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Both the 2021 Ford Expedition and the 2021 Lincoln Navigator are manufactured by Ford. As you might imagine, both of these large SUVs are remarkably similar, but they’re not quite identical. Is the 2021 Ford Expedition safer than the 2021 Lincoln Navigator or the other way around? Only one is a Consumer Reports recommended vehicle. The difference is in the brakes. 

A red 2021 Ford Expedition.
2021 Ford Expedition | Ford

According to Consumer Reports, both the 2021 Lincoln Navigator and the 2021 Ford Expedition have standard city and highway emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and blind spot warning come with both the Navigator and the Expedition. Rear view cameras, anti lock brakes, traction and stability control, and rear cross traffic warning are standard in both as well. The only difference is that the Lincoln Navigator comes with daytime running lights, while you’ll have to pay extra for that in the Ford Expedition. 

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator has an airbag edge

A 2021 Lincoln Navigator flies down the highway.
2021 Lincoln Navigator | Lincoln

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator comes with standard front and rear side airbags, while the 2021 Ford Expedition only comes with standard front side airbags. They both have head protection standard with rollover. 

The crash test ratings between the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition are identical

The overall crash and overall frontal-crash, overall frontal-crash driver, and overall frontal-crash passenger test ratings for both the 2021 Lincoln Navigator and the 2021 Ford Expedition are five stars. 

Side-crash test ratings for both the Lincoln Navigator and the Ford Expedition are equal, at five stars for overall side-crash, side-crash driver, and side-crash rear passenger. The overall side-crash test rating combines results from the driver, left rear-seat passenger, and pole test. 

The rollover risk is exactly the same

Rollover risk is something large SUV shoppers tend to take into consideration. The risk between the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator is exactly the same, with the 4WD option for each receiving four stars compared to the 2WD options getting three.

Performance is different between the Expedition and the Navigator

A 2021 Lincoln Navigator driving through a city.
2021 Lincoln Navigator | Lincoln

So is the Lincoln Navigator just a really expensive Expedition? Not quite. While most other ratings are identical, the performance results of these two large SUVs differs a little bit. 

Acceleration in the 2021 Lincoln Navigator is better, getting five stars to the 2021 Ford Expedition’s four stars. The 60 MPH test, which measures how long it takes a vehicle to get to 60 MPH (especially helpful when merging onto the highway) was 6.2 seconds for the Navigator and 7.3 for the Expedition. 

The quarter-mile test, which measures what speed vehicles reach when accelerating from a full stop to a point a quarter mile away, gave the Lincoln Navigator 98 MPH and the Ford Expedition 92 MPH. 

Routine and emergency handling for both the 2021 Lincoln Navigator and the 2021 Ford Expedition are the same, at two out of five. Each large SUV had an accident avoidance max speed of 47 MPH. 

The brakes on the 2021 Ford Expedition are better

Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Ford Expedition a three out of five. The Expedition was able to stop from 60 MPH on a dry road at 143 feet, and 157 feet on a wet road. The 2021 Lincoln Navigator didn’t fare as well. The Navigator stopped from 60 MPH on a dry road at 144 feet, and on a wet road at 162 feet. 

Is the 2021 Ford Expedition safer than the 2021 Lincoln Navigator

Interior of a 2021 Ford Expedition.
Interior of a 2021 Ford Expedition | Ford

When the numbers are compared with one another, the 2021 Ford Expedition is safer than the 2021 Lincoln Navigator. Consumer Reports gave the Expedition a 69 overall, including a 73 in its road test. The Expedition is also a recommended vehicle. 

On the other hand, Consumer Reports gave the Lincoln Navigator a 64 overall and only a 65 in its road test. The Navigator is not one of Consumer Reports’ recommended vehicles. 

The base price for the 2021 Lincoln Navigator is $27,000 more than the 2021 Ford Expedition. Surely it’s a better SUV?

If you’re concerned about safety when SUV shopping, then the 2021 Ford Expedition is the full size SUV for you. If you want a touch of luxury, spring for one of the more expensive trim options, and you’ll have the best of both worlds. 


The 2021 Lincoln Navigator Is as Good as Full-Size Luxury Gets