2021 GMC Yukon XL vs. 2020 Nissan Armada

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

There are over 56 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

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

Engine

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The Yukon XL 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

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

MPG

Yukon XL

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

5.6 DOHC V8

13 city/18 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL’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 GMC Yukon XL, 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 Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Armada’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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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 13 inches longer than on the Armada (134.1 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

Chassis

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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.

Passenger Space

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

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

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

Yukon XL

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

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Yukon XL’s (except SLE) optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Armada doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Yukon XL’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 Yukon XL 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 Yukon XL can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Armada can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Yukon XL (except SLE/SLT) 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 Yukon XL’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 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 standard on 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.

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 2020/08/09

The GMC Yukon/Yukon XL outsold the Nissan Armada by over two to one during 2019.

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

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