Car Reviews SUV of the Year

Lincoln Navigator: 2019 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Finalist

The comeback king

The comeback king

WE LIKE Phenomenal interior, excellent powertrain, confident demeanor

WE DON’T LIKE Suspension tuning needs polish

“With the new Navigator, it feels like Lincoln’s glory days of the ’50s and ’60s are back,” Christian Seabaugh said. “This Navigator is a refreshing take on what luxury could and should be. It leaves the sport-luxury stuff to the Europeans and instead focuses on a confident, easygoing, cool luxury. The Navigator is simultaneously understated yet elegant, retro yet modern, comfortable yet capable. It’s the best American luxury car of the last 30 years, full stop.”

There was no dissent in the ranks. “You will never mistake a Lincoln Navigator for anything from Europe, Japan, or Korea,” Stefan Ogbac said. “The interior is its defining aspect, especially in the Black Label trim, which really gives it a sense of panache and sophistication without copying anyone.”

“Every time I think there’s going to be some obstacle or condition that will show the weakness of this vehicle, it surmounts it with ease,” Rechtin marveled.

Motor Trend has never been shy about calling out suboptimal Lincolns. But the Navigator shut down our criticisms. Almost.

Judges expressed disappointment in the ride quality. The Navigator soaked up large bumps and potholes admirably, but cracked, broken pavement had a tendency to send shivers up the chassis, unbecoming of such a luxurious vehicle. The rear end suffered from a secondary body movement, an odd wavelike movement in the chassis following an otherwise flawless handling of a large impact. An air suspension was suggested to remedy these blemishes.

Powered second-row captain’s chairs and more infotainment controls on the second-row center console would also be a plus.

Far from the lumbering brute it once was, the Navigator might now be the lead vehicle to redefine Ford’s luxury brand.

READ ABOUT 2019 SUV OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

READ ABOUT 2019 CAR OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

2018 Lincoln Navigator
Base Price/As tested $73,850/$98,920
Power (SAE net) 450 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 510 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Accel, 0-60 mph 6.8 sec
Quarter-mile 15.2 sec @ 91.7 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 132 ft
Lateral Acceleration 0.74 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 28.4 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
EPA City/Hwy/Comb 16/21/18 mpg
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE/TRANSMISSION 3.5L twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 /10-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 6,176 lb (49/51%)
WHEELBASE 122.5 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 210.0 x 78.8 x 76.3 in
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 211/160 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.08 lb/mile