|5.6 8||Engine (L V)||3.5 6|
|400||Standard Horsepower (hp)||375|
Are you shopping for a large SUV with three rows of seats? Consider the 2022 Nissan Armada vs 2022 Ford Expedition – these two people movers aggressively compete for buyers, but only one wears the crown for best overall value and quality. As for available luxury, the same one that wins for more practical attributes also has the best selection of creature comforts.
This category is tailor-made for families looking to stretch out and relax. Moms and Dads know that an afternoon of errands or carpooling doesn't have to end with shoehorned back row passengers throwing an elbow to make room. Big SUVs like the Armada and the Expedition also sprinkle USB charging ports throughout the cabin, so no one is contorting to reach the front seat charger.
When you aren't loading up the family, these big trucks transform into worthy cargo haulers with the rear seats folded flat, and many offer enough towing capacity to pull a boat or an RV. What are your reasons for buying a large SUV? Whatever the reason, since you're spending a lot on your large SUV, it pays to know which one ticks all the boxes. Should you buy an Armada or an Expedition?
For many buyers, the sheer bulk of Nissan's extra-large Armada is a big draw. It looks like a truck with its boxy lines and lifted body. With its flush-mounted LED headlamps and signature Nissan V-Motion grille, the Armada's front end is just sculpted enough to give it a modern polish. Pops of chrome on the outside mirrors and back window surround soften the SUV's tough stance and add a splash of flair, but overall, the Armada is unapologetically a beefy SUV.
The Expedition, on the other hand, looks much like it always has – a stretched-out Explorer. This is a bit confusing because Ford just launched the redesigned Expedition for the 2022 model year. Strangely, exterior changes were minimal. Ford reports that the newest Expedition features "bolder styling," but we just don't see it. It looks almost exactly the same as its predecessor, save for a few enhancements to the nose and the back end.
That's not to say the Expedition isn't a great-looking SUV, but when automakers start the clock on a new generation, typically, the first model year of the redesign is substantial. Not so with the newest Expedition, at least on the exterior. By contrast, Nissan refreshed the Armada for the 2021 model year (not a full redesign, mind you), and the result was a substantially upgraded and modernized exterior look.
Why does Car and Driver give the 2022 Armada an 8.5/10 and bestow a 7/10 rating on its rival, the 2022 Expedition? One reason is the difference in refinement. The Armada is simply more elegant, a quality that isn't easy to introduce alongside its truck-like styling. The new rear end displays the Armada name prominently across the tailgate and again relies on a touch of chrome to accent its sharp lines.
What the Expedition does well is represent the overarching design cues of Ford SUVs. Also, its nearly horizontal side panel lines infuse it with a straightforward symmetry that shows off its super-sized dimensions. Unfortunately, style and individuality take a back seat to achieving brand continuity, so our take is the Expedition is – at least from a styling standpoint – essentially a giant Explorer.
In an effort to infuse its products with the latest safety and infotainment technology, Nissan embarked on a massive effort to upgrade and modernize its entire lineup. As the flagship model, the full-size Armada was among the first to receive the factory's attention. The company's decision to carry through the Armada's sole existing powertrain, however, is a testament to its confidence in the engine's capability and durability.
All Armada trims receive a standard 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine that makes 413 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can select from two-wheel or four-wheel drive, providing added capability in bad weather. It's a powerful engine that easily carries the Armada's bulk, offering potent acceleration and smooth shifting manners by way of a seven-speed automatic transmission. Even the base Armada S features the big and powerful V8 standard, which gives it a big leg up over the entry Expedition trims, which are afforded less powerful engines.
The V6 engine 2022 Expedition can't match the Armada's horsepower and torque ratings unless buyers are willing to travel midway up the trim range to the Timberline or Stealth Performance Edition models. If that's your plan, we recommend getting out your wallet because it'll cost you well over $15,000 more to do it. Even if you do shell out that extra money to upgrade, you are still only getting a more powerful version of that same turbocharged V6.
Because the Armada's entire lineup receives the same powerful V8 engine, buyers need only decide whether they need all-wheel drive. After that, capabilities across the trim range are essentially the same. The Armada tows confidently, too, thanks to an auto-leveling suspension that nimbly navigates bumpy roads and a Trailer Sway Control feature to mitigate windy conditions.
The Expedition enjoys a slightly higher max towing capacity, but the Armada's 8,500-pound rating is more than enough to tow a large boat or RV. Getting to the Expedition's max 9,200-pound rating also requires moving up to a higher trim. The base XL and XLT rely on a 3.5-liter V6, and its 380 horsepower lags behind the Armada's more powerful V8.
One of our favorite features of the 2022 Nissan Armada is its standard 12.3-inch portrait-mounted infotainment touchscreen. Situated prominently in the center dash, the crisp widescreen display is a full-color interface that makes navigating between functions easy and quick. Also, standard wireless Apple CarPlay lets you leave the cord at home.
All Armadas feature a Wi-Fi hotspot. Additionally, buyers can opt for a wireless charging pad in the front and an available 120-volt power outlet. Regardless of the trim, a handful of USB and USB-C ports are strategically located throughout the cabin for smartphone charging. Add the available dual-screen rear entertainment system to the Armada's list of technology features, and you probably won't hear a peep from the kids for the entire drive.
Nissan's Tri-Zone Entertainment System separates output by zones, so rear passengers aren't subjected to Dad's '80s mix that's playing on the available Bose audio system with AudioPilot, a road noise-canceling system designed by Bose to optimize cabin acoustics. It's a sanity saver for everyone and a big selling point for families that like to road trip.
The 2022 Ford Expedition also receives a large standard touchscreen, although, at 12.0 inches, it's a hair smaller compared to the one found in the Armada. Because large SUVs are the purview of families, the Expedition also favors expanded media and technology features. Buyers can add an optional rear entertainment system that works similarly to the Armada's.
Both Nissan and Ford offer connected services with subscription-based plans. The plans feature app-based convenience and safety tools that include remote start, concierge-level live operator support, and emergency assistance that automatically kicks in when the vehicle is involved in a collision. In keeping with industry-wide trends, smartphone and smart home device integration tools are abundant on both vehicles.