Both SUVs received full redesigns in recent years – the Armada in 2017 and the Tahoe in 2015 – but which one will suit the average SUV-buying family better?
What the Armada Gets Right
The Nissan Armada gets out to a quick lead on the Tahoe with its base price of $44,900, which is $2,315 cheaper than the base Tahoe. While this doesn’t leave enough room to jump into the higher trim, it does leave space to add the optional Driver Package and still have cash for a few accessories.
The Armada’s more modern looks might be more appealing than the upright design of the Tahoe. These modern looks continue inside and meet with up with the roomier Armada interior, which has 3.5 inches more third-row leg room (28.3 inches), 1.3 more cubic feet of cargo room with all the seats up (16.6 cubic feet), and 0.4 more cubic feet of max cargo room when compared to the Tahoe (95.1 cubic feet).
The Armada also outdoes the Tahoe in most powertrain stats. Its 5.6-liter V8 cranks out 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque, putting it 35 hp and 11 lb-ft higher than the Chevy. This powerful engine pairs with the Armada’s tough chassis to give it an 8,500-pound towing capacity – 1,900 pounds more than the Tahoe.
Finally, the Armada’s extra 1.23 inches of ground clearance (9.1 inches) makes it better prepared to take on more rugged terrain.
What the Tahoe Gets Right
While the styling of the Armada is more modern, the upright design of the Tahoe’s interior and exterior may appeal more to traditionalists. Plus, the blocky appearance just makes it look more prepared for traveling off the beaten path to little Johnny’s soccer practice.
The Tahoe’s interior is loaded to the gills with all the latest technology standard. This includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar, 4G LTE Connectivity, and 110-volt outlet.
While the Tahoe’s 5.3-liter V8 can’t hang with the Armada’s output, it does win in the fuel economy battle at up to 14 miles per gallon city, 23 highway, and 19 combined. For reference, the Armada only gets up to 14 mpg city, 19 highway, and 16 combined. The extra mileage is thanks to the Tahoe’s cylinder-deactivation system that turns this V8 into a V4 at cruising speeds.
The Tahoe’s advanced suspension and well-tuned chassis provide a nice combination of handling and ride comfort. The tight electronic power steering eliminates any sloppiness in its responses to input, while the available Magnetic Ride Control adjusts damper firmness every 5 milliseconds to improve comfort and stability.
Why Buy the Armada
The Armada, while not the victor here, is still a good SUV. It has all the power and towing capacity any owner would need, and a comfortable ride a family will appreciate. But it can't overcome a sloppier ride and the Tahoe's advanced.
Verdict: Chevrolet Tahoe
The Tahoe is all that is good with many of today’s body-on-frame SUVs. It eliminates that sloppy, truck-like feel that plagued traditional body-on-frame SUVs for years, has plenty of cargo room, lots of seats, and all the latest and greatest gadgets. What’s more, it retains the classic look SUV buyers have come to appreciate.