It’s an attractive – if conservative – update for Lincoln’s big SUV.
There aren’t too many surprises to be found with the all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator, the luxury brand’s revamped flagship SUV debuting at the New York Auto Show. We’ve seen plenty of spy photos in recent months depicting its basic shape, and with the coverings now removed, we see the new Navigator is strikingly similar to the gullwing Navigator Concept that graced the New York Auto Show last year. Unfortunately the fantastic gullwing doors didn’t make it to production, but then again we always knew that would be the case.
The new Continental-themed mesh grille did make it to production, along with the rounded edges and sweeping body lines on the otherwise chiseled exterior that made the concept so appealing. As expected, the new Navigator makes prolific use of aluminum with its high-strength aluminum-alloy body that cuts 200 pounds (91 kilograms) of heft compared to the outgoing model.
Power will continue to come from a biturbo V6 that Lincoln says is projected to make 450 horsepower, though “projected” suggests that there are still some matters up for discussion. Perhaps Lincoln’s Blue Oval overlords don’t want a Navigator with the same power as an F-150 Raptor? Whatever the final total is, it will run through Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, Lincoln touts the Navigator’s luxury features and spacious interior. It sports a dozen charging points – six USB ports, four 12-volt power outlets, a single 110-volt plug, and a wireless phone charger in the front portion of the centre console. Both front seats feature heating/cooling/massaging functions and are adjustable up to 30 ways. Rearmost seats have a recline function for power napping between rest stops.
Available rear-seat entertainment systems feature 10-inch adjustable screens mounted on the rear of front seats and can be accessed independently – either wirelessly or through plug-in media – so the kids (or adults) can enjoy their own programming. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are part of the standard SYNC 3 system, and thanks to an agreement with Sling Media, folks with a Slingbox can access their channels in the Navigator. A total of 20 speakers with the optional Revel II audio system can create distinct listening modes including audience, on-stage, and stereo.
There’s plenty of technology for drivers as well. Parking assist with 360-degree visibility through a series of cameras is an available option, as is Trailer Backup Assist which will automatically steer to help reversing with a trailer, effectively eliminating the embarrassment often faced by weekend warriors trying to reverse from the fuel pump at truck stops. A 12-inch configurable instrument cluster with an available heads-up display gives drivers plenty of customization as far as information. Adaptive cruise control is optional, but surprisingly the Navigator doesn’t offer any kind of lane-keeping assist.
At night, the Navigator’s adaptive lighting system can adjust the headlight beams for wider coverage at low speeds, then narrow up for better distance visibility at higher speeds. Speaking of lights, each row of seats has its own LED lighting, a Lincoln “welcome mat” will illuminate on the ground beneath the front doors, and the Lincoln star badge in the grille lights up too. Isn’t that cute?
The Navigator was in dire need of an update, and while the styling is certainly refreshing, it’s a fairly conservative offering for the large luxury SUV segment considering the available extras. There is no mention of cost, though a base price around $65,000 (approx. $87,000 CAD) is a safe bet.