2018 Lincoln Navigator

2018 Lincoln Navigator Review

Faster and more luxurious, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator is one of our favorite luxury SUVs.
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor
Even before its redesign, the Lincoln Navigator was one of our favorite luxury SUVs. Capable of comfortably hauling plenty of people and cargo while also towing a heavy load, the Navigator packed lots of versatility, even if it didn't have quite the gravitas of some other rival SUVs. This year's Navigator, however, should hold more sway with valet attendants.Outside, the Navigator has an entirely fresh and appealing new look. Up front, there's a simultaneously sleek and massive grille and new LED headlights. Under the hood is an impressive new powertrain. The Navigator is powered by a revised turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that now cranks out a stout 450 horsepower. Putting that power to the ground is a new 10-speed automatic transmission that replaces last year's six-speed automatic. Ten speeds may seem like overkill, but you'll hardly notice the shifting, and the additional gearing helps improve both acceleration and fuel economy. Inside, the Navigator uses top-notch materials on every panel and offers updated, modern tech behind the infotainment screen and three rows of adult-size seating with a massive amount of cargo space to back them up. As with other amply sized models of this class, the Navigator isn't the easiest to drive in crowded urban areas, but overall we think it will be one of the nicest luxury SUVs on the market for 2018.


what's new

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is completely redesigned.

we recommend

While the base Premiere trim level is appealing for its lower starting price and the topped-out Black Label trim comes with almost everything as standard, our recommendation falls right in the middle of the lineup. We say go with the Select trim level with the optional Technology package. The Select trim level gets the benefit of the surround-view parking camera system and the adaptive suspension, while the Technology package adds all sorts of desirable top-end safety equipment such as adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning and intervention.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is available in four trim levels: Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label. All trims are powered by the same turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (450 hp, 500 lb-ft) paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional for the first three trims; the Black Label gets 4WD as standard.

The base Premiere trim level is standard wheelbase only, and the Select, Reserve and Black Label models are all available in standard-wheelbase and extended-wheelbase (Navigator L) sizes.

Standard feature highlights on the Premiere include 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, a trailer towing package, front and rear parking sensors, a power hands-free liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, first- and second-row leather upholstery (third-row vinyl), eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar adjustment and heating), power-adjustable pedals, power-folding second-row captain's chairs with heating, and a power-folding 60/40-split third-row bench.

Also included is a configurable gauge cluster display, 10-inch touchscreen display with the Sync 3 interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, six USB ports throughout the cabin, voice controls, navigation, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a 14-speaker surround-sound audio system.

The Select adds 22-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, power-folding running boards, upgraded leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a surround-view parking camera system and a wireless charging pad for personal devices. Just a bit further up the ladder is the Reserve trim that adds exterior welcome lights, 24-way power-adjustable front seats (with ventilation), illuminated seat belt buckles and a panoramic sunroof.

Optional for both the Select and Reserve is the Technology package (adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, a head-up display, lane departure warning and intervention, an automated parking system and automatic high beams) and a Heavy Duty Trailer Tow package.

The Black Label Navigator adds the above two option packages as standard plus additional chrome exterior trim, upgraded leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting and a 20-speaker stereo system.

Some of the upper trim level items are available as stand-alone or packaged options on the lower trim levels. Other notable options include a rear-seat entertainment system (with dual headrest-mounted displays) and 30-way front seats with massage.

Both the standard- and extended-wheelbase versions have three-row seating, with captain's chairs in both the first and second rows. This places the Navigator's standard seating capacity at seven passengers, but a three-person, 40/20/40-split second-row bench seat that increases seating capacity to eight is available on the Premiere, Select and Reserve trims.

trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of this vehicle. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

driving

The new Navigator gets a significant power increase to 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Factor in the lighter curb weight this year and the 10-speed automatic and the Navigator could very well offer class-leading towing capability and plenty of on-road performance.

comfort

Our experience with the optional 30-way adjustable seats in other Lincoln vehicles has been mixed, but we expect the Navigator to otherwise be impressively comfortable for all passengers. The available adaptive suspension dampers should make for excellent on-road comfort, too.

interior

The big center touchscreen display and tasteful interior design make you feel as if you've spent your money wisely. There's extensive storage space both in front of the center console and inside of it.

utility

The Navigator, in both wheelbase versions, is one of the largest vehicles on the road today. The standard Navigator has 103.4 cubic feet of storage space when you fold the second and third rows down, and the L model has a massive 120 cubes — significant no matter what you're hauling.

technology

The Navigator's 10-inch center screen is easy to use with crisp, clear graphics. And much of the previously unavailable safety equipment has been added this year to the Navigator's options list.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.