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The X7’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.
The X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply 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 X7. But it costs extra on the Armada.
The X7’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Armada doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
For better protection of the passenger compartment, the X7 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 X7 and the Armada have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.
The X7 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 X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Armada’s (12 vs. 5 years).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Armada.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 6 places higher in reliability than Nissan.
The X7 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 66 more horsepower (456 vs. 390) and 85 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 394) than the Armada’s 5.6 DOHC V8.
On the EPA test cycle the X7 gets better fuel mileage than the Armada:
xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.
20 city/25 hwy
xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8
15 city/21 hwy
5.6 DOHC V8
14 city/19 hwy
5.6 DOHC V8
13 city/18 hwy
Regenerative brakes improve the X7’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Armada doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X7’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.
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X7, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Armada.
The X7’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Armada doesn’t offer launch control.
For better traction, the X7 has larger standard tires than the Armada (F:275/40R22 & R:315/35R22 vs. 265/70R18). The X7’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Armada (285/45R21 vs. 275/60R20).
The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Armada SV’s standard 70 series tires. The X7’s optional 275/40R22 front and 315/35R22 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Armada SL/Platinum’s 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Armada SV. The X7’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Armada SL/Platinum.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X7 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.
The front and rear suspension of the X7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Armada, which uses coil springs in front. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The X7 has a standard 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.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X7’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Armada (122.2 inches vs. 121.1 inches).
The BMW X7 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the Nissan Armada.
The X7 is 5.6 inches shorter than the Armada, making the X7 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Unibody construction lowers the X7’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 front grille of the X7 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Armada doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The X7 has 1 inch more front headroom, .6 inches more third row headroom and 4.9 inches more third row legroom than the Armada.
The X7’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Armada’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 33% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Armada SL/Platinum, the X7 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The X7 offers an optional 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 X7 and the Armada have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X7 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 X7’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 X7’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.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the X7 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 see further while navigating curves, the X7 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Armada doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The X7’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 X7’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.
The X7’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Armada doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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