2018 Lincoln Navigator Performance Review
The redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator is pretty athletic for a large SUV. The engine moves the Navigator well, and it’s more powerful and fuel-efficient than many rivals’ engines. Ride quality is outstanding. This Lincoln also has composed handling and surprisingly good maneuverability.
Acceleration and Power
The Navigator features a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. That’s plenty of juice to move this big SUV. In fact, the Navigator’s engine has more horsepower than almost every engine offered by competitors. Power delivery is smooth, and there is little turbo lag.
A 10-speed automatic transmission comes standard. Gear selection is a bit unique; you change gears by pushing buttons instead of using a traditional lever. Shifts are generally smooth, but the transmission can hesitate to downshift once in a while.
The Navigator can tow up to 8,700 pounds when properly equipped. That’s more than many other luxury large SUVs. It also offers helpful towing features such as trailer backup assist and a trailer brake controller.
The Navigator gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. In four-wheel-drive models, fuel economy drops slightly to 16/21 mpg city/highway. Either way, those are better ratings than what many class rivals earn.
Rear-wheel drive comes standard in the Navigator, and four-wheel drive is available. Despite its enormous size and nearly 3-ton curb weight, the Navigator handles well and doesn’t lean much around corners. It also has a shockingly small turning radius, which helps it maneuver in tight spaces.
Regardless of how well it handles, this Lincoln is unabashedly comfort-focused. The ride feels cushioned even over rough roads, and imperfections are absorbed with ease. There’s an available adaptive suspension with different driving modes, but some test drivers say you can’t really tell the difference between them.
The redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator has a nearly flawless interior. The cabin design is modern and attractive, and the materials quality is excellent. All three rows of seats are spacious and comfortable, and the Navigator is one of the class leaders for cargo space. A user-friendly infotainment system headlines a long list of standard and available features.
The Lincoln Navigator seats seven or eight people, depending on whether you want the second-row bench seat or captain’s chairs. Heated front seats, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, and heated second-row seats come standard.
Ventilated front seats, 24- and 30-way power-adjustable front seats, massaging front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available. The Navigator features LATCH child-seat connectors for all second-row seating positions, as well as for the third-row outboard seats.
The Navigator’s front seats are great no matter what, but the optional 30-way power-adjustable seats are better than those in virtually every other SUV. The second-row seats are spacious and comfortable, and even the third row has plenty of space for adult passengers. (That’s not a given, even in a large SUV.)
Standard features in the Navigator include tri-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, remote start, a 110-volt power outlet, six USB ports, 4G LTE, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 14-speaker Revel audio system, satellite radio, and the Sync 3 infotainment system with a 10-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and navigation. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, wireless device charging, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a 20-speaker Revel audio system.
Standard driver assistance features include MyKey, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Available features include adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.
The Navigator isn’t short on tech or active safety features. The infotainment screen is easy to see and reach from the driver’s seat, and the interface takes little time to master. The graphics could be sharper, however. All other dash controls – including the physical buttons and knobs – are well-organized, making it easy to find the adjustments you need for audio and climate functions.