2020 Lincoln Navigator vs. 2020 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lincoln Navigator are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Audi Q7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Navigator Reserve/Black Label inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Q7 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Navigator’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Q7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Navigator and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

The Lincoln Navigator weighs 603 to 1071 pounds more than the Audi Q7. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Lincoln Navigator is safer than the Audi Q7:

Navigator

Q7

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

23/39 lbs.

61/46 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

35%

44%

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

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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Lincoln Navigator is safer than the Audi Q7:

Navigator

Q7

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

23

187

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

108 G’s

128 G’s

Hip Force

180 lbs.

350 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

61

337

Spine Acceleration

27 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

434 lbs.

888 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

290

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

Warranty

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Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the Navigator 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Navigator’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Navigator has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Q7 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Navigator second among large premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Q7 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

Engine

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The Navigator’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 202 more horsepower (450 vs. 248) and 237 lbs.-ft. more torque (510 vs. 273) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Navigator’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 115 more horsepower (450 vs. 335) and 141 lbs.-ft. more torque (510 vs. 369) than the Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lincoln Navigator uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Q7 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Navigator has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard fuel tank (23.2 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Navigator has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Q7 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A ten-speed automatic is standard on the Lincoln Navigator, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q7.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Navigator has larger standard tires than the Q7 (275/55R20 vs. 255/55R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Navigator Standard has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the Q7.

The Lincoln Navigator’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Audi Q7 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Navigator has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the Q7 don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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The Navigator’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Q7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Navigator’s wheelbase is 4.6 inches longer than on the Q7 (122.5 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Navigator is 1.5 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than on the Q7.

For greater off-road capability the Navigator has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Q7 (9.6 vs. 8.3 inches), allowing the Navigator to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Navigator uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q7 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Navigator uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q7 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Navigator offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Q7 can only carry 7.

The Navigator has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front legroom, 5.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom, 6.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.4 inches more third row headroom, 6.9 inches more third row legroom and 14.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Navigator’s middle and third row seats recline. The Q7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Navigator’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

Navigator

Q7

Behind Third Seat

19.3 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.5 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

103.3 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Navigator easier. The Navigator’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29 inches, while the Q7’s liftover is 32.5 inches.

The Navigator’s cargo area is larger than the Q7’s in almost every dimension:

Navigator

Q7

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

24”/48”/86”

19.5”/44.7”/80.7”

Min Width

51”

42.6”

Height

37”

30”

The Navigator has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Q7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Navigator’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q7 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The Navigator’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Q7’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

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The Navigator’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q7’s (6200 vs. 4400 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q7 is only 7700 pounds. The Navigator offers up to a 8700 lbs. towing capacity.

The Navigator 4WD with optional equipment can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Navigator can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Q7 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With an 8% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Navigator’s exterior PIN entry system. The Q7 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Audi Connect CARE can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Navigator’s exterior PIN entry system. The Q7 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Audi Connect CARE can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Navigator has a standard rear variable intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Navigator’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Q7’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Navigator has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Q7 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Navigator 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 costs extra on the Q7.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Lincoln Navigator has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the Q7.

The Navigator has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Navigator’s Enhanced Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Q7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Navigator is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Navigator owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Navigator will cost $280 to $1955 less than the Q7 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Navigator is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because typical repairs cost much less on the Navigator than the Q7, including $102 less for a water pump, $510 less for a muffler, $107 less for front brake pads, $858 less for a starter, $542 less for fuel injection, $81 less for a fuel pump, $438 less for front struts and $496 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Navigator first among large premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q7 isn’t in the top three.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Navigator as the 2018 North American Truck of the Year. The Q7 has never been chosen.

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

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