2018 Lincoln Navigator Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Apr 12, 2017
  • New full-size luxury SUV
  • Aluminum body, steel frame construction
  • Lincoln says it tows more weight and hauls more cargo than its competitors
  • Powered by a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine making 450 horsepower
  • Standard 10-speed automatic transmission, available all-wheel drive
  • High-tech convenience, safety, and infotainment systems
  • Available bespoke Black Label variants with exclusive membership privileges


2018 Lincoln Navigator front quarter left photo


Following in the footsteps of the all-new Ford Expedition that debuted earlier this year, the redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator rolled under the lights at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

A full-size luxury SUV, the Navigator remains based on the Expedition and continues to offer a look and feel all its own. Furthermore, Lincoln offers three different exclusive Black Label design themes for the Navigator, along with exclusive Black Label membership privileges.

The Navigator will go on sale before the end of 2017. Pricing will be available closer to its arrival in showrooms.

Exterior Features

Thanks to aluminum body panels attached to a high-strength steel frame, the Navigator is almost 200 lbs. lighter than the outgoing model. Why not more? Lincoln “invested” some of the weight savings into things like improved towing capacity and thick, laminated glass that quiets the cabin.

New styling is patterned closely after the Navigator concept vehicle, which had wild gull-wing doors and stair-step side rails that do not translate to the production vehicle. From Lincoln’s latest signature grille to its wide, horizontal taillights, the Navigator is an attractively realized example of the company’s new design themes.

Highlights include new speed-dependent adaptive headlights that provide a wider field of illuminated vision at lower speeds, narrowing in scope the faster the Navigator travels. The 2018 Navigator also features Lincoln’s welcome lighting scheme, which sequentially illuminates the vehicle’s exterior as the owner approaches, starting with the Lincoln star logo in the grille.

Interior Features

At the same time the exterior lighting welcomes the Navigator’s owner, an interior approach lighting system sequentially illuminates starting with the first-row seating area. In total, the effect is a small but important touch designed to foster an emotional connection with the new SUV.

Beyond this, Lincoln says that it has tried to make anything a Navigator owner might see and touch within the cabin “a little more exuberant, a little more indulgent, and incredibly beautiful.”


2018 Lincoln Navigator interior photo Comfort is one of the Navigator’s primary reasons for being. To this end, Lincoln plans to offer its 30-way, power-adjustable Perfect Position seating with heating, ventilation, and massage. A heated steering wheel is also available, second-row occupants get their own audio and climate controls, and the third-row passengers enjoy power-reclining seat backs.

Lincoln says the new Navigator offers more cargo room than any competitor, and an adjustable shelf behind the third-row seat is designed to maximize room while providing custom storage solutions. Also, Lincoln says it has designed the space behind the third-row seat to help prevent items from falling out of the vehicle when the rear liftgate is raised.

Optional Features

In addition to a panoramic sunroof, the new Navigator will be available with a Revel II premium sound system boasting 20 speakers and three listening profiles named Stereo, Audience, and On Stage.

Additional options are detailed below in the Technology section.

Under the Hood

In the 2018 Navigator, a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V-6 engine supplies 450 horsepower. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard and is designed to help maximize fuel economy, as is the automatic engine start/stop system.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, with 4-wheel drive available as an option. Drivers can select between several different driving modes depending upon the weather, road surface, or how the vehicle will be driven. Lincoln promises more towing capacity than its competitors.

To help further separate Lincoln from other luxury brands, the company supplies free pickup and delivery service for scheduled maintenance.


In addition to features provided by its Sync services plan, which uses a paired smartphone to provide free automatic collision notification, the new Navigator comes with several driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems.

Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability is on the list, along with forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking systems. A lane-departure warning system with lane-keeping assist is also offered, along with a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.


Lincoln’s third-generation Sync 3 infotainment system is standard for the 2018 Navigator, equipping the SUV with a range of services, AppLink smartphone app, Wi-Fi hotspot service, and smartphone projection in the form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, Lincoln supplies 12 power outlets throughout the cabin to ensure that everyone’s devices are charged and operational.

A rear-seat entertainment system is an option, employing 10-in. display screens mounted to each front head restraint that have the capability of displaying different content. The content is sourced from DVDs as well as USB ports, an SD card reader, and HDMI jacks. The Sync AppLink smartphone app can also provide content, owners with Android devices can stream content, and those who own a Slingbox at home can access that content.


2018 Lincoln Navigator rear quarter left photo Additional technology features include a 12-in. configurable digital instrumentation cluster, head-up display, a 360-degree surround-view camera system, and a new Personal Profile memory system for the SUV’s seat, mirror, pedal, climate control, and entertainment preferences.

People who use the 2018 Navigator for towing will like the Trailer Back-up Assist system, which allows the driver to steer the trailer using a knob on the dashboard while the SUV’s autonomous steering system turns the front wheels in order to achieve the desired trajectory.

This system relies on the same front and rear sensors that power the Navigator’s Enhanced Park Assist technology. Using this, the hulking Lincoln will steer itself into parking spaces while the driver uses the pedals and transmission controls.

Finally, the new Navigator offers inclination and intrusion sensors that trigger the vehicle’s alarm, just like a Cadillac Escalade.

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