Since its launch in 2004, the Nissan Armada has been a formidable entry to full-size SUV vehicles. It recently got a refresh in 2021 and is quite a popular vehicle with good reviews.
It is known for being a solid and reliable vehicle with high-performance output. However, not every model has been subject to positive reviews.
Since the start of the Armada, it has had its fair share of ups and downs. In this article, I’ll be looking at the best and worst years for Nissan Armada.
Before I do so, here is a list of the years which I’ll be looking at:
Best Years for Nissan Armada
Worst Years for Nissan Armada
Now, I’ll be analyzing in detail each of these years, showing just why they deserve the place they have on the list. Since this list has been made after thorough research, it will surely be of the utmost benefit to prospective buyers.
List Of The Best Years For The Nissan Armada: What Years To Buy
Firstly, I’ll be looking at those years of the Nissan Armada, which have been very successful in their ways. Since this is the most important section for prospective buyers, it will be presented first in this article.
So without further ado, let us begin:
#1 Best Year: 2013 Nissan Armada
The 2013 Nissan Armada is part of this vehicle’s first generation, which ended after the 2017 version. The 5.6L V8 engine was remarkably reliable, providing 317 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque, which is very good for its time.
With a decent towing capacity of 8500 pounds, suspensions that did well to absorb bumps, and a comfortable interior aesthetically designed to accommodate eight people, the 2013 version seems like the epitome in quality of the first generation.
It received remarkably few complaints and cemented itself as a customer favorite. The 5-speed automatic transmission was also very reliable.
In all, the 2013 version epitomizes everything that a full-size SUV needs, providing comfort and reliability alongside great performance. It is also a great value-for-money vehicle in the modern day.
#2 Best Year: 2020 Nissan Armada
The 2020 Nissan Armada model is part of the second generation and has received surprisingly low complaints despite being a very recent arrival.
The V8 engine provides 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, which is a very reliable engine for this day and age. The biggest upgrade from the first generation is the 7-speed automatic transmission which provides smoother rides.
However, this version of the Armada is not as technologically innovative as its competitors, making it fall out of favor among those who prioritize passenger relaxation and interactivity.
This means it only receives a second place on this list since it isn’t as innovative as the 2013 version was for its day and, therefore, not as good when it comes to value for money.
#3 Best Year: 2019 Nissan Armada
The predecessor of the 2020 version has identical qualities to the 2020 version. Reliability and performance is the cornerstone for the 2019 Nissan Armada model, with smooth acceleration and great comfort while riding.
The performance output is quite a lot for a full-size SUV, and the body-on-frame construction also provides the vehicle with very strong ground clearance.
However, this also leads to issues with curves and may make handling difficult, which is a common complaint about the Armada.
#4 Best Year: 2018 Nissan Armada
The 2018 Nissan Armada version is the true beginning of the second generation of the Armada vehicles.
At the same time, the 2017 version marked the actual beginning, the number of complaints which the model had made it a very unsuitable pick for buyers.
The transmission failure reported of the 2017 version made it very risky in dangerous situations, and Nissan completely resolved that design flaw with its successor.
Keeping in line with the high performance and reliability characterized in the second generation, it also has very little to complain about aside from an inability to adapt to technological change.
Furthermore, the performance output also doesn’t match its competitors, which means that it may not be as good when it comes to value for money.
#5 Best Year: 2016 Nissan Armada
The 2016 Nissan Armada was the last year for the 1st generation of the Armada vehicles. It was also a more or less perfected version of that generation, with very few official complaints.
The car’s design is filled with sophistication, including leather seats and LED technology. The V8 engine is also smaller and more efficient than most of the other models of the 1st gen.
However, it still falls short of the other members on this list by being too outdated for its time and having certain issues with the transmission and engine misfires.
List Of The Worst Years For The Nissan Armada: What Years To Avoid
Now that we have looked at the best that the Armada has to offer, it is time to acknowledge the bleaker side of things as well.
There were many years in which the vehicle was not quite up to the standard, and in this section of the article, I’ll be looking at the years of the Nissan Armada, which you should avoid.
#1 Worst Year: 2004 Nissan Armada
The 2004 model of the Nissan Armada is regarded as the worst by several reviewers and websites. There are many problems with this vehicle, including engine problems such as unintended acceleration and engine grinding.
Asides from that, the vehicle is known to have brake problems after reaching the 90,000-mile mark, with the brakes grinding together and not responding in many instances.
The Automatic Emergency Brake (ABS) is prone to false alarms, creating difficult situations where the brake is applied without necessity.
#2 Worst Year: 2005 Nissan Armada
Once again, the second release of the Armada is far from perfect, with numerous issues being inherited from its predecessor.
The ABS issue and the sluggish brakes are a commonality between the two models, with the 2005 Nissan Armada also inheriting the bland interior display of the vehicle.
This includes faulty seat belt latches, among other shortcomings that make this vehicle unattractive to prospective buyers. It does make some upgrades in engine problems, but in all, it’s still not a recommended buy.
There are also issues with engine cooling and stalling, which also make it a very risky buy.
#3 Worst Year: 2006 Nissan Armada
A soft pedal, brake lights coming on lightly, sluggish brakes, and a somewhat unresponsive engine constitute the bulk of complaints about the 2006 version of the Nissan Armada.
It adopts most of the issues from its predecessor years, doing little to fix the inherent flaws in those versions of the Nissan Armada.
The ABS still is prone to malfunction here, causing the bulk of complaints to come from that side of the aisle. There is a reason that the 1st generation of the Armada is 23rd out of 54 in the ratings for reliability.
There is also the issue of suspension breaks if the collar welds separates, increasing the likelihood of crashes in the case of turning.
#4 Worst Year: 2007 Nissan Armada
The 2007 version of the Nissan Armada once again inherits most of the issues of its predecessors.
It is clear that it took the company a lot of time to fix its first full-size SUV; their sluggishness is apparent in the lack of upgrades brought by the 2007 version of the Armada. There are issues of catalytic converters failing due to the failure of the fuel pump.
In addition to that, there is also the issue of failing to navigate units on the infotainment screens, which has been a source of frustration for customers.
However, brake problems and engine issues creating unintended acceleration remain the primary source of complaint about this model of the Armada as well.
#5 Worst Year: 2008 Nissan Armada
In addition to all the issues listed above, the 2008 Nissan Armada had another very curious problem of the sunroof being prone to getting rattled and exploding.
Nissan has been accused of a faulty tempering process for its sunroof following the 2008 model, and this has been the cause of complaints about many customers.
However, this still pales in comparison to the complaints on brakes, engine failures leading to unintended acceleration, the failure of the ABS, and a lack of responsiveness from the vehicle as its usage went on.
#6 Worst Year: 2017 Nissan Armada
This is the only version of the second generation of the Armada vehicles that have made it to this list. The primary problem with the 2017 issue is transmission problems, which means that the transmission may not shift properly and can feel jerky at times.
Asides from that, the 2017 Nissan Armada model also has some braking issues, but these are reported way less than they were during the first generation of the Nissan Armada releases.
Hence, this vehicle only has the last spot on this list since its predecessors are still a significant improvement.
What Are The Common Problems With The Nissan Armada?
Now that we have looked at a detailed comprehension of why the vehicles on this list are where they are, I’ll now be turning our attention to some of the common issues reported in the Nissan Armada.
These issues may be common in some years more than others, but their commonality exists nonetheless.
1. Brake Problems
The primary cause of these brake problems is the Automatic Braking System (ABS) and defective brake switches. As we have seen above, this issue is common to almost all the versions of the Armada, especially those from the first generation.
The ABS is supposed to detect collision points to apply brakes but can, more often than not, apply brakes at non-existent objects.
This has led to class action lawsuits. The brake defects get worn out after constant usage, especially after the 90,000-mile mark.
This leads to a lack of responsiveness to the application of brakes, which creates frustration and may also risk a car crash in extreme instances. It is therefore imperative to keep the Armada under constant repair.
2. Engine Problems
Several engine problems may prop up in the Nissan Armada versions. The engines may be prone to non-starting and hesitancy at acceleration.
This can be dangerous for drivers who may not anticipate when and when not their car will be most responsive to their commands.
If your check engine light is illuminating, it would be best to immediately get help for repairs since the issue prolonged could lead to hazardous effects.
The Back-Up Collision Intervention may also malfunction by detecting non-existent rear objects, creating frustrations for consumers all around as well.
3. DriveTrain And Transmission Problems
The Nissan Armada is equipped with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CTV), which has been complained of being ineffective and prone to failure.
The drivetrain refers to the vehicle part that transfers power to the wheels and therefore includes the transmission. The defects include delayed shifting, non-shifting, vehicle hesitation, fluid leaks, shuddering, and even transmission failures.
These defects are very problematic for any customer and have been prominent primarily in the first generation and, most popularly, in the 2017 year of the vehicle.
However, in recent years, Nissan has made significant upgrades to minimize transmission failures.
4. Seat Belt And Airbag Problems
These two are designed to keep passengers safe in the case of a car crash. Therefore, it isn’t a good sign that these two may be faulty and unreliable in the SUV, which is reliable.
Seat belt complaints usually include faulty seat belt latches that may not connect to the receptor and may require frustrating repairs. The airbag is complained of putting front passengers at the risk of car crashes by activating for no prior reason.
The sunroof exploding is also a miscellaneous issue that can be mentioned here. The faulty tempering of vehicles has been problematic on Nissan’s side and can cause accidents and car crashes.
Fortunately, however, these interior issues have been fixed in recent years, with Nissan making significant positive upgrades on its interior architecture.
Related: Why Won’t My Nissan Armada Start?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How Many Miles Is The Nissan Armada Good For?
The Nissan brand is known for its longevity and reliability. Hence, you can’t go wrong with those features in the Armada either. This vehicle is well suited for at least 300,000 miles without showing any major or significant problems.
Many riders have shown that the vehicle can go 400,000 miles without needing any major repairs. Indeed, if taken care of diligently, this vehicle has all your major needs covered.
Q2. Which Is Better Expedition Or Armada?
It depends on what your priorities are with your chosen vehicle. If you prioritize your vehicle’s towing capacity, then the Armada may be a good pick in terms of that and terms of just the overall quality.
However, if you’re looking to prioritize comfort and fuel economy, and performance, then the Ford Expedition takes the lead.
It is much more fuel-efficient than the Armada, has more third room rows, has an independent rear suspension that offers smoother rides, and a size that isn’t too large to get congested in tight areas.
Q3. What Year Did The Armada Change Body Style?
The body style on the Armada was significantly altered following the 2021 refresh. The old style had become too outdated, and there was a need for exterior and interior changes to keep the vehicle more aesthetically pleasing.
A new front grille, a larger hood, restyled front, and rear bumpers, LED headlights and stoplights, and new exterior colors were added to the list.
Overall, the redesign ensured that the Armada adapted to new aesthetic demands while keeping the rugged unique look of the vehicle in place.
Q4. Is The Nissan Armada Good In Snow?
The Armada is quite well suited to the snow, with a strong ground clearance system introduced in the second generation well adapted to the snow.
In recent versions, the rear independent suspension prevents slipping and allows towing to be made more convenient. The all-wheel-drive system also adjusts power and torque to prevent slipping and ensure a comfortable experience in the snow.
Q5. Where Is Armada Made?
The first generation of the Armada was assembled mainly in Canton, Mississippi, where the manufacturing and assembly of the vehicle were done.
From mid-2016 onwards, the second generation of the vehicle was assembled and manufactured in certain areas in Japan, such as Yukuhashi and Kyushu. This is where the vehicle is primarily made.
So with all that said and done, I can conclude the best and worst years for Nissan Armada article and furthermore, I can say that the Nissan Armada is a solid, reliable vehicle with several qualities that allow it to stand as a strong independent full-size SUV.
However, there are certain shortcomings regarding the brakes and certain engine problems, but these are generally too infrequent and minor.
In fact, with regular maintenance and repair, the vehicle can last you a very long time, and you will genuinely be content with the performance and comfort being provided.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to create an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.