SUVs come in all shapes and sizes these days, and while many manufacturers do all they can to bring us the most up-to-date styles, features, and technology, a few models stay purposely rooted firmly in the past. So, let's take a look at two models that embody those two attitudes: the 2017 Lincoln Navigator and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
Styling is one area where these two vehicles are worlds apart. The Lincoln Navigator was probably the first large SUV to embrace the bling, and although it's now been eclipsed by a few more expensive models these days, it's still right up there in terms of luxury styling.
You'll either love or hate the way the Mercedes-Benz G-Class looks--no fence sitting allowed. The design is almost 40 years old now, and it's now so old-fashioned it's almost fashionable again. It looks every inch the wilderness-ready off-roader, but it's a look that's had its day. Since retro is not universally popular, the win here goes to the Lincoln Navigator.
If you want loads of space and masses of comfort inside your vehicle, you'll have to work hard to beat the 2017 Lincoln Navigator. The interior is vast and the second and third-row accommodations are better than any of its rivals. If that's still not enough for you, the extended-wheelbase Lincoln Navigator L has even more room.
The interior of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class can be very opulent, especially at higher trim levels, but the cabin is a little cramped for a vehicle that's not a compact. If you're very tall you won't even have to take your hat off to sit upright inside the G-Class, but your knees may well be under your chin. This is another easy win for the Lincoln Navigator then.
It may come as a surprise to some that a vehicle as large as the Lincoln Navigator has ditched its V-8 in favor of a 3.5-liter V-6. However, the old V-8 only developed a modest 310 horsepower while the new V-6 puts 380 horsepower and a massive 460 lb.-ft. of torque at your disposal. This large SUV isn't just fast then; it's actually now aggressively fast with a 0-60 mph time of less than six seconds.
Perhaps it is an even bigger surprise that the G-Class is actually faster and more powerful than the Lincoln. For a start, the Mercedes is smaller and lighter, but it also packs bigger and more powerful engines. The G65 AMG even has a 621 horsepower V-12, so this is a solid win for the G-Class.
The Lincoln Navigator may utilize a modern V-6, but a big towing rig like this is still going to use its fair share of gas. The new twin-turbo V-6 may be more powerful than the old V-8, but it's also a little more fuel efficient too with EPA ratings of 15 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg combined.
A hulking great V-8 isn't going to give the G-Class great fuel-economy ratings, and it's almost complete lack of aerodynamics only compounds the issue. EPA ratings of 13 mpg in the city, 14 mpg on the highway and 13 mpg combined are bad, really bad, but they're the best you can get from the G-Class so it's another easy victory for the Lincoln here.
Some people love retro vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and that's fine if you're focused on looks alone. But if you look at things in more practical and logical terms, it's hard to make a case for the G-Class over the considerably more modern and user-friendly 2017 Lincoln Navigator. You can go very, very fast in the G-Class, but you'll spend nearly double for the privilege. But the Lincoln Navigator gives you impressive luxury SUV style, a posh interior, and better fuel economy for a much less staggering price. In this comparison, the Lincoln Navigator clearly wins.