If you are in the market for a luxury large SUV and don’t have the Lincoln Navigator on your list, you might be regretting it later, and not just because actor Matthew McConaughey has nice things to say about it and other Lincoln products in the automaker’s popular low-key TV ad campaign.
Posh, powerful, and packed with all kinds of technology features that don’t require a computer science degree to operate, the 2021 Lincoln Navigator serves as the flagship the company’s fleet of four crossovers/SUVs and is a can’t-go-wrong choice in any of its three versions.
This review is based on the 2021 Lincoln Navigator Black Label trim.
All Navigators come with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that got a power boost in the 2018 redesign to 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque from the 380/460, respectively, of the previous generation.
That’s enough power to get its nearly three-ton curb weight moving pretty quickly while also providing a towing capacity of 8,700 pounds.
A 10-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous 6-speed. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all but the regular-wheelbase Black Label model, which comes with standard all-wheel drive. AWD is an extra on other trims, including the Lincoln L.
You can select gears manually via paddle shifters, or you can set the Navigator into one of six driving modes — Normal, Slippery, Deep Conditions (mud/snow), Excite (or Sport), Conserve (or Eco), and Slow Climb (for steep terrain). All-wheel -drives models also offer a Normal 4X4 mode.
The government tags the fuel economy numbers at 16 miles-per-gallon city, 22 highway, and 18 combined for RWD models and 16/20/17 for AWD, and the edge it has over some of its competitors is that it runs on regular octane fuel.
Standard on Black Label models are such features as upgraded leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, illuminated power running boards, 24-way power adjustable front seats with a massage function, heated rear seats, a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, one-touch fold-flat third-row seats, hands-free rear liftgate, tri-zone climate control, and special interior color packages.
Tech savvy folks also will appreciate niceties like standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wi-fi, and wireless charging for your Smart phone.
For the safety minded, there are a very refined adaptive cruise control system, active park assist, blindspot detection, lane-keeping assist that makes minor corrections without intruding on driver control, forward collision warning, a perimeter alarm, as well as the usual collection of seat belts and air bags.
A surround view camera can be activated via a button on the console also helps with parking procedures.
Starting MSRP for the 2021 Lincoln Navigator Black Label is $98,125. My vehicle for the week included a Special Edition Package that featured a specially painted black roof and monochromatic accents for the grille, 22-inch, 12-spoke black aluminum wheels, black side-view mirror caps, and spoiler.
That and the $1,295 destination and delivery charge ran the final bottom line to $105,115. Black Label buyers also get other extras that include free pick up and return for scheduled maintenance and free any time car washes! The Base Navigator starts at under $77,000.
What I liked about the 2021 Lincoln Navigator Black Label: The cabin is high-class, with premium touches throughout. There is lots of room, even in the third row. It actually can accommodate not just small children but adults as well and still leaves generous room for luggage and stuff in the back. Infotainment features are plentiful and user-friendly. The screen for navigation is large and details can be picked up at a glance.
What I didn’t like about the 2021 Lincoln Navigator Black Label: The twin-turbo V6 drinks fuel like a thirsty V8, though the fact it can run on regular gasoline is a bonus. I would quibble about the placing of the ignition button and the button to activate trailer features so close together. Even after a week I found myself punching the trailer button when I wanted to start the engine. Extra care needs to be taken when driving in urban environments because of the Navigator’s monstrous size. (Consider your garage space, otherwise you may have to leave it in your driveway.)
Would I buy the 2021 Lincoln Navigator Black Label? As I have so often stated, I have no need for a full-size SUV so it doesn’t suit my needs. But if I was in the market for one, the Navigator would be at the top of my shopping list.
*Photos furnished by Lincoln