2018 Lincoln Navigator Review Apr 25, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
During the recent New York Auto Show, Lincoln took the opportunity to show off its all-new 2018 Navigator, which actually sticks pretty close to the gull-winged concept that made an appearance last year—albeit with normal doors. That said, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator provides a heady dose of automotive splendor and luxury.
At the front end, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator is nearly identical to the concept model. This includes the incredibly pronounced headlights we didn’t think would make it to production and a tall nose that emphasizes the new grille. The imposing grille reintroduces the new styling found on the 2017 Lincoln Continental. There are more adjustments from the concept to the rear of the Navigator, including the clear delineation between the brake lights and reverse lights. Even with those changes, you will recognize some elements from the concept, like the small spoiler. In fact, the vast majority of the 2018 Navigator’s rear-end is familiar to those who know the concept. This includes wavy wheels and wraparound windows. No discussion of the 2018 Navigator’s exterior would be complete with mentioning the laminated glass and the LED puddle lamps. LED lights activate in sequence when the driver approaches their vehicle, starting with the illuminated badge and powered running boards. There is also innovative speed-dependent adaptive lighting. This system narrows your light beam as you accelerate as a way to reduce glare and improve visibility when driving at lower speeds in town.
Even inside the Navigator, Lincoln kept its new model close to the concept. Instead of a gauge cluster, drivers will have a massive screen that complements the huge infotainment screen on the console. Drivers also have access to a windshield-projected heads up display. The interior feels more conservative than the exterior, and luckily, keeps physical switches for those who don’t like touchscreens. Even so, you get the high-end luxury touches, such as Perfect Position Seats in front with 30-way adjustability. At that point, you can spend more time finding the right spot than driving—good thing there are memory settings. The Black Label offers premium badging and unique touches for upscale buyers befitting Lincoln’s new flagship.
Driving the Navigator
We haven’t gotten the chance to take the 2018 Lincoln Navigator for a drive yet since it only just debuted. We do know, however, what makes it tick. This is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 powertrain that has 450 horsepower and works with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Hopefully, the V6 will be enough to move the heavy vehicle with purpose. Drivers also have electronic power-assisted steering and six driving modes, which now seems standard for luxury and performance vehicles. The regular wheelbase is first out of the gate with the Navigator L, the long wheelbase, still to follow.
Some of us can never wait to see what technology the latest version of these luxury vehicles offer, and Lincoln did not disappoint. The 2018 Lincoln Navigator’s technological underpinnings match the Ford Expedition, as the two vehicles share a platform. This means you get SYNC 3, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Plug in your phone to the available top-tier 20-speaker Revel II stereo.With six USB ports spread throughout the three rows, everyone can charge their phone, tablet, or music player. Factor in the 110-volt and four 12-volt outlets, and everyone can charge at least one device. Children will appreciate the rear-seat entertainment system that you can use to watch streaming video from Android devices, and all passengers will love that the Wi-Fi hot spot built in can work with 10 devices.
The Lincoln Navigator has resumed its place at the top of the lineup with enough luxury features satiate most buyers. Whether or not the Navigator can supplant the Cadillac Escalade as the ritzy suburban carriage of choice remains to be seen.