In the realm of full-sized luxury SUVs, two names often rise to the top: the Lincoln Navigator and the GMC Yukon Denali. Renowned for their decadent interiors, powerful performance, and sophisticated technology, both vehicles embody the finest aspects of automotive luxury.
This comprehensive analysis dives deep into the 2023 models of both SUVs, dissecting and comparing every facet to help prospective buyers make an informed decision. From aesthetics and performance to the nuances of each cabin, we’ll explore what sets these contenders apart in the race for supremacy in the luxury SUV segment.
The Lincoln Navigator and GMC Yukon Denali are massive SUVs, commanding attention with their assertive exterior design.
The 2023 Lincoln Navigator features an imposing front grille that carries the Lincoln emblem with pride. The LED headlights are sleek, adding a touch of sophistication to its muscular stance. The body lines are smooth and flowing, creating an aesthetic that is both modern and timeless. The Navigator’s exterior is a blend of luxury and power, intended to turn heads wherever it goes.
On the other hand, the 2023 GMC Yukon Denali showcases GMC’s distinctive design language. Its bold, square-jawed exterior exudes a rugged, yet refined appeal. The signature Denali grille, flanked by C-shaped LED headlights and daytime running lights, give it a distinguished road presence. A more angular profile provides the Yukon Denali with a distinctively robust look.
Interior design is a crucial aspect of luxury SUVs, where comfort and elegance should be seamlessly combined.
The Navigator’s interior is a symphony of high-end materials, with options for leather upholstery, wood inlays, and metal accents. The sleek digital dashboard and the 13.2-inch central touchscreen look futuristic and upscale. The interior is spacious and feels airy, thanks to its panoramic sunroof.
The Yukon Denali is equally lavish, with an interior that features hand-stitched leather surfaces, real wood accents, and a sophisticated color palette. Its high-tech dashboard features a 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen and a customizable digital instrument cluster. The Denali’s interior creates an environment that’s as comfortable as it is luxurious.
Seating comfort is a non-negotiable factor in this segment, and both SUVs deliver impressively.
The Navigator offers seating for seven or eight, depending on whether you opt for the second-row captain’s chairs. The seats are plush and comfortable, with heating, ventilation, and massage functions available. The third-row seats are more spacious than most rivals, comfortably accommodating adults on long journeys.
The Yukon Denali also provides seating for seven or eight, depending on the configuration. Its seats are plush and supportive, with heat and ventilation available for the first and second rows. The third-row seating is spacious, providing more legroom than previous models, thanks to an extended wheelbase.
The Navigator shines with its generous cargo space. It offers 20.9 cubic feet behind the third row, 57.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and a whopping 103.3 cubic feet with all seats folded. Additionally, it provides numerous small-item storage spaces throughout the cabin.
The Yukon Denali, though slightly smaller, still provides ample cargo space: 25.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 72.6 cubic feet behind the second row, and a total of 122.9 cubic feet with all seats down. It also boasts various cubbies and compartments for smaller items.
The Navigator is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces a robust 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. The Navigator offers a composed ride with its adaptive suspension, and despite its size, it handles surprisingly well.
The Yukon Denali is motivated by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that delivers 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. With the Denali-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control and an optional Air Ride Adaptive Suspension, the Yukon Denali offers a comfortable, poised drive and good handling for its size.
Despite its potent engine, the Navigator manages to offer reasonable fuel efficiency for its class, thanks in part to its 10-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimates stand at 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
The Yukon Denali, with its larger V8 engine, lags slightly behind in fuel economy. It is estimated to achieve 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
The 2023 Navigator comes standard with Lincoln Co-Pilot360, which includes features like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. Optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and a surround-view parking camera system.
The Yukon Denali comes standard with GMC’s Pro Safety Plus package, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. Available features include a surround-view camera, rear pedestrian alert, and adaptive cruise control.
Both SUVs offer a variety of trim levels, allowing buyers to choose the features that best fit their needs.
The Navigator comes in three main trims: Standard, Reserve, and Black Label, with each subsequent trim adding more luxury and tech features. The Black Label offers the most exclusive features, such as a unique interior theme, 30-way power-adjustable front seats, and a 20-speaker Revel Ultima sound system.
The Yukon Denali is itself a high-end trim of the GMC Yukon lineup, but it also offers two sub-trims: the standard Denali and the Denali Ultimate. The Denali Ultimate adds features like power-retractable assist steps, panoramic sunroof, and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Pricing for these high-end SUVs is as hefty as their size and capabilities.
The 2023 Lincoln Navigator starts at around $76,000 for the base Standard trim. The mid-range Reserve starts at approximately $85,000, and the top-tier Black Label begins around $100,000.
The 2023 GMC Yukon Denali starts at about $70,000. The Denali Ultimate, with all its added luxury and tech features, pushes the price to approximately $80,000.
Exterior and Interior Styling
The exterior styling of these SUVs showcases their respective brand identities. The Lincoln Navigator follows a more fluid and modern design language, with a distinct front grille and sleek LED headlights. In contrast, the GMC Yukon Denali adopts a more robust and square-jawed exterior, highlighted by a bold Denali grille and C-shaped LED headlights and daytime running lights.
Interior design differs as well. While both interiors are undeniably luxurious, the Navigator leans towards a more futuristic aesthetic with its sleek digital dashboard and central touchscreen. Meanwhile, the Yukon Denali maintains a more traditional luxury appeal with its high-quality leather surfaces and real wood accents.
The Navigator and Yukon Denali have different powertrains. The Navigator is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, delivering 450 horsepower, while the Yukon Denali features a 6.2-liter V8 engine with an output of 420 horsepower. While the difference in horsepower might not be very noticeable in day-to-day driving, it could make a difference for those who prioritize performance.
Fuel efficiency is another area where these vehicles diverge. The Navigator’s smaller, twin-turbo V6 offers slightly better fuel efficiency, with EPA estimates of 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. The larger V8 in the Yukon Denali results in lower fuel economy, with EPA estimates of 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.
When it comes to cargo space, the Lincoln Navigator offers more overall volume with all seats folded, offering a total of 103.3 cubic feet. In contrast, the Yukon Denali has slightly less total cargo space at 122.9 cubic feet. However, the Yukon Denali does have more cargo space behind the third row.
There’s a noticeable difference in pricing as well. The starting price of the 2023 Lincoln Navigator is higher than that of the GMC Yukon Denali, with a difference of around $6,000 between their base models. This price gap reflects the Navigator’s positioning as a more premium offering in the full-size luxury SUV segment.
Deciding between the 2023 Lincoln Navigator and GMC Yukon Denali is no easy task. Each boasts a host of luxury features, potent powertrains, and ample space that ensures comfort on every journey. The Navigator, with its futuristic design language and twin-turbo V6, appeals to those looking for a mix of modernity and power. Meanwhile, the Yukon Denali stands out with its rugged charm, V8 performance, and traditional luxury appeal.
Ultimately, the choice between the two will come down to personal preference, but either way, you’re choosing an SUV that represents the pinnacle of full-size luxury. Whether you’re cruising city streets or embarking on a family road trip, both the Navigator and the Yukon Denali promise a driving experience that’s nothing short of extraordinary.
2023 Lincoln Navigator Features
- Exterior Design: Modern, fluid lines with sleek LED headlights and a distinct Lincoln grille.
- Interior Design: Futuristic, high-end materials with a digital dashboard and a 13.2-inch central touchscreen.
- Seating: Offers seating for seven or eight with optional second-row captain’s chairs. Seats feature heating, ventilation, and massage functions.
- Storage: Ample cargo space of 20.9 cubic feet behind the third row, 57.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 103.3 cubic feet with all seats folded.
- Performance: Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine delivering 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque.
- Fuel Efficiency: Estimated EPA rating of 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
- Safety: Comes standard with Lincoln Co-Pilot360 safety suite, with options for adaptive cruise control and a surround-view parking camera system.
- Trim Levels: Available in Standard, Reserve, and top-tier Black Label trims.
- Pricing: Starts at around $76,000 for the base Standard trim, with the Black Label beginning around $100,000.
2023 GMC Yukon Denali Features
- Exterior Design: Bold, robust design with a distinctive Denali grille and C-shaped LED headlights.
- Interior Design: Traditional luxury appeal with high-quality leather surfaces, real wood accents, and a 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen.
- Seating: Provides seating for seven or eight, with plush, supportive seats featuring heat and ventilation.
- Storage: Provides 25.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 72.6 cubic feet behind the second row, and 122.9 cubic feet with all seats down.
- Performance: Equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine delivering 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
- Fuel Efficiency: Estimated EPA rating of 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
- Safety: Comes standard with GMC’s Pro Safety Plus package, with available features like a surround-view camera and adaptive cruise control.
- Trim Levels: Available in standard Denali and Denali Ultimate sub-trims.
- Pricing: Starts at about $70,000, with the Denali Ultimate pushing the price to approximately $80,000.