The question mark at the end of the sentence above shows that we are erring on the side of caution. After all, it is a big leap to say something is the best of something in the world, especially if that thing is a Lincoln Navigator. This once darling of the hiphop moguls and footballers has a reputation for being extremely ostentatious and unbelievably crappy to own. But the fact is, the tense of the last sentence’s verb should be past. It had that reputation. The new generation Navigator is something altogether more savory.
So, though cautiously, we are indeed calling the new Navigator the best luxury SUV in the world because it gets almost everything right about being a, well, luxury SUV. What’s more, Lincoln has somehow managed to retain the “cool factor” of the previous generation as well. It is still “hella street” as your local rapping artist would say, but it’s also a nice car to own and live with. More than that, actually. It is an immensely nice car to own. We genuinely want one, and we don’t even like big SUVs.
No motoring journalist worth his or her salt likes big SUVs. Us lot are obsessed with speed and handling and hard rides, and we automatically hate anything that doesn’t have those characteristic. But unlike most journos, we do recognize that the majority of people out there couldn’t care less about G force and drifting and loud exhaust. What they want, above all else, is a comfy ride, luxurious interior, loads of tech, and reasonable efficiency. And yes, a cool image would be a nice bonus. So when we say that the new Navigator gets everything right about being a luxury SUV, we mean that it is all a regular luxury car buyer would want, and then some.
Lets start exploring this giant slab of glitz from the exterior. The Navi is still huge, impressively so, and it doesn’t hide the fact that it still likes a lot of chrome. But whereas the previous models were all sort of second-grade in terms of design, this big boy can manage its heft pretty well. It is like that guy in Game of Thrones. You know, that huge dude who banged that tighty whitey dragon lady in season one and then died? The Navi is like him. It is big, but handsome. That said, it is one of those cars that look better in darker colors. So if you avoid white or blue or silver, you’ll have no problem with the looks of your Navigator.
Still, some might say the Escalade is better looking, and we might agree with them. But then we would usher them into the interior of the Navigator, and here even the most die hard Caddy fans will have to admit, the Lincoln has the game on the lock, as your local rapper would say. Let us take another giant leap and say that even the Range Rover loses to the Navigator in terms of overall interior refinement, features and convenience. We’re not sure about the longevity of Lincoln interiors, but they sure look and feel top notch. The leather, the trims, the speaker grilles,the knobs and buttons, everything is well designed, well placed, and well built. Okay, so the piano black on non-Black Label models is a bit of a sore point, as is some of the fake chrome bits. But the rest of the cabin – especially the incredibly cool seats in the first and second row – is so amazing, you’d easily forgive those niggles.
The same goes for practicality, where Lincoln Navigator blows all the other rivals out of the water. They have put this SUV’s immense size to good use and given it three rows of seats. The first two, as mentioned, are like designer chairs in the business class of some deluxe airliner, complete with dedicated center consoles for each row and an abundance of individual controls.As for the third row, well, it is the best of its kind, hands down. It easily affords enough space even for adults, and seats themselves recline, have cup holders, climate control and charging ports! Wait, there is more. Even with the third row seats up you still have plenty of luggage room. But should you need more, the third row folds flat at the touch of a button. The Navigator has by far the best seating arrangement in any SUV, ever.
Then there is the EcoBoost engine which provides enough grunt to move this ginormous vehicle around with ease, and without breaking the bank with fuel bills. The superb ride is another brilliant aspect of this car, as the technology and connectivity features. You get the latest in terms of, well, everything, but unlike the Range Rover and most other rivals, you don’t need a degree in software engineering to be able to operate the features. And all of this can be had for around a 100 grand. Spec a Range Rover to the same level, if it is possible at all, and you are looking at an extra 50 to 80 grand on top.
But what we like best about the new Lincoln Navigator is the fact that it is not pretending to be two things at the same time, like so many other cars in this class. It doesn’t pretend to have sporting credentials, nor does it try to fool you with useless mild hybrid nonsense. It is just a luxury SUV, and a brilliant one at that, and we love it.