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2020 Hyundai Palisade vs. Nissan Armada: Is It Even Fair to Compare?

All-new SUVs like the Hyundai Palisade have become extremely popular with critics and consumers. The Palisade has easily outshined more senior three-row SUVs, including the 2020 Nissan Armada. Both the Palisade and Armada are accommodating, family-friendly SUVs, but they offer different experiences. It’s almost not even fair to compare the two. 

The Nissan Armada is bigger and more powerful than the Hyundai Palisade 

A 2020 gray Nissan Armada towing a trailer.
2020 Nissan Armada | Nissan

The Palisade and the Armada are both three-SUVs that can seat up to eight people. However, these models are technically in different categories. The Armada is a large, truck-based SUV while the Palisade is a midsize SUV. That said, the Palisade is a far better choice if you want an SUV with a smooth, car-like quality. But for more power and towing capability, the Armada makes more sense here. 

The Armada comes standard with a 390-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. This Nissan can tow up 8,500 pounds, and it can accelerate quickly too. However, the Armada is a poor choice if you value fuel economy. It only gets a combined 14 mpg

On the flip-side, the Palisade gets a combined 21 mpg overall. The Palisade features a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6 engine linked to a polished eight-speed automatic. This Hyundai earns praise for being a comfortable, “no-nonsense” ride. 

The Palisade is more luxury-focused, though 

2020 Hyundai Palisade on the road.
2020 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

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What’s great about the Palisade is that it’s practical and luxury-focused. Even the base Palisade model offers that “wow-factor.” Its cabin is picturesque, and it’s full of high-quality materials. The Palisade becomes remarkably more upscale as you explore the higher trim levels with leather seats and a driver’s memory seat available.

The Palisade also comes with modern infotainment and advanced safety features. An 8-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay are standard. Each Palisade has a long list of active safety features, including driver attention monitoring and forward-collision warning.

Comparatively, the Armada also comes standard with its own suite of active safety features, and it has a handsome car cabin too. However, the Armada is behind when it comes to infotainment. Reviewers at U.S. News felt that the Armada’s touchscreen isn’t as user-friendly as other models. Furthermore, the Armada doesn’t even offer smartphone connectivity apps like Apple CarPlay or Android. 

Reliability and owner satisfaction

An aerial shot of a 2020 Nissan Armada
2020 Nissan Armada | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

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According to Consumer Reports, the Palisade has higher predicted ratings for reliability and owner satisfaction. CR praised the Palisade for its refined powertrain and quiet cabin and gave it a four out five for reliability. Additionally, the Palisade received a perfect score for owner satisfaction. 

Regarding the Armada, CR gave this SUV average scores in these categories. CR also acknowledged that the Armada has a quiet cabin and other good qualities, including its powerful, muscular engine. However, the Armada’s fuel economy and outdated tech are among its drawbacks.

Deciding between the Palisade in the Armada 

2020 Hyundai Palisade
2020 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

It all comes down to preference and pricing. The Armada isn’t a terrible choice by any means, and many drivers appreciate its performance capabilities. However, the Armada starts at $47,500, while the Palisade starts at $31,975. The Armada’s most significant advantage over the Palisade is its towing capacity, but the Palisade is the more well-rounded choice.