The SUV is a popular and crowded category these days. Everyone seemingly wants one whether it’s an economy-minded crossover or a lavish land yacht. Thus, the ongoing predicament for manufacturers is unlocking consumer preferences to create separation with their products from the masses.
In the important ultra-posh segment for the tough to impress, Lincoln appears to have solved the riddle with their impressive all-new 2018 Navigator. The latest premium three-rower checks all the boxes and buyers are responding by the 122% sales increase over the prior year. That screams volumes on Lincoln hitting the product bulls-eye. Seriously, the Navigator is a pleasure to drive, surrounds you in plushness, is loaded with tech and packs a punch when you need it while providing some good ‘ol American magnificence. What’s not to love? Nearly every review lavishes it with praise—no small feat with picky auto writers. Let the champagne flow!
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator tester (provided by McDavid Lincoln of Plano) in striking Magnetic Gray is a head-turner – especially from the bold front and flanks. Its striking silhouette with smooth angles and balanced proportions provide a substantial, formidable shape to the eye. The front is masculine in a good way with a large grille, attractive headlights and tall stance. What’s cool is when you walk up and the Navigator’s Approach Detection “recognizes” you with lighted Lincoln brand spotlighted from side view mirrors, lowered illuminated power running boards and a lighted emblem on the grille. It’s like a loyal pet welcoming you, which brought a smile every time I sauntered up. Optional and attractive 22” rims adorn the flanks adding to the entire ensemble. SUVs are more known for their interiors, but Lincoln designers have produced a winner on the outside as well.
The Navigator gets a whole bunch of oomph courtesy of its sibling Ford Raptor’s stout Twin-Turbocharged V6 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque engine. Meaning, it has plenty of giddy up and can tow up to 8,300 lbs. The acceleration is smooth and abundant. A new 10-speed transmission shifts effortlessly, and the able adaptive shocks help the suspension flatten out all but the worst asphalt imperfections—even with the 22” rims. You can select from a variety of modes; Conserve, Normal, Excite, Slippery, 4×4, Deep Conditions and Slow Climb via the programmable digital instrumentation cluster. Handling is excellent for this type ride and the turning radius is pleasingly tight. Braking is solid and confident. Gas mileage is about average for this category at 16/22/18. I observed 19mph overall. The good news is you can use regular petrol if desired and there’s no annoying gas cap to deal with.
Yes, the exterior and performance attributes are wonderful, but it’s the exceptional interior that will wow you with its utter magnificence. The exceptional Reserve Package surrounds you in tasteful contrast stitched leather and the chrome and real wood accents will impress anyone. Fit and finish are outstanding. A heated steering wheel fits nicely in your mitts. And, the programmable digital dash is attractive but is minimalistic for those desiring to peek at a laundry list of display data. A marvelous head-up display keeps your peepers on the road ahead and doesn’t wash out when wearing polarized sunglasses. Programmable ambient lighting sets your every mood.
The Perfect Position 30-way power adjustable front seats are simply sublime. The adjustments are similar to Mercedes-Benz’ switches on the upper driver and passenger doors. You can even move the headrests forward and back rather than just tilt up and down. The seats quickly heat, cool and massage too (with no time limit on the massaging!). It’s the ultimate captain’s chair. Even the 2nd row bucket seats are heated. A lovely double panoramic Vista Roof allows as much or little sunshine as desired and can be adjusted from the back seat as well. Bright and programmable LED headlights are designed to last for the entire life of the SUV. The handy third row is actually roomy enough for adults and the seats recline! Buttons in the rear can automatically lower the 2nd and 3rd rows for excellent cargo storage up to 103 cubic feet, but you’ll need to manually flip up the 2nd row to sit. Plus, there are abundant air vents to heat and cool the entire interior. It has the popular feature of waving your foot underneath the back bumper to raise the power lid hands-free.
The infotainment touchscreen is excellent, and its special coating helps prevent those unsightly fingerprints and smudges. A 360-degree view allows you to park the expansive land yacht into tight spaces, as does the remarkable Parking Assist feature that finds, calculates and safely moors your yacht. There are six USB ports, four 12-volt power outlets and 110-volt plug for easy and plentiful access to charge all your smart devices. A handy wireless charger (for phones with the feature) is in the front console. Apple Car Play and Android Auto capability swiftly syncs your phones and you can Bluetooth up to 10 devices! One quirk is the unique gearshift buttons running horizontally under the dash as it took some getting used to. Yet, it does free some valuable space in the console for more stuff to store. Of course, safety is a major player with the Navigator. Lane-Keeping System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning and Adaptive Headlamps assist to make your travels as anxiety-free as possible. Seriously, all the Navigator’s attributes make every journey a pleasure.
Like many in this luxury class, the Navigator’s technology is abundant and terrific. The large infotainment screen is close enough for easy touchscreen access. An impeccable 20-speaker Revel Ultima audio system is a joy to behold with its three distinctive modes Stereo, Audience and On-Stage. The Lincoln Way App allows you to prepay for parking, unlock and start remotely, get roadside assistance and receive personalized service via the Lincoln Concierge.
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator Reserve is a testament to how good American knowhow can be. It delivers everything one wants in the ultra-luxury SUV category and is quickly setting the bar for others to match. This superior luxury yacht is worth your rapt attention when sailing in these premium waters. I strongly suggest you take a long look at it before deciding on your next four-wheel cruise ship.
Test-drive the all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator 4X4 Reserve at McDavid Lincoln of Plano.