The demand for SUVs is growing by the day, as are the offerings. And as long as there are large families, off-road enthusiasts, and the need to haul large items, this market is only going to continue growing. These massive vehicles are perfect for family road trips, driving through rough terrain and everything in between. Powerful, practical, and versatile, these vehicles are built to withstand almost anything. But with such a full market, who’s to say which offering is the best? Well, today, we are going to do just that by comparing two of the most popular models! Welcome to the battle of the 2020 GMC Yukon vs 2020 Nissan Armada.
Round 1: Seating and Space
Before we get into the heavy-hitting rounds, let’s take some time to warm up a bit. If you are searching for a full-size SUV, size is probably an important factor. The 2020 GMC Yukon has available seating for up to nine people. It also offers 15.3 cu.ft. of cargo room in the trunk, which can easily be expanded to 51.7 cu.ft of space by folding down the last row of seats. And folding down the second row as well will open up the area to 94.7 cu.ft.
On the other hand, the 2020 Nissan Armada can only carry eight people. While that is average for a full-size SUV, it isn’t a wow-factor like the Yukon capacity for nine people. Available storage space behind the third row is measured at 16.5 cu.ft. It’s just over one cubic foot more than the Yukon, but keep in mind that it’s missing that ninth seat. Putting the third row of seating down will grant you 49.9 cu.ft. of space, which is less than the Yukon. Finally, folding down both back rows will expand the cargo area to 95.4 cu.ft., which is a tiny bit more than the Yukon.
Ultimately, the Yukon has the advantage due to the extra seat and ample, almost equal cargo space. Plus, if you really need a large vehicle, GMC offers the Yukon XL, which boasts an incredible 121 cu.ft. of cargo space.
Round 2: Performance
When it comes to full-size SUVs, they are generally only offered with a single powertrain. This is because they are so big that the options are limited. However, the 2020 GMC Yukon has two engine options for you to choose between. The first is the standard 5.3-liter V8 motor. Equipped with 2WD (4WD is optional) and a 6-speed automatic transmission, this robust powertrain pushes out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. It can also pull up to 6,300 pounds, which is plenty for a trailer loaded with RVs or jet skis.
If you opt for the Denali trim, it will come equipped with a more powerful 6.2-liter V8 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. This one pumps out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque and can tow up to 8,400 pounds, which is best for pulling larger boats or RVs. And even with all of this power, the average fuel economy is estimated at 18 MPG combined (15 city/22 highway), which is impressive.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Nissan Armada isn’t so impressive. Every trim uses the same 5.6-liter V8 engine that generates 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. This standard powertrain is equipped with a 7-speed automatic transmission and 2WD (4WD is optional). It can haul up to 8,500 pounds as well. Even though this is slightly stronger than the Yukon’s standard engine, there is no option for upgrading, and its fuel economy drops with the Armada. It gets an average of 16 MPG combined (14 city/19 highway). And for those reasons, the GMC Yukon wins this round.
Round 3: Interior
The 2020 GMC Yukon is available in three primary trims. The base SLE version comes with a leather-wrapped/tilt-only steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, and a Bose stereo system with nine speakers. Surprised? There’s more! The state-of-the-art infotainment interface is displayed on a large 8-inch touchscreen and functions with various features such as Bluetooth phone/audio connection, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a video feed for the rearview camera. OnStar telematics is also included for emergencies.
Next is the SLT, which includes even better features like ventilated front seats, power-folding second- and third-row seats, keyless ignition/entry, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel that is also heated. Lastly, the top-of-the-line Denali trim adds the larger engine we mentioned before plus adaptive dampers for the suspension system and a trailer brake controller.
Now, let’s jump inside the 2020 Nissan Armada for a comparison. This SUV is available in four trims, the SV, SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve. The base SV trim includes dual-zone climate control, which is a step down from the Yukon SLE’s tri-zone climate control. It also features heated front seats Bose sound system with 13 speakers, adaptive cruise control, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. This system also works with Bluetooth, smartphone integration, and a rearview camera. It does not come with OnStar telematics or the optional power liftgate.
Next is the SL trim. This one adds leather upholstery, driver memory settings, a 360° camera system with moving object detection, and remote start. If you want a sunroof, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, then you might like the Premium trim. The first luxury model is the Platinum. It adds cooling to the front seats and heating to the back seats. Lane-keeping assist has been added as well as a heated steering wheel. Finally, the Platinum Reserve trim adds a captain’s chair for the driver and two-toned leather seats. Overall, each SUV offers tons of interior features, and this part of the competition is quite even.
Round 4: Exterior
The outside of a vehicle matters too, though; drivers want to make a good impression. So let’s take a quick look at what these SUVs offer in terms of appearance options. Let’s first gaze upon the sleek and sophisticated 2020 GMC Yukon: You can choose from 12 unique sets of wheels ranging various finishes, including black, intricate spoke designs, metal materials, and even sizes. These wheels are either 20-inches or 22-inches, which is a good size for a full-size SUV. Additionally, Yukons come with IntelliBeam automatic high beams and LED bulbs for the headlights, foglamps, and taillights. This provides the ultimate visibility during inclement weather and at night. And rain-sensing wipers are included as well as a hands-free power liftgate for your convenience.
Now for the Nissan Armada: The SV trim rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and gets LED headlights. Adding the Driver Package will get you fog lamps and a power liftgate. Rolling on 20-inch wheels is the SL model. This one gets the rain-sensing wipers added on. The Platinum comes with 20-inch wheels, fog lamps, and a power liftgate, and the Platinum Reserve gets special 22-inch wheels. Overall, the list of options is shorter for the Armada, meaning the GMC Yukon is much more customizable, bringing it to the top, once again.
The Ultimate Champion
When it comes down to it, the 2020 GMC Yukon is the winner of this battle. While the Nissan Armada is an excellent vehicle, it cannot compare to its competitor. The GMC Yukon won rounds one, two and four, and tied round three. With more seating capacity, the option for the massive XL version, fantastic performance options, and wonderful features both inside and out, the ultimate champion of this battle is definitely the 2020 GMC Yukon.