Lincoln’s tag-line for its very latest, new-and-improved Navigator should be something about it being the “Seat of Luxury”.
That’s because it might just have the best seats ever installed in a luxury SUV. We’re talking Barcalounger-meets-La-Z-Boy comfort here. We’re talking Ekornes Stressless Recliner. We’re talking Royal thrones at Buckingham Palace.
Take the Navigator’s quite-amazing front pews. They offer 30-way power adjustment. Everything from power lumbar adjustment, to icy-cold ventilation, to Active Motion therapeutic massaging. Helga from the Swedish massage parlor doesn’t do deep-tissue relief like this.
And it’s not just for those up front. The Navigator’s second-row captain’s seats get 10-way power adjustment, the segment’s first massage function, and the kind of cooling that would make a polar bear shiver.
Talking of seats, this XXL-sized Lincoln naturally offers a third row way in the back. But the difference here is that we adults can actually stretch out without feeling like we’re sitting Jet Blue economy.
What’s more, the seats, especially in the fancy-pants Navigator Black Label I’m driving, look like they’re out of a Scan Design catalog. Love the chalky-white leather, the contrasting black piping and wavy perforations.
To keep things fresh, Lincoln last year gave the Navigator a welcome, Kardashian-style nip, tuck and jab of Botox refresh.
If the previous Nav’s grille wasn’t big enough, the new one dips even lower into the front bumper and looks even more gaping. Now it could swallow a Corolla whole.
And the entire front end gets new lighting that makes the Eiffel Tower in full sparkle mode seem like a non-event. There are new adaptive pixel projector headlights, a light show of LEDs, and even an illuminated Lincoln logo in the grille.
Add the $6,695 Special Edition package and you get gloss-black 22-inch wheels, a black-painted roof, black mirror caps and dark chrome inserts in the grille. Can’t understand why they didn’t just call it the Darth Vader edition.
Arguably the coolest new feature is the addition of ActiveGlide, Lincoln’s hands-free, Level 2 driver-assist system. Like GM’s SuperCruise, the system lets the vehicle take over control of steering, braking and acceleration on a designated 130,000 miles of U.S. highways.
What all this means is that the mighty Navigator is is even more appealing than ever, even more adept at moving eight people and their stuff, while hauling a trailer big enough to carry a small Carnival cruise ship.
So settle back, relax, turn-on Helga the massager, crank-up the ear-bleeding 28-speaker Revel Ultima 3D sound system, and let’s cruise.
Powering this latest Navigator is Ford’s tried-and-tested 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 cranking-out 440 horseys and 510 lb-ft of stump-pulling muscle. Mated to a 10-speed automatic and four-wheel drive, it’s an impressive powertrain perfectly suited to motivating the big Lincoln.
There’s power-a-plenty to propel this 5,800-pound whopper away from the lights – 0-to-60mph comes up in under six seconds – and punch it out of freeway on-ramps. And it’s super-quiet and refined, even when the turbo V6 is made to work.
Hustling the Navigator through the curves isn’t as roly-poly as you might expect. There’s adaptive air suspension to keep things composed, and light yet surprisingly precise steering to shrink the Lincoln’s size on the street.
But where the Navigator really excels is in the magic-carpet quality of its ride. This thing goes down the road like there’s lumps of marshmallow at each corner instead of tires. Potholes? What potholes?
Pricewise, there are three levels of Navigator luxury, ranging from the Navigator Standard at $79,725, to the all bells-whistles-and-kitchen-sink Black Label from $109,255. Want even more space – yes, hard to imagine – there’s the stretched Black Label L from $112,300.
For navigating life in sublime comfort and luxury, I can’t imagine anything more hedonistic and cosseting than this latest Black Label Navigator. Think of it as the warm bubble bath of SUVs.