Should You Take 2021 the Nissan Armada Off Road?

The 2021 Nissan Armada has decent specs when it comes to off-road capabilities, though you’ll have to pay extra for all-wheel drive
Written by Ethan Moser
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2021
Nissan Armada
is one of the only full-size SUVs on the market with the chops to handle off-road performance. From the back trails to the highway, the Nissan Armada’s got you covered. 
For adventurous drivers, having a vehicle that can tackle even the toughest of off-road conditions is an absolute must. But how can you tell whether or not your rugged-looking SUV is fit for the trails, or whether it’s just a facade? 
Here to break down the key specs of the 2021 Nissan Armada’s off-road performance is
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Can the 2021 Nissan Armada go off road?

Yes—the 2021 Nissan Armada is more than capable of going off road. That being said, it likely wouldn’t be an avid off-roader’s first choice when it comes to hitting the trails. 
Unlike some seriously decked-out off-roading vehicles, the Nissan Armada is relatively affordable, with a base MSRP of $49,500. At that price point, however, you’ll only be getting the Armada’s standard rear-wheel drive drivetrain—all-wheel drive will cost you extra.
But what else makes the 2021 Nissan Armada a great choice for off-road adventures? Let’s take a deep dive into some of this full-size SUV’s key specs. 

Ground clearance

As a general rule, ground clearance is one of the first specs you should investigate when considering a car for off-roading. The 2021 Nissan Armada boasts a minimum ground clearance of 9.1 inches, making it more than capable of tackling moderate off-roading conditions. 
For the most part, any vehicle with a ground clearance between 8.8 and 10.6 inches will be able to handle off-road adventures without seriously damaging its undercarriage. The higher a vehicle’s ground clearance, the more off-road obstacles it will be able to tackle without causing damage. While the Armada’s 9.1 inches is higher than, say, the 2021
Toyota RAV4’s
8.6 inches, it’s not as impressive as the 2021
Jeep Wrangler’s
9.7 inches—though all three are capable of going off-road. 


When you’re shopping for an off-road vehicle, you might be tempted to opt for the highest horsepower and torque at the highest possible RPMs, but the best off-roading vehicles boast low-end torque specs. Low-end torque refers to a high torque rating in terms of lb-ft, but at a lower RPM. This is because, on the trail, power is more important than speed. 
The 2021 Nissan Armada’s 5.6-liter V-8 engine offers a maximum torque output of 413 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM. That’s a decent amount of power at a relatively low RPM, meaning that the Armada is better suited for off-roading in terms of torque, than, say, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 with 184 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 RPM. 


When it comes to tires, the 2021 Nissan Armada features a set of P265/70HR18 tires on a standard model. If that looks like a load of gibberish to you, here’s what that means.
P265/70HR18 tires have a tire width of 265 millimeters, or 10.4 inches, and an aspect ratio of 70%. A tire’s aspect ratio is the measurement of its sidewalls—from the rim to the tread. The 18 at the end of the tire code means that these tires are designed to be installed on 18-inch wheels. P265/70HR18 tires are generally regarded as decent tires for off-roading purposes. 


Rear-wheel drive is the standard drivetrain on the 2021 Nissan Armada, but all-wheel drive is available for an additional cost. Rear-wheel drive really isn’t ideal for off-roading, so if you plan to tackle the trails, you should strongly consider upgrading to all-wheel drive. 


Off-roading is all about angles: specifically, the approach angle and departure angle: 
  • Approach angle: the maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference 
  • Departure angle: the maximum angle at which a vehicle can descend without interference
Because the 2021 Nissan Armada isn’t necessarily designed to be an off-road vehicle, its approach and departure angles are less than ideal for the practice coming in at 20.8 and 22.1 degrees respectively. Those measurements are enough to tackle some gentle rises and falls in the trail, but if you’re planning on some serious rock crawling, the Armada is likely to fall flat. 
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Off-road rating: Rough and ready

super-sophisticated DIRT rating system—broken down in the table below— we’ve rated the 2021 Nissan Armada’s off-roading prowess. 
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
We’ve given the 2021 Nissan Armada an R rating: despite being well-equipped to handle moderate off-roading adventures, taking on more than the Armada can handle is ill-advised and potentially dangerous. So if you’re looking for an SUV that can handle whatever terrain you throw at it, we’d suggest looking elsewhere. 

The best off-road alternatives to the 2021 Nissan Armada

If you’re looking for one of the only full-size SUVs on the market with moderate off-roading capabilities and a powerful V-8 engine, then the 2021 Nissan Armada is a great option for you. That being said, if you’re looking for something cheaper, more powerful, or just generally more capable off-road, here are some great alternatives. 
Best affordable alternative
2020 Nissan Pathfinder
284-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine
Best luxury alternative
2021 Infiniti QX80
400-horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8 engine
Best alternative for serious off-roading
2021 Jeep Wrangler
470-horsepower V-8 engine
MORE:Cheap off-road trucks
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

While there are limitless benefits to owning and driving an off-road capable vehicle, one of the few drawbacks is higher car insurance rates. Buying insurance for an off-road vehicle is more expensive due to the added risks associated with off-roading. 
Thankfully, you can avail of the lowest possible rates on car insurance no matter what kind of car you drive, when you shop using the #1 rated car insurance comparison shopping
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And the best part? The average Jerry user saves $800+ a year on car insurance alone! That’s a good chunk of change to go towards buying a new lifted suspension or a set of all-terrain tires to really enhance your off-roading experience. 
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