As tested: $58,500 as tested)
Engine and transmission: 5.4 liter 300 horsepower V8, 6-speed transmission
Fuel economy: 13 city, 18 highway, 15 combined with 2WD (EPA estimates, no data available with AWD)
A must-get option on the Navigator is the automatic power running boards. Open any door and the rocker panel - the part of the body that runs along the side of a car under the doors - moves out and down revealing a handy step on its underside. When my 5' 2" wife saw that, she was in love. With those nifty items installed, the Navigator is positively gentlemanly.
A neat standard feature is the automatic parking brake that releases itself as soon as you put the Navigator in gear. It makes you much more likely to actually use the parking brake, which is a good thing.
Inside, the Navigator's interior feels solid and looks nice. When trimmed in blonde wood, it's really very attractive. Better than the Escalade, even. Unfortunately, my test vehicle had the dark wood trim which looks amazingly like stamped plastic despite the sacrifice of actual trees.
The power-folding third row seats, unlike the third row seats in the Escalade, fold down flat, leaving no sign of their existence except for seatbelts and cupholders. Second-row seats aren't power-folding (I think that's a silly feature in any row, anyway.) but access to the way-back is relatively easy. Third-row comfort is also very good.
Compared to the Escalade, the Navigator offers a slightly less sophisticated driving feel, but at a substantially lower price. And, really, that's it's only weak point.
Between these two, the Navigators slight changes were enough to keep it ahead of the Escalade. While the Escalade offers more power and nominally better highway fuel economy, the Navigator's fold-flat third row seats and interior quality, along with its lower price, make it the better value by a slim margin.