2018 Lincoln Navigator Review

Navigator

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2018 Lincoln Navigator Overview

The Lincoln Navigator was a big deal when it debuted 20 years ago, and although it was somewhat overshadowed by the Cadillac Escalade shortly thereafter, it’s remained a popular choice for anyone seeking maximum size and maximum luxury. Based on the redesigned Ford Expedition, the Navigator is all-new for 2018, with a look reminiscent of the Continental sedan and an eyebrow-raising amount of luxury and technology. Think of just about any modern convenience feature, and the 2018 Navigator has it. Pricing will start at $72,055 for the base Premiere trim.

The 2018 Navigator is once again equipped with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine rather than a V8, although its output has been boosted to 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. The V6 comes with an automatic stop-start function and is mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, with the choice of rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Further specs aren’t out yet, but Lincoln is aiming for the Navigator to equal or better the rival Escalade’s 15 mpg city, 21 highway, and 17 combined and tow more than 8,300 pounds.

Once on the road, drivers can choose from six different drive modes for the Navigator, with Normal as the default. Conserve is essentially an eco mode for preserving fuel, while other modes include Excite for sporty driving, Slippery for rain, Deep Conditions for snow or mud, and Slow Climb, which locks the rear differential for tackling steep gradients. Also available is a tow mode that will engage automatically once a trailer is attached at the back of the vehicle. All modes adjust the throttle response, shift timing, stability control system, and active dampers.

Just stepping into the Navigator is an experience—the LED running lights and taillights flick on as the driver approaches, while another lamp illuminates the ground in front of the driver’s feet before the door is even opened. There are even lights in the door-handle cups to help locate them at night, and the seat-belt buckles are LED-illuminated.

The Navigator’s interior is where Lincoln seems to have devoted the most attention, and it appears to be time well spent. The cabin is swathed in leather and provides a much quieter ride, thanks to laminated windows and a noise-canceling system. As for features, the Navigator is equipped with a built-in 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, a 12-inch configurable LCD screen in place of a gauge cluster, Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, and 10-way power-adjustable heated front seats.

Each row of seats in the Navigator gets not one but two USB ports and a 12-volt power outlet, in addition to a fourth 12-volt outlet in the cargo area and a 110-volt outlet in the second row. The second row can be configured as either captain’s chairs or a bench seat and has its own separate climate control functions. A second-row entertainment system is also available, with a 10-inch screen built into the back of each front seat. Android wireless device mirroring and a USB port allow mobile devices to connect with the entertainment system, with the ability to stream from a different device on each screen. A 20-speaker Revel Ultima sound system is an optional extra.

As for safety equipment, the Navigator comes standard with forward and reverse sensing systems, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, and a reversing camera, while available options include a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, and a trailer assist system. When it comes to crash testing, the 2018 model is too new to have any results yet, but the previous generation received a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) and it’s reasonable to expect the new version to perform just as well.

The 2018 Navigator is a sharp-looking vehicle inside and out, and Lincoln has clearly pulled out all the stops when it comes to technology and luxury. It’s big, thirsty, expensive, and a bit ostentatious, but that’s all part of the appeal, and Lincoln has certainly upped the ante with this next-generation model.

Updated

Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.

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