How Does the GMC Yukon Compare with the Lincoln Navigator?

Certain full-size premium SUV’s on the market today are two things simultaneously. They combine the four-wheel-drive utility and high-end luxury in one powerful package. Two competitors stand out in the field, the 2020 GMC Yukon and the 2020 Lincoln Navigator.

How do these two luxury sport utility vehicles match up against each other? We took a close look at the specs to give you an in-depth comparison, comparing the Yukon’s Denali model to the Lincoln Navigator Reserve model

The 2020 GMC Yukon vs. the 2020 Lincoln Navigator

These two SUVs share many of the same characteristics, yet differ in some pretty stand-out ways. They are both 4×4 SUV with three rows of seating for a variety of interior configurations. They are similar size, and also have many of the same comfort and convenience features, including the latest in-car technology. The first big difference buyers are going to notice are the price points.

The GMC Yukon is quite a bit more affordable, by more than $10,000 in fact. The 2020 GMC Yukon Denali has an average paid price of $64,834, while the 2020 Lincoln Navigator weighs in at $74,181. Is the price difference backed up by the specs? In these similar vehicles, what areas does the Navigator excel?


2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali
2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali | GMC

The 2020 Navigator beats out GMC Yukon Denali in the power department, with its 3.5 twin-turbocharged engine delivering 450 horsepower. The Yukons 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine puts out 420 horsepower. In addition to offering drivers more horsepower, the Navigator’s engine extras include drive modes such as Excite, Conserve, and Slow Climb.

Both SUV engines are mated to sophisticated 10-speed transmissions. The Yukon’s transmission gives you the ease of an automatic plus the control of a manual when you want it with its Driver Shift Control system. The Navigators SelectShift 10-speed transmission also gives you the feel of a manual with paddle shifters. 

Safety ratings

2021 GMC Yukon AT4
2021 GMC Yukon AT4 | GMC

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association safety testing is the gold standard for determining the quality of a vehicle’s safety systems, with five stars being the highest. The Lincoln Navigator received 5 stars in all categories; front crash overall, front crash driver, front crash passenger, side crash overall, side barrier driver, side barrier passenger, and side pole driver. The Yukon also received five stars in the side crash tests, however, it only received four stars in the three front crash tests. 

Towing capacity 

There is one category that the Yukon beats the Navigator. The 2020 Yukon Denali boasts a standard towing capacity of 8,100 pounds, while the 2020 Navigator has a standard towing capacity of 6,200 pounds. However, the Navigator also has a maximum towing capacity of 8,300 pounds, sorry about that Yukon.


The Navigator is a slightly larger vehicle overall than the Yukon. It has a longer wheelbase at 122.5 inches over the Yukon’s 116 inches. It is also significantly wider than Yukon, at 93.8 inches vs. 80.5 inches. The Navigator also beats out Yukon Denali in cargo capacity, with its 20.9 cubic feet of space vs. 15.3 cubic feet.

When it comes to legroom, the Yukon wins in front with 45.3 inches over 45.9 inches, but the Navigator has almost 4 more inches of legroom in back. In fact, the 2020 Lincoln Navigator can’t be beaten when it comes to rear legroom, because it offers best-in-class second-row legroom. 

Overall, both the GMC Yukon and the Lincoln Navigator are solid choices in the full-size premium SUV categories. However, the more expensive Navigator proves you really do get what you pay for, as it edges out the Yukon in several significant areas. Is there anyplace where the Yukon does better than the Navigator?