All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali - story fullscreen Fullscreen

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali

CarWow Maxes out these Luxo-barge full-size SUVs on the Runway, and this is what happened

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If you know CarWow, you know for a fact that the YouTube channel is synonymous with staging some of the most outrageous Drag Races on the internet. This time around, they had three full-size blacked-out big burly SUVs from across the pond as they like to call it. The SUVs that feature in this showdown were provided by Clive Sutton, who specialize in importing cars into the UK from several overseas markets.

Lincoln Navigator

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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The first of these mammoth SUVs and the one that MAT Watson is sat in is a Lincoln Navigator. This particular example is a 2019 model in Presidential Trim, that is sold overseas. Under the hood, lies a modest 3.5 liter twin-turbo V-6 engine that produces 450 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque.

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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Mat Watson, does a quick rundown on the specs of the three blacked-out SUVs at hand

I say modest because the Lincoln has just over half the engine displacement over the other two contenders here. Power is sent to all four wheels through a 10 Speed automatic torque converter. The Navigator tips the scales at 6056 pounds.

Cadillac Escalade

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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Next in line is the rapper mobile of the bunch, the good old 2021 Cadillac Escalade. Under the hood of the Caddy is a 6.2 liter naturally aspirated V-8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque.

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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It also has AWD traction with power being sent to the wheels via a 10-speed torque converter. While it may be down on power and torque when compared to the Navigator, the Cadillac weighs round about the same as the Lincoln, tipping the scales at 5992 pounds.

GMC Yukon Denali

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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Last, but certainly not least, we have the Escalade’s humble brother in the form of the GMC Yukon Denali, which also features the same 6.2-liter mill under the hood. The power figures are identical to the Caddy, however, as the Yukon seen here isn’t the long-wheelbase version, it weighs a tad bit lesser coming in at a featherweight 5544 pounds.

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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With the numbers out of the way, it was now time to put these three full-size family SUVs to the ultimate performance test on the runway, beginning with the standing 1/4 mile run

So, now that we’ve looked at the numbers, will the Lincoln’s power and torque advantage play in its favor, or will good old displacement and the Yukon’s lighter weight prevail. It’s time to put these three hulking SUVs to the test. One last thing, none of these SUVs have launch control.

The Standing Quarter

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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With the SUVs lined up for launch, it was GO time. For round one, both the Escalade and the Yukon leaped forward, but as the race progressed, the Lincoln began to slowly reel them in, eventually getting past both of them before they got to the line. So, the Navigator takes this one.

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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He was caught off guard and the Caddy had this one in the bag. Apparently both the Escalade and Yukon switched to two-wheel drive and that seems to have made the difference

Mat felt that he might have jumped the start, so they turn around and head back to have another go. Strangely, Mat was caught off guard on this pass, and the Cadillac took round two, with the Yukon coming in second and the Lincoln? Stone-dead last. Apparently, both the Caddy and the GMC switched it up to rear-wheel drive, which clearly made a difference.

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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I guess Mat’s overconfident got the better of him and on their third and final pass, he decided to take things a little more seriously. He couldn’t get the Lincoln into two-wheel drive, so they pressed on anyway. The hammer dropped and finally, the 3.5 V-6 in the Lincoln reigned supreme. So two out of three for the Navigator.

Rolling Races

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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In the end, although this was a lot of fun to watch, this really was a race that no one asked for, as these Luxo barges are more about luxury and effortless performance rather than outright speed

Next, it was time for the rolling races from 50 mph. The SUVs were in their normal setting. They floor it and the lightest of the trio is the one with the quickest kick down. The GMC leads the pack, followed by the Cadillac and the Lincoln. However, as the speeds climb, both GM cars hit their limiters that’s set at 116 mph in the Escalade and 112 mph in the Yukon respectively. The Navigator meanwhile doesn’t have one. So although Lincoln managed to get ahead, it’s the Yukon that took this round.

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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On the first pass, it’s the Lincoln with 3.5 L V-6 that manages to clinch the win, although Mat feels that he might have jumped the start

The guys then turn things up a notch by switching it up to sports mode. They mash the gas pedal and once again, it’s the Yukon and the Escalade that are ahead with the Navigator trailing behind. The GM duo hit their limiters once again with Lincoln managing to get past them. So it’s a win for the Yukon this time round as well.

Brake Test

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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Now for the definitive break test. A full emergency stop from 100 mph. The Caddy took this one with the GMC coming in second place. The Lincoln though lost this one by a huge margin and was easily a couple of car lengths ahead. Both the Escalade and the Navigator weigh about the same, so it looks like the Cadillac has some stomping braking performance.

Conclusion

All American Showdown: Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator vs GMC Yukon Denali
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In the end, while it was tremendous fun to watch these three SUVs max it out on the runway, you’ll have to admit that it was pointless. These vehicles were never designed to be sporty in the first place. Their main focus has always been to offer luxury and effortless performance to buyers. But just in case you were curious as to which was fastest, well Carwow now has you covered.

Watch the entire Race in the video below


Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
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