2023 Cadillac Escalade Vs Lincoln Navigator: A Comparison

Cadillac Escalade Vs Lincoln Navigator

Table of Contents

Luxury, comfort, and power. Three words that perfectly encapsulate what the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator have come to represent in the realm of high-end SUVs. As quintessentially American vehicles, they symbolize a bold stance on the road, a roomy and plush interior, and an engine that purrs with sheer strength. 

Yet, as the 2023 models roll out, the question arises: how do these two titans of luxury compare head-to-head? In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the intricate details of these two premium machines, bringing their similarities and differences to light, and assisting you in making an informed choice.

Exterior Design

The Escalade’s exterior design is synonymous with sophistication and elegance. Its sharp lines, boxy silhouette, and large, imposing grille give it a commanding, almost aggressive look. LED lighting is a standard feature, illuminating the Escalade in a captivating glow. The 22-inch alloy wheels not only provide a smooth ride but also augment the Escalade’s formidable appearance.

On the other hand, the Lincoln Navigator opts for a softer, more rounded look. While still imposing, its design is more subtle and fluid. The Navigator features a distinctive, refined grille flanked by slim LED headlamps. Its 20-inch wheels are slightly smaller than the Escalade’s, but their design complements the Navigator’s overall aesthetic.

Interior Design

Step inside the 2023 Cadillac Escalade, and you’re greeted by a spacious, high-quality interior that screams luxury. It features premium materials such as leather, real wood, and polished metal throughout. The dashboard is dominated by a curved OLED display that merges the instrument cluster and the infotainment system into one seamless unit.

The Lincoln Navigator also offers a plush, well-appointed interior. It shares the Escalade’s penchant for high-quality materials, with a mix of leather, wood, and chrome. The Navigator, however, focuses more on a minimalist design, offering a clean and uncluttered dashboard with a well-integrated infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster.

Seating

Both the Escalade and Navigator excel in seating comfort and capacity. They are three-row SUVs, accommodating up to seven or eight passengers depending on the configuration.

In the Escalade, the seats are plush and supportive, with generous legroom and headroom in all three rows. The second row features captain’s chairs for maximum comfort, while the third row can comfortably seat adults – a rarity in the segment.

The Navigator matches the Escalade’s seating comfort and space. It offers ample room in all rows, with a special emphasis on second-row comfort. The optional second-row captain’s chairs come with a center console and are highly adjustable, offering a first-class seating experience.

Storage

When it comes to storage space, both SUVs offer plenty of room for cargo. The Escalade offers up to 25.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 63 cubic feet with the third row folded, and a massive 109.1 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.

The Navigator, however, offers slightly less. With 19.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 57.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 103.3 cubic feet with all rows folded, it falls just behind the Escalade in terms of sheer volume.

Performance

The 2023 Escalade comes with a 6.2-liter V8 engine as standard, producing 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. There’s also an available 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine that delivers 277 horsepower and a robust 460 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. The Escalade’s ride is smooth and controlled, with an optional air suspension and Magnetic Ride Control further enhancing comfort and stability.

The Navigator, on the other hand, features a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that outputs 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, delivering a smooth and responsive drive. The Navigator’s adaptive suspension ensures a comfortable ride, and its performance is more than adequate for both city driving and highway cruising.

Fuel Efficiency

In terms of fuel efficiency, neither the Escalade nor the Navigator are particularly frugal, given their size and performance. However, they offer reasonable efficiency for their class.

The Cadillac Escalade’s standard V8 engine gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. The optional diesel engine offers better fuel economy, with an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

The Lincoln Navigator’s V6 engine offers slightly better fuel efficiency than the Escalade’s V8, with an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

Safety

Both the 2023 Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator come equipped with an array of safety features, reflecting their positions as top-tier luxury SUVs.

The Escalade’s standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, and rear park assist. Additional available features include adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and Cadillac’s semi-autonomous driving system, Super Cruise.

Similarly, the Navigator offers a suite of standard safety features including automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. Its optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 Plus package, which offers semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

Trim Levels

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade offers five trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, Platinum, and the range-topping Platinum Sport. Each trim level offers an increasing degree of luxury and features, with the Platinum trims featuring the most opulent appointments and advanced technology.

The 2023 Lincoln Navigator is available in four trim levels: Standard, Reserve, Black Label, and the top-of-the-line Black Label L. As with the Escalade, each successive trim level offers more in terms of luxury and technology, with the Black Label trims being the most luxurious and feature-packed.

Pricing

As luxury SUVs, both the 2023 Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator command a premium price tag. The base Luxury trim of the Escalade starts at around $77,000, with the top Platinum Sport trim starting at about $105,000.

The Navigator’s base Standard trim starts slightly higher, at around $78,000, while the top-tier Black Label L starts at approximately $101,000.

Key Differences

Interior Aesthetics

Inside, the Escalade features a curved OLED display that merges the instrument cluster and the infotainment system, creating a technologically advanced cockpit. The Navigator, on the other hand, keeps a more traditional, minimalist layout with a well-integrated infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster.

Seating Configuration

While both SUVs offer spacious seating for up to seven or eight passengers, the Navigator places a special emphasis on second-row comfort, offering highly adjustable captain’s chairs with a center console.

Cargo Space

When it comes to cargo space, the Escalade takes the lead. It offers more room for storage in all configurations compared to the Navigator, making it the better choice for those who frequently need a large cargo area.

Engine Options and Performance

The Escalade provides two engine options: a 6.2-liter V8 and a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel, while the Navigator sticks with a single, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. Although the Navigator’s engine offers more horsepower and torque, the Escalade’s optional diesel engine presents a unique choice for those who prefer diesel’s torque and fuel economy.

Fuel Efficiency

Speaking of fuel economy, the Navigator’s V6 engine provides slightly better fuel efficiency than the Escalade’s standard V8. However, the Escalade’s optional diesel engine offers the best fuel efficiency of all the options.

Safety Features

Both SUVs are well-equipped with safety features, but the Escalade offers Cadillac’s Super Cruise, a semi-autonomous driving system, while the Navigator offers Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 Plus package.

Trim Levels and Pricing

The Escalade offers one more trim level than the Navigator, giving buyers a wider range of options to choose from. As for pricing, both vehicles are in the same ballpark, but the base Escalade starts at a slightly lower price than the Navigator, while the top-trim Escalade is more expensive than the top-trim Navigator.

Final Thoughts

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, without a doubt, continue their legacy of delivering luxurious, powerful, and sophisticated driving experiences. Each vehicle has its distinct appeal, from the Escalade’s muscular elegance and generous cargo space to the Navigator’s fuel-efficient performance and minimalist interior design. 

Ultimately, your choice between these two luxury SUVs will be deeply personal, reflecting your own unique preferences, lifestyle, and budget. So whether you value a vehicle that stands out with its aggressive design, or one that subtly exudes luxury, both the Escalade and the Navigator are masterfully crafted machines that promise to elevate your driving experience to extraordinary heights.

Features Breakdown

2023 Cadillac Escalade Features

  • Exterior Design: Bold and aggressive design with sharp lines, a boxy silhouette, and large grille. LED lighting and 22-inch alloy wheels are standard.
  • Interior Design: Luxurious interior with high-quality materials like leather, real wood, and polished metal. A seamless, curved OLED display merges the instrument cluster and infotainment system.
  • Seating: Comfortable seating for up to seven or eight passengers. Generous legroom and headroom in all three rows.
  • Storage: Up to 25.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 63 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 109.1 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.
  • Performance: Standard 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Optional 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine available. Both engines paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • Fuel Efficiency: EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway for the V8 engine. The diesel engine offers 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
  • Safety: Standard features include automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, and rear park assist. Optional features include adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system.
  • Trim Levels: Five options – Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, Platinum, and Platinum Sport.
  • Pricing: Starts at around $77,000 for the base Luxury trim and goes up to about $105,000 for the top Platinum Sport trim.

2023 Lincoln Navigator Features

  • Exterior Design: Sophisticated and subtle design with a smooth, rounded look. Features a distinctive grille, slim LED headlamps, and 20-inch wheels.
  • Interior Design: Minimalist and clean interior design with high-quality materials like leather, wood, and chrome. Traditional layout with well-integrated infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster.
  • Seating: Spacious seating for up to seven or eight passengers with a special emphasis on second-row comfort. Optional second-row captain’s chairs with a center console are available.
  • Storage: Offers 19.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 57.5 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 103.3 cubic feet with all rows folded.
  • Performance: Comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • Fuel Efficiency: EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
  • Safety: Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. Optional features include adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 Plus semi-autonomous driving package.
  • Trim Levels: Four options – Standard, Reserve, Black Label, and Black Label L.
  • Pricing: Starts at around $78,000 for the base Standard trim and goes up to approximately $101,000 for the top-tier Black Label L trim.

About Marcus The Car Guy

I've been in car sales and finance for over 20 years, working at the highest volume dealerships in the nation including Fletcher Jones, DCH and more. Want to pick my brain on finding cars, negotiating cars, and structuring car deals?

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