My wife called it the Big Kahuna. And big it is with an overall length of 122.5 inches and weighing 5,855 pounds. But at that, it’s elegant in style and has a quiet, super smooth ride.
What we describe is Lincoln’s Navigator full-size, luxury 4WD SUV. It’s the vehicle you want for a family road trip to Disney in Orlando as it has a spacious interior that can be configured for seven or eight passengers. And with the Reserve version, there are 11-inch video screens behind the front seats to keep the kids occupied over long rides.
Navigator is based on Ford’s full-size Expedition and is offered in 2WD and 4WD and a stretched “L” version that offers greater cargo space. There’s also specialized Black Label and Central Park themed editions.
We were privileged to test the Reserve trim model and it came with heated second row captain’s chairs with a massage feature along with generous leg and headroom. A huge rear console, with a lower tray, can stow a multitude of items. Third row seats have leg room that is mainly for youngsters. They’re a squeeze to access them even with the second row that slide and tilt forward.
For easy front/rear ingress/egress, powered running boards have a low 12-inch step-in, or 25 when bypassing them and slipping directly in if shutting off the powered feature.
The heated/cooled perforated leather front seats have extended under thigh support with exceptional lumbar support. And power pedals accommodate short and long-legged drivers.
In place of a shift handle for the 10-speed automatic transmission is a horizontal array of switches on the vertical stack for P, R, N and D gearing.
Navigator’s 13.2-inch Sync4 system infotainment touchscreen serves the audio, rear/front and 360-degree view cameras, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 4G Wi-Fi connect, climate selections, weather/radar, self-park, voice recognition even the owner’s manual is online plus Lincoln connected services can perform any needed updates over the air.
HVAC controls are large and easy to use and can be displayed on the touchscreen. Below them is a wireless phone charger with a receptacle for wired charging.
An all-digital 12-inch gauge cluster displays a host of information, functions, features, alerts and drive modes of Conserve (Eco), Deep Conditions, Excite (Sport), Normal and Slippery that are selected via a rotary switch on the console. A sensor above the steering wheel can detect if you’re distracted or tired and alerts you on a gauge message to take a break.
There’s also ActiveGlide that offers partial self-driving and a heads-up-display that shows posted speed limits, speed and stop signals.
Navigator has many high-tech features and safety features including using a smartphone as a key and of course blind-spot monitoring emergency braking, front/side parking sensors, forward collision warning, evasive steering assist and many, many more. Navigator certainly lacks nothing as it’s overwhelmingly equipped to say the least.
As for the spacious cargo area, lift over is 34 inches and with the third-row seats upright there’s 20.9 cubic feet that measures 17 inches deep, 51 wide and 31 high. Press two buttons and the third-row powers down to provide 63.6 cubic feet of space that expands loading depth to 50 inches. Power down the second row and load depth increases to 81 inches.
Powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that generates 440-hp and a whopping 580 lb/ft of torque, it rates EPA mileage estimates of 16 city, 22-highway mpg when coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission. So powered, Navigator can tow up to 8,300 pounds. Under full (even half) throttle acceleration, the 3.5 felt like a V8 under the hood. It was exhilarating and no want for power despite Navigator’s hefty weight.
Ride wise and with standard adaptive suspension that adjusts to the road surface be it smooth of rough, Navigator rides smoothly and quietly with the latter benefitting from its active noise control that uses acoustic glass for the front and rear passenger side windows for a hush quiet ride.
Handling too is impressive as there’s no perceptible lean in sharp turns as Navigator remains planted.
Now all this luxury, comfort and technology doesn’t come cheap. While the test vehicle did not have an itemized window sticker (Monroney), the spec sheet listed the base price of $89,745. But with options and delivery, Navigator Reserve bottom-lined at $102,750. A lot of money for a lot of luxury SUV.
While there were no overall 5-star government safety ratings for frontal crash, Navigator received a full five stars for front/rear seats side crash and four for rollover. Very commendable scores.