These two are closely matched in all but one area.
The fifth-generation Lincoln Navigator premiered this week. It comes with the same engine as last year but gets a big tech update with the addition of ActiveGlide hands-free driving and Fire TV. It also got a gentle sheetmetal makeover and a few new colors. One of its obvious competitors is the also American-made Escalade, but we're more concerned with the new kid on the block. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
The reborn Jeep promises to be the pinnacle of luxury from the company. It offers a big V8 to the Lincoln's EcoBoost V6, but they're close competitors and will certainly be stealing sales from each other. The Grand Wagoneer is a few inches bigger than the standard Navi, which leads to more passenger space in the GW, but let's break them down, side by side to see what's the best deal.
Styling is certainly subjective, but we can say that both cars look like a return to the boxiness of yesteryear, which we think is a good thing. The Navigator gets new headlights, an updated grille and new 3D taillamps, but like we said in the Navi reveal story, it's much more of an evolution than a revolution. We're still loving the new Manhattan Green Metallic paint.
The Grand Wagoneer is a little more curious. It keeps Jeep's seven-slot grille and we're not sure if we like the protruding nose that also features on the Grand Cherokee. We're also not partial to the rear upper corner that looks almost too sharp. It really only looks good when in a dark color, so the roof blends in with the body. We've seen both white and red versions, and they look strange.
The new Lincoln Navigator gets a carryover engine, but it's a good one, also used in the Ford F-150 Raptor. In this application it makes 440 hp at 5,850 rpm and a healthy 510 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. A ten-speed automatic sends power to the rear or all four wheels. The previous model returned 16/20 mpg city/highway. And let's remember this vehicle weighs about 5,800 pounds.
The Grand Wagoneer comes standard with the old-school 6.4-liter pushrod V8 making 471 hp at 6,000 rpm and 455 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm. It gets an eight-speed automatic always sending power to all four wheels. Its mileage is expectedly a little lower at 13/19 mpg city/highway. This behemoth tips the scales at about 6,400 pounds.
Doing a little math, the Navigator has about 13 pounds for each horse to pull, while the Grand Wagoneer's mill has about 13.5 pounds per horse. That means the Navigator should feel a little faster. However, you can't discount the grunt of Dodge's 6.4-liter or the towing. The GW can tow 9,850 pounds while last year's Navi can tow 8,300 pounds, also in four-wheel drive trim.
The Navigator always came with loads of tech, but this new generation is on another level. In addition to Lincoln's version of BlueCruse called ActiveGlide, the Navi comes with SYNC 4 system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and SYNC apps along with a 13.2-inch main screen. It has Alexa too, which you can make requests in a natural voice. Both it and the Grand Wagoneer comes with Fire TV, meaning anything you can get on an Amazon Fire Stick, you can get here.
The front passengers keep the 30-way adjustable Perfect Position seats with heating, cooling and massage functions. Second row passengers can optionally get a massage too. The second row has a control/climate screen, as well as the optional rear entertainment setup. A 12-inch digital cluster is standard while the main actions are done on a 13.2 central touchscreen. It has 172 cubic feet of passenger volume and 19.3 cubes behind the third row of seats. The longer-wheelbase L version gives the cargo area about 15 more feet of space.
The new Jeep Grand Wagoneer has one of the best interiors in the world, full stop. Though we said that about the last new Navigator too. Americans have really stepped up their game in this area. The GW comes with leather trim as standard and 24-way power seats, though we're wondering which six operations it doesn't have. It gets the advanced Uconnect 5 system, digital rearview mirror, exclusive Rear Seat Monitoring Camera, head-up display, frameless digital cluster and a premium McIntosh audio system.
The cluster is a 12.3-inch screen while the main horizontal display measures 12 inches. Under that is another touchscreen for your climate and comfort controls and ahead of the passenger is another screen! It has Fire TV and access to Amazon Kids+ for content on the road. The Grand Wagoneer also has a "relax" mode that only works when parked. It "combines dramatic, multiscreen visuals with ambient lighting across the entire cockpit." We'll be excited to try that out.
The Jeep has 179.2 cubic feet of total passenger volume with 27.4 cubes behind the third row.
We don't have pricing for the new Navigator yet, but the current model started at about $77,000 while the top Black Label trim came in at $98,000. If we had to guess, those prices might move to $80K and $100K for the 2022 models. That's a ton of money and the most expensive vehicle Lincoln's ever sold. The Grand Wagoneer, which is equivalent to the Black Label Navi trim starts at about $90,000. For reference, the regular Wagoneer starts lower than the Lincoln at about $68,000.
Both the Black Label and Grand Wagoneer come extremely well-equipped. For those prices you get almost all options included with heated and cooled leather seats, big touchscreens, air suspension, loads of USBs and plugs, and space for seven or eight passengers.
These vehicles are both large and luxurious. They're both powerful and full of more tech than you could ever use. We're sure that buyers of either car will be happy with their purchase. But since they're so close in every category, it'll probably come down to looks for both buyers (in addition to brand loyalty). And in that section, we think the Navigator has the Grand Wagoneer covered. The Jeep may be a fair bit nicer inside (and in fairness that's where people spend most of their time), but if you walk out to your car every day, and don't like the way it looks, that seems like an untenable situation.
Conversely, the Grand Wagoneer is a tour de force in a number of areas, capable of towing up to 10,000 lbs, and with an interior that is far more tech-laden and arguably much plusher than that of the Lincoln. The Lincoln has a better powertrain overall, while the Jeep is a more habitable space. It's seriously close, but we think we might be partial to the Lincoln. No, the Grand Wagoneer. No, wait, the Lincoln.