Ford Authority

Ford Benchmarking All-New 2021 Cadillac Escalade

Back in March, Ford was caught benchmarking the last-gen Cadillac Escalade alongside a 2022 Lincoln Navigator prototype, as exclusively reported by Ford Authority. At the time, this seemed somewhat unusual, as it makes more sense to benchmark the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade, unless the automaker simply wasn’t able to procure one at the time. Regardless, Ford now has a 2021 Cadillac Escalade in its possession as is clear from these exclusive photos showing the new SUV entering Ford’s Dearborn Development Center.

As the Escalade is the Lincoln Navigator‘s chief rival, it makes perfect sense that Ford would want to benchmark the latest version against the forthcoming refreshed 2022 Navigator. Thus far, the all-new 2021 Escalade has been a hit with buyers, outselling the Navigator two-fold in Q1 – 9,842 units versus 4,832.

Sales Numbers - Full-Size Luxury SUVs - Q1 2021 - USA

MODEL Q1 21 / Q1 20 Q1 21 Q1 20 Q1 21 SHARE Q1 20 SHARE
CADILLAC ESCALADE +75.13% 9,842 5,620 48% 35%
LINCOLN NAVIGATOR +26.29% 4,832 3,826 24% 24%
INFINITI QX80 -22.44% 4,342 5,598 21% 35%
LEXUS LX +58.39% 1,340 846 7% 5%
TOTAL +28.11% 20,356 15,890

The 2022 Navigator will receive a host of updates designed to help it narrow that gap, including revised front and rear fascias a new, large, horizontally-oriented infotainment screen, a feature Ford Authority was the first to report on back in January. In addition to those updates, the 2022 Navigator is expected to be available with Lincoln’s new ActiveGlide hands-free driver-assist feature, as Ford Authority exclusively reported in May.

The refreshed SUV is expected to continue to offer Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 as its standard powerplant, possibly with an increase in output over the 2021 Navigator. The 2022 Navigator is also expected to receive a hybrid powertrain option, most likely Ford’s 3.5L PowerBoost V6 that debuted in the 2021 Ford F-150. Both engines will be mated to FoMoCo’s 10-speed automatic transmission.

The 2022 Lincoln Navigator will continue to be produced at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant alongside the Ford Expedition and Ford Super Duty. We expect the updated model to be revealed this summer and to launch in the second half of 2021 as a 2022 model.

We’ll have more on the 2022 Navigator soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Lincoln newsLincoln Navigator news, and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. StuartH

    The Navigator lost its main product advantage now that the new Escalade finally dumped their truck-like rear axle in favor of independent rear suspension. Besides ride and handling perks, IRS allows for a lower and therefore more convenient load floor.

    1. Mf

      To be honest I don’t think the solid rear axle was a bad thing. Switching to IRS wasn’t bad, but I think the big benefit was all the extra space behind the 3rd row now. The load floor on these vehicles is still pretty high. The extra volume is nice, but the solid rear axle was stout. It was problem free, hopefully the IRS is as well, but that’s part of the appeal of vehicles like this. They can last 20+ years with little or no issues.

  2. Henry

    This is a car that I would never buy…ever. The most polluting car on the planet.

    1. The Friendly Grizzly

      Then, don’t.

    2. Mf

      Nah they don’t sell it in the 3rd world. Cars in China and other places have little or no emissions controls, and they just lie about anything they need to meet anyways.

      All cars in the US are among the cleanest in the world, regardless of their size.

      At the end of the day, people who need a large vehicle that can tow a boat simply can’t make smaller vehicles work. If you need to tow a boat, rv, etc… It doesn’t really matter what other people think then.

      1. The Gentle Grizzly

        It doesn’t matter what other people think regardless of what one drives.

  3. Cyrus W

    Lincoln needs to go all the way back to the old school of quality’ elagent’ Luxury’ powerful’ uniqueness’ beautiful’ classic’ different’ colorful’ real Luxury automobiles/Suv’s priced $12’000 less than Cadillac and you’d have a real winner on your hands. FYI to the Ford Motor I am available for hire to get your Lincoln Luxury division off the ground and into the stars where it belongs like it used to be.

  4. MF

    It’s amazing that Lincoln can’t figure out that the issue is the Ecoboost buyers of a Navigator want more than the Ecoboost. Ford dropped the ball by not offering the Coyote and their diesel, and GM stole the show again. Ford just doesn’t understand this market at all.

    We could be Navigator buyers, but with the Ecoboost as the only power train offering, we get chucked over to GM because Ford doesn’t compete. We will likely end up in a Denali diesel.

  5. Bruce Holberg

    Look at those sales figures! One has to wonder how much longer Lincoln will be in the game, and no one wants to buy a soon-to-be orphan.

  6. Edward M Foster

    Cadillac has changed the game with the technology and engine options escalade is world’s ahead now Ford had to get back into the game because it want be long looking at the sales of both.

  7. steve miller

    I drove them both the Lincoln is still much better ride and more power I bought the Lincoln and I am a first time Lincoln owner traded in cadillac

  8. Tino

    Yes the new Cadillac Escalade is out selling the Navigator, but the last 4 years Lincoln has been wiping the floor with them.

  9. A car guy

    Wait till the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer hits…it might be the final nail in the coffin of Navigator. Unless Jeep does typical Jeep and does stupid incentives to devalue it and the true competitor will be the Expedition and Tahoe


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