2018 Lincoln Navigator

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MSRP: $72,555 - 97,405

2018 Lincoln Navigator Review

The fully redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator is one of the highest-ranking luxury large SUVs. Whether you prioritize comfort or performance, the Navigator is sure to impress.

9.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.6
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 9.2
Safety: TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy for the class
  • Tremendous cargo space and supportive seats
  • Cushioned ride
  • Excellent predicted reliability rating

 

  • Second-row center console limits cargo flexibility

 

Is the Lincoln Navigator a Good SUV?

The Lincoln Navigator is an outstanding choice among luxury large SUVs. It has more standard horsepower than most rivals and one of the highest towing capacities in the class. Despite all that muscle under the hood, the Navigator delivers decent gas mileage compared to its rivals.

Top-notch materials are everywhere you look inside this Lincoln’s cabin. It gives you more cargo space than many of its competitors. The Navigator’s long list of standard features, tech options, and driver assistance technologies also helps it stand apart.

Should I Buy the Lincoln Navigator?

You can’t go wrong with a new Lincoln Navigator. This luxury SUV is not only a tremendous vehicle, but it’s also a great value with a lower starting price than many competitors. It has virtually no weaknesses.

While the Navigator is a great SUV, you may still want to look at competitors. The Cadillac Escalade is similar to the Lincoln in many ways, and it only costs a couple grand more. You may also want to check out the Ford Expedition, which shares the same platform as the Navigator. This SUV was also redesigned for 2018, and it costs less than the Lincoln.

Compare the Navigator, Escalade, and Expedition »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lincoln Navigator?

The Navigator was fully redesigned for 2018. It boasts entirely new styling inside and out, with plenty of premium cabin materials. There are lots of driver assistance features that are available for the first time, including adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and parallel and perpendicular park assist. Under the hood, the 2018 Navigator still has a twin-turbocharged V6, but it now boasts a 10-speed automatic transmission and an output of 450 horsepower. The 2017 model only put out 380 horsepower and had a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy in the 2018 Navigator is up to 16/23 mpg city/highway, from 15/21 in 2017.

You can likely save heaps of money by shopping for a used 2017 or older Navigator, especially given how quickly luxury vehicles depreciate. Just know that by doing so, you won't get the benefits of the vehicle's redesign. If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Navigator review or our 2016 Navigator review to help you decide if you can live without the 2018 model's improvements.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Lincoln Navigator »

We Did the Research for You: 8 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth 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.

How Much Does the Lincoln Navigator Cost?

The redesigned Navigator has a starting price around $72,000. That’s a significant uptick from the 2017 model, which cost around $63,000 when it debuted. Still, $72,000 is less than the base prices of most other luxury large SUVs. There are three higher Navigator trims, with the top-tier Black Label trim starting around $93,700. Some comparably equipped class rivals top out in the $80,000s, while others can cost well over $100,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer.

Lincoln Navigator Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lincoln Navigator or Ford Expedition?

The Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator are the two large SUVs sold by the Ford Motor Company. They were redesigned alongside each other for 2018, but if you assume the Navigator is just a slightly more upscale Expedition, think again. The Navigator has one of the nicest interiors of any SUV on the market, and it has a longer list of features than the Expedition. However, the Ford has a much lower starting price, and even its highest trim level costs about the same as a base Navigator. Under the hood, the Lincoln has 50 to 75 more horsepower than the Ford (depending on the Expedition model), but the Expedition can tow 600 pounds more. Shoppers looking for a more luxurious ride should choose the Lincoln. Otherwise, the Ford should suffice.

Which Is Better: Lincoln Navigator or Cadillac Escalade?

The Cadillac Escalade is one of the only large luxury SUVs that's comparable to the Navigator in terms of towing capacity and cargo space. Both of these rivals offer plenty of passenger space, and you can get each in a long-wheelbase version for even more room. However, the Navigator gives you more powerful and fuel-efficient V8 engine, more features, and an incredibly luxurious interior. Though these two are priced similarly, the Lincoln gives you more for your money.

Compare the Navigator, Expedition, and Escalade »

Navigator Interior

How Many People Does the Navigator Seat?

The Lincoln Navigator seats seven or eight people, depending on whether you choose the second-row bench seat or captain's chairs. All three rows of seats have enough space for adults to ride comfortably, and the seats remain supportive on long trips. The available 30-way power-adjustable seats are among the best offered in any SUV.

Navigator and Car Seats

The Navigator features LATCH child-seat connectors for all second-row seating positions, as well as for the third-row outboard seats.

Navigator Interior Quality

Any complaints about the Navigator’s interior will qualify as nitpicking. It features an abundance of premium materials, looks attractive, and – perhaps most importantly – has the ambiance of a luxury SUV.

Navigator Cargo Space

This Lincoln is a class leader in cargo space. The base model has over 19 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which is enough room for a golden retriever and several shopping bags. Fold down the second and third rows, and you’ll have more than 103 cubic feet of space. While that is enough room for some large outdoor gear, you shouldn’t expect to haul furniture or plywood in a seven-seat Navigator model. Its second-row center console makes it difficult to haul bulky items.

The long-wheelbase Navigator L has even more cargo space, with over 34 cubic feet of room behind the third row and a maximum capacity of about 120 cubic feet.

Navigator Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, six USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 14-speaker Revel audio system, satellite radio, and the Sync 3 infotainment system. The infotainment system includes a 10-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (not standard in every rival), and navigation. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

While the Sync 3 infotainment system does not have the sharpest graphics, it is intuitive and easy to see and reach from the driver’s seat. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, wireless device charging, and a 20-speaker Revel audio system.

Read more about interior »

Navigator Performance

Navigator Engine: Who Needs a V8?

The Navigator only offers one powertrain choice: a 450-horsepower, twin-turbo V6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine is more powerful than most rivals’, and it moves this Lincoln with relative ease. There’s not much turbo lag, and the transmission’s shifts are smooth and well-timed.

Navigator Gas Mileage: Pretty Good (for the Class)

Though not quite class-leading, the Navigator gets better gas mileage than many other luxury large SUVs: 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The Lincoln also uses regular gasoline, whereas many competitors require premium fuel. You’ll save several hundred dollars per year in gas money by driving the Navigator over rivals like the Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Navigator Ride and Handling: Lincoln’s Land Yacht

The Navigator delivers exceptional ride quality, even on rough roads. Yet, this Lincoln is more than just a smooth cruiser. It has a small turning radius for a large SUV, and there’s little body roll around turns.

Navigator Towing Capacity

The Navigator has a higher towing capacity than many class rivals; it can tow up to 8,700 pounds when properly equipped. That’s a high enough capacity to pull a moving trailer or a boat. If you are serious about towing, you can add helpful features like trailer sway control and a trailer brake controller.

Read more about performance »

Navigator Reliability

Is the Lincoln Navigator Reliable?

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator has a predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power. A score of three is considered average.

Lincoln Navigator Warranty

The Lincoln Navigator comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. That’s a little better than the warranties of some other luxury large SUVs, which just come with a flat four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Navigator Safety

Navigator Crash Test Results

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Navigator Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include MyKey (which lets you set speed and audio volume limits for others driving your vehicle), a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Available features include adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

Read more about safety »

Which Lincoln Navigator Model Is Right for Me?

There are four Navigator trims, all of which feature a 450-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. All trims except the Premiere are offered in a long-wheelbase version.

Even the base Premiere trim comes well-equipped, so it makes a fine choice. Still, the Select trim represents a great value within this Lincoln’s lineup. It’s much less expensive than the high-end trims, but it comes better equipped than the Premiere and offers many premium features.

Lincoln Navigator Premiere

The rear-wheel-drive Navigator Premiere has a base price of $72,055. It comes with leather seats, alloy wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, six USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 14-speaker Revel audio system, satellite radio, MyKey, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and the Sync 3 infotainment system with a 10-inch touch screen and navigation. There are no notable options, but you can add four-wheel drive for $2,655. The Premiere is the only trim not offered in a long-wheelbase model.

Lincoln Navigator Select

The Navigator Select has a starting price of $76,055. In addition to the Premiere’s standard features, the Navigator Select comes with an adaptive suspension, wireless device charging, a heated steering wheel, and a 360-degree camera.

As with the Premiere trim, you can add four-wheel drive to the Select for $2,655. You can also add a panoramic sunroof ($1,995), a rear-seat entertainment system ($1,995), and 30-way power-adjustable, massaging front seats ($1,500).

The Technology package ($2,640) adds adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

The Select L – the long-wheelbase version – starts at $80,750.

Lincoln Navigator Reserve

The Navigator Reserve has a starting price of $81,205. It comes standard with four-wheel drive, a panoramic sunroof, 24-way power-adjustable front seats, and ventilated front seats. The Reserve has the same available features and packages as the Select trim, though the 30-way power-adjustable, massaging seats only cost $1,250. The Reserve also offers a 20-speaker Revel audio system for $995.

The Reserve L model starts at $84,405.

Lincoln Navigator Black Label

The Navigator Black Label has a starting price of $93,705. The Black Label comes with four-wheel drive, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, a head-up display, lane departure warning, and parallel and perpendicular park assist. Almost every feature comes standard in the Black Label, but you can add a rear-seat entertainment system and the 30-way seats for the same prices listed above.

The Black Label L starts at $96,905.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer.

See 2018 Lincoln Navigator specs and trims »

The Final Call

Inside and out, the redesigned 2018 Navigator is a fantastic vehicle. It is among class leaders in many respects and provides the upscale look and feel you want from a luxury vehicle. For these reasons and more, the Navigator is one of our highest-rated luxury large SUVs, and it deserves a serious look from anyone shopping in this class.

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

  • "The Navigator is a wonderfully powerful, comfortable and beautifully furnished full-size luxury SUV. Yes, the price has jumped. And yes, to have all the goodies found on our Black Label you'll need to withdraw nearly six figures from the bank account. But this is easily the very best vehicle Lincoln makes. And more importantly, after spending some time behind the wheel, all the Navigator's competitors now seem a bit dated." -- Autoweek
  • "The 2018 Lincoln Navigator has turned a page. It's no longer an also-ran. Leaping from the back of the segment to the front, it will undoubtedly be noticed by consumers and the competition. With it coming so far, you can't help but root for it to go the next step, too, and really knock the other guys back on their heels. Regardless, it doesn't detract from what Lincoln has accomplished. The new Navigator isn't just light years better than the old one. It's also a serious contender for class leader, and that's no small feat." -- Motor Trend
  • "Crucially, though, this all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator is also very good. It's distinctive, capable, and competent in ways that will stand up well in the upper echelon of the SUV hierarchy. And we'll get this out of the way now: it's far superior to its primary competitor, the Cadillac Escalade." -- Autoblog
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