The Armada has a standard Active Head Restraint, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraint system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Escalade ESV doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Armada has standard parking sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, for the Armada Platinum in front of the vehicle. The Escalade ESV doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
Both the Armada and the Escalade ESV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Armada has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Escalade ESV.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Armada has a standard 650 amp battery (710 optional). The Escalade ESV’s 600 amp battery isn’t as powerful.
The Armada’s reliability is better than the Escalade ESV’s. In Consumer Reports, the Armada’s reliability is 61% better.
For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Armada’s engine produces its peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Escalade ESV (3400 vs. 4400).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Armada uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Escalade ESV requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.
For better stopping power the Armada’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Escalade ESV:
In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Armada has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Escalade ESV doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.
For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Armada has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Cadillac Escalade ESV has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.
The Armada has engine speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Escalade ESV doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better maneuverability, the Armada’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the Escalade ESV’s (40.8 feet vs. 43 feet).
For greater off-road capability the Armada has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Escalade ESV (10.4 vs. 9.2 inches), allowing the Armada to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Nissan Armada may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 400 pounds less than the Cadillac Escalade ESV.
The Armada is 1 foot, 3.2 inches shorter than the Escalade ESV, making the Armada easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Armada has 29.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Escalade ESV (167.1 vs. 137.4).
The Armada has .5 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more rear headroom and 2.4 inches more rear legroom than the Escalade ESV.
The Armada has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly, without having to lift, carry or store heavy seats, like in the Escalade ESV.
The Armada’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Escalade ESV does not have an oil pressure gauge.
If the windows are left down on the Armada the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Escalade ESV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Armada’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Escalade ESV’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Armada LE has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Escalade ESV doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.
Insurance will cost less for the Armada owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Armada will cost $3195 to $3526 less than the Escalade ESV over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Armada is less expensive to operate than the Escalade ESV because it costs $132 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Armada than the Escalade ESV, including $116 less for a water pump, $523 less for an alternator, $63 less for front brake pads, $20 less for fuel injection, $200 less for a fuel pump, $287 less for front struts and $458 less for a power steering pump.