2020 Lincoln Navigator

By June 15, 2020

Few SUVs are so big and brash as the 2020 Lincoln Navigator. This luxury utility vehicle flaunts its size and pedigree without restraint, and its available Black Label interiors have raised the bar for all luxury vehicles when it comes to opulent cabin design.

The 2020 models are marked by a flurry of small equipment changes. Standard features now include heated and cooled front seats, wireless smartphone charging, and a full suite of active-safety features like blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control. There’s also a new Monochromatic trim option on Reserve models that pair a white or black exterior paint with a matching interior.

Nothing has changed under the hood, where a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 still calls the shots. It makes 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, all of which is routed through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is available.

Stick with the rear-drive setup and the Navigator’s towing capacity maxes out at an impressive 8,700 pounds when equipped with the appropriate rear hitch. Four-wheel-drive models can pull slightly less.

Two wheelbases are available: the standard length model and the extended Navigator L model. The long-wheelbase model adds just about a foot of overall length to the regular model, all of which goes to boosting third-row leg room and cargo space. It’s only available in Reserve and Black Label trimmings.

2020 brings about a host of newly standard active-safety features, which means that every Navigator now comes with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and active-lane control. Available features include a head-up display and a surround-view camera.

Crash test results are yet to be issued by the IIHS, but the NHTSA gave the Navigator high marks, awarding it a five-star overall rating and a four-star rating in the rollover category.

Model Lineup

All prices include $1,940 in destination charges and are reflective of rear-drive models. Four-wheel drive is optional on all trims and costs $2,670.

The base model is known as the Standard and costs $80,795. Standard equipment includes heated and cooled seats, wireless smartphone charging, keyless start, leather upholstery, second-row captain’s chairs, 14-speaker audio, and a 10-inch touchscreen with navigation as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The $83,020 Reserve is the next step up. Additional standard features include a surround-view camera system, 22-inch wheels, a panoramic roof, rear-seat entertainment, a rear console, and a light-up grille emblem. Long wheelbase versions are available for another $3,200.

At the top is the Black Label, which stickers for $99,075. The lofty pricing brings opulence by way of 22-inch turbine wheels, 30-way power seats, and 20-speaker Revel audio. The party piece is a choice of one of three interior themes, each replete with premium materials and unique color combinations. Opting for a long-wheelbase model adds another $3,200 to the bottom line.

Exterior

The Navigator is closely related to the Ford Expedition, and that lineage is apparent when you park the two behemoth SUVs side by side. Yet despite the resemblance of their silhouettes, the Navigator still crafts a look all its own. Unique front and rear treatments, a large bold grille, unique wheel designs, and other details separate the ritzy Lincoln from the workaday Ford.

Those details weren’t chosen haphazardly, either. There’s plenty recalling the glamorous models of Lincoln’s past, such as the full-width taillights and the slab-sided flanks. It all speaks to the heritage of the brand without resorting to kitschy retro touches.

Interior

The Navigator is best judged from the inside, where the sumptuous cabin is awash in fine materials, substantial-feeling switchgear, and excellent build quality. Even a base Navigator is a big jump over a decked-out Expedition in luxury and opulence, despite their price points nearly overlapping.

Though even base models won’t have any trouble impressing shoppers, it’s the Black Label variants that really wow. They feature three interior themes to choose from, and all are over the top in the most extravagant way. Piped leather seats, quilted or patterned upholstery, and rich color schemes define the cabin of Black Label models. There’s also the excellent 30-way seats with heated and cooling and other luxury features.

The 30-way thrones have infinite support and provide excellent comfort and support for nearly any build. Lower-trim seats don’t have quite as many adjustments but nonetheless are supremely comfortable.

In the far-back third row, there’s plenty of space for adult-sized passengers, even in standard-wheelbase models. Long-wheelbase variants are spacious enough in the wayback that adult riders won’t be short of comfort even on lengthy road trips.

Captain’s seats come standard for the second row, though a bench seat is available. There’s ample leg and head room, and the seats slide fore and aft. A full rear console as well as heated and cooled rear seats are available on high-trim Navigators.

USB ports are plentiful throughout the Navigator, providing charging points for all passengers. There’s also in-car wifi and wireless charging as standard equipment for further connectivity. Dual-screen rear entertainment with Sling TV streaming is optional. The 10-inch front touchscreen runs Ford’s latest Sync software and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

With both rows of back seats folded flat, the Navigator holds 103.3 cubic feet of cargo in standard-wheelbase trim and 120.2 in long-wheelbase L form. The load floor is also significantly lower than some rivals thanks to the independent rear suspension design.

Driving Impressions

The only engine available on the Navigator is a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6. Though it is down two cylinders compared to most like-sized rivals, the two turbos help serve up a very stout 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. That’s well more than what the nemesis Cadillac Escalade can muster from its 6.2-liter V-8. The Navigator’s deep reserve of power doesn’t make this 6,000-pound SUV a muscle car, but it does provide the effortless acceleration that is expected of all bona-fide luxury vehicles.

The Navigator’s power is transferred to the wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission. This gearbox almost always shifts imperceptibly, and it rarely hunts around for the right gear. Downshifts are frequent, however, and can get a bit annoying at times.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is optional. Having true four-wheel drive doesn’t make the Navigator an off-roader, but it provides great confidence in bad weather or on rutted dirt roads. Multiple modes tailor the system’s response to the terrain and conditions at hand.

Adaptive dampers are now standard on 2020 models, making a great ride even better. These units soak up bumps effortlessly and leave passengers unperturbed even travelling over broken pavement. It’s a smooth and composed ride in all instances, and this is particularly true for long-wheelbase models.

Final Word

The 2020 Lincoln Navigator is the last word in full-size luxury SUVs. Even one-percenter SUVs like the Bentley Bentagya and Rolls-Royce Cullinan can’t handily outdo the luxuriously equipped, fine-riding Navigator. We’d shoot straight for the Black Label for its over-the-top interior and complimentary concierge services.

 

—by Anthony Sophinos, with driving impressions from The Car Connection

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