|420||Max Horsepower (HP)||390|
|460||Max Torque (lb-ft)||394|
|15/22 MPG||Fuel Economy (city/highway)||14/19 MPG|
One should expect a lot out of a large SUV. Otherwise known as sports utility vehicles, these are models that push the envelope. From beefy engines to spacious interiors, your ideal SUV should provide an abundance of everything. These are the kinds of vehicles that large families and avid adventurers could not do without either, as they specialize in being able to haul a lot within a well-powered and well-styled vehicle. And there are two top-tier large SUV models that often get viewed in comparison: 2020 Chevy Tahoe vs 2020 Nissan Armada.
The Chevy Tahoe is a bonafide classic that has been around since the mid-90s. Although, one of its leading competitors is the 2020 Nissan Armada. The 2020 Nissan Armada is another large SUV that stands apart from the rest, looking very different from the models that currently crowd the field. The Chevy Tahoe starts at a sticker price of $49,000 MSRP and provides three simple trims, including the LS, LT, and Premier. Meanwhile, the Nissan Armada has a lower starting price of $47,100 MSRP and offers a slightly more populated trim option spread, including the SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve. However, that knowledge is not enough to decide which of these strong SUVs is the best. So, in order to help you figure out which model is the better buy, we are going to peel back the curtain and compare each of these SUV’s specs side by side.
Nothing defines an SUV quite like the engine coursing beneath the hood. When it comes to SUV models, there are a plethora of different engine options that a manufacturer can go with. That said, what makes for a quality ride is an engine is one with strength.
The Chevy Tahoe, in many ways, is a tried and true classic, and few aspects of the SUV showcase this more than the engine. This SUV comes standard with a robust 5.3-liter V8 engine that launches the SUV forward at a rate of 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is included with this powertrain, as is a rear-wheel drivetrain. This entry-level powertrain is far from the ceiling in terms of power delivery but is extremely impressive for the start.
When you upgrade the Chevy Tahoe, this baseline powertrain is replaced with a 6.2-liter V8 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission while providing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Wheel choice is also plentiful in the Chevy Tahoe, as you can choose between 17-, 18-, 20-, and 22-inch wheels. And if you’d like to take your vehicle off-the-pavement, we recommend opting for the Z71 package. In this add-on package, you’ll find a four-wheel drivetrain accompanied by a two-speed transfer case. Supporting this essential piece of trekking gear, is a set of skid plates, recovery hooks, and a solid set of all-terrain tires.
The 2020 Nissan Armada also comes as standard with a rather beefy engine, albeit it’s the only one that you’ll get to choose from. This standard engine is a 390 hp 5.6-liter V8 that makes 396 lb-ft of torque with the help of a 7-speed automatic transmission. While this engine isn’t half bad, it’s a shame that there isn’t a more robust engine option within the Nissan Armada’s lineup.
Although, that’s not to say that the 2020 Nissan Armada can’t be upgraded. For instance, you can amp up the drivetrain to a four-wheel-drive system that comes with a two-speed transfer case for off-roading. There is also an option for beefier 22-inch wheels, which makes the ride all the better. And while these smaller upgrades are nice, the Armada is just not comparable to the Tahoe in terms of performance because it doesn't offer nearly as much engine power or as many options.
The interior cargo space, amenities, and cabin materials can all play a massive role in your overall driving experience. While engine specs are essential, a good engine is nothing without an equally well-designed interior. Both the Chevy Tahoe and the Nissan Armada attempt to follow up their decent engines with an equal, if not better, interior experience, and we’ll look a bit deeper to see if either of them managed to pull it off.
So, what does the interior of the Chevy Tahoe look and feel like? Well, this large SUV manages to offer a maximum capacity of 95 cu.ft. of cargo space and can haul either 7 or 8 passengers total. These are big numbers, all things considered, making the Chevy Tahoe the biggest in its lineup, aside from the Chevy Suburban, of course. Interior materials are all rather well polished, with cloth upholstery in base models, and faux wood and leather in higher-end trims. Although, what makes the Chevy Tahoe truly feel more like a luxury SUV is the interior tech.
The Chevy Tahoe comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment screen that is equipped with software that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. Five USB ports, and Bluetooth phone and audio support compound to provide an entertainment experience that is just phenomenal. If you decide to upgrade, you can find a Bose audio system as early as the LT trim. Also, in this trim, you’ll get a power tailgate, leather heated front seats, and automatic high beam headlights.
If you want even more in the LT, you can invest in the Luxury package to add in keyless ignition, power-folding rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. When maxed out in the Premier trim, you’ll get that luxurious faux wooden accents, cooled leather seats, and a magnetically-dampened suspension to provide a simply phenomenal ride.
The 2020 Nissan Armada is no small fry either, although it is significantly smaller than the Tahoe. This SUV sports 86 cu.ft. of cargo space, and like many competitors, provide three rows of seating. The Nissan Armada offers simple cloth upholstery at low tier levels and adds in more robust materials as you step up the trim option ladder. The base model SV, though, comes pretty well designed with an 8-inch infotainment screen, and a Bose designed audio system.
Although, when it comes to tech, the Nissan Armada misses a few punches as it is one of the few big SUVs in the market that doesn’t have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatible software anywhere in its trim option spread. Things can be improved upon in the SV model, with features such as dual 7-inch displays in the back, although this is a small improvement compared to what can be found in the high-end trims of comparable models. And the offerings in this SUV do not come close to those of the Tahoe.
Staying safe and aware behind the wheel is incredibly important for many a driver, and both of these SUVs attempt to deliver. While seatbelts and airbags are both crucial, those are features found in every vehicle. These days, safety goes so much further with advanced technology to assist drivers. And fortunately, both of these models come stuffed to the gills with active safety technology.
The Chevy Tahoe is a large SUV meant for the big or expanding family. While you won’t find active safety as a standard feature in base trim levels, the LT and Premier models come fully loaded. Features such as automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and a clever seat-buzzing driver alerts system can be added, and all come together to provide a driving experience that isn’t just safe, but proactively safe.
In terms of safety technology, the Nissan Armada has a leg up on some competitors. No matter which model you decide to throw your money behind, you’ll get automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a reminder system for the rear-seats. If you want a little more in terms of driver awareness features, you can invest in an optional package that will include add-ons like blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and parking sensors. However, these extras will cost some more money. Both of these vehicles are safe; the decision just depends on how much extra money you want to put into the extra driver-assist features.