2021 Lincoln Navigator review: American exceptionalism

Major boi.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Why do American automakers flounder when tasked with making a luxury automobile that has to compete with the Germans? It often appears like Uncle Sam has a tricky time meeting muster when in comparison to just about anything further than his individual shores. But no more. The most up-to-date Lincoln Navigator considerably ramps up the effort and hard work, bringing a stage of fancy-trousers-iness that is truly globe class.


  • Plush interior appointments
  • Exciting color techniques
  • Tranquil, snug cruising

Never Like

  • Truckish experience top quality from time to time
  • Thirsty
  • Loud massagers and other trifles

All of Lincoln’s most up-to-date SUVs have seriously ramped up the effort and hard work, but nowhere is that more obvious than on the flagship Navigator in its prime Black Label configuration. The Navigator on my driveway carries the new-for-2021 Exclusive Version package, a $six,695 upgrade that adds more exterior taste through a black-and-white motif that contains a black roof, a black roof rack, black wheels and a monochromatic grille along with Pristine White paint. It really is a excellent look, but gentleman, that’s a massive chunk of transform for some mild incorporate-ons. No make any difference the package, even though, the Navigator strikes an imposing shadow — and not just since it is the dimensions of a Chicago brownstone.

The 2021 Navigator Black Label’s interior is incredible. It really is the best-appointed American luxury vehicle I have experienced the pleasure to drive, and it is each individual bit as posh as what you may obtain at a Mercedes dealership. This one particular carries the Black Label “Desired destination” topic, which is intended to signify French elegance, I imagine, in some way. But I never have to have a marketing diploma to take pleasure in this stunning comprehensive-purple leather interior, which performs effectively with the dashes of equally colored trim on the dashboard, doorways and heart console. Even though the Cadillac Escalade places in minor effort and hard work to disguise its areas-bin engineering (you can obtain the steering wheel buttons on, like, 50 percent the cars and trucks GM makes), each individual piece of the Navigator feels distinctive, from the metal rocker switches on the steering wheel to the knurled quantity knob on the heart console. Just about each individual surface is possibly padded or leather-lined.

Usability abounds in the 2021 Navigator. The significant heart console floats above a sizable stash tray, with two tiers of pockets on each doorway and a decently significant cubby below the heart armrest. Even though you can possibility a heart console to relaxation concerning the 2nd-row captain’s chairs, my tester lacks this, earning third-row ingress and egress insanely straightforward. Hanging out again there is just not a massive inquire, possibly, thanks to some roomy proportions you can find an excess inch of legroom than what you would obtain in a equally geared up Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, and my six-foot body must be comfortable again below for several hours. The common-wheelbase Navigator presents about twenty cubic toes of cargo place driving the third row, which is Ok, but flipping a couple switches to fold all those seats down presents up nearer to sixty cubes, growing to 103 when you lessen the captain’s chairs, way too.

Truthfully, the 2021 Navigator’s interior is so effectively believed out that its only obvious flaws are dumb minor things that most persons possibly is not going to treatment about. The infotainment screen bezel is cartoonishly significant. The cup holders are surprisingly tiny. The seat massagers are louder than the competition’s. The blinker stalk’s movement is way too tender, main me to overlook the a few-blink detent. Silly minutiae like that.

One carryover that Lincoln must be very pleased of is the engine below the hood. The three.5-liter twin-turbo V6  is the same that you may obtain in the Ford Expedition and F-one hundred fifty, and it is a peach. Producing 450 horsepower and 510 pound-toes of torque, the Navigator is never still left wanting for ahead movement, as the six-pot supplies a wave of conveniently readily available torque that makes the entire shebang really feel surprisingly sprightly. The 10-pace computerized transmission moves through the gears effortlessly. In a the greater part of functioning disorders, the 2021 Navigator’s experience is thoroughly easy, with the only true experience-top quality concern coming into engage in in excess of sharp bumps, in which you get some overall body jiggles, which are only exacerbated on my tester thanks to its 22-inch wheels. 

Positive, you could drive it like a monster, but the Navi is best when addressed like there are a few VIPs in the again. Roll softly on to the fuel and make liberal use of the effectively-tuned brake pedal, and you may be rewarded with easy procedure. Its overall body-on-body underpinnings also bestow it with some stable capability check out the box for the weighty-obligation towing package and you can drag eight,700 lbs from below to Timbuktu.

Luxury is high-priced, and that contains at the fuel pump, way too. The 2021 Navigator Black Label is EPA-believed at sixteen miles per gallon city and twenty mpg freeway, figures that I was able to meet up with but not conquer in excess of a couple hundred miles of driving. There’s an Eco-precise manner readily available to numb inputs and make it less complicated to be productive, and it does assist a bit. There’s also a Sport manner, which ought to be some form of joke I am not smart more than enough to get, since below no conditions must anybody endeavor to drive this dwarf earth in any remotely intense way.

Lincoln could’ve leaned a great deal heavier on the Ford areas bin, but in not doing so, the Navigator feels just that a great deal more distinctive.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The Navigator’s complement of in-vehicle technology starts lifeless heart on the dashboard with a 10-inch touchscreen display jogging the most up-to-date model of Ford’s Sync software. The on-screen icons are straightforward to read through at a glance, and Ford’s telematics getup is straightforward to get made use of to, but you can often rely on Apple CarPlay or Android Automobile if you desire a smartphone-type encounter. In addition to the central screen, you can find also a 12-inch gauge display, which athletics a nominal layout that I seriously delight in, exhibiting only the most pertinent info. A head-up display minimizes distraction even further more. When it arrives time to charge, there are USB ports in each individual row, with the foremost occupants addressed to both of those USB-A and USB-C outlets. The Navigator lacks the whiz-bang, dashboard-extensive screen encounter of the Cadillac Escalade, but it is continue to a excellent set up.

The truck-adjacent aspect of the automotive business is no longer bereft of the same basic safety techniques that are located on passenger cars and trucks. The 2021 Navigator arrives common with Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of lively and passive basic safety techniques, which contains blind-place checking, rear cross-targeted traffic notify, computerized crisis braking with pedestrian detection. Adaptive cruise regulate with stop-and-go capability is a $695 quality on reduce trims, but it gets common as you shift up the ranks. Of training course, the Escalade can one particular-up the Navigator below with its Super Cruise driver-support technology.

Ideally the screen’s bezel is hilariously significant since Lincoln intends on upgrading the display dimensions afterwards on.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Expectedly, the 2021 Lincoln Navigator is not a spending budget-friendly conveyance. Its setting up price of $77,840 (including $one,295 for vacation spot) only rockets northward when solutions are taken into account. This Black Label design is about as geared up as it can get, and its $106,one hundred fifteen price tag is pretty the tablet to swallow, till you recognize that the equally run Mercedes-Benz GLS580 quite a great deal starts at the six-figure mark.

If pure luxury (and some capability) is what you happen to be soon after, the Navigator stands atop the pile of significant luxury SUVs. In phrases of outright convenience, the Mercedes GLS-Class is possibly its closest competitor with its super experience top quality. Individuals looking for the most up-to-date driver tech will want to check out out the Cadillac Escalade with Super Cruise. Other overall body-on-body competition include things like the Infiniti QX80 and Lexus LX 570, both of those of which are somewhat aged underneath their revised exteriors. There’s also the Assortment Rover, in case you want to ditch the third row and incorporate the potential to drive through approximately three toes of standing h2o. Hey, you never know.

Cast towards competition or not, the 2021 Lincoln Navigator is an outstanding SUV. Its Black Label trim brings an amazing stage of luxury to the table, although its underpinnings give it a terrific offer of capability,  whether or not that handles interior place or towing. It really is a shining city on a hill, a rolling testomony to prosperity and electricity that makes you really feel significant the 2nd you slide driving the wheel.