2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Lincoln Navigator

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Navigator doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Navigator doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X5. But it costs extra on the Navigator.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Navigator doesn’t offer a night vision system.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the X5 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Navigator uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the X5 and the Navigator have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Navigator has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Navigator’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lincoln only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Navigator.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 12 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 6 more horsepower (456 vs. 450) than the Navigator’s 3.5 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the Navigator:

MPG

X5

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/22 hwy

Navigator

RWD

3.5 turbo V6

16 city/23 hwy

AWD

3.5 turbo V6

16 city/21 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Navigator doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The X5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Navigator doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X5 M Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Navigator:

X5 M Sport

Navigator

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

13.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Navigator Base’s standard 55 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Navigator Select/Reserve/Black Label’s 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Navigator doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Navigator doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lincoln doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Navigator.

Chassis

The BMW X5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 850 pounds less than the Lincoln Navigator.

The X5 is 1 foot, 3.7 inches shorter than the Navigator, making the X5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The X5 is 7.4 inches shorter in height than the Navigator, making the X5 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the X5’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Navigator uses body-on-frame design instead.

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the X5 is 1.5 inches lower than the Navigator (19.5” vs. 21”). The X5’s rear step up height is 3 inches lower than the Navigator’s (20” vs. 23”).

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Navigator’s (6603 vs. 6200 pounds).

Ergonomics

When the X5 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Navigator’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 third among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Navigator isn’t in the top three.

The BMW X5 outsold the Lincoln Navigator/Navigator L by almost three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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