Lincoln Navigator vs. Cadillac Escalade

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - August 21, 2018

They may be seen as old-school behemoths, but the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade still have their respective places in the segment. The massive luxury SUVs are two vehicles that have passed the test of time. Both put luxury and interior space above all else and, thanks to their truck-style frames, are adept at towing large cargo. There aren't a lot of American three-row SUVs on the road, so which is the better option?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Navigator & Escalade »

What the Escalade Gets Right

With their size, neither the Escalade nor the Navigator are vehicles that blend into the crowd. But the Escalade's styling will appeal to more consumers, as it's not as flashy and in your face. Both vehicles have a healthy amount of chrome, but the Escalade's exterior is more classically styled.

Both the Escalade and Navigator are available in regular wheelbase lengths and extended versions. Those seeking the longest and largest vehicle will gravitate toward the Escalade, as it's 2.9 inches longer and roughly 0.6 inches wider. The extra length and width allows the Escalade ESV to hold more cargo than the Navigator L. The Escalade ESV can hold up to 39.3 cubic feet of cargo with all of the seats in place. Folding the third row down expands that figure to 76.7 cubic feet. With all of the rows folded down, the Escalade ESV can hold a total of 120.9 cubic feet.

What the Navigator Gets Right

For the 2018 model year, Lincoln came out with an all-new Navigator and it has quickly become the leader in the segment. It bests the Escalade in nearly every category. For beginners, the Navigator is more affordable. Lincoln's SUV starts at $73,850, while the Escalade costs $76,490 (both include destination), which makes the Navigator $2,640 cheaper.

The Navigator features a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that's more powerful than the Escalade's 6.2-liter V8. The Navigator is rated to make 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, which is 30 hp and 50 lb-ft of torque more than the Escalade. The Navigator may be more powerful the Escalade, but it has better fuel economy figures. According to the EPA, the Navigator can get up to 16 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 combined. The Escalade is rated to get up to 14/23/17 mpg (city/highway/combined). When properly equipped, the Navigator can also tow more cargo than the Escalade, with a rating of up to 8,700 pounds compared to the Escalade's figure of 8,300 pounds.

Lastly, the Navigator has more space than the Escalade where it matters. The Navigator L has more third-row head room, leg room, and shoulder room than the Escalade. Lincoln's offering also has more cargo capacity in the regular wheelbase variant than the Escalade with a rating of 20.9 cubic feet (behind the third row), 57.5 cubic feet (behind the second row), and 103.3 cubic feet (in total).

Who is the Navigator For?

The new Navigator is a stunning machine from Lincoln. It has taken the full-size luxury SUV segment to new heights with opulent materials, impressive interior space, surprising performance, and a somewhat affordable price tag. The Escalade still has its place in the segment, but those looking for something that's truly luxurious should take a look at the Navigator.

Our Verdict: Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator is the clear winner, but that could change in the near future, as Cadillac is expected to come out with a new Escalade. For the moment, though, the Navigator easily bests the Escalade in every category.

Take a closer look at the Lincoln Navigator »

Take a closer look at the Cadillac Escalade »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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