2022 Nissan Armada Platinum First Test Review: Feels as Big as It Looks
- Great automatic AWD
- Luxury interior materials
- V-8 feels powerful
- Weight hampers nimbleness
- Slow-shifting transmission
- Tall gearing
When it comes to Nissan, Platinum trim always denotes its top equipment offering. It usually comes with solid tech, fine materials (for a mass-market, non-luxury OEM), and the better powertrains for the model in question. That’s exactly what you get from the 2022 Nissan Armada Platinum, but you also get an SUV that feels like it looks: big. That’s good in some ways and not so great in others.
The Armada Platinum’s interior is fitted with some great-feeling leather that wraps the seats, steering wheel, and even the shift knob for the seven-speed automatic transmission. It’s all nice and supple to the touch, feeling like something you’d expect in the Nissan’s luxury sister SUV, the Infiniti QX80. The standard 10-way driver’s seat and eight-way passenger seat are heated and cooled, a feature that’s also standard on the Platinum model.
The large body is great for those looking for some decent room; it fits seven passengers, thanks to a pair of captain’s chairs in place of the three-passenger second-row bench seat. Those passengers are also entertained by the standard 8.0-inch headrest-mounted screens, with a pair of wireless headphones included as part of the Family Entertainment package that comes with the Platinum trim. The third row is not only powered and able to fold flat but can also split 60/40. However, you only have 16.5 cubic feet for cargo when the third-row seats are in place, but the figure expands to 49.9 cubic feet when you fold them down.
We found using the interior is rather intuitive; getting used to the 2022 Nissan Armada Platinum’s controls took roughly half a day or so for us to figure everything out. While the Armada Platinum does feature radar-based cruise control, it stops working once you come to a stop. You can re-engage it once you’re rolling again in excess of 5 mph, but having full stop-and-go capability would be nicer. Regardless, most of the occupants will be comfortable and entertained on their journey, no matter how long it is. The highway ride is excellent even without an air-suspension system to smooth out the coil-sprung, fully independent setup. Meanwhile, the Armada Platinum can tow up to an 8,500-pound trailer with ease. It even comes standard with a trailer-brake control system with sway control and an integrated Class IV trailer hitch.
Looking at Numbers
Despite its size, the 2022 Nissan Armada Platinum V-8 feels powerful and smooth, yet it only has a seven-speed automatic transmission and 400 hp. It shouldn’t feel as strong as it does off the line with its 5,956 pounds. But we managed to accelerate it to 60 mph in a solid 6.2 seconds, with a quarter-mile time of 14.8 seconds at 94.2 mph. However, despite its smooth shifts, the Armada’s transmission was slow to move into each gear. Another surprise was just how settled the big SUV felt during hard braking. We needed 124 feet to bring it to a halt from 60 mph, but despite some noticeable nose dive, it was stable all the way through the test.
During some mountain driving and across our figure-eight course, we noted a lot of roll in the corners, and the nose dive was present once again. However, the all-wheel-drive system worked well to keep the big SUV reasonably balanced, powering out of the corners well despite the transmission’s tall gearing. While driving up and down our local twisting paths, the steering felt just about the right amount of heavy—it could be a tad lighter, but not by much—and provided excellent feedback as to what the front tires were doing.
More About the Drive
The Armada’s exterior lighting was good during night runs up and down that same hairpin-filled road. The automatic high-beam headlights worked well enough with oncoming traffic that we felt confident keeping the system active. Even if you’re not tackling a canyon road in this big SUV, the 2022 Nissan Armada Platinum offers great night visibility in general, and you’ll never feel like you’re lacking either forward or side illumination. The only issue is that it’s a large body to pilot around tight spaces with its 79.9-inch width and 208.9-inch length.
Fortunately, the Armada Platinum comes standard with Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor, which gives the driver camera views for the front, rear, sides, and a simulated overhead view. Its parking sensors will also bring you to a complete stop if it detects anything in the Armada’s path while backing up, though it’s a bit picky in terms of what’s too close in some situations. It will also scare the heck out of you when you’re backing up and know you’re clear of something, but the SUV suddenly and violently jerks to a halt because it thinks otherwise. We suppose that’s better than backing into a pole, wall, or some other immovable object, though.
Overall, we recommend the 2022 Nissan Armada Platinum if you’re looking for a luxury boat for seven people without stepping up to the Infiniti QX80. Just keep in mind, it’s a big SUV and probably won’t be perfect for anyone that has tight spaces or roadways to deal with. The technology helps, but it’s still something you’ll have to contend with. On the other hand, if you do a lot of towing on the open road or have a large family to drive on trips, it’s not a bad way to spend a few hours behind the wheel.
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2022 Nissan Armada Platinum First Test: Feels as Big as It Looks
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