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2019 Lincoln Navigator Luxury At Its Best | Review By Larry Nutson - It's E15 Approved

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2019 Lincoln Navigator
Luxury at its best

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

I’ve been wanting to experience the entirely new Lincoln Navigator for some time now. The Navigator full-size SUV was entirely redesigned for 2018, following in the footsteps of its cousin, the Ford Expedition.

My schedule and the availability of a media loan vehicle from Lincoln prevented us from connecting until recently. Finally the stars aligned and I had the opportunity to spend a week living with a 2018 Lincoln Navigator fitted out in the Reserve trim and equipped with four-wheel drive. Base MSRP on this model is $81,205.

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Ironically, not too long after my week of driving the Navigator I became a passenger in one. This came to pass during a weekend stay at the Detroit Foundation Hotel. Lincoln has collaborated with the hotel and provides a Navigator and a Continental for complimentary hotel guest car service within a three mile radius of this downtown Detroit hotel.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

We made use of the car service to get us to a local restaurant. The driver provided her mobile number so we could text for a return ride after our dinner. This, along with morning coffee staged on a Lincoln-branded cart in the hotel lobby as well as a library-like reading room dubbed “Lincoln on Third” made for nice enhancements to our stay at the Detroit Foundation Hotel.

Back to the Navigator! The biggest change in the redesigned body-on-frame 2018 Navigator was the introduction of a new frame that uses various grades of high strength steel and a new weight-saving aluminum alloy body.

Gone is a V8 engine. All Navigators are powered by a 450-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. Also gone is the former 6-speed automatic and now a 10-speed automatic is standard. EPA test-cycle ratings for the Reserve 4X4 are 18 mpg combined with 16 city mpg and 21 highway mpg. Other models, which I’ll mention in a bit, have one or two better highway test-cycle ratings.

Don’t be put off by the lack of a V8. With 510 lb.-ft. of torque the twin-turbo V6 will get the Navigator to 60 mph from stop in about 5.5 seconds. With the twist of a knob six selectable drive modes allow for refined changes in engine, transmission and suspension to suite driving conditions.

The Navigator is available in a standard 122.5 inch wheelbase(WB)/210 inch overall length(OAL) model or an “L” model with 131.6 inch WB/221.9 inch OAL.

Base, Select, Reserve, and Black Label trims are offered. The Base model is standard-length only. The Reserve and Black Label trims come standard with all-wheel drive, and Base and Select offer rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Trailer tow rating is from 8100 to 8600 lbs. depending on model. And, cargo capacity ranges from a low of 19.3 cu.ft. behind the third row on standard models up to a massive 120.2 cu.ft. on the L model with both the second and third row folded flat.

To put a wrapper around all this technical information and data, the Navigator is intended for folks who need to move lots of people and/or lots of stuff and want to do it with comfort and style. If I needed to tow a boat or horse trailer, a collector-car trailer, or an Airstream, the Navigator would fill the bill.

The all-new interior is, simply put, a delight. It is lavish. And to me, since this is where we spend all out time, this is most important. Seating is for seven with second-row individual seats or for eight with a no-charge second row bench seat.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The Navigator knows when you are approaching and lights the way with a Lincoln welcome mat glowing beneath the front doors as the power running boards deploy for ease of entry.

Lincoln’s “Perfect Position” front seats are heated, cooled and can give you a massage. A correct and comfortable driving position is all important. On a long road trip the ability to tweak the adjustment a bit to put your body in a slightly different position helps reduce fatigue.

These seats offer 30 possible adjustment settings. Along with the usual adjustments, thigh support, cushion extension, lumbar, lower back, upper back, and headrest height each can also be adjusted to suite your physical size and get you comfortable. Power adjustable pedals further help to refine that driving position.

In my passenger experience while at the Detroit Foundation Hotel we saw how easily it is to quickly load four people. The second row seats tip and slide making for easy access to the rear for my son-in-law and my wife and daughter liked the running boards for easy entry to the second row seats.

Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 comes standard and includes automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, blind-spot warning, lane-keep assist, driver alert system, and smart/adaptive cruise control.

In my big-city Chicago driving the 360-degree camera and enhanced park assist helped a lot in tight maneuvers. Parallel and perpendicular parking can be done for you by active park assist, so don’t be intimidated in taking the Navigator to the city.

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The all-new Lincoln Navigator has received many accolades including being named the 2018 North American Truck of the Year. After last year’s redesign, the 2019 Lincoln Navigator is basically unchanged. Prices start at $73,205 and you can find more information and specifications at

If you happen to be visiting Detroit I can recommend the Detroit Foundation Hotel Uniquely located right in the heart of downtown the building itself is the former Detroit Fire Department headquarters. I trust the hotel will be obliging to take you to a nearby location and I’m sure Lincoln would love for you to experience their Navigator.

© 2018 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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