2019 GMC Yukon vs. 2019 Nissan Armada

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Yukon and Armada have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Yukon 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 Yukon has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Armada doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Yukon and the Armada have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems 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 GMC Yukon is safer than the Nissan Armada:

 

Yukon

Armada

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

223

258

Neck Injury Risk

33%

43%

Neck Stress

372 lbs.

377 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

167/244 lbs.

877/369 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.9 inches

Neck Injury Risk

34%

38%

Neck Stress

199 lbs.

251 lbs.

Neck Compression

74 lbs.

153 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

97/333 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 GMC Yukon is safer than the Nissan Armada:

 

Yukon

Armada

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

23

27

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1 inches

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

355

437

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

Warranty

The Yukon’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Armada’s (6 vs. 5 years).

GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Yukon. GMC will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Armada.

There are over 57 percent more GMC dealers than there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Yukon’s warranty.

Reliability

The Yukon has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Armada doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

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 Yukon’s reliability 13 points higher than the Armada.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yukon second among large suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Armada isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali’s standard 6.2 V8 produces 30 more horsepower (420 vs. 390) and 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 394) than the Armada’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Yukon gets better fuel mileage than the Armada:

 

 

Yukon

Armada

 

2WD

5.3 V8/6-spd. Auto

15 city/22 hwy

14 city/19 hwy

5.6 V8/Auto

 

6.2 V8/10-spd. Auto

14 city/23 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

5.3 V8/6-spd. Auto

15 city/21 hwy

13 city/18 hwy

5.6 V8/Auto

 

6.2 V8/10-spd. Auto

14 city/22 hwy

n/a

 

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Yukon’s fuel efficiency. The Armada doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Yukon has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Armada doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A ten-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Armada.

Brakes and Stopping

The Yukon stops shorter than the Armada:

 

Yukon

Armada

 

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Yukon’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Armada (285/45R22 vs. 275/60R20).

The Yukon SLE/SLT’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Armada SV’s standard 70 series tires. The Yukon’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Armada SL/Platinum’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Yukon offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Armada’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Yukon 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.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Yukon is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than on the Armada.

The Yukon SLT 4x4 handles at .78 G’s, while the Armada Platinum 4x4 pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Yukon SLT 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Armada Platinum 4x4 (27.5 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Yukon’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Armada’s (39 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Yukon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Nissan Armada.

The Yukon is 5 inches shorter than the Armada, making the Yukon easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Yukon 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 Yukon Graphite Performance Edition//Denali uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Armada doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Yukon offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the Armada can only carry 8.

The Yukon has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 3.4 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear hip room, 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.7 inches more third row headroom, .5 inches more third row hip room and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Armada.

Cargo Capacity

The Yukon’s cargo area provides more volume than the Armada.

 

Yukon

Armada

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

49.9 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Yukon SLT/Denali’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Armada doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The Yukon’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Armada’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Yukon SLT/Denali’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, 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

The Yukon has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Armada doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali 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 Yukon and the Armada have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Yukon 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 Yukon’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Armada’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

The Yukon’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 available for the Yukon detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Armada doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Yukon’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 Yukon’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 Yukon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Yukon will cost $2085 to $3755 less than the Armada over a five-year period.

The Yukon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Yukon will retain 52.03% to 54.5% of its original price after five years, while the Armada only retains 44.62% to 46.35%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the GMC Yukon will be $4346 to $6803 less than for the Nissan Armada.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yukon second among large suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Armada isn’t in the top three.

The GMC Yukon/Yukon XL outsold the Nissan Armada by over two to one during 2018.

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

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