With the recent news that their flagship continental sedan will end production, no one’s quite sure what’s going on over at Lincoln these days. Well that is other than selling a whole lot of SUVs. And if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it with rare-style, like the Navigator Black Label.
We tested the Lincoln Navigator 2-years ago, when the 4th generation of the brand’s largest utility first arrived. But, like going to a restaurant, and only learning later that you really should have gotten the specialty of the house, we felt like we missed out a bit by not sampling the top trim Black Label. So, let’s remedy that with this 2020 Lincoln Navigator Black Label.
In the world of big spenders, black is the new platinum, reserved for those willing to go the extra mile to get the best of everything.
And while no Navigator could be considered plain, the Black Label comes with just about every available option as standard.
It also includes vehicle delivery, no cost maintenance plan with vehicle pickup, and even anytime car washes; not to mention membership into Lincoln’s Access Rewards program with additional travel and dining benefits.
All of that stuff is great, but what this vehicle is about, especially in Black Label trim, is delivering an elegant and comforting interior experience. Buyers can choose from a host of interior themes.
Our Navigator’s Venetian leathers and Silverwood appliques are part of the Chalet theme, which is of course inspired by an Alpine ski lodge. And really, who wouldn’t want to hang out in Swiss Miss style indulgence during their commute every day.
There’s well over 17-feet of overall length to navigate here, and that’s in standard size, an extended length L version is also available. So, don’t think you’ll be whipping in and out of traffic with ease. We wouldn’t use the word cumbersome, but it’s not exactly fleet of foot either; more mega yacht than runabout.
But fittingly, there’s also big power onboard, to get it up on plane quickly. Same 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 as found in the Ford Raptor pickup; with 450-horsepower and 510 lb-ft. of torque.
And of course, just like the F-150 that it’s based on, rear-wheel-drive is standard, with 4-wheel drive available; both with the same 10-speed automatic transmission.
With big power and bigger size, there’s also an overall smoothness to the driving experience. All of that silkiness has a way of masking the vast capacities it provides.
But surprisingly, at the track, it didn’t feel overly powerful and even acted a little slow off the line, but we were at 60 in less than six seconds.
Despite the mechanical anger going on under the hood, and the rapidly building speed; it was all calmness and serenity in the cabin as we streaked to the end of the 1/4-mile in 14.5-seconds at 96 miles-per-hour.
As you can expect with almost 6,000–lbs. of softly-sprung luxury-minded mass, there was some manageable amounts of body roll through the cones; likewise the steering was fully onboard with the nautical theme, not feeling directly connected to the road. There was some understeer to deal with as well, but no more than typical in a full-size body-on-frame utility.
On the other hand, brakes were quite effective; bringing us to a halt in just 120-feet from 60.
New for ’20 are additional standard features, including Co-Pilot360 safety, and some new colors.
Carryover are government Fuel Economy Ratings; 16-City, 21-Highway, and 18-Combined; so our 19.7 mpg average on Regular was quite acceptable.
Still, the “Nav” has a well below average Energy Impact Score of 18.3-barrels of yearly oil consumption, with 8.4-tons of CO2 emissions.
Entry into the world of Navigator starts at $77,480 for Standard trim, with 4-wheel-drive a $2,670 option. Next is Reserve at $83,020, and for some reason adding 4X4 costs $5 more here than with the Standard. And finally Black Label, which comes as 4X4 only, for $98,430.
So, if you’ve got the bucks, the Navigator sure does make a remarkable family courier. It’s an enormous vehicle, both in size and presentation; forcing GM into making the upcoming Cadillac Escalade bigger and better just to stay competitive. Indeed, this current generation Navigator set a new benchmark for its segment. It even earned the 2018 North American Truck of the Year award. Now, for 2020, the Lincoln Navigator Black Label is still built to impress…and it does.
Engine: 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
Torque: 510 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 5.9 seconds
1/4 Mile: 14.5 seconds @ 96mph
EPA: 16 City / 21 Highway / 18 Combined