LINCOLN NAVIGATOR—THE BEST FULL SIZE SUV?

20 Jul LINCOLN NAVIGATOR—THE BEST FULL SIZE SUV?

The Navigator is one of Lincoln’s most recognizable nameplates, and not just because its name is actually word, instead of the confusing MK badges the rest of its models carry: this is also the brand’s largest vehicle by far, vying for buyers in the small but competitive market for upscale, full-size SUVs.

And for 2018, the Navigator is all-new, riding piggyback on the similar Ford Expedition, which is also new from the wheels up this year.

In an effort to keep up with competitors like the Lexus LX and Infiniti QX80, Lincoln says it has emphasized the Navigator’s “ultra-luxury touch points” to make everything an owner looks at and touches “more exuberant, indulgent and incredibly beautiful.”

That includes an available pearl finish on the centre console, and 30-way adjustable front seats with massage, heating and ventilation functions. Second-row seats get their own audio and climate controls, while those in the third-row get seats that recline electrically.

This is also the Navigator’s turn to go high-tech, with a Sync 3 infotainment system adopted from Lincoln’s Ford parent company, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. There are also six USB ports, four 12-volt power outlets, a 110-volt outlet and the option of wireless smartphone charging.

Those infotainment functions are handled through a tablet-like touchscreen perched above the central A/C vents. Second-row passengers can benefit from an optional rear-seat entertainment system that will stream wirelessly content directly from Android devices, from an SD card or via USB or HDMI connectors.

And when everyone wants to listen to the same thing, Lincoln says the Revel Ultima 20-speaker sound system was tailored to the acoustics of the Navigator’s interior with stereo, audience and on-stage listening modes.

For the driver, there’s a 12-inch customizable digital gauge cluster, and an available head-up display. Other available tech includes trailer backup assist, 360-degree camera system and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality. A new speed-dependent adaptive headlight system puts out a wider beam at lower speeds, for better visibility in residential areas, and narrows it in highway driving to reduce glare from road signs and other potential distractions.

Power comes from a 3.5L turbocharged “EcoBoost” V6 that Lincoln estimates will produce about 450 horsepower when the Navigator goes into production, and will be hitched to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Those are big changes compared to the outgoing model, which used an older version of the 3.5L EcoBoost that made a comparatively unimpressive 380 hp and used a six-speed transmission.

The new Navigator promises better performance, but not just because of the extra power: Lincoln says a new aluminum body cuts this truck’s curb weight by about 90 kg, an update that may also help reduce the Navi’s notable fuel consumption, rated at 16.2 and 11.9 L/100 km in city and highway driving, respectively.

Just arrived at louelavie, this full size suv will completely redefine this class.