2020 Lincoln Navigator vs. 2020 Infiniti QX80

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 QX80 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Navigator 4WD’s optional Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The QX80 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Navigator and the QX80 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

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 Infiniti QX80:

Navigator

QX80

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

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

Warranty

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There are almost 4 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are Infiniti 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 QX80 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 QX80 isn’t in the top three.

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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The Navigator’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 50 more horsepower (450 vs. 400) and 97 lbs.-ft. more torque (510 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Lincoln Navigator is faster than the Infiniti QX80:

Navigator

QX80

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

2.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

93.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Navigator gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

Navigator

QX80

2WD

3.5 turbo V6/10-spd. Auto

16 city/22 hwy

14 city/20 hwy

5.6 V8/Auto

4WD

3.5 turbo V6/10-spd. Auto

16 city/21 hwy

13 city/19 hwy

5.6 V8/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Navigator’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The QX80 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 QX80 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 a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Navigator Reserve/Black Label’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX80 (285/45R22 vs. 275/60R20).

The Navigator Standard’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX80’s standard 60 series tires. The Navigator Reserve/Black Label’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the QX80’s optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Navigator has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Navigator’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the QX80 (122.5 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

The Navigator Black Label 4WD handles at .74 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Navigator has a greater minimum ground clearance than the QX80 (9.6 vs. 9.2 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 QX80 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 QX80 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Navigator has 19.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX80 (172 vs. 152.5).

The Navigator has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 4.3 inches more front legroom, 2.7 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear legroom, 3.2 inches more rear hip room, 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room, .5 inches more third row headroom, 7.3 inches more third row legroom, 2.6 inches more third row hip room and 3.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the QX80.

The front step up height for the Navigator is 1.4 inches lower than the QX80 (21” vs. 22.4”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Navigator’s cargo area provides more volume than the QX80.

Navigator

QX80

Behind Third Seat

19.3 cubic feet

16.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.5 cubic feet

49.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

103.3 cubic feet

95.1 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 QX80’s liftover is 35.8 inches.

The Navigator’s cargo area is larger than the QX80’s in almost every dimension:

Navigator

QX80

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

24”/48”/86”

18.4”/48”/81”

Max Width

51”

50”

Min Width

51”

49.8”

Height

37”

36”

The Navigator’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The QX80’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Navigator’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The QX80 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Infiniti QX80 is limited to 8500 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 QX80 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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The Navigator has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The QX80 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the QX80, the Navigator offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, foot pedal distance, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Navigator (except Standard) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The QX80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Navigator’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The QX80’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the Navigator and the QX80 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Navigator is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX80 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Infiniti Connection 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 QX80 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Infiniti Connection can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Navigator (except Standard) offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the QX80.

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. The QX80 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 $505 to $2875 less than the QX80 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Navigator is less expensive to operate than the QX80 because typical repairs cost much less on the Navigator than the QX80, including $22 less for a water pump, $17 less for a muffler, $30 less for front brake pads, $291 less for a starter, $97 less for fuel injection, $71 less for a fuel pump and $351 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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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 QX80 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 QX80 has never been chosen.

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

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