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· Editor
19,785 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NSAP Reviews:
Lincoln Navigator Vs. Cadillac Escalade
Stakes are high in this comparo...

This is by far my first comparison vehicle review. I was going to just do a review over the Navigator, but I thought, why not a comparo since my parents have a 2004 Escalade anyway. So I have access to both vehicles. Since the Navigator and the Escalade are both long time rivals I thought I needed to be a major critic to both vehicles. Since I have drove the Escalade a lot more than the Navigator, I really know much more about the Escalade, but I certainly took the time to learn the Navi as good too.
Just like the old days, when the Cadillac Eldorado and Lincoln Mark IV battled it out for luxury coupe supremacy, the Escalade and Navigator are closely matched, yet have distinct differences. Both offer prestige-oriented styling, with clean lines and massive grilles along with spacious interiors ensconced in leather and wood. Those “distinctive differences” will come to prove who the real winner in this comparo will be


Both vehicles are truly full-size, and both are diffidently luxury! All you have to do is look at them, and you can tell by the stance of the vehicles that they are ready for action and they both have this “I own the road” look to them. While driving either of the vehicles down Main Street, you always get stares from people in their Explorers and Blazers, but of course you always get an occasional bad gesture from the Toyota and Honda drivers that think big SUV’s are killing the environment.
Depending on whether you like the art & science design theme of the Escalade, is up to you. But the Navigator’s exterior design is not art & science; actually I would say it is more American than the Escalade’s. While I was testing the vehicles, I would ask
People on their thoughts of the vehicles, and really I got mixed reviews. People loved the Escalade’s deign, but hated the front. No one really loved or hated the Navigator.


The subject of the interiors is almost a given on which vehicle is better. The Escalade’s is just General Motors’ generic SUV interior with a few tweaks, like wood trim, and an analog clock. The Navigator’s is awesome! Once you sit in the driver’s seat, and take in all of the luxury that surrounds you, it is obvious that Ford took the time and money to make it right the first time. The consol in the Navi is beautiful, and the cover over the radio controls, is a very nice touch. It hides all of the clutter of the radio. The white LED lights in the dash look very handsome in the Navi, and at night it is much more pleasant than the regular green.
On the seat front, both vehicles are very comfortable. Although the Navi seemed to have a tiny bit more room in the third row. Both had the rear seat entertainment system. I liked the Escalade’s better. The Navigator had a THX certified audio system, which sounded great! The Escalade has a Bose system, which I like better. It is also a lot less confusing than the Navi’s.
Bottom Line: The Navigator is much more enhanced than the Escalade’s. But that might change next year, since the Escalade is getting a new interior.


Power is the Navigator’s most controversial topic. And I agree that it’s engine does lack refinement. But as long as you are not planning on going off roading in your $60,000 SUV you’ll be fine. The Escalade’s power is fine! It delivered on everything I demanded, and always have.
The ride and handling award would have to go to the Navigator. It’s ride is very smooth, almost perfect! The Escalade rides nice, but the Navi out does it easily. The Navigator also has a lot less body roll than the Escalade. When it comes to noise the Escalade wins, that Navigator has quite a bit of road and wind noise at higher speeds.

The Players

The Navigator
French Silk Metallic
-Total MSRP $63,045

The Escalade
White Diamond
-Total MSRP $61,040


The Verdict

Pros: Beautiful Interior, Awesome features, big!
Cons: Lack of power, Pricey
Overall Rating: 9.1

Pros: Excellent Power, beautiful exterior, fun to drive
Cons: generic interior, bumpy ride, Pricey
Overall Rating: 8.8


· Editor
19,785 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally posted by Bladon@Apr 25 2004, 12:07 PM
Couple of questions, #1 Did the Navigator have electric third seats? I've seen them on '04 Expedition and they are awsome!!! I've heard they're not in the refresh or the later reskin of the Escalade. If they're not, GM's been major outclassed again!! We can count on competition having some version, at least some easily folded and stowed onboard. I'm told ours weigh 37 pounds each (there's two like the Tahoe). They unlatch, remove fairly well, they're heavy, ackward, and harder than hell to carry around. They didn't even fill in the weight bearig side of the carrying handle so the two edges cut into your hands. I own an '04 Escalade, so I speak from personal experience. I take mine in and out (I actually use the cargo area) and store them in the basement rather than garage to keep them nice. It's a nasty job. I had a Suburban, and the one piece in it made these look good.
True story: I have cousin in Florida who just took delivery of '04 Expedition after I had sent him all GM incentives retirees are sent and asked to spread around. He loved my new Escalade, then says I hope you're not mad about my buying a Ford, but I've got something you don't, and showed me the electric seats. He then compounded it by showing me Ford' 2nd seat bench seat with easy entry from both sides. He had been riding in my 3rd seat, said Ford's easy entry much better than crawling between my buckets. He had old style seat in his trade, used to roll his wheelbarrow up to the back, call his wife, they'd slide seat out onto wheelbarrow, balance it and take to where they wanted, real customer friendly. Who could blame for getting the Expedition.
I heard independent suspension or lack of it is a main reason. I hope we don't wind up with another ugly patch job, ala 3 seat Trailblazer. That's a nice truck but even GM's spin doctors must choke at that humped up, fat rear end.
Question #2; Did the Lincoln have the retractable running boards? If so, what good are they? I can see where they wouldn't catch crud in the winter or mud, but that much mechanics in a really high dirt/salt area would seem to beg trouble.
In closing I like the Escalade, just completed a 3000 mile road trip to Florida. It is the best driving, handling SUV I've ever had. It gets more compliments than any truck or car I've ever driven and I've had some nice ones. I averaged 16.8 MPG
which with the 6.0 liter and all wheel drive I think is pretty good and overall am quite happy with it, I would buy another one, but without a much better third seat would certainly look around. Good job nsap! Everything you reported is accurate and very interesting.
YES, the Navigator had power 3rd row and power running boards..
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