Over the Top In All The Right Ways
Whether you love ‘em or loathe ‘em, vehicles like this Lincoln Navigator deliver an encapsulating experience unlike any other. And while high and uncertain fuel prices have never been kind to big, luxury suvs, the push to electrification is a whole new threat.Let’s find out if the Navigator car chart a course through these troubled waters.
While it’s clear that the future of the automobile lies in batteries, we’ve yet to see any practical examples of fully-electric vehicles that can deliver what the full-size 2022 Lincoln Navigator can.
Sure, it still sucks gas through one of those jumbo bubble tea straws, but it has room for up to eight and their gear, can tow up to 8,700–lbs., and still looks right home both at the country club links or on a special date night with your significant other.
This 4th–generation Navigator has been around since 2018; and continues to be built on Ford’s F-150 pickup chassis. Updates for ’22 elevate the exterior design, as well as upgrade tech.
As for the updated styling; it starts with a new front face that looks taller and flatter than before, with a more vertical grille with added chrome.
Fresh Adaptive Pixel Projector head lights add a more modern flair; and 3-dimensional tail lamps do much the same for the rear.
You probably don’t need us to tell you this, but the Navigator is extremely plush inside; with a premium feel to everything you touch, and just about every convenience-type doo-dad you can imagine, and probably even a few you hadn’t thought of.
Front seats are supremely comfortable, with plenty of adjustments for a wide variety of body shapes.
And adequate room for adults to stretch out in both 2nd and 3rd rows.
Infotainment resides on a larger 13.2–inch touchscreen with a new SYNC4 interface exclusive to Lincoln. It has twice the computing power of before, can be updated over the air, and integrated with Amazon Alexa. We found it mostly intuitive as it responded quickly with minimal hang-ups.
Rear seat passengers get a new touchscreen of their own for controlling climate and audio, as well as available entertainment.
Bigger tech news is Lincoln’s ActiveGlide hands-free driver-assist system. Essentially, Lincoln’s competitor to GM’s SuperCruise, ActiveGlide allows for hands-free driving on dedicated “Blue Zone” highways. With an in-dash camera to monitor the “driver’s” head posture and eye motions to make sure they’re still engaged in the process.
Powering all of this posh and circumstance is the same 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 as before, but it has lost a few horsepower since it debuted in 2018; now outputting 440-horsepower instead of 450, though torque remains unchanged at 510 lb-ft.
Uniquely labeled drive modes include Conserve, Deep Conditions, Excite, Normal, and Slippery.
So, we had high expectations when we dialed up Excite as we pulled into Mason Dixon Dragway.
Well, we can’t say driving 6,000–lbs. of anything at the race track is truly exciting, but that twin-turbo truly gets this massive beast moving with a fair amount of urgency. Solid low-end grunt off the line, and all-wheel-drive grip had us hitting 60 in 5.9-seconds; exactly the same as we got before.
Shifts from the standard 10-speed automatic are smooth, with only the minor amounts of engine noise that seep into the cabin to break up the overall feeling of high-speed serenity. ¼-mile eclipsed in 14.5-seconds at 95 mph.
More of a patient and steady approach was required to navigate through our handling course. Slow steering with very little feel, plenty of body roll, and lots of understeer were all things working against this luxury liner; but stability systems will kick in well before anything gets out of sorts, and it does so in a way that allows you to maintain your momentum instead of just shutting things down.
For a vehicle this size, panic stops from 60 miles-per-hour in just 125-feet are pretty good. There is a lot of weight transfer to the front, so it gets a little light in the rear when you first go full on the brake pedal, but it settles itself down quite nicely as you come to a halt.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings with 4-wheel-drive are 16-City, 22-Highway, and 18-Combined. We averaged 18.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
That’s a much worse than average Energy Impact Score, with 16.5-barrels of oil consumed yearly, and C02 emissions of 8.2-tons.
Pricing starts at $79,975; with top Black Label coming in at $108,975.
So, until BEVs are truly able to do the things that full-size SUVs can, there will be a place for vehicles like this 2022 Lincoln Navigator. It’s over the top in all the right ways; offering capability, performance, and even luxury worthy of its lofty price tag.
Engine: 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
Torque: 510 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 5.9 seconds
1/4 Mile: 14.5 seconds at 95 mph
60-0 Breaking: 125 feet
EPA: 16 City / 22 Highway / 18 Combined
MW Fuel Economy: 18.5 mpg