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A battle of luxury large SUVs: Lincoln Navigator and Lexus LX570

Luxury Large SUV

I had the luxury (pun intended) of my first ever press loan vehicle being an AWD Lexus LX570. Although I was very excited, I knew this was going to be a tough job. The Lexus I had comes in priced at just over $97k. So I keep asking myself, is this SUV really worth almost 100 grand. What other vehicles can be compared? Well technically a Lincoln Navigator is in the same class, it’s a luxury vehicle, it’s an SUV, and it has a third row.

I should mention, that the Lincoln Navigator is built on the same platform as the Ford Expedition which has been around for quite some time and in 2018 it is a completely new design. Whilst it would have been nice to compare the new body style, I did not have access to one. With the new body style comes more technology and the price is more comparable to the LX.

With the current 2017 body style though, the price difference is almost 30k, so at that point, I know this was going to be even harder. Is the LX570 worth the price of almost another entire vehicle on top of the Lincoln? Here’s what I found out for you.

Safety

The Navigator 4×4 performs very well during the NHTSA safety crash tests, getting an overall score of 5 out of 5 stars. The LX570 has not been tested yet. It does come with a whole host of proactive safety features though, such as a Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Alert and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

I set the cruise control to 60mph and the gap (distance between me and the car in front) to the maximum available. At this point there wasn’t much traffic, but further down the road I see a train crossing, and I see a few cars begin to hit the brakes. I eventually caught up with the vehicles and as I approached behind one, the Lexus slows down. Knowing that the Lexus could use the radar cruise to come to a complete stop, I bravely just hovered my foot over the brake pedal, wondering if it really would or not. I may or may not have held my breath. The vehicle slowly rolled up behind the one in front until it very gently came to a complete stop. A big sigh of relief, and a, “wow, it really works and I didn’t get whiplash” moment.

The new model Lincoln Navigator will have a similar adaptive cruise control system. It really does make driving in traffic with inconsistent speed a whole lot easier taking some of the strain off the driver. I did notice though, should the vehicle slow down behind a slower vehicle, you might forget that you can still pass. I Just merrily let the LX do its thing until my passenger piped up, “why are you only doing 50 on the interstate?” Because the car in front was doing 50 and the LX was maintaining the gap.

Performance

The Navigator is equipped with a 3.5 L twin turbo which puts out 380 hp and 460 lb ft torque. It does 0-60 in 6.5 secs . Max towing capacity, when equipped, is 9000 lbs.
The LX570 has a 5.7 V8 engine which puts out 383 hp and 403 lb-ft torque. 0-60 is achieved in 7.2 secs with 60-0 in 118ft. Max towing capacity is 8600 lbs. The Navigator has a 6-speed transmission and the LX570 has an 8 Speed transmission.

Whilst the LX570 air suspension makes for a comfortable ride and is especially good at riding out a washboard bumpy gravel road, don’t expect to take any corners quickly. Even in sport + mode, acceleration is harder but the handling is still very very soft. The Navigator is a firmer more stable ride.

Appearance

Large Luxury SUV

2017 Lincoln Navigator Side View

The Navigator has a more traditional domestic look about it. A big long box, similar to a Suburban, Yukon, Tahoe, Escalade and obviously the Expedition. Whilst it’s not the prettiest to look at, it’s understated elegance. The advantage of this shape, it’s tried and tested and it works. Being so big means more room. That’s why you need an SUV right?

Luxury Large SUV

2017 Lexus LX570 Side View

The LX is a bit more sporty with a spoiler on the back and blingy looking with chrome accents and an L badge that’ll blind you if the sun catches it just right. It has more aggressive bulges and curves. THAT grill on the front…if you hit a deer with that, it’s going to look like a flame-grilled burger. My initial impression of the wheels on the Lexus, is that they didn’t quite fill the arches right. Looking smaller than what they should for the class of vehicle. This may be due to the vehicle having active height control.

Comfort / Interior / Cargo

The Lexus is quite a bit smaller than the Navigator. Being 5.3” I found it very comfortable in the driver seat with soft-touch fabrics. A 6”4 person on the hand, is very cramped and not comfortable. The Lexus has 5″ less room in the 2nd row which meant having to move the front passenger seat forward. The wood and leather steering wheel is a great size and comfortable, however, the heated element is only at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position.

front seats navigator

2017 Lincoln Navigator Interior

The 2nd row is comfortable enough for up to 2 medium-sized adults, in the Lexus but not for long, the Lincoln has more space. The third row in the Lexus I’d recommend for children only and electronically folds up to the sides. If you need cargo space, this is not great, as the seats take up a lot of room as opposed the Navigator where they can be folded flat out of the way. The Lincoln has almost 10″ more leg room in the 3rd row.
The LX570 has 15.5 ft³ of cargo space from the 3rd row.
The Navigator has 42.6 ft³ of cargo space from the 3rd row.

If space is an issue, head for the Lincoln Navigator.

 

Screens
2017 Lexus LX570 screen

Lexus LX570 Center Dash

The first comment anybody made when I showed them the front interior, was the size of the humongous screen. It’s a 12.3″ rectangular screen, which means it can display a multitude of information at the same time, such as nav, the backup camera, and birdseye view camera. However, the controls to get the information on the screen are difficult to use. On the center console towards the passenger side is a clumsy hand rest with a joystick. I felt like I was trying to operate a mouse on a computer whilst driving. Not good. The touchscreen Sync3 system in the Navigator is a smaller 8″ screen but much easier to use. It’s intuitive, user-friendly and seems to load quicker than previous versions.

Brad Lehman, Sales consultant at Fremont Ford and Lincoln (Riverton, WY) shows us how easy the Sync3 touchscreen on the Navigator is to use.

 

Rear Entertainment

The Lexus came equipped with the rear entertainment package, which consisted of 2 screens on the back of the headrests. They weren’t ‘built in” to the headrests as such. More of a built on. This allows for a bigger screen that has adjustable tilting. The rear entertainment package on the Lincoln is built into the headrests but it also adjustable. Passengers are able to watch 2 different movies in the Lincoln. If you do a lot of long-distance traveling with children, these packages are well worth it. I’ve never heard my kids be so quiet.

kids tv lexus

2017 Lexus LX570 Rear Entertainment

Economy

EPA estimates for the Lexus are 13mpg in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and combined 15mpg. I drove approximately 500 miles in the Lexus, mostly highway and averaged 17 mpg. EPA estimates 15 mpg in the city, 19 mpg highway and combined 16 mpg for the Navigator.

Conclusion

LX570

I loved having the AWD Lexus LX570, overall. It’s not perfect by any means. Not having a touchscreen feels old school in this day and age. The fuel consumption is not great and with a smaller fuel tank capacity, gas station visits will be frequent. Cornering and braking were not impressive but the Radar cruise and dirt road dampening make up for it. It definitely feels like a luxury vehicle should, soft interior fabrics, quiet and relaxing to drive. The off-road capability is not far away from a Toyota Land Cruiser with lot’s of features such as multi-terrain select, active height control, crawl control, turn assist, Torsen limited-slip locking center differential, low range gears and Hill start assist. If space/cargo space is not a priority but off-road capability is, then the Lexus LX570 is a great option.

Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator 4×4  has much more room, more cargo space, handles better on the main road and gets better fuel economy. The Navigator still has a luxury feel and if off-roading is not necessary, save the extra $30K and you can have understated luxury. They both have the same warranty but with no Lexus dealer in Wyoming, servicing, maintenance and recalls would have to be done out of State.

Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to:

lauren@trustedautopros.com

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