2019 Nissan Armada vs. 2020 Kia Telluride

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Armada are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Kia Telluride doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The Armada has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Telluride doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Armada (except SV) offers optional Backup Collision Intervention that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Telluride doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Armada and the Telluride 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The Nissan Armada weighs 1150 to 1860 pounds more than the Kia Telluride. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The Armada’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Telluride runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 40 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Armada’s warranty.

Engine

The Armada’s 5.6 DOHC V8 produces 99 more horsepower (390 vs. 291) and 132 lbs.-ft. more torque (394 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan Armada is faster than the Kia Telluride:

Armada

Telluride

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16 sec

17.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

7.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

133 MPH

132 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Armada has 7.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Telluride (26 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Armada

Telluride

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12 inches

The Armada’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Telluride are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Armada has larger standard tires than the Telluride (265/70R18 vs. 245/60R18). The Armada SL/Platinum’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Telluride (275/60R20 vs. 245/60R18).

The Nissan Armada’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Kia Telluride only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Armada has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Telluride doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Armada has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Telluride, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The rear suspension of the Armada uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Telluride, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Armada’s wheelbase is 6.9 inches longer than on the Telluride (121.1 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

The Armada’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.5% to 49.5%) than the Telluride’s (55.7% to 44.3%). This gives the Armada more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the Armada SV has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Telluride (9.1 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Armada to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Armada SL/Platinum’s minimum ground clearance is 1.2 inches higher than on the Telluride (9.2 vs. 8 inches).

Passenger Space

The Armada has .3 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear hip room, 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room, 5.1 inches more third row hip room and 5.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Telluride.

Cargo Capacity

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

Armada

Telluride

Third Seat Folded

49.9 cubic feet

46 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

95.4 cubic feet

87 cubic feet

The Armada has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Telluride doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Towing

The Armada’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Telluride’s (8500 vs. 5000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Armada is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Telluride. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The Armada’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Telluride does not have an oil pressure gauge.

If the windows are left open on the Armada the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Telluride can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Armada SV’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Telluride’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Armada SL/Platinum has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Telluride offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Armada has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Telluride EX/SX.

Recommendations

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

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

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