|9,300||Max Towing (lbs)||8,500|
|121.5||Max Cargo Volume (cu.ft.)||95.4|
There’s nothing like a new vehicle, and for those who have never owned one before, you’re in for a treat this year. Numerous vehicles have launched this year as usual, but we’re at an interesting crossroads right now where many manufacturers are comfortable with where they’re sitting, yet competition is at an all-time high. We’re here to shed some light on the 2021 Ford Expedition vs 2021 Nissan Armada discussion, but the first order of business is to understand the history of these two vehicles.
Both the Expedition and Armada are popular to their fanbases, but Ford owners tend to be slightly more passionate about the machine they’re driving, as it’s always been a staple of the brand. This contest is nothing new, considering the Armada was released back in 2003 as a means to compete with the Expedition, which had seen continuous bouts of success since its launch in 1996.
The Expedition does have a slightly higher starting price at $50,595* against the Armada’s $48,900, but the price to performance and feature ratio doesn’t seem to add up. It’s rather surprising how many differences can be found with such a slight price difference. There are five total trim levels for the Armada, which is fine, but compared to the nine different variations of the Expedition, the Armada is already beginning to appear more lackluster at first glance.
The performance found in the Expedition and Armada are surprisingly similar, but the way they achieve these results is almost entirely different. Inside of the Armada is a large and fuel-hungry 5.6L V8 engine that comes alongside a 7-speed automatic transmission. On the other hand, the Expedition is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6. While it’s smaller, it reaps incredible results, especially if you opt for the MAX variant, which outperforms the Armada.
For starters, the Armada’s V8 engine creates 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, which we must stress is a phenomenal level of performance. By default, the smaller yet more powerful and efficient twin-turbocharged V6 will create 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. When opting for the aforementioned MAX variant on the Platinum trim, this will be increased to 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Of course, this matches the Armada in general horsepower output, but the Expedition features 16% more torque output. As one would expect, this extra torque results in a larger towing capacity, and when both vehicles are properly equipped, the Armada can tow 8,500 lbs against the Expedition’s 9,300 lbs.
The last bit of discussion for performance we are going to highlight is fuel efficiency. Anyone familiar with engines will tell you that a large V8 engine such as the one found in the Armada is going to be far less fuel-efficient than one such as the V6 engine inside of the Expedition. The results are telling, and you can expect 17 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway with front-wheel drive Expedition models. Meanwhile, the Armada achieves only 14 MPG in the city and 19 MPG on the highway. For more power and better efficiency, you’ll want to purchase the Expedition.
The interiors of the Expedition and Armada are another place where you’ll find a host of differences. Firstly, the interior inside of the Expedition is more spacious, and this is in regards to both cargo and passengers. Starting with the first row of both vehicles, the Expedition offers 42-inches of headroom and 43.9-inches of legroom, and the Armada has 40.9-inches of headroom and 41.9-inches of legroom. Next is the second row, and in regards to headroom, both even out at 40-inches, but the Expedition has 41.5-inches of legroom against the Armada’s 41-inches. Lastly, the third row is always the most cramped on most vehicles, and we see the Expedition with 37.3 and 36.1-inches of head and legroom, whereas the Armada’s third-row only has 36.4-inches of headroom and a lowly 28.4-inches of legroom.
Cargo space is vastly different between the two vehicles, with the Expedition stomping out the Armada. With both rows of seats folded down in the back, the Armada will give you up to 95.4 cubic feet of space, which is certainly a lot. However, the Expedition MAX has a whopping maximum of 121.5 cubic feet of space in the same scenario, a giant 27% increase. Folding down just the third row of seats reveals 49.5 cubic feet in the Armada, and the Expedition will offer up to 79.6 cubic feet of space, which is a 60.8% increase. When every seat is in its normal position, the Armada only has a meager 16.5 cubic feet against the Expedition’s 36 cubic feet, a striking 118% more than the Armada. While the max gives you a ton of space, even the regular Expedition gives you 20.9 cubic feet behind the third row, which expands to 63.6 or 104.6 cubic feet when folding the seats down.
The Armada does have a couple of advantages over the Expedition’s interior, namely a much larger 12.3-inch infotainment center that comes standard. Compared to the small 4.2-inch screen on the base Expedition, this is certainly a glaring and troublesome problem for Ford’s vehicle. However, both vehicles come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; plus, the Expedition is the only one of the two to include a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Both vehicles also offer premium audio systems with the Expedition, including a B&O system, and the Armada features Bose. Each sound system fits at least a dozen speakers throughout your cabin, and this greatly enhances just about any media you throw at it.
Fortunately for drivers looking at either of these two vehicles, they won’t have to worry about a lack of safety features. On Ford’s side, the Expedition comes with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 safety suite, and the Armada gets Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 package. Most of the features found here are rather similar, with the Expedition and Armada both featuring rearview cameras and other features such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert. With this camera and some sensors that are invisibly located on the rear-side of both vehicles, reversing out of a parking space is made a tad easier, and you can think of your vehicle as an extra set of eyes on the road.
Sensors are used throughout both vehicles to great extent, but without them, there wouldn’t be as many “smart” features whatsoever. Some of these smart features include Forward Collision Alert for the Armada, which is called Pre-Collision Assist for the Expedition, but both serve the same general purpose. These two features also utilize sensors, but these are located on the front end of your vehicle. Should you be approaching another vehicle too quickly, whether that’s while driving or stopping at a red light, an alert will trigger, which is your sign to hit the brakes. Sometimes a driver can’t apply the brakes instantly in a quick second. Because of this, both vehicles include a form of Automatic Emergency Braking to bring your vehicle to a halt before any damage can occur.
Nissan and Ford both include features to help with highway travel. These features include Blind-Spot Assists and features to help you stay within your lane. With each vehicle, you’ll know when another vehicle is approaching your blind spot; that way, you’ll know not to switch lanes just yet. If your vehicle starts to swerve out of its lane, there are features in place on both the Expedition and Armada to help bring your vehicle back in line. These two SUVs also include Automatic High Beams, so you can keep the road illuminated when you need it the most, and you also won’t be blinding bypassing drivers with high beams when they’re non-necessary at the time. It’s an important thing for both manufacturers to have a similar set of safety features, but this just furthers the Expedition’s appeal because of every other advantage.