The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is powered by 3.5 liter turbocharged V6 engine with an output of 450 horsepower and 500 lb. ft. of torque. That is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission that delivers the power through the rear wheels. All wheel drive is an option and it comes standard for the top-end trim. With the Reserve trim for testing, the power plant has a lot of torque to pull off the line and overtaking at speed will get the job done. Turbo lag was slight but the engine hauls the SUV’s mass smoothly. Even on pump gas, the engine still provided more than enough grunt. However high-octane fuel would be recommended for towing big loads. Despite being a full-size SUV, the handling was more coordinated than its size would suggest. Body roll is minimal even when going through the tighter corners. The steering was light, with very little weight to it, but there was not much feedback. The Navigator has a longer wheelbase configuration and while it wasn’t tested, generally a longer wheelbase would be less agile when cornering. The configuration is not available, however, for the base trim. The brakes were capable of stopping the SUV from 60 mph in 136 feet, and this is about average in its class. It did not feel lacking and but under immediate braking, bigger vehicles just tend to be more shaky. The pedal action felt intuitive to use on the road and smooth braking is achievable.
The base Premier trim is equipped with a power remote liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, heated power-adjustable front seats with lumbar adjustment, power-adjustable pedals, and power-folding passenger seats. Tech features also include a digital instrument cluster, 10” touchscreen display infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, six USB ports, voice recognition, navigation, satellite radio and a 14-speaker Revel sound system. The Select trim builds upon the base trim and adds adaptive suspension dampers, power-folding running boards, heating for the steering wheel, 360-degree camera, and a wireless charging pad. The Reserve trim builds upon the Select trim and adds exterior welcome lights, ventilation for front seats, illuminated seatbelt buckles, and now includes the upgrade to a 20-speaker Revel sound system. The Technology package is available for both the Select and Reserve trims and comes with a heads-up display and advanced safety and driver assist technologies. The Heavy Duty Trailer Tow package has electronic traction control that distributes torque to each wheel depending on the load and driving scenarios. It also includes Trailer Backup Assist which has a knob that steers the trailer and effectively replaces the steering wheel for more precise input. The Black Label trim is the cream of the crop and is inclusive of all the features from the preceding trim with all their package options. The only addition is the ambient interior lighting to elevate the already luxurious experience in the cabin. A rear seat entertainment system is an option for the Select, Reserve, and Black Label trims and includes two 10 inch displays behind the front seats and a CD player in the dashboard console.
Standard safety features include a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and MyKey. Since the Navigator comes with two keys, either can be programmed to have certain speed limits and driver aid alerts. This helps promote good driving habits especially if the driver has certain limitations in their skills. The Technology package is an option which mainly include advanced safety technologies such as a heads-up display, 360-degree camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and intervention, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, parallel and perpendicular park assist.
The 2018 model measure 210 inches long, 76.3 inches tall, 80 inches wide and has a wheelbase of 122.5 inches. It has been redesigned from the 2017 model and their silhouettes are similar. The body lines of the updated model seem to taper off towards the back, giving it a sleeker look. The Navigator shares a lot of components with its cousin, the Ford Navigator, and the probably the only visual differentiator would be the front fascia and the design of the wheels. The Navigator seems to exude more flair especially with the bigger 22 inch wheels, something that Lincoln has been known for.
Being marketed as a luxury vehicle, the Navigator offers a spacious cabin that is effortless for all 8 people to get into. The power-folding second row seats did not make for a cumbersome entry to the back seats. Legroom and headroom is generous even for taller passengers. A minor gripe is that the headrest of the seat will hit the display behind the front seat. The durability of the displays for the entertainment system may be of concern, especially when the power folding is often used. The seats offer a lot of options for all kinds of passengers and their preferences. Finding the sweet spot may take time since they are adjustable in many ways, but the comfort is indeed luxurious. The leather quality is topnotch and the massage function helped on those longer trips. Ride quality is comfortable and the suspension worked well in absorbing bumps on the road. On surfaces that are banked, the body did not transition smoothly and felt floaty. Thankfully there was no shakiness inside the cabin, which helped in maintaining that luxurious ambiance.
Behind the third row, there is 19.3 cu. ft. of space and that expands to 103.3 cu. ft. when the second and third row seats are folded down.