THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: Super smooth ride with a huge and very comfortable interior.
- What’s Worst: Fuel consumption is still pretty high, but luckily isn’t normally a selling point of a vehicle of this ilk.
- What’s Interesting: This is the fourth generation Navigator since its introduction as a 1998 model.
The Lincoln Navigator has been with us for 20 years now and it’s amazing how much it has matured in such a relatively short period.
The looks, comfort level and technology in the new 2018 Navigator Reserve take it to a level that was unimaginable back when it was first introduced.
The New Navigator Reserve I was testing certainly has road presence.
It is huge to say the least.
The Navigator is still based on the Ford Expedition platform but that is where any comparison ends. It has been completely redesigned from the tires up and has now morphed into a sophisticated, luxurious and great handling cruiser.
A new honeycomb grille has replaced the old split lattice style grille that tidies the front end up no end.
New cleaner lines and less glass with a higher waistline add an air of elegance that makes it look much less top heavy. This particular Reserve model comes with the retractable side rail as standard and makes entering and exiting the vehicle so much easier.
The interior is where the Navigator really stands out. The cavernous passenger cabin has every bell and whistle imaginable with the fit and finish being exceptional.
It is obvious that the designers have spent their time concentrating on the cab as a whole rather than just the front seats and dash.
The driver and passenger seats are borrowed from the new Continental and offer 30 position choices ($1,000). It does takes some time to find the perfect seating position but, when you find the sweet spot, make sure you add it into the memory as it could take a very long time to find it again.
The cushions are separated from the seat frame and can move in a multitude of ways and are heated and air-cooled.
One of the best features of the seat is the massage function. There are several settings that can be adjusted on the infotainment screen or by the seat functions on the doors.
Usually car seat massages are limp and tend to generate more noise than massage effect, this isn’t the case here, these seats certainly give you a good strong work over from the top of your back all the way down to your thighs that helps alleviate driver fatigue on a long drives.
The dash is well laid out and with the digital instrumentation crisp and easily read. The large 10-inch infotainment touchscreen takes control of most the internal functions is bright and easily within reach, even in such a vast space.
This Reserve model is fitted with plush captain’s chairs in the second row and a large bench in the third row that is not only comfortable but is easily accessed from the rear doors.
This model was equipped with the optional rear-seat entertainment system ($2,350) that brings this Navigator to another level, especially when travelling with kids.
There are two 10-inch screens mounted on the back of the front seats that have HDMI, USB and WIFI connectivity that is easily used work seamlessly with the onboard entertainment system or independently (well after a demonstration from my tech-savvy 13 year old).
There is a plethora of USB and charging ports through out the cab that ensure everybody on board has power and access to the outside world.
Under the hood is a twin turbo EcoBoost 3.5-litre V6 matched to a super-smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. Power output is a very healthy 450hp and 510 lb./ft. of torque up 70hp and 50 lb./ft. of torque from the previous model.
All Canadian models will come with 4WD with six drive select modes – Normal, Excite, Slippery, Deep Conditions, Slow Climb and Deep Sand. Each mode changes the settings of the vehicle that includes; adaptive suspension, 4×4 drive lines, shift points and the information shown on the displays.
The first noticeable difference when seated in the Navigator is the gearshift – or should I say lack there of. Lincoln has adapted to a dash mounted push-button control that is easy to use and saves bundles of space in the center console.
The vast interior space seems to be amplified by the huge panoramic sunroof that allows sunlight to penetrate the full cabin in all three rows.
The Navigator is a big truck and it certainly takes up most of its lane, but driving it is much easier that I was expecting.
The powerful engine manages to get it up to highway speeds very easily with very little engine or wind noise resonating into the cabin.
It handles like a much smaller vehicle, cornering is made easy with the addition of the adaptive suspension that manages to keep all four heavy wheels planted evenly on the tarmac. While the suspension is still a tad soft it still remains fairly flat while cornering with little body roll, which is comforting in such a high vehicle.
The Navigator Reserve I was driving came with the optional Tech Package ($3,000) that includes everything you can think of to make driving such a large vehicle all the more easier.
The package includes Auto High Beams, Head-Up Display, Lane Keep Assist, Pre Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Park assist.
This is the perfect vehicle for long highway journeys.
It’s smooth and ever so quiet while being more than comfortable for everyone aboard.
The superior entertainment system keeps everyone happy whether seated in the very back or up front. Having the option of headphones with the rear seat entertainment system makes a long journey much shorter without having to hear movies or games you have heard a million times before.
Although the price of the Navigator Reserve is up over a 100k, you certainly make a statement while driving it and to be honest with the amount of luxury features, technology and creature comforts crammed into the Reserve model it does make the price a bit more palatable.
2018 Lincoln Navigator Reserve
BODY STYLE: Seven-seat, four-door, full-size luxury SUV
DRIVE METHOD: 10-speed SelectShift automatic with 4WD and selectable drive modes
ENGINE: Twin turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 (450 hp, 510 lb/ft of torque)
FUEL ECONOMY: 14.9/11.3L/100 km city/highway
TOWING CAPACITY: 3,810 kg
CARGO: 593 litres (behind third row) 1,800 litres (behind second row) 2,928 litres (behind first row)
PRICE: As Tested $103,300 (Includes $2,000 destination charge)
WEB: Lincoln Canada
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