The third row seats are power operated with controls both in the cargo area as well as another easily visible and accessible set on the armrest/cupholder area which allows the occupants to select the rear backrest angle or to fold the seats into the floor (once the headrests are pushed down manually). This rear set of seats technically holds three people (with seatbelts but no center headrest) and while I fit, it wasn’t a long term proposition for someone of my size, finding myself squeezed into place. Best for the kids. Note that there are two cupholders next to the seat, bonus points there. Two more were on the other side.
The cargo area is roomy enough although if all seats are up and in use hopefully it’s a sunny destination with few bags needed. With the third row down, there’s much more space of course. It measures in at 16.5 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 49.9 behind the second row, and 95.4 behind the front row if everything in back is folded.
This is about the same as last year’s (2020) Chevy Tahoe, but the 2021 version of that vehicle for example somehow has between 30 and 50% more room in every instance. The Armada is better in this regard than the Land Cruiser but falls somewhat behind both the Sequoia as well as the Expedition to say nothing of the (admittedly much longer) Suburban.
Of course the hatch is powered and there is a shallow storage space under the rearmost floor section. A class IV integrated receiver hitch is included under a cover panel in the bumper.
The Japanese manufacturers have long built famously smooth engines and their thoroughly modern V8 offerings have left nothing to be desired in that aspect. Nissan’s 5.6liter “Endurance” DOHC V8 returns this year with a power rating of 400hp@5,800rpm and 413lb-ft of torque@4,000rpm, numerical increases of 10 and 19 respectively over last year. To achieve these power ratings, premium fuel is recommended (but not required, presumably at some power loss if a lower grade is selected). This engine is the standard (and only) engine offered across the entire Armada range.
And boy, is it an engine! Fired up by the tickle of a finger on the starter button, it idles silently, pulls strongly, and isn’t afraid to rev. When doing so it makes a subdued noise that sounds worthy of every penny spent and then some. Others have tested its 0-60 times and achieved results in the six-second neighborhood which is mindboggling for an almost 6,000lb vehicle in this case.
Nissan makes no bones about the fact that they believe owners will want to tow with this vehicle, and the aforementioned 8,500lb tow rating is available on both the 4WD as well as 2WD versions. The transmission is a smooth 7-speed with which it was not readily evident as to which gear was engaged at any time. I have no recollection of any actual shifting going on, just buttery smooth forward motion.
And as long as the motion is forward all is good, it’s when the heading needs changing that it’s all a little less engaging. The steering is fairly slow with lots of wheel motion needed to engage a turn and little obvious indication of how much it would turn. The turning circle was commendably tight but even with the double wishbone independent front as well as rear suspension (auto-leveling) it wasn’t ever really any fun to drive quicker than one needed to go.
A fair amount of lean didn’t help but I’ll add that it didn’t seem dangerous or anything of the sort either. On a highway with bends in it it was composed and steady but there was no sense of it wanting to be pushed any harder than necessary around any of those bends either.
The ride on the other had was excellent. Equipped with very large 22″ wheels (standard on Platinum) and Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires in 275/50-22 sizing I was afraid it would clomp like a Clydesdale, but nothing of the sort occurred. It’s remarkable in fact how well it just soaked up bumps and road imperfections including a few large potholes.
Perhaps the 22″ wheels are of such large diameter that they just rolled over everything, but even their likely massive weight wasn’t readily noticeable when underway. Clearly the SUV is tuned for comfort over handling and for what it’ll mostly be used for that’s likely the correct emphasis. The family isn’t going to be towing the boat around Laguna Seca on the way to Monterey Bay after all.
Of course one can’t have it all, and with capability comes the need for energy to provide it. The first couple of days with the Armada had me doing typical in town errands and some preliminary picture-taking for about 35 miles in which the average mileage was displayed at 11.7mpg after a reset upon receipt. Then on the third day I took a fast trip to Laramie and back via Hwy 287 that added another 140 miles and significantly increased the accrued mileage average to almost 18mpg.
After that a trip to the eastern plains for another 70 miles that wasn’t very taxing and then another 33 miles of in-town driving as a bunch of shorter trips, the sort that kill economy. After all was said and done the total was 288 miles but the average mpg was 16.9. Officially the Armada is rated for 13mpg City, 18 Highway and 15 Average. For the most part it was just me in the car but the A/C was on most of the time as well. The 16.9 that I got surprised me, I figured I’d be more in the 14-15 range.
Being a car used mostly for family duty, Nissan does have some room to work on their safety ratings. According to the Monroney sticker, while the Overall Vehicle Score achieved a 5-star rating in the NHTSA testing program, the frontal crash scores were only two and three stars for the driver and passenger respectively. That’s the risk of injury in a frontal crash, but should ONLY be compared to other vehicles of similar size and weight.
What that means is that a large vehicle such as this would likely fare very well against a highly rated but much smaller vehicle but may see more issues if going against a similar sized one. It does not mean for instance that a small Nissan Versa is an objectively safer vehicle to have an accident in. Side impact protection though was excellent at five stars for front and rear seats (big car, lots of room inside), and the risk of a rollover in a single-vehicle incident earned it three stars, a result likely of it being a taller vehicle.
All Armadas are built alongside their Infiniti QX80 and Nissan Patrol brethren in Japan and the 2021 Armada lineup starts at a price point of $52,900 plus mandatory $1,495 Destination Charge, but that’s for a RWD SV trim level model, still an extremely capable and well equipped vehicle.
This Platinum 4WD model however starts at exactly $68,000 plus the Destination charge. Options were limited to $320 for carpeted floor mats (who would spend $68k on an SUV and not want floor mats?), illuminated kick plates for $390, welcome lighting for $395 and lastly $695 for the second row captain’s chairs with center console.
Altogether that amounts to $71,250 which seemed like a lot to me initially but surprisingly after a little research is neck and neck with the Toyota Sequoia top trim level, far below the Land Cruiser, and quite a bit below the Chevy Tahoe even without selecting the top trim level nor the top engine in that SUV (so the Tahoe still ends up lower-powered at greater cost). All of the other GM options would be even more.
The Ford Expedition ends up priced far higher as well in only its middle trim level (of five) in short wheelbase form. So with the Sequoia coming across as significantly lower rent inside on a much older chassis, the Armada Platinum ends up as a total value play even when loaded up with everything on offer.
With the exception of the panoramic sunroof (which I didn’t select on the others to compare pricing if possible) the Nissan doesn’t seem to be missing anything obvious in the equipment races either. Standard wireless Apple CarPlay and in-vehicle Wi-Fi, AndroidAuto, Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 and all of the other modern electronic safety assist systems are all included.
Powered tilt/telescope steering wheel with memory, lit cupholders, intelligent around-view monitor, 13-speaker Bose Premium Audio, three-zone auto HVAC, intelligent rear view mirror (camera based or flip for standard), the towing package as well as everything else mentioned or shown above is standard.
Nissan has been going from strength to strength lately with an astounding number of new or significantly refreshed models being released and all of them seemingly big improvements on what came before. The large SUV market is big in this country with lots of good options out there. Nissan is a little constrained in its pricing due to getting close to bumping up to its premium brand neighbor, however in my mind it seems foolish to pay the extra when the Armada offers so much, so competitively, and looks so similar (arguably better in my opinion).
I know I’ve said it before but I’ll mention again that turnarounds start with good products, and while not perfect in every way there is a lot to like here. If in the market it’d be foolish to dismiss the Armada out of hand without at least looking at it and then having to decide if the extra cost elsewhere is really worth it; especially since the really good bits (namely the powertrain components) are identical across the board, so perhaps the top Platinum trim isn’t even needed although seemingly still an excellent value in comparison.
A platinum-coated Thank You to the folks at Nissan for providing us this new Armada and a full tank of fuel to enjoy it with!
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I always seem to draw these as rentals for family vacations. The DOHC V8 is a fantastic engine – It makes amazingly expensive and sophisticated sounding mechanical noises, unlike the OHV engines of the domestics. Nissan or Infiniti should drop this engine into one of their cars. That would be as turnaround!
My biggest problem is the anonymous, somnambulist styling. If you hadn’t put captions under your side-by-side photos, I would be hard pressed to tell you which is the new model and which is the old.
It’s a mid-cycle refresh, not a whole new model/generation, hence the non-comprehensive body updates. The differences to the Infiniti model are similar, i.e without badges or the signature grille it wouldn’t be obvious which is which.
I sure wish Nissan the best on their road to recovery. It seems as though, at least in the US market, they were pandering to the lowest wrung there for a while. Sad to see the fall from their glory days, they really had some quality and innovative products back then.
Lowest rung is correct. Nissan products were the default vehicle for those whose credit rating kept them from being able to get a Toyota or Honda.
IOW, Nissan has historically been in the same bottom-feeder group as Chevrolet, Dodge, and Mitsubishi.
Yes and no. Most recently, yes. But the 80s and 90s brought us very desirable Nissan products. 240z, 300zx, GTR and others plus lots of innovation on other vehicles, even if they were pedestrian overall. Think Pathfinder (early small SUV), V6 small pickups (first or early in this segment), Maxima 4 door sports car, etc.
Of course, they needed to sell many Sentras and Hardbodies, et al to afford to build the higher-end cars, you’re likely recalling the sheer volume of those machines…
An example of Nissan’s ‘innovation-on-the-cheap’ is the Leaf. Instead of using a proper thermal system to control the battery’s temperature (and longevity), Nissan decided on a much less expensive, air-cooled, passive system with predictable results (batteries that quickly degrade) and low sales numbers. Even today, they didn’t see fit to upgrade to an active system on the second generation Leaf.
Low sales numbers?
The Nissan Leaf as of at least about a year ago was the most sold plug-in EV of all time with over half a million of them on the roads of the world. Europe was/is its top market followed by the US. It likely did as much to start getting people into EVs as Tesla did.
Yes the battery management could have been better, however likely not at the same price point and at the same time of introduction. That price point got a lot of people into them that likely would or could not have done so otherwise. Some of the early batteries had issues, largely solved by 2013, many replaced by Nissan. The second generation Leaf is a relatively minor development of the first one, not a whole new model.
In concept as well as execution there is not that much of a difference between the Leaf and the GM Bolt. Except the Bolt had a much higher tech battery with excellent thermal management and a far greater range. And, of course, a higher price tag. Compared to the Leaf (compared to anything really) it tanked in the marketplace.
In any case the Leaf, at least the initial model, was developed during the phase that I believe they have been overcoming as of late. I do not think they would introduce it today. The upcoming Nissan Ariya will be interesting to see.
Nissan being in the same group as GM, Stellantis and Mitsubishi?
I get the Stellantis connection because both of the companies are majority owned by French brands. GM because well, GM. But Mitsubishi, that’s a low blow. Nissan has some serous issues, but I wouldn’t say they are Mitsubishi bad.
I would replace Mitsubishi with Hyundai/Kia. Yes Kia has been making some very attractive vehicles lately, but Hyundai seems content to cruise around Dullsville with Toyota. Being stuck in Dullsville is not a bad thing for Toyota because he has a full ride scholarship to Harvard. Hyundai on the other hand is still trying to get the stench of the Excel’s corpse out of his trunk. While he’s almost there,he’s still just a few bottles of Febreeze short.
Er…don’t look now, but…look now.
How is it that brands that never made it in the US market can take over brands that did?
Daniel, I stand corrected it appears Nissan has lumped themselves into the same group as Mitsubishi.
It difficult to connect the posh vehicle featured here with the crude device that last wore the Patrol name in the U.S. and realize this is the successor to that model. Then again, the Land Cruiser followed the same trajectory over the same time period, so why not?
Trivia: the 1960s Patrol was sold in the U.S. as a Nissan, even though all of their other cars and trucks were called Datsun back then.
If you find that difficult, spare a thought for the poor Aussie famers who loved the old Patrol for its toughness! Some felt the Toyota was too soft, yet interestingly when you really get into the outback desert (as in 200km or more between towns), Toyotas are all you see. Surprised me too.
This generation Patrol marked a massive size jump over the previous one, which was a big minus for off-road maneuverability. As if that wasn’t enough of a kick in the teeth for Aussie buyers, it only comes with that big petrol V8 – no diesel of any sort. What?
As a result, you hardly ever see these on the road. In this market, they’re just not competitive any more. This one belongs to my brother-in-law, a farmer in southwest New South Wales. Whatever he replaces it with, it won’t be a Nissan.
Indeed. And what would Bill Peach be driving today if he was still around? I was fascinated as a kid by this strange “Nissen” thing – weren’t they rounded corrugated huts? – he used on that iconic show.
I was familiar with them, as my high school woodwork teacher had one, a green SWB canvas-back 60-series. In fact there used to be one just like it as ‘yard art’ on a nearby farm. ‘Cruisers were always commoner though. Nissan has ceded that market to Toyota by default. And they don’t sell cars here any more, only crossover-thingies and SUVs.
Do they really want to stay in business?
If Oldsmobile was still around, this would be the 2021 Toronado Brougham Wagon.
I fully endorse colorful interiors and I’m not matchy-matchy person, but putting brown seats in an otherwise grey interior? Those seats look like they were taken out of a different vehicle.
Also, got a laugh out of the “new NISSAN logo”. Can your car brand with a circle around it be considered a logo? If so I’m getting into the branding business, squares, triangles, the possibilities are limitless.
Seats, door panels, console covers are brown. The areas of the interior not brown are black. The lighting and camera combine to make it look lighter.
I’m pleased to see the fully color-keyed interiors returning to some SUVs in non-neutral shades. Lincoln offers a lovely mahogany red throughout the interior in the Navigator and Aviator, and dark blue in several models, though in all cases you need to spec out the high-trim Black Label model (2020s equivalent of the 1970s designer editions). The new Jeep Grand Wagoneer also offers Blue Agave throughout the interior.
I’m with you I’m not a fan of the brown and grey or black interiors, especially when the brown is just the seats and a bit on the door panel. It makes it look like a tuner car from the 90’s where they reupholstered the cloth on the door panel to (sort of) match their racing seats, or seats from a different car. I’ll take all black over something like this every day.
Sorry if my pix and description were unclear, the second row straight across picture probably shows it best – it’s the majority of the door panel including the upper, the armrest, the door pull, not just an insert patch. Below is the black plastic bin panel that everyone kicks with their foot and at the top forward end is an expanse of fairly convincing plastiwood. Also the top of the center console bins.
In any case there are options, there’s also a tan as well as a solid black on this trim level.
I see that this is more than just a small part of the door, my point was these types of two tones remind me of those custom cars from the 90’s.
I guess, the Expedition does it too in the same places, they might use a bit of the color on the dash to make it two-toned too where the Nissan uses wood as an accent there. Nissan’s just keeping up with the Joneses, buyers seem to like some color in their interiors. But like I said they offer an all black option too for the traditionalists. Choices! Maybe it’s a big SUV thing, I don’t know.
The Tahoe’s newfound interior space is largely the result of its new IRS, I have to assume.
In an alternate universe, I’d be taking this across Nevada.
I think the Tahoe also got a few inches longer in this generation.
Paul is correct, it’s the independent suspension on the Tahoe that added the room. This new suspension allowed for more space efficient interior with a lower floor, inparticular for the rear passengers. It’s also noteworthy that the Sequoia and Expedition also have independent rear suspension too and they have traditionally been the most spacious in this class.
Jim, excellent review as always, even though it’s a vehicle I’d never desire to own.
I have found these intriguing, but have never known a lot about them. I just saw one of these new ones the other day and realized I had kind of forgotten them – they are not seen all that frequently in my area.
This looks like a very appealing package. I drive past a Nissan dealer twice a day and will have to see if they carry any of them. Of course, now might not be the best time for looking with that chip shortage.
Does the 4WD system have a dual range transfer case?
Every 2021 Armada is available in a choice of rear-wheel drive or Nissan’s advanced Auto 4WD system, which features Auto/4HI/4LO modes, electronically controlled part-time transfer case and 2.70:1 4LO gear ratio.
Under normal driving conditions, the system operates in 2WD drive mode, but it can distribute torque to all four wheels when road conditions warrant (up to 50 percent of torque can go to the front wheels on demand).
Thank you. It sounds like the potential is there for third(??) owners to turn these into superb off-road rigs.
We have a 2019 Armada, which seems to be pretty similar except for the interior gadgetry. We love it as a road-trip vehicle: Comfortable, spacious, quiet, powerful. Hopefully the infotainment system is less buggy now.
I’m not sure about describing this vehicle as “all wheel drive.” It’s definitely not like a Subaru system. It’s rwd by default, and will only engage the front axle if the rears slip. You can set it to 4-high (or 4-low), but the max recommended speed for 4-high is 60 mph. So technically it’s awd since the front will engage automatically, but only after you lose traction. It’s fine for a lot of situations, but it’s not as secure if you’re on the highway and encounter snow or ice patches.
I don’t know if the 2019 is the same way – the 2021 has settings for Auto AWD, then 4Hi and then 4Lo. Sounds like it though if those are the controls on the knob.
So the Auto AWD is by default RWD and moves power to the front when it detects slip, kind of the opposite of most FWD based systems. 4Hi and 4Lo obviously lock the split in and always send power to both ends.
There’s also the modes including Snow mode which generally tends to help in those instances of mixed conditions as well.
I didn’t have any snow this time, but if I owned this vehicle in snowy conditions I would also invest in a set of winter tires, we had similar Bridgestone Duelers on our Mercedes GL450 and switching to Blizzaks in the winter made a significant difference all around.
Sorry, my comment wasn’t clear… it sounds like it’s the same as the 2021 model. The default *selection* is “auto 4wd” or something. In that mode, the default *power distribution* is 100% rwd. Then, in response to slippage, the front axle engages. 4-high is good up to 60 mph, but the driveline binds if you turn on dry surfaces.
Our town got whacked by unusual snow this winter, and our tiny fleet of plows didn’t catch up for about a week. The Armada did fantastic: since the asphalt was completely covered with snow, and we never had to drive too fast, 4-high was sufficient. The OEM tires (Geolanders?) were up to the job… though I’m cautious about braking and we have few hills here.
This is one of the many reasons that the Armada is a sort of “discount” Land Cruiser. As I understand it, LCs have a default 50/50 torque split, with the ability to change that distribution and/or lock the center diff. So if I were regularly dealing with unpredictable low-traction situations, the Armada wouldn’t be a great option…. having said that, our Armada cost about 50% of a Land Cruiser!
“The DOHC V8 is a fantastic engine – It makes amazingly expensive and sophisticated sounding mechanical noises, unlike the OHV engines of the domestics”.
Definitely on a Ferrari or Lambo, but this vehicle?
Oh well, to each his own.
I think you meant to reply to Tom, not to me. That being said it is a great engine and does sound appropriate to the price tag.
Nice review, as always. I had the first-gen Infiniti version as a rental once, on a snowy vacation trip in Colorado. It worked well, though I felt a bit self-conscious in it. But it sounds like Nissan should borrow a SW feature from our Golf: when you remove the key, the main display pops up with a message: “Don’t forget your cell phone”.
Exactly what does this behemoth offer, other than towing capacity, which appeals to a tiny slice of potential buyers? Yes, it is nice, well built and no doubt quite reliable. 13-14 MPG, however, is unacceptable today. What does your 70 grand get you over, say, an Acura MDX for 15K less? And the Acura will return over 20 MPG.
The mega SUV’s such as Suburban, Tahoe, Expedition all approach 6,000 lbs. and get terrible fuel economy. I can understand the large trailer owner needing such a vehicle. However, I seriously doubt if more than 10% of these are tasked with that job.
It offers freedom of choice, same as the others you mentioned. In addition to, as you stated, being well built and likely quite reliable.
Plenty of people would probably look at you aghast for being so wasteful in an Acura MDX when vehicles such as the Rav4 or Highlander Hybrid exist. 20mpg is just as unacceptable if you further change the context the same relative amount. It does get far better gas mileage around town than a 3/4 ton pickup truck that holds less people so there’s that too.
Nissan would be likely be happy to sell you a Pathfinder, Rogue, Rogue Sport or even a Kicks if that does it for you and meets your needs and more importantly your desires better. Some people like the larger Nissan model, around 30,000 of them every year in the U.S. in fact for the last few. The others sell multiples more than that. Nissan can probably afford to not sell any of these though better than Ford or GM can afford to not sell theirs. As I pointed out the Nissan seems to be the value leader in the segment.
There are probably a decent number of Acura MDX intenders that say hey for only a few thousand more I can upgrade to this! Having been in recent MDXs the Nissan is nicer and far roomier inside with a generally more durable drivetrain layout. (Not saying the MDX is a bad vehicle, but not a natural segment competitor).
If I had three or four kids, a dog, and a boat or a camper and was into that lifestyle I’d likely look at this as well as compare it to the others in the segment. Around here there are a surprising amount of people that do have exactly all of that. The real question is not what does the Armada get you for $15k or whatever over the MDX but what does the top level SWB Tahoe or Yukon Denali or Expedition get you for yet another $15-20k or more? Why are they so much more when you’d think the volumes they are built in would make them be able to be priced more competitively?
Nice review of a vehicle that leaves me with some conflicting emotions.
I rented a 2020 Armada in NYC last year, just before the pandemic began. Initially upset that Hertz had upgraded me to the big and bulky Armada from a Ford Escape “or equivalent” for a trip that would involve mostly urban driving, I quickly grew to love the Armada over the four days or so that we had it.
There was plenty of room for 4-5 passengers and their luggage; it rode well on the pot-holed streets of Manhattan and New Jersey’s notoriously pockmarked Pulaski Skyway; there was plenty of power, allowing quick lane changes in heavy traffic; and it was surprisingly nimble for its size. Our rental was a lower-spec version than the vehicle tested here, but it was very comfortable and seemed well put together. The two chief downsides were its high fuel consumption, as noted in the review, and the fact that I had to pay a large vehicle premium in tight city parking garages.
I agree with the comments that most recent Nissan vehicles are seen as less desirable than equivalent models from Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet and others. Based on this and prior Jim Klein reviews of other Nissan vehicles, it appears that Nissan is making a concerted effort to improve the competitiveness and desirability of their vehicles so that they don’t always have to be sold strictly on the basis of price or easy credit. My positive experiences with an Armada notwithstanding, I am still not sure Nissan would be my first, second or even third stop when shopping for something like this, in the unlikely event I ever needed a vehicle in this class.
Nissan seems to be well aware that their prior path was not one to continue on and have announced that they wish to produce lower volumes but higher quality product. I don’t think they are under any illusions that a turnaround won’t take time. However with products that are clearly better than what was offered before, that turnaround can in fact happen. Eventually, maybe, hopefully. Currently the price of this particular tested vehicle undercuts the others in the same class with the same features. If it fits their needs on paper, people likely will look at it if only to see what exactly is causing the others to cost more (beyond some premium brand cred that at least two of the domestic labels don’t innately have either). Then it’ll be up to those people to decide where to spend their money. As you know, people usually don’t get to the point of being able to spend $70-100k on an SUV by wasting it.
As that one guy from Waterworld said in that TV show, “If you build it they will come.”
I never thought I’d own a GM product, but our Encore is A) a damn decent car B) an even MORE decent car when GM tosses some money in the glovebox because their brand equity is in the toilet C) Something I can look at every day and enjoy, and not feel that I “settled” for it instead of a product from a competing marque.
I also think of Nissan as the “I wanted a Toyota/Honda but my credit score is under 600” brand, but if they make a good vehicle, I’ll take a look, and if it meets my needs and other subjective criteria, I’ll sign on the dotted line.
Armed thus with shiny many toys but selling at a low rate for something in the size of the US market, could it be said that in relation to its competition, the Armada, armed harder, hardly harmed?
Sorry! But the name is preposterous, and squeezes my irritation gland. Where’s the rest of the fleet, which is incidentally a word when used adjectivally that is the last thing one would use to describe this beast. Is it perhaps an ironic post-modern reference to the international re-fuelling flotilla need to keep it slaked? I mean, if they really must use a collective noun, what about the Wad (for the cash needed to buy it), or the Bundle (ditto), or the Ream (ditto ditto), or the Bunch (the amount needed bi-weekly to fuel it)? Whyever not just call it the Patrol, a simple, unpretentious….oh!….collective noun. Well I never.
Moving right along, the Patrol as this IS called downunderneath, is an absurd own-goal for Nissan. The previous jobs, rough-ish but not at all bad vehicles, sold in decent numbers to those who couldn’t stretch to a ‘Cruiser: very tough, very competent off-road, good tow-cars. Then this model appeared sans diesel, despite Nissan having a large array of excellent derv motors to chuck in. It’s been outsold 10:1 ever since. It’s not just the cost of fuel, it’s range. Without a, god-knows, 250 litre tank, you couldn’t tow a big van between many places on the rural map (not to mention that theoretical tank costing $350 AUD at current prices!)
It’s particularly dumb when you consider that local reviews here indicate – like your review – it’s a perfectly decent vehicle, if a tad over-sized, and still highly competent off-road.
Just not at 8mpg when bought for the intended purpose of towing. Or worse, 11mpg when plowing on for hundreds of miles in 4wd high in rough dirt when not even hitched.
“squeezes my irritation gland” – love it!
In pursuing the American market so thoroughly, Nissan has produced a vehicle largely unsaleable elsewhere. Certainly a flop here in Australia. Wonder how it’s doing in Africa? I would imagine it’s the same story as here – no diesel, no sale.
Is Renault TRYING to hamstring Nissan?
William Stopford reported in his current role in your country that the current V8 Patrol sells around 2,000 units annually in Australia. I can’t though see what the older one used to sell every year as a comparison, do you guys know?
I believe your entire market is around a million units annually, of which the Land Cruiser 200 (the big one that this one sort of emulates, not including the 70-series etc) sold 13,677 in 2018. That’s about 4x as many as sold here (So the current Patrol has a far higher market share in Australia than the Land Cruiser does in the US) but then the TLC is a lot pricier and I believe much fancier in general, the more pedestrian Sequoia sold about 11,000 here in 2018 as a pretty average year.
The Armada on the other hand sold 32,000 copies here in 2018 (again, an average year for this body style) while the Infiniti added another 19,000 so about 51,000 total. I couldn’t find comprehensive figures for Europe or the Middle East or Africa.
Nissan is obviously paring back in countries or regions where they aren’t selling as well for whatever reasons in favor of ones they want to focus on currently, there’s only so much money in the cashbox. GM did the same thing after figuring they were spread too thin everywhere. Mazda is sometimes cited as an example that might want to do the same, although in that case it’s reversed, they seem to do better elsewhere than here.
Between 2013, when this gen of Patrol was released, and Jan 2021, it had sold 8500 units or so (and 2800 of that number in the post-pandemic buy-anything stampede of late 2020 alone): the 200 sold close to 100,000 in the same time frame, so about 10:1. I can’t easily find figures, but based on sheer visibility (then and now)the older GQ and GU Patrols sold plentifully, a guess being easily half the LC’s sales.
Toyota used to charge a gigantic premium for the diesel engine when the petrol still existed, and there’s no reason Nissan couldn’t have re-couped any investment by doing the same. In short, folk are prepared to pay big money for these rigs generally, and the profit in Toyota’s case is known to be high, let alone the brand respect/halo factor. Nissan does quite ok in Oz, so it’s a big missed opportunity for some juicy cream on top.
Found a random figure from 2004 – 14,400 LC’s, and 9,500 Patrols, a proportion that aligns with visibility on the roads.
The lack of a diesel definitely hurts the Patrol, but sales of it (and basically any other BOF SUV) are doing quite well considering we can’t leave the country.
The LandCruiser remains the king in this segment, though there are only two models technically in this segment as we don’t get Tahoe, Sequoia, Expedition etc
Last year, Nissan sold 2820 Patrols against 15078 LandCruisers. Technically, the latter figure also includes the 70 Series wagon as well as the 200 Series.
In 2019, Nissan sold 1951 Patrols against 13801 LandCruisers.
Go back to 2017, the first year the new Y62 didn’t have the old Y61 truck’s sales figures lumped in with it, and you’re looking at 916 sales. So it’s definitely on an upwards trajectory, in spite of the petrol-only line-up.
Without poring through too much VFACTS sales data, if I look at a random year – 2010 – Nissan sold 3206 Patrols against 9050 LandCruisers. Note that figure doesn’t include the pickup version, which had 1398 sales that year.
The ultimate Faux Roader. The new Armada has the same issue as the previous generation, its off-road prowess is poor. You cannot get an actual limited slip diff, on the back or the front axle. There is no locking center diff either. I know that for most people, this doesn’t matter, but at least Toyota kept in these features when bringing over anything based on the Land Cruiser.
The seats in these are very comfortable, and it would make a great highway cruiser, but once the snow starts flying, or road gets rough, you are going to be as good in those conditions as most AWD CUVs out there.