Cadillac Escalade Has Fresh Competition From 2018 Lincoln Navigator34
Cadillac’s all-important Escalade SUV is facing fresh competition from crosstown rival Lincoln Motor Company, which today introduced an all-new Lincoln Navigator SUV at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.
Perhaps the biggest change between the 2018 Lincoln Navigator and the outgoing model is the jump to an aluminum-alloy body, which contributed to a 200-pound reduction in curb weight while permitting engineers to reinvest some of the savings into other areas, such as sound-killing laminated glass. That ought to put it in approximately the same territory heft-wise as the 2017 Cadillac Escalade. A long-wheelbase “Navigator L” will continue to be offered alongside the standard model, too, competing against the Escalade ESV.
Think the Escalade’s brawny, 6.2-liter Ecotec3 V8 is enough to keep it safe? Think again; output from the Lincoln Navigator’s twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 has been bumped up to 450 horsepower, which is 30 ponies more than the Ecotec puts out. Its smaller displacement and forced induction mean that it ought to deliver better fuel economy, too – in EPA test cycles, at least, if not the real world. The new 10-speed automatic transmission, co-developed by Ford and GM, ought to help with that.
Of course, previous iterations of the Lincoln Navigator got points off for interior quality and materials selection. We’ve yet to sit in the all-new SUV, but early indicators are promising, with high-quality leather and wood veneers deployed sparingly throughout. It’s hard to find much to complain about there.
By this point, the current-generation Cadillac Escalade is just a tad over three years old – hardly elderly by anyone’s standards – but the completely-redesigned Lincoln Navigator has all the makings of a far stronger contender than its predecessor. Cadillac, for whom the Escalade is inexpressibly important, might have cause for concern.
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If you call that competition?
Lincoln still has image building to do the Cadillac model has already earned. Also I am not impressed by the look.
It looks terrific in real life minus the wheels.
First Ford cribs Aston-Martin, now Lincoln cribs Range Rover. This is far better than the current Navigator, but Escalade has nothing to fret.
You’re forgetting when Lincoln cribbed Bentley!
I did forget! You are correct; Lincoln absolutely cribbed Bentley!
The new Navigator looks very much more upmarket than the current model. Which is good for Lincoln, it’s exactly what it needs. I like the industrial design direction where this brand is headed; the 2018 Navigator, Continental and the MKZ are all really slick looking; I love that blue it works great on the Navigator. I’m thinking they’re making a solid case for themselves.
Anyhow, the Escalade wins because it has the better name equity; purchasing an Escalade is about as flamboyant and in your face as it gets. And that’s why you do so; people want to feel special every time they get behind the wheel of a big bad new Escalade. Navigator doesn’t have this, yet, but I can see it working itself uphill – it looks great and the front end is bold. And, it better come with those gullwing doors as an option for extra cool points.
The materials look nice enough in the pics at Ford Authority, but the design, inside and out, does nothing for me. It’s as if they started with Range Rover’s dated look, realized they made a giant mistake, and compounded it by throwing all sorts of tacky little details at it .
Cadillac can and will likely soon up their game, and at that point I suggest Lincoln throw in the towel.
I don’t think Cadillac has much to worry about in terms of sales at the moment. Looking at the sales figures between the two, the Escalade typically outsells the Navigator 2-to-1, despite being more expensive. Having said that, Cadillac shouldn’t just sit on their hands. The new Navigator makes a VERY compelling case for itself:
– It’s expected to have the highest towing rating of any premium full-size SUV (the current one already bests the Escalade by 900lbs)
– It will likely be quieter than the Escalade (I’m speculating, but Lincoln went to great efforts for quietness)
– It will likely be more comfortable than the Escalade (heated and cooled 30-way power seats are standard on the Navigator. I’ve been in the new Continental with its 30-way power seats, and they are supremely comfortable)
– It will be more powerful and more efficient than the Escalade (3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 with 450hp and 500lb-ft of torque)
– You get things like standard 360-degree cameras, etc.
– It looks less like an Expedition than the Escalade does a Tahoe
The 2017 Escalade is virtually the same as it was for 2015, with no significant changes having been made. If they don’t refresh it relatively soon they will no doubt start bleeding sales. The current 10 year old Navigator just doesn’t have the luxury to compete directly, but the new one does, and I think it’s making the best sales case of the nameplate’s lifetime right now. Also, a new Infiniti QX80 is on the way, as is the BMW X7 and Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer. So an onslaught of competition is on the way! As for Caddy vs. Lincoln, my prediction is that the new Navigator will beat the Escalade (as it exists today) in comparison tests while the Escalade soldiers on as the sales king, at least for now.
My thoughts exactly! Lincoln has certainly delivered in making the new Navigator competitive on all fronts! While the Escalade is expected to maintain the sales crown, Cadillac must respond with a bigger, more plush Escalade to remain at the top! There’s no reason to doubt this new Navigator will indeed be eating into the Escalade’s market share!
GM has first mover advantage, since Ford left these full sized SUVs for dead, while GM made a long term heavy investments , starting eight years ago. That first mover advantage left Ford flat footed for the last four years, having obsolete product.
GM still has that first mover advantage working in their favor. It won’t be too long after the Expedition and Navigator hit the market that the all new GM full sized SUV’s will follow.
Mum is the word, but just by paying attention to the more recent investments made at Arlington Texas, GM’s big SUV factory, I’d bet on a series of advanced new models to follow.
GM made the right bet on the full sized SUVs. It was a gamble, but it paid off in a big way.
GM is now also poised to do well with it’s vast new lineup of Crossover/SUVs. About seven within the last 12 months.
Overall, GM has breadth of product, along with a wide marketing footprint of brands and dealerships, that no other company has. So long as GM can make quality and offer distinction, they can add new vehicles with no sweat.
I’ll admit that the Navigator (Range Rover and Bentley mash up) is pretty nice and that blue interior is sleek, but the image of driving an Escalade is much more prominent & like Yoshiaki said, flamboyant. I’ve never seen a Navigator on the road and though “I wish I was driving that” like I do an Escalade
I looked at a car or truck that had a blue interior and said I want a interior this color!
Honestly, I think Ghetto when i see Escalade..
big, loud, outlandish, overdose on chrome
I’m Canadian…. I associate load and outlandish with Trump…
The Navigators design is definitely opulent but not overstated. It will do well provided no one puts a vinyl roof on it.
The Navigators current production plan is to build volume exceeding that of Cadillac. They may just do that but the war would be won by GMC as their volumes are through the roof.
People who own the Escalade don’t agree with your assessment. Ghetto? That hater assessment on the Escalade is played out a long time ago.
The silver lining, Cadillac finally has half decent competition and a reason to do a major overhaul of the escalade! Can’t wait to see the new escalade in two years or so!
The interior of the Navigator looks really good for sure. Abut my good lord does that exterior looks attrouciously hedious.
Interior looks good outside of that 10 inch tablet slapped right in the middle of the dash.
But that exterior looks more uglier than that escalade
Lincoln is playing very well to do interior design inspired by the wonderful 50’s; Colors of pastel tones and with much attention by the detail.
In that of the details Cadillac has to improve a little; But Cadillac today has a lot of technology and breakthroughs.
This Lincoln ’18 is just as good as Escalade but in a very very different style
When will Cadillac replace it’s agricultural rear suspension? Lincoln has been there for over 15 years. The Escalade is also on Consumer Report’s 10 worst list for reliability.
Least reliable cars
Here are the least reliable cars. All are American cars except the dead-last Fiat 500L.
Cadillac Escalade (most unreliable of the bottom 10). Buy a Chevrolet Suburban or GMC Yukon XL instead, CR says, neither of which is saddled with the Cadillac CUE infotainment system. (Except look who’s No. 4 on the bottom 10 list below.)
Chevrolet Suburban / GMC Yukon XL
Tesla Model X
Ram 2500 pickup
Chevrolet Tahoe / GMC Yukon
GM’s most profitable vehicles are also the most unreliable. GM, once again, does not measure up.
Bull. Look at what edmunds says. They note that the basics of these large scale suvs are bullet proof and that they are highly reliable, with the exception that all their accessories mean that one is bound to break, but that only keeps them out of the top 10. Trucks struggle beacause Americans abuse then
BS. Full size SUVs are mostly driven by soccer moms. Never seen an Escalade being abused. CR reports issues as experienced by actual owners.
*trucks, actually read my comment please.
Consumer reports is a complete waste of time! I can’t believe people give that publication a once of credit. It’s complete garbage!
Do I want the opinion of a person that has a certain type of car, or do I want the opinion of a expert that will give his or her professional opinion?
I’ll take the professional opinion every time and not just on cars, tvs, refrigerators, you name it!
Then please explain why these GM trio are seen all the time with 200-300K miles that still run as new. CR is so inept at operating things like CUE that they simply cannot figure out so give the Cadillac a poor rating. The driveline is very reliable as is the 4 wheel drive setup that has seen years of use and abuse. Incidentally our shop sees more Ford Ecoboost models with engine and drive-ability issues than any GM trucks/SUV’s and that is a fact!
Why doesn’t GM target Lincoln with Buick? I’ve always wondered that.
even if lincoln “beats” buick, it would separate the cadillac brand in the eyes of consumers as being more in line with the euros.
The mounting battle between cadillac and Lincoln is a losing one for Buick and Cadillac, as Buick is stuck in the deadly middle, and cadillac is downgraded.
I think that Cadillac should have a separate CUE system for the Escalade, something that is a little bit easier to use and doesn’t look like it came directly from a much smaller car. As for fuel economy, Cadillac should put the new 2.8L Duramax into the Escalade, which could easily increase mileage to 28 MPG hwy and 21 MPG city.
Cadillac has it’s own diesel’s coming up, a new tt six cylinder diesel will be in these new escalade.
Gotta say that I do like the potential of the new Navigator. The interior seems decent alongside with features and technology. I have compared pics of the interior between the ’18 Expedition & Navigator and both products inside are 100% different and I can not see any similarities between either.
The only thing I have to knock the Navigator is a lack of a V8. For a vehicle this size should have a V8, not a V6. Lincoln should offer it as an option for those who want a V8. I think potential loss of sales is evident but may not be a concern for an average luxury SUV buyer.
I think Cadillac will pay close attention to Navigator and will come out with a lot stuff the Escalade fans and buyers were not expecting on the refresh or altered next gen. model. Escalade still the “it” vehicle by default when it comes to luxurious and big as SUVs is concerned.
The navigator has potential for big sales and could steal few potential sales from Escalade but, Cadillac has nothing to worry about as long they frequently update the Escalade. The next gen. Escalade will move further upmarket and will be more luxurious than the current model with extra surprises that we may have or have not expected. Regardless, the Escalade will continue to be a sales crown winner. However, I do wish Lincoln luck with its new Navigator.
Ford’s Louisville, KY truck plant is where these new SUVs will be built. Same location as the current generation. Ford also builds the Expedition and the Super Duty pickups here as well. Last year Ford built 60,000 Expeditions and 10,000 Navigators at the plant and the remaining were Super Duty pickups. Ford’s plan is to add a third shift to this plant, once they see enough sales to justify the move.
GM’s Arlington, Texas Large SUV plant builds 360,000+ per year.
Mercedes and BMW also have U.S. plants for full sized SUVs. BMW will soon offer the X7. Last year BMW built 168,000 of the X5, and exported 100,000 of those to other countries. Mercedes U.S. production of GL and ML is over 100,000 units. Looking into both BMW and Mercedes, their U.S. production sales gains for luxury SUVs have offset sales declines for their Luxury sedans.
Large SUVs as a category continues to expand. Price range is between $50,000 to $100,000+ on average.
GM and Ford will continue to serve the Public Municipal sectors, Police, Fire, U.S. Government, as well as heavy industry related like Highway construction, minerals and such.
GM and Ford have jointly developed their new 10 speed transmission which will boost performance and mileage.
Full size sales should remain healthy as long and mileage continues to improve,
The Escalade is grossly over priced by about 10K. Notice that the Navigator starts at nearly 10K less than the Cadillac and ends at nearly 15K less than a loaded Escalade.
Your wrong the escalade is priced exactly where it is supposed to be!
The point of an Escalade is to convey image. If it were over priced then I don’t think GM would have such a stronghold on the full size SUV game with the Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade trio. Clearly there’s demand for the vehicle as priced and possibly even higher