Michigan noticed a historic quantity of snowfall in 2018. And it’s not finished. It’s snowing as I write this and it snowed practically day-after-day since I took supply of this burgundy 2018 Lincoln Navigator. Excuse the soiled automobile proven within the images. That’s life within the Midwest: half the yr it’s inconceivable to maintain vehicles clear of salt and dirt and, to me, that’s the very best time to evaluation a automobile. I’m completely happy to report the brand new Navigator is a cushty refuge from the snowy winter.

I spent per week within the 2018 Navigator operating from Flint, Michigan to Ann Arbor to Detroit. I crammed up the 23-gallon tank sufficient to know to take it simple on the full of life three.5L EcoBoost V6. The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is lush and assured — however thirsty.

It is a luxurious SUV. It’s not a sport truck and it’s not high-tech paradise, although it may well play the a part of each. The brand new Navigator was clearly constructed to be as comfy as potential, and alongside the way in which Lincoln constructed among the finest luxurious SUVs in the marketplace.

Evaluation

Winter hit Michigan onerous this yr and I discovered the ditch in my 2012 Dodge Durango R/T a number of occasions. It began snowing in December and didn’t cease till midway by way of March. I grew up in Michigan and nonetheless reside within the state. Driving in snow doesn’t trouble me, although leaping into an unfamiliar automobile and navigating snow-covered roads could be difficult. However not on this Navigator. I discovered it handles snow and slush and ice with out a problem.

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is a full-size SUV. It sits as excessive as a Ford F-150 and tends to lumber about as such. The journey is assured and secure. There’s little sway on tight expressway ramps and the automated four-wheel drive shortly prompts when a tire begins to spin.

This Navigator isn’t a sport truck, however it will get up and goes because of Ford’s unbelievable three.5L EcoBoost V6. This six-cylinder twin-turbo package has discovered its means into practically each full-size platform Ford provides. The Navigator is presented with an up to date model of the engine and it provides ample energy throughout its vary. The three.5L surprises on this huge luxurious SUV. It’s full of life and highly effective and greater than sufficient to make the journey comfy. Throughout my time with the truck, I by no means felt at a lack of energy, although I attempted.

The engine is vital to the Navigator’s attraction on a number of ranges. First, three.5L V6 provides first rate gasoline financial system if pushed conservatively whereas providing a good bit of pleasure if pushed with that intent. Second, it permits Lincoln to say the Navigator is ready to tow 600 lbs greater than the Cadillac Escalade, which contains a huge 6.2L V8. Whereas each autos can ably pull a pontoon, the Lincoln does so with 510 lb.-ft of torque over Cadillac’s 460 — although with no boat of my very own, I’m unable to substantiate if the distinction is felt in the actual world.

The steering is mild and responsive, although it’s inconceivable to overlook it is a huge automobile. It drives like a truck — although not your grandfather’s work truck. The driving force sits in a commanding place that makes for good visibility. The automobile’s suspension lets it cruise over tough roads and most bumps are absorbed. It’s a giant SUV and there’s a good quantity of physique roll on on-ramps. Parking isn’t a problem. There are many cameras positioned across the automobile to assist maneuver this land yacht.

The inside of the brand new Navigator stuns. Wooden, leather-based and chrome adorn the surfaces and walks near the road of glitz. It begs the affirmation that it finally comes from an American automaker. Take the badging off the inside and it might simply be mistaken as a luxurious European SUV — although this Navigator is larger than something supplied throughout the pond.

It’s roomy inside. Storage is considerable however cleverly hidden in order to not seem like a minivan. There’s loads of leg room for second-row passengers whereas the third row is surprisingly roomy.

The seats are one thing particular. Certain, they’re comfy and supportive like all present in high-end SUVs. It’s their design that units them aside. The cushions jet out from a big again assist making them look extra like an Eames lounger than an overstuffed leather-based recliner. The design is a stark departure from most automotive seats, and I’m a fan.

The again seats aren’t practically as comfy. They’re supportive and provide a number of seating positions. On this tester, the rear seat is supplied with a middle console that sports activities a small LCD display screen that shows the media presently enjoying. The children find it irresistible and I’m certain Uber passengers would too. As a mum or dad to 2 children, I discovered it annoying to cede management of the radio to the backseat. Fortunately there’s a button above the local weather controls that disables the backseat controls, as a result of I can solely take heed to Radio Disney for thus lengthy.

Tech

There’s an LCD display screen mounted within the middle of the sprint. It’s giant sufficient to be usable although not distracting. The very best half? The display screen doesn’t present fingerprints. There’s clearly a coating over the display screen that someway, magically, makes fingerprints invisible. Glare doesn’t appear to be a problem, although, as beforehand talked about, it’s been snowing for per week and I haven’t seen the solar in any respect throughout my testing.

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is supplied with a Lincoln-badged model of the Ford Sync three infotainment system. The automaker rolled out this technique with 2016 fashions and it’s an enormous enchancment over earlier Sync variations. It’s not the very best infotainment system out there, however it’s ok. Automobile features and controls are in logical locations and Ford’s AppLink system provides assist for some third-party apps now, together with Waze .

Android Auto and CarPlay are additionally out there when used with suitable gadgets. I’ve grown to keep away from these methods and like to stay with most methods developed by automakers. I used to be initially a fan of CarPlay, however Apple has but to advance the platform, and now a number of years after its launch, it feels dated and unusable.

The Navigator’s smartphone app is intelligent. Have to put in navigation data? With the Lincoln Manner app, drivers can enter a vacation spot on their smartphone app earlier than they get into the automobile and ship these instructions to the Navigator. It’s a lot simpler than getting into the vacation spot by way of the in-vehicle system. The app additionally lets drivers begin the automobile, order roadside help or service and find the automobile.

Competitors

This new Navigator is in a category of its personal. The Cadillac Escalade’s inside is vastly inferior, the Mercedes-Benz GLS is dated and far much less roomy. The Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser have higher off-road chops, however the platform is over 10 years previous and it exhibits. Land Rover’s SUVs are dearer and its three-row fashions are a lot smaller and fewer highly effective than the Navigator, although new fashions are popping out quickly.

There merely isn’t a extra luxurious, roomy six- or seven-passenger automobile out there than the brand new Navigator.

I’m available in the market for a brand new automobile and just lately take a look at drove a number of used 2017 Lincoln Navigators. It’s a pleasant truck, however lacks the wow issue of the 2018 Navigator. The place previous fashions have been clearly a rebadged Ford, full with comparable plastic trim and gear, the brand new Navigator is a recent departure from its Ford counterpart, the Expedition. Similarities between the 2 fashions nonetheless exist, although they’re much less pronounced, with the Lincoln clearly getting the nod towards luxurious.

The Navigator of at present is significantly better than the Navigator of yesterday. Lincoln improved the Navigator in practically each means. The journey, the consolation, the expertise. The whole lot is best, and that’s spectacular and should be famous.

The Navigator is 25 years previous this yr. It was one of many first American-made luxurious SUVs, however it has practically all the time been overshadowed by the Escalade — and for good cause. The Escalade has all the time supplied extra every thing than the Navigator. However not anymore.

The brand new Navigator units the bar. It’s luxurious. It’s highly effective. The Navigator is great.