2021 Chevrolet Suburban vs. 2020 Nissan Armada

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Suburban 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 Suburban and the Armada have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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.

Warranty

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

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Suburban’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Suburban has a standard 220-amp alternator (250-amp - Suburban Diesel). The Armada’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

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The Suburban High Country’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.

The Suburban’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 394) than the Armada’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Suburban

RWD

5.3 OHV V8

16 city/20 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

15 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.3 OHV V8

15 city/19 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/19 hwy

Armada

RWD

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/19 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

13 city/18 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Suburban V8’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 Suburban’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.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Suburban, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Armada.

Tires and Wheels

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The Suburban’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.

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

Suspension and Handling

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The Suburban 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 Suburban’s wheelbase is 13 inches longer than on the Armada (134.1 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

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

Chassis

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The front grille of the Suburban 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.

Passenger Space

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

The Suburban has 16.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Armada (170.8 vs. 154.5).

The Suburban has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear legroom, 1.8 inches more third row headroom and 8.3 inches more third row legroom than the Armada.

Cargo Capacity

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

Suburban

Armada

Behind Third Seat

41.5 cubic feet

16.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

93.8 cubic feet

49.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

144.7 cubic feet

95.4 cubic feet

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Suburban’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.

Towing

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The Suburban 4WD with optional equipment can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Suburban can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Armada can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Suburban (except LS/LT/RST/Z71) offers an available 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 Suburban’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Armada’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the Suburban and the Armada have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Suburban 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 Suburban’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 Suburban’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 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 Suburban detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Armada doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/10

The Chevrolet Suburban outsold the Nissan Armada by 62% during 2019.

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