Eager to regain its place at the top of the luxury SUV heap, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator ushers in a distinctive new look and an interior that takes a page out of the Range Rover's playbook.
Navigator hasn't been the luxury three-row SUV of choice since shortly it defined the segment almost two decades ago—that title definitely goes to the Cadillac Escalade these days—but this new model based on the latest Ford Expedition looks to be a solid effort in the right direction.
It's also remarkably true to the Navigator Concept that debuted at last year's New York auto show.
Underneath, it shares the Expedition's conventional ladder frame and its body panels are also made from aluminum. Of course, the Lincoln has its own look that's especially visible up front. Instead of the outgoing Navigator's droopy "twin snout," the 2018 has a deeply-set grille that's lined with chrome. It's daring—something of a throwback to the original Navigator. At the rear, the Navigator's tail lamps sweep dramatically across its rump.
Lincoln says that a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 rated at an estimated 450 horsepower will be under the Navigator's hood and that it will send power to either the rear or all-four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. That gearbox recently made its appearance in Ford's F-150 trucks and was co-developed with General Motors.
Thanks to its underhood grunt, Ford says that the Navigator will be able to tow more than any other luxury SUV, although it's holding the exact maximum figure close to its chest.
2018 Lincoln NavigatorEnlarge Photo
The 2018 Navigator comes stuffed with sound insulation and laminated glass, which helps explain Lincoln's claim that it weighs 200 pounds less than the outgoing model—not the full 300 pound diet Ford is quoting for its new Expedition.
Like other Lincolns, the Navigator will be available with three Lincoln Black Label themes that include interior and exterior touches as well as VIP access to certain events.
Finally, Lincoln has given the Navigator an interior worthy of its upmarket price tag. On top-end Black Label models, there's leather everywhere, plus unique stained teak wood inside. In what is becoming Lincoln tradition, blue is the name of the game here—although other shades will also be available.
There's also loads of tech inside the Navigator, including a standard WiFi hotspot, six USB ports, a 110-volt household-style plug, and a quartet of 12-volt outlets. A wireless phone charger will be on the options list. All models will include the automaker's latest Sync 3 infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An available rear-seat entertainment system includes 10-inch screens and wireless streaming from an Android device.
Up front, the driver has the option of a 12-inch LCD instrument cluster and a heads-up display, but there's not really a bad seat in the house. The front thrones can be outfitted with heating elements, ventilation, and even a massaging backrest. Row three features power reclining adjustment and when it's stowed away, Lincoln has fitted a configurable cargo shelf system.
Lincoln hasn't said what the 2018 Navigator will cost when it goes on sale by the end of this year, but it makes its public debut this week at the 2017 New York auto show. For more coverage, head to our dedicated hub.