2018 Nissan Armada vs Ford Expedition

The 2018 Nissan Armada isn’t technically a luxury SUV. But we’d forgive you if you thought it was. After all, the Armada is built on the same frame as the Infiniti QX80 and they’re alike in more ways than one. But a fairer comparison is the 2018 Ford Expedition, an SUV that targets the same kinds of buyers. In this comparison guide, we’ll run the gamut of features and numbers to see which of these large SUVs should pull into your driveway.

Pricing: 2018 Nissan Armada

Since you aren’t buying a luxury SUV, price is probably at least somewhat relevant to you. Large SUVs aren’t generally cheap. That’s a lot of vehicle, after all. But some are certainly more affordable than others. The 2018 Nissan Armada starts at $46,090. That comes with a wealth of standard features, including heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, 13-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and infotainment system with 8-inch touch screen, navigation, four USB ports, and voice recognition. Whew! And if that isn’t enough, there are three more trims, capping with the Armada Platinum Reserve, starting at $62,190.

The Armada might sound pricey next to a compact sedan, but the Ford Expedition might as well be gold-plated. The Expedition is several thousand dollars more expensive. The starting price is a whopping $51,790. The Ford comes with nine-speaker audio system, satellite radio, four USB ports, rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and the SYNC infotainment system with voice recognition and Bluetooth. If you want all of that, plus some gravy on top, the trim-topping Expedition Platinum costs $70,030.

Luxury: 2018 Nissan Armada

We started this comparison guide claiming the Nissan Armada is luxurious. Now’s the time to prove it. First of all, its exterior is distinctively refined. Weighing in at nearly three tons, the Armada might have easily looked like a boat. But the design makes the Armada oh so manageable. For one thing, this Nissan is not all right angles. In fact, the Armada looks remarkably like the luxurious and expensive Infiniti QX80. Inside, the luxury continues with wood trim, comfortable seating for eight, and smooth leather over everything but the base trim.

The first thing you notice is that the 2018 Ford Expedition is huge, even for its class. In other words, good luck with narrow parking spots. While the base model looks bland, like they’ve done with their pickup trucks, Ford has made the Expedition exterior better at each trim level. Inside, the Expedition is plenty spacious and pretty cushy, but its cabin is marred by some hard plastics that feel a little cheap. That’s surprising for an SUV at this price point. A big difference between the Armada and the Expedition is that the latter is definitely more truck-like on the inside. Think: luxury-liner truck. It’s not a bad look, but might not be to everyone’s tastes.

Power: Tie

It’s hard to say whether the Armada or the Expedition has more power. That depends on which numbers you’re looking at. For example, the 2018 Nissan Armada has the most horsepower in any base engine in this class. Nissan’s Endurance engine is a 390-horsepower 5.6 liter V8. You can get it in standard rear-wheel or optional four-wheel drive. With all that power, you can tow up to 8,500 pounds.

Then again, while the 2018 Ford Expedition engine might have less horsepower, at 375 hp, it has more torque. And it can tow a bit more, to the tune of 9,300 pounds, although most buyers won’t reach numbers that high. All that power is thanks to the Expedition’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. Since the numbers flip depending on how you look at it, we’re calling this category a draw. Either way you dice it, the Armada and Expedition are almost evenly matched.

If you really want a truck but have to buy an SUV, the Ford Expedition might be a good option. But if you want refinement at a lower price point, we recommend the 2018 Nissan Armada.