Lincoln Navigator: A perfect family hauler [Quick Take]

    2018 Lincoln Navigator (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

    After spending a week with the Lincoln Navigator, it’s easy to see why it won the 2018 North American Truck of the Year award.

    The interior is sumptuous, the ride and handling is smooth and competent, and every seat – including those in the way back – is comfortable.

    I took the Navigator home for the holidays, and it’s one of those rare vehicles that managed to please everyone in my family.

    My mother, who uses a walker, loved the power running boards and she was able to enter the vehicle fairly easily with the step up and handholds.

    My brother-in-law and husband – who we shoved into the way back – appreciated the extra air vents and USB ports in the third row.

    My dad used the second-row heated seats every time he stepped into the vehicle.

    Me? I appreciated the available 32-way power adjustable comfort seats, the amazing visibility out all the windows and the quiet ride.

    The 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 was also a nice surprise.

    With 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, the Navigator has smooth and seamless power with plenty of oomph for fast highway merges and passing maneuvers.

    Who needs a thirsty V-8 when you have a V-6 that’s this good?

    Another thing I appreciated: For such a large vehicle, the Navigator drives small.

    Throughout the test week, I parallel parked (without using park assist), maneuvered through holiday-packed parking lots and cruised down the highway with ease – all without feeling like I was behind the wheel of a 7-passenger vehicle.

    Another great thing about the Navigator is, as a part of the Lincoln family, your ownership is more of an up-level luxurious experience overall. In addition to getting pick-up and delivery for all service and maintenance, the purchase of a Navigator brings a trial CLEAR membership, which uses biometrics that allow you to skip long airport security lines.

    If you opt for the Black Label trim, other ownership perks include a mobile showroom that comes to you when purchasing a vehicle, complimentary car washes, annual detailing and a premium maintenance plan.

    Since Navigator was all-new for 2018, we don’t expect many changes for 2019.

    Pricing for the 2019 models are as follows:

    • Standard: $74,500
    • Select: $78,850
    • Reserve: $86,500
    • Black Label: $97,690

    The test vehicle was a Black Label model with Burgundy Velvet exterior paint and Mahogany Red interior. The only option was a rear-seat entertainment system, and the as-tested price was $99,685.

    One of my only quibbles with this vehicle is the rear cargo space.

    With the third row up, the rear cargo area is a bit limited at 19.3 cubic feet. You can fit some things back there, but you won’t likely be able to fit everything seven passengers might need for a road trip or even a day at the beach. As long as we didn’t go grocery shopping, we were able to put my mom’s walker back there, and for trips to the airport we could fit luggage for two people.

    Of course, this could be mitigated by opting for a Navigator L, which is available starting at the Select trim and adds $3,200 to the price tag. It also adds about 12 inches in length and 15 cubic feet of cargo volume.

    The Bottom Line:

    The Navigator is pricey. It starts at $73K and only goes up, up, up from there. But if you can afford it and you like creature comforts, it’s totally worth it.

    I loved driving it, and my family didn’t mind riding in it.

    The Black Label model is especially stunning with mesmerizing wheels, up-level finishing touches and some premier perks.

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