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2021 Lincoln Navigator Review

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator is one of our top-rated luxury large SUVs. It's posh and powerful, and it provides a ton of space even by the standards of this class full of behemoths.

Pros & Cons

  • Posh, comfortable interior
  • Easy-to-use technology
  • More passenger and cargo space than most rivals
  • Powerful engine
  • Ride could be smoother

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator's #1 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Large SUVs category. Currently the Lincoln Navigator has a score of 8.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 23 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.6
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.9
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Lincoln Navigator?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Lincoln Navigator a Good SUV?

Yes, the Lincoln Navigator is an excellent SUV. Its turbocharged V6 engine feels lively around town or on the highway. The Navigator also has a composed ride, decent handling, and solid fuel economy ratings. The interior is deliciously lavish, with three rows of comfortable seats, abundant cargo space, and intuitive infotainment tech.

Why You Can Trust Us: 19 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 Navigator review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2018.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

Should I Buy the Lincoln Navigator?

Any way you slice it, the Lincoln Navigator is one of the top choices in the luxury large SUV class, and you should absolutely put it near the top of your list if you're considering one of these bad boys.

Find a 2021 Lincoln Navigator for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Lincoln Navigator: What's the Difference?

There are no major changes to the 2021 Lincoln Navigator, so it's virtually identical to the 2020 model.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Navigator »

Here are the key changes for the Lincoln Navigator over the last few years:

  • 2017: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became available
  • 2018: fully redesigned with a nicer interior, a boost in horsepower (to 450, up from 380), and more available driver assistance features
  • 2019: no notable changes
  • 2020: gained more standard features and simplified trim lineup
  • 2021: no notable changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Navigator, 2019 Navigator, and 2020 Navigator reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Lincoln Navigator Cost?

The Navigator carries a base price of around $77,000, which is in the middle of the pack for the class. The range-topping Navigator Black Label starts at around $98,000. That's still less than the most expensive models offered by some rivals.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lincoln deals page.

Lincoln Navigator Versus the Competition

Lincoln Navigator vs. Ford Expedition

Some people say the Ford Expedition is just the nonluxury version of the Navigator, and the two do have a lot in common, such as offering long-wheelbase body types (Lincoln Navigator L and Ford Expedition Max). However, the Lincoln is clearly better, as it has a more powerful engine than the Ford, many more standard features, nicer cabin materials, and a gentler ride. The Expedition has a few advantages though, including a higher towing capacity, better fuel economy estimates, and a lower price than the Navigator.

Compare the Navigator and Expedition »

Lincoln Navigator vs. Infiniti QX80

The Infiniti QX80 is a decent luxury large SUV, but it can't compare to the Navigator. The Infiniti provides a good driving experience thanks to its robust engine, composed handling, and smooth ride. However, the Infiniti’s main shortcoming is its interior. The QX80 isn't as modern or upscale as the Navigator. The Lincoln also has more space and more standard features.

Compare the Navigator and QX80 »

Compare the Navigator, Expedition, and QX80 »

Navigator Interior: Roomy and Gorgeous

Navigator Cargo Space

Even by the standards of this class of giant SUVs, the Navigator gives you a lot of cargo space. Exact capacity varies according to body style and by how and where the rear seats are positioned (they slide and recline).

The standard-wheelbase Navigator has between 19.3 and 20.9 cubic feet of space behind the third row and 57.5 to 63.6 cubic feet behind the second row. The maximum 103 cubic feet behind the front-row seats is an impressive figure.

The Navigator L adds even more cargo room. There’s between 34.3 and 36 cubic feet of space with all the seats up, between 73.3 and 79.6 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum of 120.2 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.

How Many People Does the Navigator Seat?

This three-row SUV seats seven in its standard configuration, or eight if you prefer a second-row bench seat. Unlike most SUVs this size, the Navigator has generous head- and legroom for adults in every row. The seats are supremely comfortable, and all of them can recline.

Navigator and Child Car Seats

Depending on configuration, this luxury large SUV has two or three complete sets of LATCH connectors for the second-row seats. The third-row outboard seats also get a full set of connectors.

Navigator Interior Quality

The Navigator has an elegant cabin adorned with high-quality materials. It's quiet and spacious, and it's one of the finest interiors in the class.

Navigator Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The SYNC 3 infotainment system is one of the better ones out there. It has a large touch screen with sharp graphics, and it responds quickly to inputs. The interface and menu layouts are intuitive, making it easy to find and adjust settings.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 10-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, 14 speakers, satellite radio, six USB ports, and wireless device charging
  • Available infotainment features: a 20-speaker audio system and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system
  • Additional standard features: tri-zone automatic climate control and remote start
  • Other available features: a panoramic sunroof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Navigator Performance: Plenty of Power but Occasionally Jittery

Navigator Engine

A 450-horsepower turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine sits under the hood of every Navigator. Acceleration is quick, and this Lincoln never feels underpowered on the highway. The standard 10-speed automatic transmission is responsive and makes a nice mate for the engine.

Navigator Gas Mileage

The Navigator gets good gas mileage for the luxury large SUV class. With rear-wheel drive, it earns ratings of 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Upgrading to four-wheel drive or the long-wheelbase Navigator L body style doesn't noticeably affect fuel economy.

Navigator Ride and Handling

This Lincoln is a massive SUV that generally delivers a comfortable ride, but it can feel a bit clumsy. The ride becomes more unsettled with the larger optional wheels. No one would call such a bulky vehicle sporty, but the Navigator feels composed around turns.

Navigator Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Lincoln Navigator can tow up to 8,700 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Navigator Reliability

Is the Lincoln Navigator Reliable?

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Lincoln Navigator Warranty

Lincoln covers the Navigator with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Navigator Safety

Navigator Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Lincoln Navigator an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the frontal and side crash tests. In the rollover test, two-wheel-drive Navigator models received three stars, and four-wheel-drive Navigator models received four stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 Navigator.

Navigator Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Lane keep assist
  • MyKey (lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers)

Available advanced safety features:

  • Head-up display
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Automatic park assist
  • Adaptive cruise control

Read more about safety »

Navigator Dimensions and Weight

The Navigator is between 17.5 and 18.5 feet long, depending on which wheelbase you choose. Its curb weight ranges from 5,661 to 5,992 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Lincoln Navigator Built?

Lincoln builds the 2021 Navigator in Kentucky.

Which Lincoln Navigator Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator comes in three trims: base, Reserve, and Black Label. Lincoln offers a long-wheelbase Navigator L in the two higher trims. All models feature a 450-horsepower turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard in the lower trims, and four-wheel drive comes standard in Black Label models.

Most buyers should be content with the base trim, which comes incredibly well-equipped. Still, the Reserve trim is a worthwhile upgrade if you're looking for more comfort and driver assistance features.

Lincoln Navigator

The Navigator carries a base price of around $77,000. Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery for the first two rows, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a 10-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, 14 speakers, satellite radio, six USB ports, and wireless device charging.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, and MyKey. Some of these features are part of the Co-Pilot360 suite of technology.

You can swap the second-row captain’s chairs for a bench seat at no charge. Four-wheel drive is available as well.

Lincoln Navigator Reserve

The Navigator Reserve carries a starting MSRP of around $82,000. On top of the base trim's features, the Reserve comes with 24-way power-adjustable front seats, a surround-view parking camera system, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, automatic park assist, larger alloy wheels, and a panoramic sunroof.

The Reserve is the first trim available with the long-wheelbase L body type, which costs roughly $3,000 more. You can also opt for the Luxury package, which adds a 20-speaker stereo and 30-way power-adjustable front seats. Four-wheel drive is available too.

Lincoln Navigator Black Label

The Navigator Black Label starts at around $98,000. It comes standard with just about everything you can get in this Lincoln, including four-wheel drive. The only notable option is a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10-inch touch screens. The long-wheelbase L style costs about $3,000 more.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lincoln deals page.

See 2021 Lincoln Navigator specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator impresses on every front. It has arguably the best interior in a class filled with first-rate luxury vehicles. There are three rows of adult-friendly seats, as well as plenty of technology and lots of cargo space. The Navigator is powerful, comfortable, and generally easy to drive, making it easy to see why it takes one of the top spots in our luxury large SUV rankings.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "A combination of modern powertrain, bold looks and advanced safety features propels the Navigator into the rarefied air of Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2021 Lincoln Navigator is true American luxury done in a distinct and proper fashion … the Navigator exudes a quiet, grown-up confidence that looks expensive and high class. It brings the guests to the table by adopting its own language of classical luxury, then keeps them there with the tech and capability we expect in a truck approaching a six-figure price." -- Autoblog
  • "The Navigator looks and feels like it's worth the money, especially from the inside. Design has brought Lincoln a long way. The floating center console, touchscreen arrangement and wrapped dash elevate the Navigator's appeal to new heights. And when compared to others in the segment, the Navigator stands out as a smart choice overall. Considering what you get for the money, the Navigator undercuts the competition. It has slightly better warranty coverage than luxury competitors too." -- Edmunds (2020)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: January 15, 2021

Dropping Demand: Navigator sales fell in 2020, as dealerships moved 18.2 percent fewer models compared to 2019. It placed mid-pack among luxury large SUVs, while its primary competitor, the Cadillac Escalade, outsold the Navigator by 60 percent and led the segment overall.

Research more buying advice »
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2021 Lincoln Navigator

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