Though it’s been around for 20 years, the Lincoln Navigator has never been better. Voted 2018’s Truck of the Year, the luxury SUV beats its competition by miles. Here’s why you’ll want to drive the 2018 Lincoln Navigator:
New Features for 2018
The previous iteration of the Navigator was a fine vehicle in its own right, but with a comprehensive new redesign for 2018, Lincoln clearly had no intention of resting on its laurels.
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator features a body-on-frame build made largely from high-grade aluminum, giving it excellent strength and shaving some much-needed pounds off its hulking curb weight. The design hasn’t changed much, but it’s a bit more sleek and slick than in years past, even with slightly larger overall dimensions. There are also added luxury touches, including a new, high-quality audio system, a bevy of connectivity options, an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.
Available Trim Packages
There are four distinct trim levels for the 2018 Lincoln Navigator, all of which come standard with the same twin-turbo V6 engine. With an MSRP of $72,055, even the base Navigator Premiere trim comes loaded with tech and features. It is, however, the only trim not available with the longer “L” wheelbase. The Navigator Select trim starts at $76,055 and features an adaptive suspension system, a 360-degree camera, and a selection of other tech upgrades. The Select L, with its longer wheelbase, starts at $80,750.
Stepping up a trim level, the Navigator Reserve begins at $81,205, with the Reserve L starting at $84,405. Its standard features are largely the same as the Select trim, though you will get four-wheel drive, a panoramic sunroof, and ventilated and 24-way power-adjustable front seats.
The top-of-the-line Navigator Black Label, meanwhile, has a starting price of $93,705. It adds most of the Navigator’s available options as standard features, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and collision mitigation systems, active park assists, and a head-up display. You can also spring for the longer Black Label L for $96,905.
Safety and Specifications
Most modern manufacturers have invested a great deal of time and energy into providing a broad range of powertrain options for their vehicles. With the Navigator, Lincoln has taken an entirely different approach. There’s only one available powertrain, but as it turns out, that’s all you’re likely to need. All Navigator trim levels are powered by a twin-turbo V6 paired with a slick-shifting 10-speed automatic. The 3.5-liter engine produces an excellent 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, which represent gains of 70 horses and 50 pound-feet over the 2017 model year.
Happily, all that power doesn’t mean the Navigator sacrifices efficiency. Though you’ll never confuse it with a fuel-sipping hybrid car, the Navigator musters a respectable 16 mpg in city driving across all models and configurations. Base models equipped with rear-wheel drive can eek out 23 mpg during highway driving, though that number drops slightly to 21 for all-wheel-drive models. The longer wheelbase of the L models has a negligible impact on fuel economy, with rear-wheel configurations rated at 22 mpg highway and all-wheel configurations offering 21 mpg.
The 2018 Navigator has yet to be crash-tested, but given the model’s typically stellar scores, you can have peace of mind when you climb behind the wheel. In addition to its history of safe and reliable designs, the newest Navigator also brings to the table a whole host of available active safety features. This includes adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, driver drowsiness monitoring, and more.
Comparing the Competition
Luxury SUVs are a dime a dozen these days, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, there are still only a few options you’ll need to consider.
2018 Cadillac Escalade
The Cadillac Escalade has long been the Navigator’s nemesis, and that fact hasn’t changed for the 2018 model year. The Escalade is as stylish and handsome as ever, and the Cadillac brand still holds a certain allure. It also happens to be highly capable thanks to a strong and reliable powertrain, an optional heavy-duty towing package and a highly responsive Magnetic Ride Control system.
However, the ride quality isn’t quite what you’d expect of an Escalade, and its crash test results are less than ideal for a high-end luxury SUV. With a starting price of $74,695, it’s also slightly costlier than the Navigator.
2018 Land Rover Range Rover
The Range Rover has always been associated with off-road ability — and for good reason. The 2018 Land Rover Range Rover is fantastically capable both on and off the beaten path, offering an array of engine options and a smooth and sophisticated ride.
Don’t let that fool you, though; the Range Rover is no less comfortable and luxurious than its counterparts. The interior is plush, attractive, and well-appointed, though its exterior aesthetic is beginning to grow a bit stale. The infotainment system also takes some getting used to, and longstanding questions about reliability haven’t entirely been resolved. You can also expect to pay a premium, as the starting price of $87,350 is rather steep.
The Bottom Line
No matter which way you slice it, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator is one of the best luxury vehicles on the road. It feels like a plush office on wheels inside the cabin, but it’s also got the power and performance to get the job done when you climb behind the wheel. It doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re wondering whether the price is right, here are the points you need to know.
- Loaded with both standard and optional tech and safety features
- Extremely comfortable, luxurious and attractive cabin
- Excellent blend of performance and efficiency
- No choice in powertrains regardless of trim level
- Higher trims can become rather costly