2020 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Nissan Armada

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Pilot 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 Pilot 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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 Honda Pilot is safer than the Nissan Armada:

Pilot

Armada

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

HIC

149

258

Neck Injury Risk

28%

43%

Neck Stress

189 lbs.

377 lbs.

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

95 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/243 lbs.

877/369 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

216

255

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.9 inches

Neck Injury Risk

35%

38%

Neck Stress

116 lbs.

251 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

478/436 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 Honda Pilot is safer than the Nissan Armada:

Pilot

Armada

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1 inches

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

16 inches

HIC

406

437

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pilot the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Armada has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The engine in the Pilot has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Armada has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Pilot is faster than the Nissan Armada:

Pilot

Armada

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

14.9 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Pilot

FWD

9-spd

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

6-spd

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

9-spd

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

6-spd

3.5 SOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy

Armada

RWD

7-spd

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/19 hwy

AWD

7-spd

5.6 DOHC V8

13 city/18 hwy

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition’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.

The Pilot 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 nine-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Armada.

Brakes and Stopping

The Pilot stops shorter than the Armada:

Pilot

Armada

70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Pilot LX/EX/EX-L’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 Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Armada SL/Platinum’s 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Pilot (except LX)’s optional drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Armada doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .80 G’s, while the Armada Platinum 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Pilot Elite 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Armada Platinum 4x4 (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Pilot’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Armada’s (39.4 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis

The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1550 to 1650 pounds less than the Nissan Armada.

The Pilot is 1 foot shorter than the Armada, making the Pilot easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction lowers the Pilot’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.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Pilot has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Armada uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The Pilot 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 Pilot has .2 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more third row headroom and 3.5 inches more third row legroom than the Armada.

Cargo Capacity

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

Pilot

Armada

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

16.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

49.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

95.4 cubic feet

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition’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 Pilot 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Pilot owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Pilot will cost $1975 to $4140 less than the Armada over a five-year period.

The Pilot will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Pilot will retain 47.05% to 51.4% of its original price after five years, while the Armada only retains 44.62% to 46.35%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the Armada because it costs $564 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the Armada, including $5 less for front brake pads, $21 less for fuel injection, $158 less for front struts, $684 less for a timing belt/chain and $81 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $17577 to $18294 less than for the Nissan Armada.

Recommendations

The Honda Pilot has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Pilot

Armada

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Honda Pilot outsold the Nissan Armada by almost five to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos