available in five trims, including the blacked out Midnight Edition, the 2022 Armada has a standard 5.6-liter V8 under its hood across all models, with horsepower improving to 400. While the look of the Armada may have changed a bit since 2004, the off-road prowess, impeccable power, and interior roominess are still what consumers look for in this full-size SUV.