For abundant of the 20th century, the Cadillac-versus-Lincoln affair mattered. It had acceptation able-bodied above annual balance and the automotive industry. For many, it was about civic pride.
Today, cipher absolutely cares. For too long, that animosity has been a action for aftermost place. It’s like the Bengals–Browns game; there are a few die-hards still sitting in the stands, but America has acquainted out.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop the clock. One attending central the 2018 Navigator’s assiduously overhauled interior—particularly that of our ne additional ultra Black Label example—shows that this is not brand engineering business as usual; Lincoln appears to be aggravating like it cares again. And Cadillac knows it, abnegation to accomplish an Escalade accessible for a allegory test.
The Navigator is not aloof the largest, best opulent, and best able Lincoln ever; it delivers what an American affluence agent should in this day and age, in the bazaar articulation breadth affluence buyers accept gathered. And Lincoln accuse for the privilege. With alone a few options, including a rear-seat ball system, our Navigator L Black Label 4×4 analysis agent amount $101,765.
Shaped with restraint, the Navigator’s curve are apple-pie and its exoteric chrome $.25 are alluringly applied, starting with the recessed grille that’s ample but proportional to the vehicle. The grille’s architecture is accustomed from Lincoln’s MKZ and Continental, as is its grate, which appearance a acclimation of Lincoln’s brilliant logo—itself an acclimation of the adumbration acclimated on the Continental Mark II in the mid-1950s. The beyond brilliant in the grille’s centermost lights up, which is a little over the top and acquired of Mercedes-Benz, but it’s a acceptable attempt of pizazz.
The Lincoln’s accumbent taillights add beheld width. Unfortunately, its bankrupt is hidden from appearance beneath the rear bonanza on the commuter side, aloof as it is on the Ford Expedition. This may be a architecture best or a cost-cutting measure. Either way, it’s an befalling for the aftermarket: This affair begs for a brace of ample chrome bankrupt pipes.
At 221.9 inches long, the Navigator L is still a few inches beneath than the Escalade ESV, but esplanade it aing to a Mercedes GLS or a Land Rover Range Rover and it dwarfs the Europeans. Its long, bland flanks actor the attending of the Navigator abstraction that blanket the 2016 New York auto show. The concept’s chaste badging, blacked-out pillars, and turbine-style auto additionally fabricated the cut, although its massive gullwing doors, which wowed appearance goers and accent the concept’s absorbing interior, did not.
Much of the Navigator has been plucked from the genitalia bin. Ample chunks of its aluminum body, which Lincoln claims saves some 200 pounds over the 2017 model, are taken from the Expedition. On our scales, though, the aberration amid our Black Label tester and a 2016 Navigator L 4×4 amounted to aloof 31 pounds. The advanced of the animate ladder anatomy is agnate to that of the Expedition and F-150 pickup. The rear of the anatomy and the architecture of the Navigator’s absolute multilink rear abeyance are aggregate with the former, and they’re about banausic from aftermost year’s model. Cadillac’s Escalade still uses a solid rear axle, aloof like a 1967 Chevy C10.
Under the ’Gator’s awning is the Ford F-150 Raptor’s twin-turbocharged DOHC 3.5-liter V-6 and 10-speed automated transmission. As in the pickup, this agent makes 450 application at 5000 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm, which shades the achievement of the Caddy’s 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8.
With EPA ratings of 16 mpg burghal and 21 mpg highway, the Lincoln is additionally added ammunition able than before. Making advanced use of its nonintrusive stop/start system, we averaged 15 mpg during two weeks of alloyed active about Los Angeles.
The V-6 is bland and aesthetic and fires with a balmy rasp. A able bottom-end bite and a 5900-rpm redline accomplish it a absolute bout for the 10-speed automatic, a assemblage engineered and congenital in a Ford/GM partnership. Its programming is atom on in the Navigator. Part-throttle gearchanges are bound and snappy, and the chiral consistently seems to be in the appropriate accessory at the appropriate time.
We adopt Caddy’s V-8 rumble, but the Lincoln’s V-6 has a pleasing, abysmal burble. And you can apprehend it central the cabin, but alone because Lincoln pipes it in through the speakers.
There’s added chrome central the Navigator than out and added perforated covering than we’ve anytime apparent in one place. The amateur and pillars are covered in yards and yards of faux suede, and the huge advanced and rear consoles present an acclimation of wood, piano-black trim, brightwork, and bent knobs. Alike the dash-mounted push-on shifter is akin with chrome, as are the parking-brake and engine-start ons. And this is not a case of artlessly layering bigger abstracts on top of Expedition bits; the Navigator’s autogenous is impressively differentiated from the Ford’s, with an absolutely altered birr and center-console design, accessory selector, and alike Lincoln-specific turn-signal and wiper stalks.
The gauges and infotainment acclimation are Navigator specific, too; a configurable 12.0-inch awning displays the affected instrumentation, and a 10.0-inch touchscreen aloft the dashboard handles the infotainment and aeronautics duties. The appearance account seems amaranthine and yet par for the segment, from rear audio controls and onboard Wi-Fi to a 360-degree camera setup. There are additionally illuminated, power-operating active boards; a acrimonious council wheel; power-folding additional and third rows; and a gargantuan across-the-board sunroof. Our truck’s alternative Absolute Position Seating amalgamation offered 30-way adjustment, three calefaction settings, three blast settings, and beating for the advanced seats. The second-row captain’s chairs are not absolutely as abundant as the fronts, but they’re heated, they recline, and they accelerate advanced calmly to accommodate admission to the ample third-row bank that can bank three. There are additionally air-conditioning vents throughout the amateur and ons in the burden breadth that bead the additional and third rows collapsed for best burden capacity.
That said, Lincoln could assignment on simplifying things a little. A few too abounding appearance and ambience options are active in a sea of airheaded amid the truck’s two screens.
At 6330 pounds, the ’Gator shouldn’t be quick, but it is. Half burke leaves cartage for asleep and handles best artery passes easily, as the chiral is quick to accord you a few downshifts and a access of power. Abounding burke accouterment the amount aback and unweights the advanced suspension, adopting the truck’s big bill in the air like a ’60s beef car. Upshifts are firmer now and appropriate on redline as the carefully spaced apparatus bang off bound and the full-size SUV pushes accomplished 100 mph with little effort.
At the analysis track, the Navigator produced drama-free launches and a zero-to-60-mph time of aloof 5.5 seconds. That’s a abounding additional quicker than its antecedent and 0.3 additional quicker than the aftermost Escalade we tested, in 2016, a lighter standard-length barter able with an eight-speed automatic. Cadillac has back upgraded its SUV with the aforementioned 10-speed begin in the Navigator, which will no agnosticism advice its barrage times and its fuel-economy numbers, too. The Lincoln’s quarter-mile run of 14.2 abnormal at 98 mph isn’t AMG quick but is affluence agile for a agent continuing taller than six anxiety and belief added than three tons.
The Navigator’s ride is compromised by the Black Label’s accepted 22-inch rollers. It isn’t uncomfortable, per se, but it’s busier than it should be, with too abundant alley advance into the seat, pedals, and council wheel. Considering the Lincoln’s 131.6-inch wheelbase, we accepted the Navigator to coast calmly over the road, but it doesn’t. It can’t advice that, with the Black Label’s 22-inchers, anniversary bend of the barter carries 93 pounds’ account of caster and tire. The Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz GLS, as able-bodied as affluence sedans such as the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes S-class, do a bigger job of isolating you from the pavement’s nooks and crannies.
Body motions are able-bodied controlled, but ample impacts acknowledge the Navigator’s truck-based roots. The SUV additionally suffers from casual cab convulsion and decidedly aural groans from its burden breadth as its anatomy flexes.
In Normal mode, the Lincoln’s council is asleep on-center, but it tightens up if you about-face over to Excite, which retunes the chiral for added advancing gearholding and stiffens the dampers. There’s additionally a Conserve approach to advice access ammunition efficiency, and there are settings to acclimatize the all-wheel-drive acclimation for glace surfaces and abysmal snow. Anniversary is accepted with an busy clear that briefly takes over the SUV’s ample chart screen.
Despite its name, Excite approach does not about-face the Navigator into a Porsche 911. On arced sections of California State Route 74 south of Palm Springs, it accepted assured and capable, but a affable podcast is added exciting. So the Navigator may not be fun to bung around, but advance it in the corners and it does adhere in there, alike at an enthusiast’s pace. The guy in the E-class couldn’t accept we were alert to his tail.
The 20.5:1 council arrangement should be quicker to accord this barge added able-bodied response, but there are some elements of sportiness here: The chiral does bout revs back you ask for a downshift with the paddle shifter, and the Navigator turns in able-bodied and takes a absolute set. Reach the banned of its Hankook Dynapro HT tires, though, and it understeers agilely to acquaint you abroad from added speed. By again you’ve absurd its brakes anyway, which are board and baker bound beneath the Navigator’s bulk. The abate Mercedes GLS can’t tow 8100 pounds like the Lincoln, but it’s a far added agreeable drive for about the aforementioned money.
Although the 2018 Navigator isn’t absolutely our jam, there’s no agnosticism it redefines the top of the American-full-size-SUV game. The assemblage amenable for the Escalade bigger band on the pads and applique up their cleats acceptable and tight, because this animosity is about to balance the field. And for the aboriginal time in a generation, maybe two, bodies will be affability in.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear/all/4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED: $101,765 (base price: $98,100)
ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled V-6, aluminum block and heads
Displacement: 213 cu in, 3496 ccPower: 450 hp @ 5000 rpmTorque: 510 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automated with chiral alive mode
DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 131.6 inLength: 221.9 inWidth: 79.9 in Height: 76.1 inPassenger volume: F: 65 cu ft M: 59 cu ft R: 47 cu ft Burden volume: F: 120 cu ft M: 73 cu ft R: 34 cu ft Curb weight: 6330 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:Zero to 60 mph: 5.5 secZero to 100 mph: 14.8 secZero to 110 mph: 18.4 secRolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.5 secStanding ¼-mile: 14.2 sec @ 98 mphTop acceleration (governor limited): 115 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 191 ftRoadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.78 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY:Observed: 15 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY:Combined/city/highway: 18/16/21 mpg
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