2018 Lincoln Navigator: Full-size luxury, supreme service
UPDATE: You can now read our first review of the 2018 Lincoln Navigator
Of the former, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator SUV builds upon an already-impressive platform: the upcoming 2018 Ford Expedition. Like that brand cousin, the Navigator will be powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 with projected output of 450 horsepower. That power will be applied via a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Like the 2018 Expedition, Navigator will be available in both standard and extended lengths, with the long version having what Lincoln's says is class-leading cargo space.
In just about every other way, Lincoln's latest flagship 3-row SUV ladles on the luxury.
High-end family hauler
Lincoln executives pointed to countless hours of research in crafting the new Navigator, even citing findings from anthropologists in their observations of how people interact with vehicles. Compared to mere Q&A sessions or asking people to check a box, "the insights you get from that are much richer," said Kumar Galhotra, president of the Lincoln Motor Company.
Among those findings that pertain to the Navigator's intended audience—Lincoln says they are affluent, family-oriented and the brand's youngest in age—is that they desire not just all the bells and whistles associated with a luxury vehicle, but a premium ownership experience as well. To be sure, the Lincoln Navigator is stuffed with goodies, from in-car Wi-Fi and a configurable 12-inch digital dash to the 30-way adjustable front seats that debuted in the Continental sedan, not to mention a 20-speaker Revel II premium audio and what is expected to be the largest and brightest heads-up display in the industry.
What really aims to set the Lincoln apart is its personalization traits and ownership experience. It begins before you step into the SUV, as this luxury vehicle has the ability to greet you. Called "The Lincoln Embrace," the new Navigator softly says hello by illuminating the Lincoln star on the grille, engaging LED lights in the front and rear, and beaming a luminous welcome mat beneath the front doors.
Once inside, up to three drivers can have their personalized settings recalled instantly. Going far beyond mere seating and steering wheel position, the 2018 Navigator can store individual settings for everything from climate control and audio preferences to the way they like their navigation displayed.
Passengers, meanwhile, are entertained via streaming content on 10-inch rear-seat screens and keep their devices juiced with up to a dozen power ports, including six fast-charge USB plugs and a wireless-charge phone cradle.
Above and beyond service
Lincoln's experience will go far beyond its vehicle or even the act of driving. The luxury brand is now offering pickup and delivery to owners nationwide for vehicle service appointments, and continues to offer exclusive perks and experiences to owners of its Black Label edition vehicles.
More services are being rolled out in select areas, including at-home test drives in the Dallas and Houston markets. And just this week, Lincoln began a chauffer service in Miami. Under the program, Lincoln owners can have a pre-screened professional drive the owner's vehicle for them. Lincoln executives say this is especially beneficial for times like a night out on the town, airport drop-offs and more. Additionally, the drivers can be called upon to run errands, fuel up the vehicle and perform other tasks for busy owners.
Lincoln's emphasis on "quiet luxury" and a consummate, service-first strategy should continue to help reinvigorate the brand and attract new buyers. Expect this latest Lincoln to arrive in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing and further details about the 2018 Navigator will be announced closer to launch.
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