Us auto enthusiasts would always joke around and say that cars of the 80’s like the Chrysler New Yorker or the Buick LeSabre, were like driving land yachts. And that was a little unfair to yachts because those cars were garbage. This 2019 Lincoln Navigator however, really is a land yacht. And that’s not an insult to it.
Engine – Powering this behemoth is a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. For an SUV that tips the scales at just over 2.5 tonnes, the engine feels plenty powerful. Majority of the grunt comes at low rpms so you never really need to stab the throttle to get the Navigator moving. But if you do find yourself in a situation where all of the engine’s power is required, the twin-turbo V6 pulls the 2,600 kg (5,855 lb) Lincoln with ease.
However the downfall is a fuel bill that is as big as the SUV itself. Lincoln claim a fuel economy rating of 15.0 L/100km (15.6 mpg) in a city and 11.4 L/100km (20.6 mpg) on a highway. During my week with the Navigator, I was averaging around 17 L/100km in city driving. Happily though, I did reset the trip computer while on a highway drive and I briefly saw 9.7 L/100km (24.2 mpg) so on a highway at least, it is quite efficient for what it is. Also premium fuel is recommended but not required however this standard version Navigator comes with an 87L fuel tank. The longer version comes with a 102L fuel tank.
Transmission – A 10-speed automatic transmission is mated to the 3.5L V6 and it is a great match. Smoothness is what the Navigator is about and this transmission delivers. Shifts between gears are almost inconceivable, at times it feels more like a CVT. Steering wheel mounted paddles do provide the driver with shifting control but in 99% of situations, the computer does a good job of knowing what gear the SUV should be in.
Braking – There’s nothing special about the brakes of the Lincoln Navigator but they provide a lot of stopping power with very little pedal effort. There is quite a bit of nose-dive under hard braking situations but it’s a lot of mass to stop. Emergency automatic braking with pedestrian detection is standard on this Reserve trim but an option as part of the Technology package on the Select trim.
Handling – Getting behind the wheel of the Lincoln Navigator, you feel as though you’re driving a land yacht. From its massive size to how it leans through corners, it is not an SUV that likes to be driven quickly. It’s made for comfort and on that front, it delivers like no other SUV can. Well except for the Rolls Royce Cullinan but that’s on another level. Driving on city streets feels like you’re driving on an ocean. The suspension absorbs potholes effortlessly. It’s not air suspension like on a Range Rover but it is adaptive. Although switching between the different drive modes, you barely notice any change in the firmness or softness of the suspension.
Ride Comfort – As mentioned before, the ride of the 2019 Lincoln Navigator is sublime. It’s like you’re actually on a boat in the open sea. But the suspension is only part of the equation as the Navigator comes equipped with the same “Perfect Position Front Seats” as found on the Lincoln Continental. These seats have 30-way adjustments including a massaging feature. These seats further aid in the whole “land yacht” theme that the Navigator exudes.
Interior Space – Front occupant space is extensive to say the least. Head and leg room is abundant regardless of your stature. The second row seats have a good amount of legroom but head room can be tight if you’re on the taller spectrum. Third row seats are tight for both head and leg room and are best suited for kids. Trunk space in this standard length version is 546 L (19.3 cu-ft) but opt for the extended version and that number grows to 972 L (34.3 cu-ft) with the third row up.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – The amount of noise that intrudes the cabin of the Navigator is almost negligible. Engine, wind, road, birds chirping, car horns, etc. are all isolated from inside the Lincoln. It is a very relaxing place to be in.
Odds and Ends
Gadgets – By far the best gadget in my opinion has to be the Perfect Position front seats. They are not for everyone though. I did have others try them out and even after adjusting the seats, they still didn’t feel perfectly comfortable. So try them out before putting money down on a new Navigator.
In addition to the seats, the Navigator is equipped with everything one would expect from a luxury SUV. Navigation, heated and ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, blind spot sensors, adaptive cruise control with stop/go traffic, power side steps and even an illuminated front Lincoln badge. Yes, that Lincoln badge lights up at night as you approach the Navigator.
Exterior Design – The Navigator received a redesign for the 2018 model year and has remained unchanged for this 2019 model year. From the front, it is easily recognizable as a Lincoln with the same grille as other Lincoln vehicles. From the side, it honestly looks like any other full-size 3-row SUV because there’s hardly anything that can be changed apart from the wheels. From the back though, I personally don’t like the looks of it that much. I feel like it’s a bit too bland and the offset exhaust seems like an afterthought. I’d be ok with fake tipped dual exhaust.
Interior Design – The interior of the Lincoln Navigator portrays luxury from the soft seats to the minimalist appearance of the dashboard. There are just enough buttons to control the most common features such as the climate control. The drive mode select buttons are evenly laid out underneath the center air vents and are straightforward to use. The center console has a floating design like as though it’s pulled straight from a luxury yacht. The wood trim extends from one side of the dashboard to the other with just an interruption by the driver instrument screen that has very minimalist graphics. Overall it is a good looking interior that conveys luxury.
My only complaint is the placement of the start/stop button and trailer backup assist knob. Sometimes I would find myself instinctively pressing the center of the trailer assist knob to start or stop the engine.
The 2019 Lincoln Navigator starts at $90,750 CAD for the Select trim in standard length and can be spec’d up to $109,000 CAD with all the options as a Reserve L. There are more expensive SUVs out there like the Land Rover Range Rover but it’s main competition is the Cadillac Escalade. Overall though if you’re looking for a luxury SUV first and foremost, take the time to seriously consider the Lincoln Navigator. It exemplifies luxury.