Throughout our test, I fought and fought and fought. I really did. I was really pulling for the Infiniti. Yes, it’s the oldest car here. Yes, that Steampunk exterior is really, really divisive but there’s just so much going for it in the engineering and interior quality departments that it’s very endearing. I also love the toughness associated with the QX80’s being based on the Patrol, a reliable rig that has been serving duty in the world’s hottest climes for many years.
The Cadillac is an impressive beast; there’s no question about it and buyers are coming back to it, helping halt a sales slide that’s been going on for a couple of years, now (2014 saw Cadillac sell more Escalades than in either of the two years prior). The Navigator’s supple ride, comfy seats (the second best here, I say) and those fantastic black rims mean it will have its followers.
Hard to argue with the Escalade’s looks and operational efficiency, though.
It is indeed hard to argue, but argue Dan did, citing the Escalade’s ride, handling, and overall expense as three reasons it doesn’t deserve to wear the laurels. It’s still the one I’d recommend.
However, strapping on some welding goggles for protection and utilizing the left hemisphere of my brain, I have to concede the point. The QX is smoother-riding and handles better. It’s less flashy inside, but feels like it’ll last longer. The fuel economy advantage enjoyed by the Cadillac is probably irrelevant to most buyers in this segment, and those Patrol underpinnings do mean this thing would handle the rough stuff if ever it had to face it down (not bloody likely, but still).
FINE, DAN. You and your beloved Japanese heffalump can have this one. I still think it’s almost too close to call, but at least we can both agree on one thing: improved though it might be, “Navigator” is a pretty ironic product name from a company that doesn’t seem to know in which direction it’s heading.
4 years/100,000 km; 6 years/110,000 km powertrain; 7 years/unlimited distance corrosion perforation; 4 years/100,000 km 24-hour roadside assistance
Pricing: 2015 Infiniti QX80
Base price: $73,650
Options: $8150 (Technology Package – 22” Alloy wheels; blind spot, lane departure, and collision warning; adaptive front lighting; intelligent cruise control)
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $83,895
4 years/80,000 km; 6 years/110,000 km powertrain; 5 years/unlimited distance corrosion perforation; 6 years/110,000 km 24-hour roadside assistance
Pricing: 2015 Lincoln Navigator
Base price: $75,110
Options: $1075 (20” Alloy wheels – $750; 4:10 rear gearing – $75; rubber floormats – $150)
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $77935
4 years/80,000 km; 6 years/110,000 km powertrain; 6 years/unlimited distance corrosion perforation; 6 years/110,000 km 24-hour roadside assistance
Pricing: 2015 Cadillac Escalade
Base price: $90,500
Options: $1980 (Power retractable running boards – $1920; wheel locks – $60)
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $94,280