If you’re shopping for a luxury large SUV, you have an almost overwhelming number of choices. Whether you’re looking for longevity or fuel-efficiency is your main priority, there are a number of options – like the Lincoln Navigator – that fit the bill.
In this segment where vehicles get more standard features each year and cabins are increasingly luxurious, it takes quite a bit for a vehicle to stand out. U.S. News compiled a list of the Best Luxury Large SUVs for 2020, with the Lincoln Navigator coming in first and the Lexus LX ranking last. Is the Navigator really that much better than the LX?
The front-runner: 2020 Lincoln Navigator
In the last few years, Lincoln has garnered quite a bit of attention for its innovative designs and technology. The Navigator, in particular, has taken home a number of awards and it’s not hard to see why. It has a robust engine, a premium cabin that offers a plush ride, a ton of standard features, and a tremendous amount of cargo space.
The standard-wheelbase Navigator offers 103.4 cubic feet of storage, while the long-wheelbase Navigator L has 120.2 cubic feet. Even the Chevy Suburban, the luxury SUV class leader in storage, has 121.7 cubic feet, barely beating the Navigator.
Premium features that come standard on the Lincoln Navigator include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, heated seats, six USB ports, remote start, and a hands-free liftgate. Following the lead of many other automakers, Lincoln made even more features newly standard for 2020, like ventilated front seats and wireless device charging.
The Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features is also standard and includes lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and pre-collision warning with automated emergency braking.
The Lincoln Navigator comes with just one engine across all three trim levels, but it’s all you need — and then some. It’s a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that puts out 450 hp and 510 lb-feet of torque, providing a quick, smooth ride and more than enough power to tow as much as 8,700 pounds.
There’s so much to love about the 2020 Navigator that in the U.S. News full review, the SUV’s sole drawback noted was “some dull infotainment graphics.”
“Trail”-ing the pack: 2020 Lexus LX
As reputable as Lexus is, the 2020 LX quite frankly falls short. For starters, it’s ancient in car years, part of a generation that dates back to 2008. While it did get a slight refresh in 2016, most of the technology in the Lexus LX is dated. Its infotainment system screen is an impressive 12.3 inches, but it’s controlled with the Lexus Remote Touch controller, a mouse-like device mounted in the center console that reviewers consistently say is distracting and difficult to use.
While the Lexus LX does come with a number of desirable standard features such as quad-zone automatic climate control and a moonroof, its storage capacity doesn’t come anywhere near the Navigator’s, and it has abysmal fuel economy.
The LX gets 12 mpg in the city and 16 on the highway, while the Lincoln gets 16 and 22 mpg, respectively. Inside, the cabin is nice enough and the LX comes with either two or three rows with seating for five or eight, but the third row is cramped and uncomfortable for adults.
So, is there anything that makes the Lexus LX worth buying? Sort of. The one area where the LX really shines isn’t exactly something luxury SUVs are known for: it’s incredibly capable off-road, with a powerful V8 engine, full-time four-wheel drive, adjustable suspension, crawl control, and a long list of standard safety features.
Still, if four-wheel-drive capability is important to you, there are several better choices in the segment, especially for that price. The Lexus LX has a high starting MSRP of $86,380 for the two-row model and $91,380 for the three-row version, though there’s only one trim level and very few optional add-ons, so the price doesn’t inflate much.
The bottom line: Lexus loses to Lincoln
By all measures, the Lincoln Navigator is superior to the Lexus LX. Even if you’ve ruled out the Navigator because you’re set on having four-wheel drive or a V8 engine, you could do better than the Lexus. It is worth noting, though, that rumor has it a fully-redesigned LX is coming in 2021, per Car Buzz, and it’s logical to expect that Lexus will improve upon just about everything in the new generation.