2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Nissan Armada

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Nissan Armada doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The Q7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Armada doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q7 and Armada have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q7 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Armada’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Armada doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q7. But it costs extra on the Armada.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Armada doesn’t offer a night vision system.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Q7 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Armada uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Q7 and the Armada have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Nissan Armada:

 

Q7

Armada

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

99

258

Neck Injury Risk

25%

43%

Neck Stress

186 lbs.

377 lbs.

Neck Compression

37 lbs.

95 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

61/46 lbs.

877/369 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

102

255

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.9 inches

Neck Stress

118 lbs.

251 lbs.

Neck Compression

38 lbs.

153 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/29 lbs.

509/594 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Nissan Armada:

 

Q7

Armada

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1 inches

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches

HIC

290

437

Hip Force

557 lbs.

684 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q7 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Armada has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Q7 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Armada’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Armada’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q7’s reliability 17 points higher than the Armada.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 7 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the Nissan Armada:

 

Q7

Armada

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 55 TFSI V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Armada 4x4 (19 city/25 hwy vs. 13 city/18 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Armada doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is available on the Audi Q7, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Armada.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Armada:

 

Q7

Armada

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.8 inches

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Armada:

 

Q7

Armada

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Armada (285/45R20 vs. 275/60R20).

The Q7 2.0T’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Armada SV’s standard 70 series tires. The Q7’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Armada SL/Platinum’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Armada’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Armada doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q7 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Armada’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Armada Platinum 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Armada Platinum 4x4 (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Q7’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Armada’s (40.7 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 w/Air Suspension has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Armada SL/Platinum (9.7 vs. 9.2 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Audi Q7 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 pounds less than the Nissan Armada.

The Q7 is 9.3 inches shorter than the Armada, making the Q7 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Q7 is 7.3 inches shorter in height than the Armada, making the Q7 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the Q7’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Armada uses body-on-frame design instead.

The design of the Audi Q7 amounts to more than styling. The Q7 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .333 Cd (optional .32 Cd with Air Suspension). That is significantly lower than the Armada (.37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Q7 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the Q7 is 3.7 inches lower than the Armada (18.6” vs. 22.3”). The Q7’s rear step up height is 4 inches lower than the Armada’s (18.7” vs. 22.7”).

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Q7’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Armada doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 47% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Armada SL/Platinum, the Q7 Prestige offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Q7 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Armada doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Q7 and the Armada have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q7 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Armada prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Q7’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Armada’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Q7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Armada SV’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q7 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Armada doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Q7 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Armada doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Q7 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Armada doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Q7 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Q7 has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Armada doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Armada doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Q7’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Armada SL/Platinum.

The Q7’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Armada’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Armada is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the Armada because typical repairs cost less on the Q7 than the Armada, including $39 less for a fuel pump and $185 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q7 and the Nissan Armada, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Armada has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Audi Q7 outsold the Nissan Armada by 9% during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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