Trucks & SUVs

2021 Lincoln Navigator vs. 2021 Cadillac Escalade: The More Luxurious Choice Is Clear

The Cadillac Escalade is among the most popular full-size luxury SUVs, but it has some stiff competition. One such rival is the Lincoln Navigator. And though it’s a close race, one prevails.

Here’s a look at how the 2021 Lincoln Navigator stacks up against the 2021 Cadillac Escalade in terms of luxury.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade

In its more than 20 years on the market, the Cadillac Escalade has generally looked similar to its cousins, the GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, MotorTrend reports. But that’s no longer the case. For the 2021 model year, General Motors allowed Cadillac to make the Escalade its own, luxurious SUV. And Cadillac didn’t disappoint. It went wild with features on the Escalade. 

Arguably the most exciting part of the Escalade is its 38-inch OLED screen. It’s technically three screens, but it’s still a massive infotainment display nonetheless. “This is Star Trek stuff in a car,” MotorTrend marveled. However, the Escalade isn’t perfect, and MT noted a few areas where it clearly falls behind. 

Though the Escalade is a roomy three-row SUV, the interior quality isn’t consistent. “The luxury tends to extend to the front of the cabin, not the rear,” MT noted. Also, the Escalade’s standard 6.2-liter V8 engine is powerful enough, but it isn’t the fastest SUV in the segment by any means. And though the Escalade handles well, its ride quality isn’t luxurious.

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator

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Cadillac wasn’t the only brand that got a chance to spruce up its full-size luxury SUV. Lincoln also refreshed its Navigator. MotorTrend didn’t like the last generation of the Navigator, but Lincoln clearly made a lot of upgrades.

Like the Escalade, the Lincoln Navigator has similar performance quirks. Its engine produces about the same horsepower as the Caddy’s. And though both SUVs handle well, they also have a less-than-luxurious ride quality. However, that doesn’t appear to be Lincoln’s priority with the Navigator. 

That’s because the automaker has transformed the Navigator into a truly luxurious SUV, MotorTrend reports. It doesn’t have a big screen like the Escalade, but its cabin is far better designed. Its interior feels sumptuous, like “a private luxury chalet,” MotorTrend gushes. In fact, the 2021 Navigator is available with a unique interior theming package that Lincoln calls “Chalet.”

The winner

That’s not to say the Lincoln Navigator’s infotainment system isn’t high-tech. According to MotorTrend, the Black Label edition boasts a Revel Ultima sound system, an innovative center console, a decent-sized touchscreen display, and many other tech features. And, of course, like the Escalade, the Navigator provides plenty of room for passengers and cargo. 

But the Lincoln cradles them in strikingly patterned leather-trimmed seats in relaxing neutral tones. In fact, MotorTrend says the Navigator has “an old-school kind of flavor to it.” That old-school luxury, along with all of its other splendid qualities, boosts the Navigator above the Escalade.