Best & Worst Nissan Armada Years

I've taken a closer look at every Nissan Armada from 2004 until the latest model and categorized the best & worst years in this complete guide.

In this guide, I’ll break down all Nissan Armada generations, unveiling the best years for the Nissan Armada to buy and the worst Armada years to avoid.

We offer an in-depth analysis of the Nissan Armada by drawing on extensive data from reliable sources like NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, ensuring you receive well-rounded insights.

Specifically, I’ll focus on key areas for the Nissan Armada, like its reliability by year, powertrain, safety and technological advancements, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and resale values.

Let’s dive in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Nissan Armada Generations

The Nissan Armada, a full-size SUV, debuted in 2004, featuring robust V8 power and ample space. It quickly became known for its towing capacity, roomy interior, and rugged capability.

The following table provides an overview of the Nissan Armada generations from 2004.

1st generation (TA60)2004-2015
2nd generation (Y62)2017-Present

By listing the generations, we aim to provide a comprehensive view of the Nissan Armada’s evolution, as significant alterations between generations often play a vital role in a buyer’s choice.

Nissan Armada Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

In assessing the best and worst years for the Nissan Armada across its generations, we’ve meticulously considered a wide array of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

Here is a graph providing a clear visual representation of the Nissan Armada’s evolution through the years based on the combined insights from these trusted sources.

Nissan Armada Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

The following table categorizes all model years of the Nissan Armada into the best, neutral, and worst years, offering a quick answer for potential buyers:

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (TA60)2011
2nd generation (Y62)2020

Neutral Years don’t stand out significantly in either direction – they’re not plagued with widespread issues but don’t feature the high levels of acclaim or improvement of the best years.

Some factors, like NHTSA recalls, can significantly impact a vehicle’s reliability rating. More complaints and recalls typically correlate with lower reliability and owner satisfaction.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years of the Nissan Armada.

Best & Worst Years for Nissan Armada 1st Generation (2004-2015)

Nissan Armada 1st generation 2004 model
The 2004 Nissan Armada

The first-generation Nissan Armada, launched in 2004, spanned over a decade and showcased a blend of rugged capability with family-oriented utility.

The best years for the first-generation Nissan Armada span between 2011 and 2015, while the early years from 2004 to 2008 are the worst years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

The best years of the first-generation Armada are seen in its later years, particularly from 2011 to 2015.

These models are powered by a robust 5.6L V8 engine, delivering around 317 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque, and a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Although not a strong suit for large SUVs, the fuel economy hovered around 13 city/19 highway MPG for the 2WD version.

Trim levels included SV, SL, and the luxurious Platinum, each offering increasing degrees of comfort and technology, including features like rear-seat entertainment systems, navigation, and upgraded Bose audio systems.

Safety features in these years saw improvements by including parking sensors, rearview cameras, and advanced airbag systems.

These years saw fewer recalls and consumer complaints, indicating enhanced reliability and build quality.

The Neutral Years: 2009, 2010

The 2009 and 2010 newly facelifted Nissan Armada models represented a transitional phase.

They retained the same 5.6L V8 engine and 5-speed automatic, providing a balance of power and smooth driving.

These years saw modest interior features and technology updates, such as improved infotainment systems and minor aesthetic enhancements.

While these models didn’t witness significant overhauls, they significantly set the stage for the later, more refined models.

The Worst Years: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

Which are the Nissan Armada years to avoid? Our research revealed that the early years of the first-gen Nissan Armada, 2004-2008, were fraught with problems.

The most pressing issues were around the braking system. The 2004 to 2008 Nissan Armada models faced brake failures indicated by a loud grinding sound and vibration, mainly due to defects in delta stroke sensors and brake boosters, which led to safety risks.

The 2005-2008 Nissan Armada models were notorious for inaccurate fuel gauge readings.

Additionally, these years were marked by several recalls addressing engine control module malfunctions leading to stalling and fuel gauge problems.

Interior build quality and durability were other areas of concern, particularly in the 2008 Armada.

See NHTSA 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Nissan Armada recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Nissan Armada 2nd Generation (2017-Present)

Nissan Armada 2nd generation 2017 model
The 2017 Nissan Armada

The second generation of the Nissan Armada, introduced in 2017, brought the Armada closer in line with its upscale Infiniti QX80 sibling, offering a more refined experience.

Model years from 2017 to 2019 are the worst second-gen Nissan Armada years to avoid, while the best and most reliable years to buy span 2020 onwards.

The Best Years: 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

The 2020 to 2024 Armada models represent the second generation’s best and most reliable years.

These versions have a powerful 5.6L V8 engine, producing an impressive 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, and a smooth and responsive 7-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel efficiency sees a modest improvement over the first generation, with an average of around 14 city/19 highway MPG for the 2WD version.

Trim levels include the SV, SL, Platinum, and the top-tier Platinum Reserve, each progressively enhancing luxury and technology features.

Key technological advancements include a sophisticated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and advanced driver-assist systems like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

The safety features are bolstered by Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite, which includes high-beam assist, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.

These models also benefit from fewer recalls and reported issues, significantly improving overall reliability and build quality.

The Worst Years: 2017, 2018, 2019

What years did the Nissan Armada have transmission problems? With various electrical and transmission issues, 2017, 2018, and 2019 are the second-generation Nissan Armada years to avoid.

The 2017 Nissan Armada year experienced challenges with its electrical systems, notably issues with the instrument cluster’s lighting and battery drainage problems.

Transmission issues were also reported, with some improper shifting at low RPMs.

The 2018 and 2019 Nissan Armada models struggled with battery-related issues, leading to frequent replacements and start-up problems.

The 2018 Armada also saw a recall of the backup camera display, a critical safety feature.

While these models shared the same robust engine and transmission as the later years, these persistent issues and recalls place them in the worst category for this generation.

See NHSTA 2017, 2018, 2019 Nissan Armada recalls and complaints.

Nissan Armada Resale Values

View the graph below, which showcases the Nissan Armada’s average resale values across different model years and generations.

Nissan Armada Average List Price


As we conclude our journey through the Nissan Armada’s history, it’s clear that the 2011-2015 and 2020-2024 models stand out as the best and most reliable years for the Nissan Armada.

Conversely, the 2004-2008 and 2017-2019 ranges are the worst Nissan Armada years to avoid.

Have you had personal experiences with any of the best or worst Nissan Armada model years?

Share your experiences and thoughts below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.