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Cadillac Escalade Versus Lincoln Navigator – Family Car Comparison


Featured Photo from USA Today

Good morning. This is not a common topic for a site like NY Nomads, but I figured that as long as I am doing the research and making it easier for people to learn about a subject, heck, I’ll publish it for others to use.

Cadillac Escalade Versus Lincoln Navigator

The reviews are divided as to which is better.

Ultimately these two vehicles are so similar that ultimately it is one’s level of comfort w/ the design, engine, and carry of the vehicle that leads people to favor one over the other. A common thread across many articles is that the Navigator seems to have a roomier interior, despite the two cars measuring similarly externally. The Navigator also offers a more comfortable third row than the Escalade, because the Escalade’s third row rises above the rear wheel, therefore reducing the height within this section.

My recommendation:

Test drive* both vehicles – or better yet, rent each of these for a weekend trip with the family

  • See how you like driving a larger vehicle & whether the alignment of the various buttons, functions, etc of the car are intuitive to you
  • Decide whether there is enough space to fit your family + cargo, and think long-term as to how this car will suit everyone as the girls become teenagers)
  • See how the car carries on the highway, in stop and go traffic, etc.

*Keep in mind that the various models vary in size from 17-19 feet long, so when test driving keep in mind which model you are driving.

How They Are Similar

  • Truck-based, body-on-frame construction.
  • Available in extended-wheelbase versions — the Navigator L and the Escalade ESV — that have additional cargo capacity behind the third-row seats.
  • Standard, advanced 10-speed automatic transmissions and offer both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive.
  • External measurements and curb weights are similar
  • Can hold up to eight passengers if you opt for the second-row bench instead of the captain’s chairs.
  • Close to $100,000 when fully stocked with features
  • Covered by four-year/50,000-mile basic and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranties.


Thorough Side by Side Comparison of the Two Vehicles, including NHTSA Crash Test Results – from Auto Gurus

“While the Escalade outsells the Navigator, Lincoln’s contender is quickly gaining ground. Navigator deliveries have risen 63 percent this year. Last month, each one of the new SUVs lasted on dealer lots an average of just 10 days. The high-end Black Label Navigators — which can top $100,000 — spent only about seven days in showrooms, according to the company.”

Recommended Articles Comparing the Two Vehicles:

USA Today

Business Insider


The Chicago Tribune offers some insightful advice about either vehicle, with a preference for the Navigator

Chicago Tribune – “2018 Lincoln Navigator outdoes Cadillac Escalade as most refined family hauler”

  • 2018 North American Truck of the Year award
  • Lincoln’s marketing mantra – “quiet luxury”
  • Seats – like a recliner built into a seat, but better than a La-Z-Boy because there is a separate thigh adjustment for each leg.
    • Side bolstering and back and butt functions.
    • To customize the massager, the lumbar, mid- and upper back regions all have their own setting, with 10 degrees of intensity accessible through the touch screen.
    • Unlike other luxury massagers, the activation button is on the door panel with the other seat buttons, so it’s magic hands at the push of a button.
    • Lincoln’s phrase of “perfect position” seats, a $1,500 option, is well worth it
  • Each of the three third-row seats can be lowered with a push of the button
    • Third-row passengers are not relegated to third-rate status, because a button reclines their seats as well.
    • There’s plenty of headroom for two adults to fit back there, too, for when the tweens become teens and start pulling their weight behind the wheel.
  • Without the power fold option, the second row seats are not as simple to move in the 8-seat configuration
  • Roomier and more evolved than the Cadillac Escalade
  • Power running board helps you in and out
  • Can still fit in most garages, even with roof rails
  • The 10-inch touch screen is clear and sharp
  • Took a while to figure out the functions of the steering wheel controls, from adaptive cruise to adjusting the head up display, and how to quickly access the menus in the instrument cluster so you don’t have to bother with the screen.
    • Cadillac’s system is more intuitive in that regard, but we started to get the hang of it by the end of the week
  • Revel 20-speaker sound system

Chicago Tribune: “2017 Cadillac Escalade full-size SUV comes up short”

  • Most surprising about the Escalade, which barely fit in our two-car suburban garage in both height and length, was that it had less room than the minivans driven by other families. For being this big and this bold, the Escalade is not that large.
  • Both the Chevy Suburban and the Honda Odyssey minivan have more than double the cargo volume.
    • Cadillac offers an even bigger Escalade in the stretched ESV version, which is nearly 2 feet longer and costs only $3,000 more.
    • The extended wheelbase might call for an extended garage, of course, but it makes me wonder why bother with the smaller — less large Escalade.
  • Since the third row seats are above the rear axle, there isn’t much room back there for an adult.
    • The seat is higher, so there’s less headroom, and feet and knees are higher than the midrow seats, too. It’s fine for short trips around town, but anything more will tax passengers’ patience.
  • Remarkably comfortable and quiet on the highway
  • Voice commands are excellent and Cadillac’s use of vehicle info on both sides of the speedometer render the touch screen — the only small thing in the truck — unnecessary, aside for navigation
  • Rear camera in the rearview mirror, as well as the split-screen rearview camera in the console, should provide plenty of eyes for when this beast goes into reverse
  • 12-way power adjustable front seats

Escalade and Navigator Side-by-Side Stats


2018 Cadillac Escalade 2018 Lincoln Navigator
Starting retail – $74,000 Starting retail – $72,000
6.2-liter V8 and its 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque Turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque
8,300-pound maximum tow rating 8,700-pound maximum tow rating
17 mpg in combined city and highway driving 19 mpg in combined city and highway driving

17-19 feet long


17.5-18.5 feet long

Bose® premium system with 16-speakers The Revel ® Ultima® premium audio system with 20-speakers
12-way power adjustable front seats 30-way power-adjustable Perfect Position adjustment with Active Motion technology


A Look Inside the Lincoln Navigator – See more photos here from Business Insider

A Look Inside the Escalade – See more photos here from Business Insider