By on November 7, 2017

2018 Lincoln Navigator, Image: Ford Motor Company

Despite the addition of a corporate split grill a few years ago, there’s no denying Lincoln’s outgoing Navigator is one old piece of kit. As such, the glitzy premiere of the new-for-2018 Navigator heralded greater full-size Lincoln SUV sales not just from new buyers, but returning ones.

Having seen what Dearborn was up to, it seems some inhabitants of the Renaissance Center decided to try and spoil Lincoln’s fun. If you’re the owner of a 1999 or newer Lincoln vehicle who’s thinking of maybe getting into a new Navigator, Cadillac would like you to know there’s 5,000 smackeroos waiting for you on the hood of your nearest Escalade.

A memo detailing the month-long, nationwide discount was just uncovered by Bloombergwith GM confirming its authenticity.

With the revamped Escalade currently rolling into dealerships, Cadillac’s venerable Escalade is no longer the new kid on the lot. As tarted-up versions of lesser models, the Escalade and Navigator’s high MSRP represents big profits for both companies. It seems Cadillac wants to lure a few would-be Navigator buyers away.

The $5,000 discount on the purchase or lease of a 2018 Escalade can be combined with other GM offers. (Cadillac’s website now shows the offer, targeted at “customers with a Lincoln in the household.”) A base 2018 Navigator carries an MSRP of $73,250, including destination. Ford Motor Company has also applied a $1,000 lease incentive. The Escalade, on the other hand, starts at $75,290 after delivery.

With standard wheelbase, rear-drive Escalades now cheaper than a comparable Navigator (at least to Lincoln owners), what’s left for consideration is styling and content. Both models carry a jointly developed 10-speed automatic. The Cadillac, dressed in a sharp, slab-sided body that’s aging well, carries the revered 6.2-liter V8 under its hood, making 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Its Lincoln rival, wearing a newly angular and imposing Ford Expedition-derived body, receives a massaged version of Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, tuned for 450 hp and 510 lb-ft.

Will the gambit work? GM must feel it’s worth it, and a representative couldn’t resist the chance to kick some sand in Lincoln’s face.

Speaking to Bloomberg, GM spokesman Jim Cain remarked, “I don’t know that this will hurt their launch. But it is a way for Lincoln customers step up into something more meaningfully luxurious.”

Ouch. The Navigator’s decline in status, which Cain alludes to, is something Lincoln hopes to address with its new model. In any given year since the recession, Lincoln has sold roughly one-quarter to one-third of the Navigators it unloaded at the beginning of the century. Meanwhile, Cadillac regularly sells more than twice as many Escalades in a year. In October, the outgoing Navigator sold 656 units to the Escalade’s 2,079.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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24 Comments on “Cadillac’s Throwing Shade at Lincoln (and Money at Lincoln Owners)...”

  • avatar

    yeah, because when you’re trying to sell luxury/premium vehicles, barking about cash on the hood really ups the prestige level.

    GM’s marketing gets more bone-headed every day.

    • 0 avatar

      Since Escalades outsell Navigators 4:1, and the current iteration of Escalade is in its 4th year, under cutting a brand new Navigator to force it to offer rebates in its first year doesn’t sound too boneheaded at all.

      • 0 avatar

        No, it sounds like they’re scared of Lincoln’s momentum.

        I’d like him to elaborate on just how “more meaningfully luxurious” the Escalade is. With the exception of cylinder count (offset by lower HP and torque figures), there isn’t much else.

        • 0 avatar

          John’s on target.

          I predict this vehicle will take a rather large bite of the Escalade’s sales.

          • 0 avatar

            I think the Gator will do fine but I don’t expect the sales will come noticeably out of the Escalade’s hide.

            The Cadillac is a sharp-edge gangster swagger wagon and the Lincoln is a softer high-tech luxury yacht. I think they appeal to different demographics.

            The Denali or Suburban LTZ might have more to fear.

        • 0 avatar

          Luxuriousness, or lack thereof, doesn’t matter. Brand recognition does. The original Navi was more luxurious than the Escalade. We see how that worked out for Lincoln.

          Escalade > Navigator. Just because a new Navigator is more luxurious than the current ‘Slade, that’s been on the market for years, doesn’t mean it’s game over for GM. Please.

          GM will not let themselves be outdone in the segment that they print money from. Give it time. The new Escalade is coming, likely with IRS and a new V8.

        • 0 avatar

          Being that GM and Cadillac are stuck on old 1950’S Chevrolet engine technology they should be afraid of Ford and their higher technology engine platforms.

          • 0 avatar

            The Escalade has had an OHV engine since its first generation. The Navigator has had a DOHC 32v V8 throughout most of its life. It has a OHC TTV6 now. Yet, the Escalade, with it’s old school tech, outsells the Navigator 4:1.

            Drive both and you’ll quickly see why many people prefer the Escalade. The liner feel and power delivery of a powerful NA V8 is superior to a TTV6. It just is.

    • 0 avatar

      Nobody cares what they cost.

  • avatar

    He’s right. You can have imitation luxury or an Escalade. Why spend luxury prices on imitation luxury?

  • avatar

    “With the revamped Escalade currently rolling into dealerships, Cadillac’s venerable Escalade is no longer the new kid on the lot.”


  • avatar

    GM vehicles are garbage! I’ve owned one Cadillac in my life and it gave me more problems than any vehicle I’ve ever had in my life! I’ve owned 4 Lincolns and not one never put me on the side of the road nor in the garage for costly repairs. My CTS engine was repaired 3 times. GM knew they had timing chain issues but refused to acknowledge the issue. The knock sensor went out, headlight bulbs burned out often, it was the never ending story. The car was built in hell! I will never own another GM nor Cadillac. My Blazers and Ponitiacs had major issues. My oldest lincoln is a 06 and it’s never been in the shop!

  • avatar

    Oil and, eventually, gas prices are rising due to the shenanigans by the Saudis. Impeccable timing by the domestics, as usual.

    • 0 avatar

      Buyers in this tax bracket laugh at fluctuations in gas prices. To them high gas prices just means less traffic/congestion and usually a free pump at the Kum & Go.

      • 0 avatar

        Amen. Not that I’m quite in the “buy a new Navigator on a whim” tax bracket, but we do well enough that I have never batted an eye at filling up the 36-gallon tank in my wife’s F150. I also use a credit card that gives me 2% back on gas purchases.

        I would (probably) happily pay $3 or more a gallon if it cleared the roads of all the dreck I have to deal with daily.

        • 0 avatar

          “happily pay $3 or more a gallon if it cleared the roads of all the dreck I have to deal with daily.”

          When gas cost upwards of $5/gal, that same dreck remained on the road daily.

          Nothing changed. People kept buying the fuel, even if they had to go into credit card debt.

          Like sex, drugs and rock&roll, fuels are an addiction, because it beats walking.

  • avatar

    Rising oil prices are very good for Russia, very good I tell you. Sanctions go away. Russian gangsters can buy Navigators and Escalades again.

  • avatar

    If they weren’t so scared they’d hand out $5,000 even if they bought another Navigator, as long as they test drove the Escalade in the 30 days prior.

    So this is very telling. In ’03 I was totally oblivious to the truck market so the 1st time I saw the new generation F-150 was in the total carpet bombing by Silverado, Dodge Ram and Tundra commercials, all letting me know exactly how/where theirs are better, more capable, etc, etc.

    So this screamed of how I needed to go check out the all-new F-150 directly. And I bought one. GM would do themselves a huge favor by just laying low.

    • 0 avatar

      GM doesn’t need to. If the early reviews of the Navigator’s twin are any indicator, Ford, once again, screwed the pooch.

      Sub-par materials, lackluster fuel economy (for a V6), and it drives like a bus. All that for almost $82,000.

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