Not a lot of eco, lots of boost
Under the hood of the Navigator is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 producing 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque to the rear or all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s quick. Lincoln hasn't provided an official 0-60 mph time (sprinting from a stop light isn't exactly the Navigator's mission in life), but my butt dyno says it'll do the deed in the low 6-second range, if not in the high 5s. For those comparing, the Cadillac Escalade does 0-60 in 6.0 seconds, and it sounds glorious doing so with its naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 engine.
Those turbos spinning provide plenty of power to the Navigator, but they also suck a decent amount of premium fuel. On paper, the EPA says the Navigator is reasonably efficient with ratings of 16 mpg city, 21 highway, 18 combined when equipped with four-wheel drive. In reality, you may average 13-15 mpg depending on your driving situation. In comparison, we saw 24 mpg in an Escalade on the highway going over 70 mph.
Back in the game
The new 2018 Navigator instantly makes Cadillac's Escalade feel old. From better interior packaging and better ride and handling—thanks to independent rear suspension vs. the Escalade's old-school solid rear axle—to the interior design. Cadillac and other luxury automakers should be up late at night worried about the new Navigator.
It's not perfect
The 10-speed automatic transmission is smooth, but the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts could be smoother under certain conditions.
Under the dashboard on the passenger side is a piece of black plastic what wiggles if your feet touch it. It cheapens the experience if your feet touch it.
There’s no low range with the four-wheel-drive system. It's standard on Escalades and available on Range Rovers. Off-roading is unbecoming in the Navigator, but low-range can be helpful at a boat launch when hauling a heavy load up a slippery ramp.
The nearly $90,000 Navigator (as tested, though all 2018 Navigators are equipped as such) is rolling on Hankook tires. In the U.S., Hankooks are a tier two tire, and at this price one should expect tier one tires like Michelins. It’s a weird—and very visual place—to cut costs.
It's the way forward
The new Continental showed that Ford might have figured out the path forward for Lincoln, and the new Navigator all but nails that quiet luxury message down as the brand’s new flagship. This is the right path forward for Lincoln: Elegant luxury that demands your attention thanks to its presence while wafting down the road.