2018 Lincoln Navigator Review: First Impressions
CARS.COM — It's been 11 years since the Lincoln Navigator's last full redesign, and the automaker is making up for lost time with its redesigned 2018 Navigator that debuted at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. This redesign moves the Navigator from afterthought to forethought.
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The new Navigator's design is thoroughly striking. Though the general shape and size is shared with its sibling, the Ford Expedition, the exterior details such as the grille and those ludicrous wheels give it a style all its own. Even sitting still, it has presence befitting a big, luxurious SUV.
Big is the operative word for the interior as well, where everything feels large and spacious. The third row offers ample head and legroom for longer trips — even for adults. The SUV on display at the auto show is from the Navigator's Black Label series, which offers more luxurious trappings in unique color schemes. The Black Label themes, as Lincoln calls them, are Destination, Chalet and Yacht Club, which was on display at the show and featured a blue interior and white wood accents.
Interior materials are top-notch, especially the leather. I also appreciated the placement of the Navigator's multimedia screen, which is powered by Sync 3 as it is in the Expedition. However, the Expedition sinks the screen into the dashboard, making it hard to access the lower part of the screen where the menu buttons reside. In the Navigator, the screen sits up and out of the frame. This makes it easier for the driver to see it without looking down and to touch all corners of the display.
Between the seats in the first and second rows are large consoles with assorted controls and deep storage bins. Both are large enough to swallow an iPad or eight, as well as a smaller laptop or any other entertainment options the kids (or adults) would need on a long drive. The second row also offers another family-friendly feature that's shared with the Expedition: Both captain's chairs tilt and slide forward to allow third-row access, even with a forward-facing child-safety seat installed.
As for what's under the hood, Lincoln wouldn't offer exact power figures, but a spokesperson said it will be a 450-horsepower (approximate), twin-turbo V-6 that makes 500 pounds-feet of torque (approximate) that's mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. That sounds (approximately) like the engine and transmission combination found in the Ford F-150 Raptor. When asked if this was the case, a Lincoln representative said, "While horsepower is expected to be similar, the Lincoln is calibrated and tuned to deliver a unique Lincoln experience."
Lincoln didn't share an on-sale date or pricing information at the auto show, but the 2018 Navigator could give the Cadillac Escalade a credible challenger after many years of lagging behind.