For years, the Lincoln Navigator played second fiddle to the Cadillac Escalade. Even with a refresh a few years back, the big ute couldn't quite match what Cadillac (or anyone else in the class) offered. The design looked dated, and the interior felt a full generation behind. Things sure have changed, as the new Navigator might just be the first Lincoln in years that gets near-universal praise from the Autoblog staff. This class of SUV may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Lincoln deserves credit for doing more than just phoning it in. Our tester this week is a Chroma Crystal Blue short-wheelbase Navigator Black Label. That's the top-trim model, so features like heated and ventilated leather seating, full-LED lighting, a panoramic moonroof, a 20-speaker audio system and adaptive suspension are all standard. The only options on our 2018 model were the $1,750 paint and the $1,250 perfect-position seats. At $98,320, it isn't cheap, but it's right on the mark for the segment. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Lincoln Navigator is a demonstrative improvement in luxury, power and design. It's more sophisticated and elegant than ever before, but it remains true to itself. The interior is gorgeous — the best-looking cabin I've ever seen in a Navigator — and it's the best in the segment. The Cadillac Escalade, which is still great but is due for a freshening, feels dated and less user-friendly inside, by comparison. Our Navigator, outfitted in the Black Label trim, looks like something out of a 1960s Camelot photo spread. The powder blue materials remind me of old pictures of Jackie Kennedy. The way the Lincoln crest appears above the glovebox also feels very Jet Age. The knobs, switches and buttons for the controls add to the retro look, but they're also tactile and functional. People don't want to navigate four touchscreens to adjust the heat. Lincoln and other carmakers are wisely going back to simplicity for interior features. That being said, the interior has all the modern features and amenities you would expect. Sync 3 is solid. The large touchscreen is easy to read and use. It's colorful and intuitive. Finally, it's a Sync system I can get on board with. The seats are comfortable, supportive, and the front ones can be positioned 30 different ways. There's so much variety I never found the perfect spot in my two nights in the Navigator. The exterior touches from the most recent redesign accentuate the Navigator's luxurious feel. The Navigator badges, the blingy grille, the generous yet tasteful use of chrome, the LED lights, they all work together to make a statement. Only thing I don't really like: the swirly wheels. That pattern also shows up on the interior speakers as part of the design theme. It's not offensive. I would just choose a different style. Power is excellent. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo six cranking out 450 hp and 510 lb-ft is potent yet refined. As Ford Motor Co. continues to downsize its engines inline with industry …
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|MPG||16 City / 23 Hwy|
|Power||450 @ 5500 rpm|
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