2021 Lincoln Navigator review: American exceptionalism

Table of Contents

Major boi.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Why do American automakers flounder when tasked with creating a luxury vehicle that has to contend with the Germans? It generally appears to be like Uncle Sam has a challenging time assembly muster when in contrast to everything beyond his individual shores. But no much more. The hottest Lincoln Navigator drastically ramps up the hard work, bringing a stage of fancy-pants-iness that is definitely entire world class.


  • Plush interior appointments
  • Exciting shade strategies
  • Peaceful, at ease cruising

Never Like

  • Truckish trip high quality at times
  • Thirsty
  • Loud massagers and other trifles

All of Lincoln’s hottest SUVs have definitely ramped up the hard work, but nowhere is that much more evident than on the flagship Navigator in its major Black Label configuration. The Navigator on my driveway carries the new-for-2021 Distinctive Edition bundle, a $six,695 enhance that provides much more exterior taste via a black-and-white motif that involves a black roof, a black roof rack, black wheels and a monochromatic grille alongside Pristine White paint. It really is a superior seem, but male, which is a massive chunk of alter for some delicate add-ons. No subject the bundle, even though, the Navigator strikes an imposing shadow — and not just mainly because it is really the size of a Chicago brownstone.

The 2021 Navigator Black Label’s interior is wonderful. It really is the ideal-appointed American luxury motor vehicle I’ve experienced the enjoyment to push, and it is really each individual bit as posh as what you are going to find at a Mercedes dealership. This one particular carries the Black Label “Spot” theme, which is meant to signify French elegance, I assume, in some way. But I don’t will need a internet marketing diploma to value this gorgeous comprehensive-pink leather-based interior, which performs perfectly with the dashes of in the same way coloured trim on the dashboard, doors and center console. Even though the Cadillac Escalade puts in minimal hard work to disguise its parts-bin engineering (you can find the steering wheel buttons on, like, fifty percent the vehicles GM makes), each individual piece of the Navigator feels special, from the metal rocker switches on the steering wheel to the knurled volume knob on the center console. Virtually each individual area is possibly padded or leather-based-lined.

Usability abounds in the 2021 Navigator. The huge center console floats above a sizable stash tray, with two tiers of pockets on each and every door and a decently huge cubby below the center armrest. Even though you can option a center console to rest between the 2nd-row captain’s chairs, my tester lacks this, building 3rd-row ingress and egress insanely effortless. Hanging out back again there just isn’t a massive question, possibly, thanks to some spacious proportions you can find an excess inch of legroom than what you would find in a in the same way outfitted Mercedes-Benz GLS-Course, and my six-foot body need to be cozy back again listed here for hrs. The common-wheelbase Navigator gives about twenty cubic feet of cargo area guiding the 3rd row, which is Ok, but flipping a couple switches to fold these seats down gives up closer to 60 cubes, growing to 103 when you limit the captain’s chairs, much too.

Honestly, the 2021 Navigator’s interior is so perfectly imagined out that its only evident flaws are dumb minimal issues that most folks in all probability will not treatment about. The infotainment screen bezel is cartoonishly huge. The cup holders are amazingly small. The seat massagers are louder than the competition’s. The blinker stalk’s movement is much too gentle, foremost me to pass up the a few-blink detent. Foolish trivialities like that.

Just one carryover that Lincoln need to be proud of is the motor below the hood. The three.5-liter twin-turbo V6  is the exact same that you are going to find in the Ford Expedition and F-one hundred fifty, and it is really a peach. Creating 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, the Navigator is by no means left seeking for ahead motion, as the 6-pot gives a wave of quickly readily available torque that makes the full shebang come to feel amazingly sprightly. The ten-pace computerized transmission moves via the gears smoothly. In a majority of operating ailments, the 2021 Navigator’s trip is thoroughly clean, with the only actual trip-high quality situation coming into play about sharp bumps, where you get some system jiggles, which are only exacerbated on my tester thanks to its 22-inch wheels. 

Absolutely sure, you could push it like a monster, but the Navi is ideal when treated like there are a few VIPs in the back again. Roll softly onto the gasoline and make liberal use of the perfectly-tuned brake pedal, and you are going to be rewarded with clean operation. Its system-on-body underpinnings also bestow it with some sound functionality verify the box for the weighty-obligation towing bundle and you can drag 8,700 pounds from listed here to Timbuktu.

Luxurious is costly, and that involves at the gasoline pump, much too. The 2021 Navigator Black Label is EPA-estimated at sixteen miles for each gallon city and twenty mpg freeway, quantities that I was able to fulfill but not conquer about a couple hundred miles of driving. You can find an Eco-precise mode readily available to numb inputs and make it easier to be effective, and it does assistance a bit. You can find also a Sport mode, which must be some form of joke I’m not clever plenty of to get, mainly because below no conditions need to anyone try to push this dwarf earth in any remotely aggressive manner.

Lincoln could’ve leaned a lot heavier on the Ford parts bin, but in not accomplishing so, the Navigator feels just that a lot much more special.

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The Navigator’s enhance of in-motor vehicle engineering starts dead center on the dashboard with a ten-inch touchscreen display screen managing the hottest edition of Ford’s Sync computer software. The on-screen icons are effortless to go through at a glance, and Ford’s telematics getup is effortless to get utilized to, but you can generally rely on Apple CarPlay or Android Automobile if you prefer a smartphone-fashion encounter. In addition to the central screen, you can find also a twelve-inch gauge display screen, which sporting activities a nominal structure that I definitely appreciate, displaying only the most pertinent info. A head-up display screen reduces distraction even even more. When it comes time to cost, there are USB ports in each individual row, with the foremost occupants treated to both of those USB-A and USB-C stores. The Navigator lacks the whiz-bang, dashboard-large screen encounter of the Cadillac Escalade, but it is really however a superior setup.

The truck-adjacent aspect of the automotive field is no for a longer period bereft of the exact same protection programs that are uncovered on passenger vehicles. The 2021 Navigator comes common with Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of energetic and passive protection programs, which involves blind-place checking, rear cross-traffic notify, computerized crisis braking with pedestrian detection. Adaptive cruise handle with cease-and-go functionality is a $695 high quality on lower trims, but it results in being common as you transfer up the ranks. Of training course, the Escalade can one particular-up the Navigator listed here with its Super Cruise driver-help engineering.

With any luck , the screen’s bezel is hilariously huge mainly because Lincoln intends on upgrading the display screen size afterwards on.

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Expectedly, the 2021 Lincoln Navigator is not a spending budget-friendly conveyance. Its starting off cost of $77,840 (including $1,295 for destination) only rockets northward when possibilities are taken into account. This Black Label model is about as outfitted as it can get, and its $106,115 cost tag is rather the pill to swallow, right until you realize that the in the same way run Mercedes-Benz GLS580 quite a lot starts at the 6-determine mark.

If pure luxury (and some functionality) is what you happen to be soon after, the Navigator stands atop the pile of huge luxury SUVs. In terms of outright comfort and ease, the Mercedes GLS-Course is in all probability its closest competitor with its super trip high quality. Those looking for the hottest driver tech will want to verify out the Cadillac Escalade with Super Cruise. Other system-on-body opponents contain the Infiniti QX80 and Lexus LX 570, both of those of which are somewhat aged underneath their revised exteriors. You can find also the Vary Rover, in circumstance you want to ditch the 3rd row and add the capability to push via approximately three feet of standing h2o. Hey, you by no means know.

Forged from opponents or not, the 2021 Lincoln Navigator is an fantastic SUV. Its Black Label trim provides an spectacular stage of luxury to the table, when its underpinnings give it a great offer of functionality,  no matter whether that handles interior area or towing. It really is a shining city on a hill, a rolling testomony to prosperity and electricity that makes you come to feel vital the 2nd you slide guiding the wheel. 

Rosa G. Rose

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