2019 Lincoln Navigator Expert Review

Editor's Overview

The Lincoln Navigator is the flagship SUV of Ford’s luxury brand. Reborn just last year, the Navigator went from being a commendable full-size premium-sport-utility vehicle to one of the finest in the segment. It boasts striking design and more power, towing ability and bling than 3-row luxury SUV rivals like the Cadillac Escalade.

You'll Like The 2019 Lincoln Navigator If...

If you want a big, powerful, 3-row luxury SUV filled with technology and amenities yet is also capable of towing up to 8,700 pounds, the Lincoln Navigator fits the bill. The L variants offer even more cargo space in the opulent interior.

You May Not Like The 2019 Lincoln Navigator If...

The Navigator may just be too massive for some. If you want similar levels of luxury in a smaller package, stay tuned for the upcoming 2020 Lincoln Aviator or check out the new BMW X7, Volvo XC90 or Mercedes-Benz GLS. It’s also disappointing that safety features like automatic emergency braking cost extra in a vehicle starting over $73,000.

What's New

The Lincoln Navigator luxury SUV was all-new last year and sees only minor changes for 2019. Navigator Reserve models get the Tech Package as standard, and audio lovers will appreciate the inclusion of a CD player in the Revel Ultima package. In Black Label models, 30-way front seats become standard and a 2nd-row bench seat optional.

Interior Features

Far and away the most distinctive part of the 2019 Navigator, the large cabin of this full-size luxury SUV looks and feels even more high-end than the Lincoln’s price demands. The dash is dominated by a 10-inch touch screen with enormous, easy-to-see-and-use icons, especially when using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The dash itself is classy and elegant, and we like the center console "island" that doesn't quite reach the dash. The interior is functional, too. All Navigators have three rows of seats, with seating for seven passengers when equipped with 2nd-row bucket seats, or eight passengers if you opt for the no-cost 2nd-row bench. Standard Navigator models have decent room behind the last row -- 19.3 cubic feet -- but if you regularly plan to use all three rows and transport gear, you’re a prime candidate for the long-wheelbase Navigator L, which has the same passenger dimensions but more cargo space -- over 34 cubic feet behind the third row.

Exterior Features

Lincoln’s new Navigator makes a big impression beginning at the front: The grille is enormous and inescapable. If you don't like it, then this luxury SUV isn't for you. Get past that and there are cool touches, like the aforementioned optional LED-lit Lincoln badge in the middle of the grille, or the cool way the dual LED accents under the headlights scroll on and off. In back, there's Lincoln's signature LED taillights spanning the hatch, and “LINCOLN” spelled out in giant letters. The silhouette may be the same as a Ford Expedition, but the Navigator has enough detail work to make it distinctive.

Driving Impressions

Even the standard Navigator is huge, so by nature it’s a lot to manage in parking lots and even tighter city roads. That just comes with the territory of a full-size SUV, and even among full-size SUVs, the Navigator stands out. The Navigator L is larger still. Once on the open road, however, the new Navigator comes into its own. This big Lincoln SUV’s standard 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine puts out 450 horsepower and prodigious torque -- 510 lb-ft. That’s plenty to move this big SUV, and the 10-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly; we suggest leaving it in Drive and skipping the paddles. The suspension offers active shocks for a smooth ride, and in our testing the large Lincoln had little issue with the kinds of beat-up roads in the Los Angeles region. Inside it's quiet, with very little wind noise despite the blocky shape, an exception being the constant growl of the exhaust.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Navigator has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $73,205 for a base model, plus a $1,295 destination charge. That figure only increases as you climb trims and add features. The more recommendable Select model begins at $77,555, while the Reserve starts over $85,000, but does come with 4-wheel drive, which costs $2,655 extra on the two lower trims. At the top, a 2019 Lincoln Navigator Black Label starts over $96,000. If you want the larger Navigator L, you’ll have to opt for at least a Select trim, then spend an extra $3,200. All-in, a loaded Navigator can hover around the $100,000 mark. At its base price, this flagship Lincoln SUV starts just below the Cadillac Escalade, is nearly in line with the BMW X7, and above smaller luxury haulers like the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Range Rover Sport and Infiniti QX80. The super-rugged Lexus LX 570 starts at nearly $86,000. And in case you’re wondering, the Navigator’s mainstream cousin, the Ford Expedition, starts around $52,000. Before buying your new SUV, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Lincoln Navigator’s resale value is expected to hold up quite well.



Notable Equipment

The Navigator is offered in four trims: Standard, Select, Reserve and Black Label. Even in base form, the Navigator brings plenty of premium amenities. Highlights include leather upholstery for the first two rows, power-folding 2nd- and 3rd-row seats, tri-zone climate control, hands-free power tailgate, universal garage remote and power-adjustable steering wheel and pedals. The robust infotainment system bundles a 10-inch screen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a 16-speaker Revel high-end audio system. The Navigator’s safety features include parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Be aware that automatic emergency braking, which is becoming standard on even mainstream vehicles like Toyotas, costs extra here. You’ll have to step up to at least a Navigator Select, then pay extra for the Technology Package.

Notable Options

If you’re going to spend as much as it takes to buy a Navigator, we’d suggest stepping up to at least the Select trim, which adds adaptive suspension, 360-degree camera, power-deployable running boards, heated steering wheel and wireless phone charger. Adding the recommendable Technology Package also brings the important automatic emergency braking feature along with other active safety and driving features like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and parallel-parking aid. Reserve models include the Tech Package, plus standard 4-wheel drive, the illuminated Lincoln logo in the grille, and 24-way front seats. Black Label Navigator models boast the Revel Ultima audio system, head-up display, 30-way front seats, and the option for your Navigator to have a theme, such as “Yacht Club.”

Favorite Features

DISTINCTIVE STYLE

While the Lincoln Navigator continues to share mechanical bits with the Ford Expedition on which it’s based (and is built at the same plant in Kentucky), the Navigator has style all its own. From its massive and opulent grille with illuminated Lincoln logo to one of the plushest interiors in the industry, the Navigator is distinctive.


REVEL ULTIMA

This ultra-high-end audio system by Harman is a treat for ears. The system, available in Navigator Reserve and Black Label models, builds upon the standard Revel with 20 speakers. For traditionalists who still enjoy compact discs, a CD player is also part of the system.


Under the Hood

The Navigator has only one engine available, but it’s a good one: a 450-horsepower version of Ford's excellent 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6. It's a lot of muscle, significantly more than is found in the Expedition, and the Lincoln puts it to good use through a 10-speed automatic transmission. While not exactly sports-car quick, the powerful V6 makes short work of acceleration from a dead stop, or hustling around slower traffic on the freeway. It can even tow up to 8,700 pounds when properly equipped. Unlike a lot of high-end engines, this one doesn't require premium unleaded fuel. For a full-size SUV, fuel economy is pretty solid, ranging from 21-23 mpg on the highway, depending on model.


3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6

450 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm

510 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (Navigator 4x2); 16/22 mpg (Navigator L 4x2); 16/21 mpg (Navigator & Navigator L 4x4)

Editors' Notes

The Lincoln Navigator is the flagship SUV of Ford’s luxury brand. Reborn last year, the Navigator went from being a commendable full-size premium sport-utility vehicle to one of the finest available. With an extravagant exterior and dazzling interior, the Navigator 3-row SUV now matches the grandeur of rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLS, new BMW X7 and Cadillac Escalade. The Navigator also boasts more interior room, and if you need additional space, more can be had in a longer version called the Navigator L. All models are available with 7- or 8-passenger seating, and 4-wheel drive (4x4) is optional over the standard rear-wheel drive (4x2). The Navigator boasts a twin-turbo V6 that, despite having two fewer cylinders than some rivals, is stronger with 450 horsepower.

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