2018 Lincoln Navigator Review: Big, Brash & Loaded With Luxury

Based 1-5
4.6 SOLID
Pros
  • Engine Power
  • Ride & Handling
  • Comfortable/Luxurious Cabin
Cons
  • Sticker Price
  • 2nd Row Center Console

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is big, brash, loaded with luxury, and makes no apologies for the prestige it exudes. Glamorous, beautiful, and extravagant come to mind when describing this larger-than-life SUV. We could see a movie star or NFL player stepping out of this beauty on the runway before boarding their private jet; or being escorted in it through Hollywood, on their way to the Golden Globe Awards. 

What’s New For 2018

The Lincoln Navigator received a total redesign. It’s bigger and heavier, more powerful, and more luxurious than before. This was our experience while recently road testing the 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label edition.

Features & Options

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label ($93,705) comes loaded with automatic climate control, 20-inch wheels, a digital instrument display, a power tailgate, leather seat upholstery, and heated front and second-row seats. Connectivity and infotainment features include a 10-inch touchscreen, Sync 3, navigation with real-time traffic, 4G LTE data services, and 14-speaker audio.

Our tester came with second-row captain’s chairs. 

The luxurious Black Label Edition includes distinctive 21-spoke 22-inch wheels, a CD player and 20-speaker audio system, trailer tow package, and the Technology safety pack. The interior is a woodsy theme known as “Destination.” Options include rear seat entertainment ($1,995) and “perfect position seats” with active motion massage ($1,250).

Total MSRP including destination: $98,145.

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator tops the latest J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) study. The study measures owners’ emotional attachment and excitement across 77 different vehicle attributes. The Lincoln Navigator’s score of 915 (out of 1,000) makes it the highest-scoring vehicle in the automotive industry today.

Interior Highlights

Get ready to be pampered when you jump inside the 2018 Lincoln Navigator. Like the name implies, it’s meant for the discerning and for those who can afford the extra luxury this large SUV packs. The Navigator is spacious, lavish, and loaded with the spectacular.

All three rows are bathed in Venetian premium leather that is soft and supple. It’s similar to what you would expect in a lounge chair from Moore & Giles. The interior contains glossy wood panels, chrome trim, and soft-touch materials almost everywhere. The active motion massage allows the driver and front passenger to receive a relaxing massage with the push of a button.

In the back, the luxury and comfort continue with second-row captain’s chairs. Our tester came with the optional rear seat entertainment system for those longer trips. There’s plenty of room to spread out for taller riders and the third row will accommodate adults. Between the rear chairs, a center console provides storage for drinks, snacks, and electronic devices. However, it does limit cargo flexibility. 

With all seatbacks upright, cargo volume totals 19.3 cubic feet. Folding down the third rows provides 120.2 cubic feet. The power-folding third-row and power tailgate are standard.

Need even more room? The Extended-Length Navigator might fit the bill.

The new Lincoln Navigator is big, brash, and loaded with luxury. Click To Tweet

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The Lincoln Navigator is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, producing 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Our tester came with all-wheel drive and class IV trailer towing.

With all-wheel drive, the Navigator is EPA-rated at 16/21 city/highway and 18 combined mpg. The Navigator does take premium fuel to perform its best. However, when compared to other large luxury SUVs, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator holds its own just fine.  

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator also earns five stars – the highest possible government crash rating – from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

If the Navigator isn’t your style, perhaps the new Ford Expedition is a better fit?

2018 Lincoln Navigator in Burgundy Velvet.

Driving Dynamics

The immense doors open wide for easy entry and exit, and power running boards also help. The first thing we noticed is how quiet the cabin is, and the ride is what you might expect from a luxury SUV in this price range. The 2018 Lincoln Navigator smooths out harsher road surfaces, despite the larger 22-inch wheels on our Black Label trim.

The twin-turbo V6 has plenty of power for any driving situation. On our drive, the extra torque helped pull this big SUV up the mountains in Colorado’s altitude. Even with its hefty size, the Navigator feels like a smaller vehicle because of the massive low-end torque.

We had no problem passing slower vehicles and maneuvering through traffic. The 10-speed automatic does shift frequently, but it’s seldom bothersome. Paddle shifters can be used to manually shift when needed.

You can switch the massaging seats on (and we did) and watch the miles melt away in comfort. Overall, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator is a pleasure to drive, and passengers will find it comfortable on those long drives.

The Lincoln Navigator is a pleasure to drive, and passengers will find it comfortable on those long drives. Click To Tweet

Conclusion

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator delivers supreme comfort and the ultimate in luxury for discerning buyers. Sumptuous interior materials and finishes fill the vast cabin. With the second row captain’s chairs, passengers can turn on the entertainment system and feel like they are in a movie theater. Every time you get behind the wheel, it feels like a special occasion.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2018 Lincoln Navigator Gallery

2018 Lincoln Navigator Official Site.

Photos: Lincoln Motor Company.

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