It’s incredible how, after enjoying the lofty status of being the ride of choice for royalty and heads of state around the world for decades, Lincoln fell from its pedestal of grace into the realm of obsolescence for a while. It seemed there was no coming back for the once mighty American luxury marque. So much so that the current renaissance the brand is enjoying wouldn’t have been imaginable to the company’s management themselves at the time.
Based on the brilliant new Ford Expedition, the new Lincoln Navigator full-size SUV has played a significant role in this resurgence. In fact, ever since it came out as an all-new iteration back in 2018, the Navigator has been riding a crest of popularity, enticing an increasing number of clients from its luxury competitors. Sales statistics have shown that 50 per cent of Navigator sales are conquest, with buyers coming from Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Land Rover and other luxury brands. It doesn’t take much time behind the wheel of a Navigator to see why this full-size SUV has been spearheading the brand’s resurgence.
In a segment where road presence is a key factor for owners who like announcing their affluence, the Navigator with its superlative proportions stands tall, literally. However, it’s also uncanny how Lincoln has managed to make it an easy-to-manouevre vehicle, at least relatively considering its size and weight. The 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 engine is quick and responsive, with the 450 horsepower and 691Nm of torque enough to lug the mammoth SUV around with ease. The steering is also light and easy, and the ride is composed and serene around town. That said, it’s not devoid of the tendency to nose-dive on sudden application of the brakes, and there’s perceptible body roll on undulating highway surfaces, which feels a bit out of place in a large luxury family hauler.
The 30-way adjustability of the seats seems a bit of overkill, but finding the perfect seating position irrespective of your height or girth is a breeze, thanks to the thigh extensions and multi-contour bolstering. Space is abundant in the cabin, with numerous storage cubbies. The large doors, ergonomically placed grab handles and retractable step rails make getting in and out easier than the SUV’s size would suggest.
The new Navigator might not be as refined on the road as rivals like Mercedes-Benz GLS, but there’s something about the Lincoln Navigator that oozes the essence of American luxury that even a Cadillac Escalade can’t seem to exude.