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2022 Nissan Armada

This week we were behind the wheel of the 2022 Nissan Armada, hands down, one of the largest vehicles I have driven to date. For a short Asian girl, this looks and feels big like a tank, and that was name I affectionately gave it after my first ride.

The Armada is able to seat 6 fully grown adults in the back 2 rows comfortably, 7 if you include the driver and front passenger seats. This is one of those SUVs that take up the road, a people mover ideal for extended drives and road trips where you are hauling plenty of cargo. I had the chance to drive my 2 friends around for the day and we all had so much room. We all could have claimed an entire row for ourselves if we wanted, however given the space in between each, it would have been hard to communicate and/or be heard. Seated normally, each individual was comfortable with plenty of personal space. You are not knocking elbows or fighting for a shared arm rest.

But first getting into it. In order to mount the Nissan Armada, I needed the aid of the step-up lip at the base of the door. Tip toe-ing on it, and gripping the handle on the door, I was able to prop myself up, and then grab the steering wheel to shimmy myself on to the driver seat. There is nothing that makes you feel smaller in frame than this. From my throne up high, I had an amazing vantage point. The visibility is great as I can see the tops of all the sedans before me and felt on par with the bus that passed by on the side. Although I would not get to enjoy this view much, as I found myself constantly scanning the road. Naturally, given the girth of the Armada, clearance is a concern. I was watching both sides to ensure that I stayed within my own lane. My entire driving pattern shifted as I found I got anxious behind the wheel, going extra slow on corners, and giving more room than what I am use to, to the car ahead of mine. I watched my lights and learned what distance I ought to stay back as to not blind the lower seated driver before me, knowing how distracting and annoying that could be for someone at such a lower profile, comparatively.

To ensure safe spacing, there are numerous audible alerts all around the vehicle. Different pitches and pulses to let you know when any of your corners or sides are too close to something else, or if you drift into a neighbouring lane. The lane assist is pretty firm and quick to activate. In other cars it comes across as co-steering, but in the husky Armada it is like a helping hand to direct. It gave off a steady, low beep-hum, and feels like you’re dragging the car across beveled grooved pavement, where the wheel auto-adjusts itself ever so slightly.

And then there are the underground parkades. Given the height, I was afraid going into my underground parking lot. I found myself crunching my body down , and slowly inching by to see if I made the ceiling clearance. If I would scrape or hit against the roof or on any low hanging pipes. I came out unscathed, but repeated the same speed and motion each time I entered and exited, due to reflexes.

I found the rear-view mirror most helpful in this endeavour. Given all the head rests that may obstruct your view, an external camera projects what is at your back end blind spot. This is my first experience with such technology, so I was pretty impressed. You can also use the mirror/screen’s reflective surface as a way to get a more traditional look at what is behind your seat/back.

Although at the same time the drive itself was smooth. The potholes on my daily commute and the flooded road that I often have to drive around were no longer an issue within the 2022 Nissan Armada. You don’t feel much being this high off of the ground and having as sturdy of a suspension as this off-road SUV had. Between the height and the V8 engine, I have never held so much power. There is a lot of torque and a lot of force that I really didn’t need for my daily drive. Although it was comforting, knowing it would be there if I should need it. And that I would win in a drag race, although at the cost of my fuel consumption. The Armada is not fuel friendly, there is a bit more consumption compared to other SUVs I have driven, especially when its has to haul so much of itself around. And naturally no Eco-mode to hemorrhage any of that cost.

As for the interior, The Armada is so spacious and just as large on the inside. It is not the kind of vehicle that you can easily reach to the back of, to grab something. You would have to literally stop the car, put it in park,, and move as you need to get what you are after. Thankfully there are many fun compartments to store your belonging in. And this includes a slot in the centre console that allows you to store your phone safely within,. Secured and away from the temptation and distraction of using it while driving, as it simultaneously gets charged.

The front seats are wide, plush and all-around supportive. However, the lumbar support is weird and uncomfortable. It literally feels like there is a bar positioned horizontally across the seat and is constantly pushing against the mid of your back. Not your upper back or the lower back, where you would need lumbar support, but simply the middle of it in discomfort. There is no way to move it or customize it, only just the switch that makes it protrude more or less.

Although at the end of the day, if there was any daily driver to be crowned car King on the road, it would definitely be the Nissan Armada. Impressive to look at and even more to be seen driving in. A great all power SUV for hauling supplies and people on the weekdays, and disappearing into the wilderness with during the weekends.


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