2020 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2019 Lincoln Navigator

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum’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.

Both the Escalade and Navigator have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Escalade has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Navigator’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Escalade are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Navigator doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Escalade has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Navigator doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum has standard Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Navigator doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Escalade and the Navigator have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Cadillac Escalade is safer than the Lincoln Navigator:

Escalade

Navigator

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

23

23

Abdominal Force

107 G’s

108 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

26 G’s

27 G’s

Hip Force

208 lbs.

434 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Escalade’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Navigator’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade first among large premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Navigator was rated second.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac Escalade is faster than the Lincoln Navigator:

Escalade

Navigator

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.8 sec

11.4 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.2 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96.8 MPH

91.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade’s fuel efficiency. The Navigator doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Escalade has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Navigator (26 vs. 23.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The Escalade stops shorter than the Navigator:

Escalade

Navigator

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Escalade has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Navigator doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Escalade has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Navigator, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The Escalade has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Navigator doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Navigator.

The Escalade 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the Navigator Black Label 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escalade 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Navigator Black Label 4x4 (27.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Escalade’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Navigator’s (39 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

The Escalade is 6.1 inches shorter than the Navigator, making the Escalade easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Escalade has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom and .8 inches more third row headroom than the Navigator.

Towing

The Escalade’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Navigator’s (8100 vs. 6200 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 15% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

The Escalade’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 Navigator does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Escalade’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Navigator’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Escalade has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Navigator doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

When the Escalade is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Navigator’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Escalade has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel is only available on the Navigator Select/Reserve/Black Label.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Cadillac Escalade has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Only the Navigator Select/Reserve/Black Label offers wireless charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Escalade owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Escalade with a number “5” insurance rate while the Navigator is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

Recommendations

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Lincoln Navigator/Navigator L by over two to one during 2018.

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

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