Is the 2021 Lincoln Navigator or 2021 Cadillac Escalade Safer According to the NHTSA?

SUV shoppers looking for a large luxury SUV may find themselves trying to decide between the 2021 Lincoln Navigator and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade. Both full size SUVs have lots to offer, but which is the safer luxury SUV? Let’s look at whether the NHTSA found the 2021 Lincoln Navigator or 2021 Cadillac Escalade safer. 

A 2021 Lincoln Navigator on the road.
2021 Lincoln Navigator | Lincoln

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator comes with more standard safety features

Both the 2021 Lincoln Navigator and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade have standard city emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. Rear view cameras, anti lock brakes, traction and stability control, and daytime running lights are standard in both as well. 

However, the Lincoln Navigator also comes standard with highway emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic warning. These safety features are all optional in the Cadillac Escalade.  

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

The Lincoln Navigator’s NHTSA crash test ratings are better

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Both the 2021 Lincoln Navigator and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade were tested by the NHTSA. Crash test ratings are slightly better for the Lincoln Navigator. 

Overall frontal-crash testing measures how well a vehicle does in a head-on collision with another, similar vehicle at 35 MPH. The overall crash and overall frontal-crash, and overall frontal-crash passenger test ratings for the Cadillac Escalade are four stars, while the Lincoln Navigator has five stars. Both the Escalade and the Navigator have five stars for the overall frontal-crash, driver. 

A 2021 Cadillac Escalade drives through a tunnel.
2021 Cadillac Escalade | Cadillac

Side-crash test ratings for both the Lincoln Navigator and the Cadillac Escalade 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 less for the 2021 Lincoln Navigator

Both of these behemoth’s come with a rollover risk which is pretty equal. The exception is the Lincoln Navigator 4WD option, which is four stars compared to the 2WD option and both the Cadillac Escalade’s 2WD and 4WD. 

The Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade both had a no tip result in the dynamic tip result. This test measures the risk of a vehicle rolling over in a single-vehicle, loss of control accident. However, the Navigator’s rollover risk was lower than the Escalade’s, at 19.30% to 21.20%. 

Winner: 2021 Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator has excellent safety ratings across the board. It’s those four star overall frontal-crash test ratings that hurt the 2021 Cadillac Escalade when compared to the Navigator. The Lincoln Navigator also comes with more standard safety equipment than the Cadillac Escalade, meaning accident avoidance is more likely. When safety is your number one priority, the 2021 Lincoln Navigator is the way to go.