By on August 30, 2017

2018 Nissan Armada - Image: NissanThe 2018 Nissan Armada will be priced at $46,795, including destination, when it goes on sale Friday, September 1st; a $700 increase compared with 2016.

While that price increase would have been enough for the Nissan Armada to maintain its position as America’s least costly body-on-frame, full-size SUV, the sudden appearance of the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom has altered the playing field.

Competitors, not just Nissan but Toyota and Ford as well, didn’t need to give the class-leading Chevrolet even more capacity to dominate the category. But now the best seller is also the bargain of the bunch, and by a noticeable margin.

2018 Chevrolet Tahoe LS - Image: ChevroletThrough the first seven months of 2017, Chevrolet Tahoe sales had risen less than one half of one percent in a category that was up 7 percent. Despite limited growth, however, the Tahoe and its GM cohorts (the long-wheelbase Suburban and Tahoe/Suburban twins from GMC) own 67 percent of the segment so far this year.

Granted, that’s down from 72 percent a year ago. Where did that chunk of GM full-size SUV market share go?

To the Nissan Armada, no longer an SUVified Nissan Titan but an Americanized Nissan Patrol. Armada sales nearly tripled to 16,632 units so far this year. That’s still a low total by the standards of GM and Ford competition, but enough to almost certainly make 2017 the best year for U.S. Armada sales in a decade.

SUV July 2017 July 2016 % Change 2017 YTD 2016 YTD % Change
Chevrolet Tahoe 6,824 8,431 -19.1% 51,833 51,652 0.4%
Ford Expedition 3,617 5,963 -39.3% 34,734 33,721 3.0%
Chevrolet Suburban 3,392 5,055 -32.9% 28,295 27,970 1.2%
GMC Yukon 4,370 4,677 -6.6% 23,897 24,705 -3.3%
GMC Yukon XL 2,780 2,937 -5.3% 17,410 17,135 1.6%
Nissan Armada 2,477 606 309% 16,632 5,857 184%
Toyota Sequoia 963 1,025 -6.0% 7,174 7,322 -2.0%
Total 24,423 28,694 -14.9% 179,975 168,362 6.9%

Part of the Armada’s marketing advantage for the 2017 model year was a comparatively low MSRP. The 2017 Armada’s $46,095 SV 2WD sticker represented a $2,415 savings, at least before ample discounts are applied, compared with the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe LS 2WD.

But accompanying the Armada’s $700 price increase is a $3,750 price chop of the base Tahoe, now referred to as the Tahoe Custom. The 2017 Toyota Sequoia, meanwhile, stickers from $49,595. Ford’s new 2018 Expedition, excluding the fleet-only XL, starts at $52,890. GMC hasn’t yet released 2018 Yukon pricing, but it’s expected to continue to hover around the $50K mark.

Four-wheel drive is a $2,900 option on the 2018 Nissan Armada, though rear-wheel drive is standard on all three trim levels. Armada SLs start at $51,545. The Armada Platinum 4WD tops out at $62,785 before any options are added. All Armadas now include NissanConnect Services; the Armada Platinum now includes a Cadillac-like Intelligent Rear View Mirror with a rear-mounted camera projecting images onto an LCD monitor in the rearview mirror.

[Images: Nissan, General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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16 Comments on “Nissan Jacks Up 2018 Armada’s Price, Cedes Bargain Crown to 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom...”


  • avatar
    FOG

    Nissan’s new slogan, “Taking ugly to a new level!”

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      If anything, I think the Armada is one of the better looking SUVs for sale currently, and a massive improvement on the Infiniti variant.

      I think Nissan realized how much of a bargain these were and are just now correcting pricing to what it probably “should” have been to begin with. I think these are fantastic trucks, as iffy as I am on IRS in this class of vehicle. I just wish we got some of the mechanically locking diffs and more offroad centric options the overseas Patrol gets.

      • 0 avatar

        I have to agree with gtemnykh.
        These are pretty good looking in my book. Also for a new vehicle I see a ton of them here in the Northeast.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I’m with you on that. As this class trucks go, it looks fine. Only fly in the ointment, may be the wheels. Every Armada I’ve seen, has been equipped with big bling rims. While most Tahoes/Suburbans and Sequoias have smaller wheels. Not sure how the Armada styling would hold up to more normal sized wheels. But blinged out, it looks better than most of the others.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Agreed. I’d pay more than an Armada price for a Tahoe or Expedition just to avoid the Armada’s styling. It looks like a cartoon caricature of a big SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      Agreed here as well. IMO the Tahoe even with the refresh looks a little dated especially from the back end.

    • 0 avatar
      Menar Fromarz

      JHC, these things are ugly. I used to love Nissan products. But that was 25 years ago, when they were competent and cleanly styled vehicles. But now, good lord. There is more “styling” going on in its fake fender vent or tailamps than in an entire ’92 Maxima. And that’s not a good thing. If Mercedes now has made the leap from quietly understated presence to crass garishness, Nissan is giving them a damn good run for the title of poor taste king. The Titan is just the same as well, over the top bad taste. Give me a first gen hardbody Pathy any day.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        ^this.

        Datsun went through a period of over-styled cars before mellowing out after changing the name to Nissan world-wide.

        But, to be fair, it isn’t just Nissan. Hondas used to be clean and neat, so were Toyotas. Now, not so much.

  • avatar
    Heavymetal_Hippie

    Wow! This is one ugly vehicle! It accomplishes the curious effect of appearing very small, but in fact being far too large. Isn’t the point of SUV and truck design to actually achieve the *opposite* effect? Congrats, Nissan.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I must live in the town that buys all the Sequoias. I see them every day, while I recall seeing an Armada pictured in Car and Driver almost a decade ago. I do remember seeing two of the Infiniti Patrol variants, on account of their uncommon looks. This new Armada seems like a bargain price for a Patrol, but it also seems to be lacking all the hardware that makes the Patrol more than just another disguised Renault.

  • avatar
    ajla

    One huge positive (for me anyway) is that Nissan and Toyota give you their high-output V8 *standard*.

    To get the big-displacement V8 in GM Land you have to pony up big bucks for an RST or Denali while Ford only offer the jet-powered vacuums.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Tahoe Custom the Suburban Custom then Yukon SL (sold to public instead of just fleets) then Yukon SL XL?

    Pretty please?

  • avatar

    The Armada is a disgusting pig, but it least its a disgusting pig riding a Patrol chassis, not that garbage pile MS-built F-Alpha Titan-based joke.

    Also, I guarantee a good 25-35% of this Armada numbers are daily rentals.

  • avatar
    brn

    Wow, prices are higher than I expected.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    Huh. I’ve never seen one of these in real life, but there are dozens of the Infiniti version sitting in my parking lot right now. The Armada looks better to me, and I think that it is only slightly more than half the price of the Infiniti one.

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