Words: Calvin Chan
Published: April 14, 2017
No longer a concept, Lincoln finally took the wraps off their all-new production-ready 2018 Navigator. Surprisingly, Lincoln’s three-row SUV looks just like the concept but without those gullwing doors, fancy trunk closet, and Matthew McConaughey. I’m loving the look – bigger, bolder, more imposing – perhaps it’s just what the storied brand needs to build back its relevance and repertoire. Get a load of those turbine wheels too.
Though mechanically similar and based on the new Ford Expedition, the Navigator looks nothing like its distant cousin with unique sheetmetal, hot styling straight off the concept drawing board, and a near 100 kg diet from the outgoing model. Sexy is back.
LED lights are found everywhere, from the Lincoln star logo on the grill and the headlights to the illuminating welcome mat that appears below the front doors. The bling continues on the inside, accentuating Lincoln’s theme of “quiet luxury.”
Put simply, the Navigator’s cabin no longer looks like a Ford’s either.
The steering wheel appears to be borrowed from the fantastic Continental that we recently drove, and the same goes for the center console layout – a floating design with storage space tucked underneath.
The center touchscreen is a new and delightful touch for Lincoln, clearing up dashboard space for a cleaner look – oddly strikes a resemblance to the displays used with competing brands like Mercedes-Benz and Audi. There’s new switchgear for the gear selectors as well, which are sleeker and more minimalistic than the ones used downstream. Familiar touches do appear, though, such as the HVAC knobs and buttons, and 20-speaker Revel Ultima audio system that we thought was top-notch in other Lincoln products.
And did you check out that chic blue colour tone and seats ripped straight out of the future? It’s similar to the ones we tested in the Continental and offer massage, heating and cooling functions, as well as 30-way adjustability. Second row passengers also have it swell with their own audio and climate control functions, and an available rear-seat entertainment system, while the third-row seats feature power recline capability.
Similar tech features make their way up from the Continental as well, such as speed-sensitive Adaptive Lighting, Trailer Backup Assist, a 360-degree camera, Parking Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Wireless charging and standard in-car Wi-Fi is also included.
A twin-turbo V6 engine is found under the hood of the Navigator, producing 450 hp through a 10-speed automatic transmission. That’s more horsepower than the new Expedition, and the same output as the Ford F-150 Raptor – all three use the same engine.
There’s no denying that the Navigator is still a larger than life specimen, with gigantic proportions and enough chrome and bling to crush its own “quiet luxury” motto, but in this crowded SUV market, that just might be the jumpstart it needs.
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is slated to go on sale this fall. No news on availability or pricing just yet.