Big, honkin’ luxury SUVs aren’t for everyone. Still, when it comes to maximizing comfort, interior space and panache, these glitzy brutes are hard to beat.
Two spiteful competitors in this field, natural rivals, are the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, chrome-trimmed monsters that have been trying to put the each other out of business for the last two decades.
Redesigned a few years ago, the Caddy is ageing gracefully, though the ‘Gator has been totally overhauled for 2018. But new isn’t always better. Which of these full-size, luxury SUVs do YOU prefer?
Age before beauty, or at least huge chrome grilles, the current-generation Escalade has a 6.2-liter small-block V8 bolted into its prow. This engine delivers an SAE certified 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. New for ’18, it’s matched to an efficient 10-speed automatic transmission.
When paired with for-wheel drive, this combination should allow you to coax 14 miles out of a gallon of gasoline in urban driving and up to 21 on the highway. Combined, this vehicle is rated at 17 MPG.
Escalade drivers are treated to edgy exterior design that stands out in practically any crowd. Inside, the cabin is artful, with a surfeit of real materials like, wood, leather and metal.
Underhood, the all-new Navigator features a familiar 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. This twin-turbocharged engine has been reinvigorated for 2018, delivering more power and torque than before. Fill the tank with premium-grade gasoline and you’ll be rewarded with 450 ponies and 510 pound-feet of twist.
Like its crosstown rival, this Lincoln also features a 10-speed automagic transmission (Hey, it was codeveloped by both GM and Ford, so why not?), which, in combination with its new aluminum body, helps it edge out the Escalade on fuel burn. Also equipped with four-wheel drive, the Navigator is rated at 16 city, 21 highway and 18 MPG combined.
Along with its new duds and updated powertrain, the ‘Gator also features a lavish cabin that in some ways looks inspired by Lincolns from the 1960s. It’s particularly ritzy in Black Label form, the highest trim level, which ups the ante by covering practically every interior surface with ultra-premium leather. This is definitely the way to go, provided you’re of the means.
Black Label Navigators start at right around 94,000 bucks, a pretty penny to be sure, but this matches a similarly high-end Escalade Platinum basically dollar for dollar; they’re all over each other like breading on a mozzarella stick.
Anyway, that’s a brief overview of these two ultra-luxury SUVs. Compare them right here for more information, and please, vote for a favorite!