It is known that a major practical implementation challenge of ultra-wideband (UWB) receivers is the design of the coarse acquisition stage. Due to the fine time resolution of UWB signals, the acquisition stage has to acquire a large number of low-energy multipath components, with no or little knowledge of the state of the channel. In addition, the complexity further increases with the presence of narrowband interference due to the proposed spectral overlay. Our goal in this paper is to evaluate the affects of the lack of a priori knowledge of the channel state and the presence of narrowband interference during acquisition. Maximum-likelihood and maximum a posteriori procedures for estimation in the presence of narrowband interference are formulated, and two different interference mitigation techniques are evaluated. In particular, this paper considers UWB communication systems that use spectral encoding as both the multiple access scheme and the interference suppression technique. The qualitative results are, however, believed to be valid for any UWB system implementation. It is shown that the acquisition performance strongly depends on the amount of a priori knowledge of the channel state at the receiver, and on whether or not interference suppression is employed.