This legacy never let up. Lincoln had its ups and downs over its century of life. They always stayed true to where they needed to be.
A Victory & Reseda review of the 2022 Lincoln Navigator
Lincoln turned 100 years old this year.
It became something of an enigma for Henry Ford, when he acquired the company from receivership after its founder Henry Leland witnessed the luxury car producer go into bankruptcy.
From its ashes came some of the most memorable luxury cars of its time. The mojo was found with the Zephyr and its 12-cylinder engine. Then, come the first Continental, the Mark II, the monster Lincolns which turned into the svelte and iconic Continentals of the 1960s.
The 2022 Navigator is where Lincoln needs to be now.
It is its largest offering in an all-SUV lineup. Gone are the days of sedans and coupes that defined the brand. Since the 1998 model year, the Navigator earned its spot as the flagship of the brand by being large and bold with a commanding presence.
In other words, one cannot ignore a Lincoln Navigator.
How can you? The large grille up front speaks to its sheer size. Granted, this 2022 model is an update of this current generation, adding more chrome trim on the bumper and a new set of LED headlamp units. However, the Navigator is clearly “in your face” as it rolls down the street.
That has always been the essence of Lincoln. As long as I have been on the Earth, a Lincoln would command your attention. They have been Presidential limousines when I was younger and have been the leading livery vehicle through the 1980s and 1990s.
However, the Navigator takes this up several notches by its sheer presence alone. It continues with the largess of the entire body, the width of doors and the subtle rear end and its horizontal lighting and trim package.
My tester is the absolute expression of Lincoln – the Black Label. A Black Label model serves everything to the most discriminate consumer. Each detail is given an extra measure of distinction. You will find it in every trim piece inside and out. All you have to do is to find the Lincoln Star with a horizontal extension across the middle of it.
When you select the Black Label, you have more choices. There are four Themes available. Mine was the Inspiration Theme. By choosing this Theme, you indulge in “pergola inspired perforation and Venetian leather.” Translation: This is not your father’s Designer Mark V.
The wood trimmings have a gold design that offsets the black leather and plush floor mats. Front seats have multiple adjustments, which include a massage feature, along with heating and cooling. So do the second row of seats, all controlled by the center console between the Captain’s Chairs. There is a third row of seats that are manually accessed from the rear doors. You can fit six adults inside in luxurious accommodation.
If you are expecting a very cushy passenger experience, I think you’re probably wishing they were still producing the Panther platform-based Town Car. The multi-adjustable seats trended to be on the firm side. They do give after some time behind the wheel, but do not expect soft-like comfort as you are behind the wheel of a Navigator.
For the driver, they are informed and entertained by a 12-inch LCD graphical interface that gives you a lot of information, and a bit animation thrown in. You get clear readouts and a plethora of necessary information for your drive. This is augmented by a wide head-up display designed to inform you without looking down onto the instrumentation screen. Lincoln’s controls are one-of-a-kind, right down to the buttons for the transmission.
A large 13.2-inch LCD touchscreen display serves as the hub for Lincoln’s infotainment system and much more. Driven by Ford’s SYNC 4 system, you can filter your soundtrack through the Revel Ultima 3D audio system. In all, you get 28 speakers of clean and lovely sound from your smartphone’s music files.
Behind the third row, there is 19.3 cubic feet of space that can fit plenty of luggage. Once you lower the third and second rows of seats, you will eventually get to 103.3 cubic feet. Keep in. mind that my tester is the “regular” wheelbase model. Obviously, choosing the “L” or long-wheelbase model offers more cargo space.
All Navigator models are powered by a 440-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine. With 510 pound-feet of torque, you get more than enough pulling power to get this 5,854-pound large SUV to tow up to 8,300 pounds behind it. All of this is channeled through a 10-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels.
In the process, I mustered a fuel consumption average of 17.8 MPG while enjoying my command of the road in this large luxurious SUV.
The ride quality is as expected from both a Lincoln and a large SUV. The bumps are smoothed out, thanks to an Adaptive Suspension system that uses the sensor systems of the Navigator for what is called Road Preview. While scanning the road ahead, the system prepares for the right amount of dampening to ensure a smooth ride over it. The thing to consider is that you are never aware that it the system is working. You just have to experience the end result.
The Navigator corners quite well. However, do expect a tad bit of roll and lean on some maneuvers. In all, it is poised and well-mannered on the road. As is the steering, which has a good turning radius for its size. On-center feel is very good. That has been further enhanced by the ActiveGlide driving assistance program. ActiveGlide is not an autonomous driving system, per se. But, it is as close as we’re getting towards such technology to be deployed onto the universe. You can take your hands off the wheel when conditions are right. That is, as long as the Adaptive Cruise Control and other related CoPilot 2.0 Drive System functions sense that you can do so.
As for the brakes, they work extremely well. With a solid pedal feel, you will experience normal and panic stops with ease.
The price for all of this opulence should not surprise you. This 2022 Lincoln Navigator Black Label tester with four-wheel drive and the Inspiration Theme came with a sticker price of $107,050. You can get a Navigator with slightly less luxury, starting from $77,635. From that point, you can choose Standard and Reserve trims, along with the length of your Navigator and how many wheels you want driven underneath it.
The Lincoln Navigator is a big luxurious SUV that continues to add to the 100-year legacy of this brand. It is a fitting flagship for those who seek something that is bold and commanding.
Is it a bit too much? That is a debate I would like to avoid. The thing is about large luxury SUVs is that you have to be in that space to completely appreciate their presence and worth. You see them out in the finest neighborhoods with families in tow. You see them at any given downtown carrying VIPs from meeting to meeting…to a fine retailer…and to the finest spots in town.
Considering all of this, I admit favoring the Navigator above all others in its class. It comes down to one word: Execution. For what you have in mind in terms of a large luxury SUV, the Navigator feels well finished and ready for what you will do with it.
A vehicle executed well is worth the drive. If you get a chance, try a Navigator on for size.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by the Ford Motor Company
All photos by Randy Stern