The 2018 Lincoln Navigator goes on sale this fall with a starting price nearly $10,000 greater than that of its predecessor. The new model’s $73,250 base price isn’t for naught, as Lincoln’s all-new flagship SUV features an aluminum-intensive body, a higher-quality cabin, and an improved powertrain that swaps the old Navigator’s six-speed automatic transmission for a new 10-speed unit and juices the SUV’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine from 380 to an expected 450 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive continues to be the default setup, although all-wheel drive is available for $2655.
The order books open at the entry-level Navigator Premiere, which includes niceties such as LED headlights, a 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster, heated first- and second-row seats, a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, blind-spot monitoring, and a proximity key with push-button start. The Premiere trim is strictly limited to the 210-inch-long Navigator, while the higher-end Select, Reserve, and Black Label trims can be applied to the Navigator L, a designation that denotes another 11.9 inches of overall length.
Moving up the ladder to the $77,250 Navigator Select or the $81,945 Navigator L Select brings additional niceties such as 22-inch-diameter wheels (two inches larger than the Premiere’s), a heated steering wheel, a wireless charging pad, and an adaptive suspension. Those looking to step up to the Reserve or Black Label trims had better be happy with all-wheel drive; the Navigator’s two highest trim levels aren’t available with rear-wheel drive. Starting at $82,400 and $85,600 for the Navigator and Navigator L, respectively, the Reserve adds a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a chunky second-row center console to the standard features list.
Those seeking the most luxurious Lincoln SUV will want to check out the $94,900 Navigator Black Label or the $98,100 Navigator L Black Label, which come standard with features such as an electronic limited-slip rear differential, a heavy-duty radiator, a two-speed transfer case, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, lane-departure warning, a self-parking system, and automatic high-beam headlights. These items can also be found in the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package and Technology package on lesser Navigators.
As in other Black Label Lincolns, the 2018 Navigator Black Label and Navigator L Black Label are available with a handful of interior “themes” for customers to choose from: the light-colored Chalet, the very blue Yacht Club, and the rich red Destination. Although the concept of themed interiors comes off as somewhat glib, the execution is impressively lavish.
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is arguably the first product in years from the American luxury brand that looks ready to rise to the top of its segment. We’ll have to wait until we get behind the wheel of Lincoln’s new full-size SUV before we can determine where it fits in the scheme of great big things.