Cars.com’s first-ever Full-Size SUV Challenge pits the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia against each other. We took all four SUVs, each with four-wheel drive, and we towed, tested gas mileage and drove hundreds of miles to find out which one was the best. We awarded 1,000 points in 17 categories, including towing performance, ride quality, comfort in all three rows, gas mileage with and without a 3,500-pound trailer. Here’s how they did:
In last place by a long margin was the age-old Sequoia with 604 points. The SUV tallied the fewest points in 13 of the 17 categories, with outdated aspects ranging from the multimedia system and drivetrain performance to poor accommodations for car seats and worst-in-group gas mileage without a trailer attached. Still, the Sequoia had strong value and a comfortable third row — areas not every contender delivered.
Next up was the third-place Tahoe at 691 points. We had Chevy’s new RST edition, which pairs a big 420-horsepower V-8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission, a combination judges loved. Towing performance and gas mileage also scored high, too, but the RST costs a lot — nearly $80,000 — which dinged the Tahoe in the value category. A tiny third row, brittle ride quality and poor visibility also tainted the SUV.
Beating out the Tahoe by just 9 points was the recently redesigned Nissan Armada, which combined strong value with top-notch interior quality and good noise insulation. Drawbacks include an old-school multimedia system and limited towing performance, with sluggish power and poor gas mileage.
That left the redesigned Ford Expedition. Intuitive controls and a roomy cabin, especially in the third row, charmed our judges — as did a punchy turbo V-6 powertrain. At 820 points, it wasn’t even close; Ford easily won the day.