2019 GMC Yukon XL vs. 2019 Nissan Armada

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Yukon XL and Armada have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Yukon XL 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 XL 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 XL 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 XL is safer than the Nissan Armada:

 

Yukon XL

Armada

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

36%

43%

Neck Stress

351 lbs.

377 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

259/442 lbs.

877/369 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

227

255

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.9 inches

Neck Stress

198 lbs.

251 lbs.

Neck Compression

120 lbs.

153 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

214/448 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, results indicate that the GMC Yukon XL is safer than the Nissan Armada:

 

Yukon XL

Armada

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1 inches

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

Warranty

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

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Yukon XL for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). 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 XL’s warranty.

Reliability

The Yukon XL 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.

Engine

The Yukon XL 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 XL gets better fuel mileage than the Armada:

 

 

Yukon XL

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

14 city/21 hwy

13 city/18 hwy

5.6 V8/Auto

 

6.2 V8/10-spd. Auto

14 city/20 hwy

n/a

 

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

The Yukon XL has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Armada (31 vs. 26 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Yukon XL 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 XL 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 XL stops shorter than the Armada:

 

Yukon XL

Armada

 

70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

The Yukon XL SLE/SLT Standard Edition/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 XL’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 XL offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Armada’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Yukon XL 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 a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Yukon XL’s wheelbase is 8.9 inches longer than on the Armada (130 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

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

The Yukon XL Denali 4x4 handles at .75 G’s, while the Armada Platinum 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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

The Yukon XL 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, 2.1 inches more third row headroom, 6.1 inches more third row legroom, .5 inches more third row hip room and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Armada.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Yukon XL

Armada

Behind Third Seat

39.3 cubic feet

16.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

49.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121.7 cubic feet

95.4 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Yukon XL 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 XL’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 XL 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 XL 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 XL 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 XL and the Armada have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Yukon XL 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 XL’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 XL’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 XL detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Armada doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Yukon XL’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 XL’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.

Recommendations

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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