Lincoln and Cadillac were founded by the same man, and they have always been rivals in the American luxury market. While the Escalade continues as a steel leviathan, Lincoln shocked the world with the aluminum body of the 2018 Navigator. Sharing the same basis as the Ford Expedition, it also borrows the 450 horsepower EcoBoost V6 and 10-speed automatic transmission.
They put so much time and effort into this machine, and it was evident at first glance. We spent a week with the Long Wheelbase model, so here are our thoughts on their latest model. Styling takes many cues from the Continental sedan, and it looks like a carbon copy of a concept we saw in 2016.
We’re well acquainted with the engine, as it is also found in the Ford Raptor and the Taurus SHO. It is the most powerful Lincoln ever built, at least on paper. Using aluminum for most of the body keeps the center of gravity lower than any other SUV. It also has better noise and vibration insulation than any full size competitor.
The interior is on-par with Range Rovers, with large displays and quality materials. Instead of a column shifter, you have buttons for PRND. The HUD is great and long overdue, as are the massaging seats. Mahogany and machined metal are found in all the right places, and Revel audio has 20 speakers.
Of course, it has plenty of room for shopping and sports, and safety abounds with inflatable seat belts for the 2nd row. Electric power steering and a fully-independent suspension make driving a breeze, except when it comes to the gas station. If you can afford $100,000 for a daily driver, the price of oil doesn’t bother you. But be warned, the Navigator is only able to achieve 23 mpg highway without any passengers and with premium fuel. Anything less than 92
Therein lies the EcoBoost problem. You will have 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque at wide open throttle because both turbos are spinning. It is not immediately accessible because the transmission has to drop several gears to await the turbos kicking in. Punching it on the highway is fun, but it feels like the 3.5-liter is strained each time. As an urban commuter it is plush and practical, but make sure your test drive includes a few highway runs so you aren’t caught off-guard.
If the V6 doesn’t bother you, the Navigator certainly wins in the styling and interior department. Comfort and technology are also first class, so click the link below to find our dealer near you and stay with us for all your Lincoln updates.