Consumer Reports Road Test Showdown: 2021 Nissan Armada vs 2021 Ford Expedition

If you’re wondering which is better, the 2021 Nissan Armada or 2021 Ford Expedition, you may look at the Consumer Reports ratings. Perhaps you’ll want to see which is Consumer Reports recommended? (The Ford Expedition). Or you’ll be interested in the safety ratings. (The Nissan Armada hasn’t been tested.) Let’s take a look at the road test results so you can decide if the Nissan Armada or Ford Expedition is right for you.

A beige 2021 Ford Expedition parked at the beach while a man takes pictures of the ocean.
2021 Ford Expedition | Ford

What is the Consumer Reports Road Test?

Consumer Reports has an enormous facility in Connecticut where they test cars they’ve purchased. The Consumer Reports road test uses more than 50 tests and other criteria to evaluate cars.

Some of these assessments include emergency handling, braking, comfort, ride and fuel economy. Let’s see which large SUV Consumer Reports found better, the Nissan Armada or Ford Expedition.

Does the 2021 Nissan Armada handle well?

A black 2021 Nissan Armada against a white background.
2021 Nissan Armada | Nissan

The 2021 Nissan Armada comes with a 5.6-liter V8 engine capable of 400 hp. It has a surprising max tow capacity of 8,500 pounds, which may make it desirable to those who will regularly tow heavy things, like boats. 

Consumer Reports found that while the Nissan Armada was very quiet, it also offered a bumpy ride. Taking corners in the Armada required slow, deliberate driving. The Armada accelerated relatively quickly for a large SUV, getting to 60 MPH in 6.7 seconds.

Does the 2021 Ford Expedition handle well?

The Consumer Reports recommended Ford Expedition has a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine. It’s capable of 375 hp and can tow 6,000 pounds. If you need to tow more, you can purchase the heavy duty package, which allows you to tow 9,300 pounds. 

Consumer Reports said the Expedition’s ride was stiff but secure. Like the Armada, the Expedition didn’t handle turns very well. This is unsurprising, considering how long and tall these SUVs are. The Expedition reached 60 MPH in 7.3 seconds. 

Which is more reliable, the Nissan Armada or Ford Expedition?

A white 2021 Nissan Armada as night sets in.
2021 Nissan Armada | Nissan

Consumer Reports gave the Nissan Armada a 2 for reliability and the Ford Expedition a 3. The Expedition did better in owner satisfaction too, scoring a 4 to the Armada’s 2. Owner satisfaction is how happy people are with what they got for what they paid for their vehicle. 

You may be looking at these massive SUVs and wondering if they’re gas guzzlers. Well, they are. Which is better, the Armada or Expedition? The Expedition has a slight edge here, at 16 mpg compared to the Armada’s 14 mpg. 

Comfort is similar, except in the third row

Both the Nissan Armada and the Ford Expedition scored 4s for front seat comfort, and the Armada scored a 4 for rear seat comfort as well. The Expedition, on the other hand, scored a 5 for rear seat comfort. It’s the third row where there’s a larger difference: while the Expedition scored a 3, the Armada scored only a 1. The Expedition’s cabin is slightly roomier too, as is the trunk space.

So which is better, the Armada or Expedition?

A beige 2021 Ford Expedition races through the city.
2021 Ford Expedition | Ford

Overall, Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Nissan Armada a 69 out of 100 in its road test and the Expedition a 73. Both the Armada and Expedition scored only a 2 in each the routine handling and emergency handling categories. The Armada had a better max speed avoidance test result, at 50.5 mph compared to the Expedition’s 46.5. 

Additionally, the Armada did better with braking. The 2021 Nissan Armada was able to stop from 60 MPH on dry pavement in 133 feet, while the 2021 Ford Expedition took 143 feet. On dry pavement the Armada was able to stop in 147 feet while the Expedition took 157 feet.

Still, Consumer Reports preferred the Ford Expedition due to a combination of other factors like comfort, headlights and controls. Safety testing hasn’t been done on the Nissan Armada yet, so it’s hard to safe which is the safer choice.

The SUV you choose will likely come down to your priorities. While the Consumer Reports recommended Ford Expedition did slightly better in the overall road test, the Nissan Armada took home wins in all of the handling categories. This may mean that the Armada is a better choice for you. 

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