Sitting at the pinnacle of the Lincoln Motor Company’s all-SUV lineup, the 2022 Navigator SUV shares its mechanicals with the Ford Expedition, but it’s far more than an Expedition with leather seats. The Navigator’s deluxe cabin is lined with fine materials, a long list of standard convenience items, and the best tech features Lincoln has to offer. Leather, wood trim, and knurled metal knobs imbue the cabin with a posh ambiance while optional 30-way power-adjustable front seats make it easy to tailor the car specifically to you. Under the hood is a 440-hp twin-turbocharged V-6 which allows the Navigator to tow as much as 8700 pounds. While other large SUVs such as the BMW X7 and the Cadillac Escalade deliver are more entertaining to drive, it’s the Navigator’s curb appeal and spacious interior that charms its fans.
What’s New for 2022?
Lincoln’s flagship SUV has received a styling update for 2022 which includes a reworked grille and new exterior lighting elements. The interior has been enhanced with a new infotainment display with updated Sync 4 software, and two new design themes. The Central Park design theme includes interior trim with a laser-etched map of the famous park’s pathways on the instrument panel while the Invitation theme sports open-pore Kai wood trim with an overlayed geometric motif as well as black leather upholstery with brandy-colored stitching. Lincoln’s new semi-autonomous driving mode—called Active Glide—will also make its debut on the 2022 Navigator. The system allows for true hands-free driving and is similar to rival Cadillac’s Super Cruise. Other updates include improved massaging seats and an option for second-row massaging seats; new interior chimes and alerts have been recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Last year’s 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen has been replaced with a larger 13.2-inch display. Like the high-end Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the Navigator will now also use a forward-facing camera to recognize bumps in the road and adapt the suspension to reduce the impact.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Navigator has only one engine-and-transmission combination, but with 440 horsepower, one is all it needs. We found the Navigator to be responsive and genuinely speedy, and the 10-speed automatic shuffles through gears adeptly enough to avoid perturbing dozing passengers. At our test track, the standard-wheelbase Navigator and long-wheelbase model had equally quick acceleration. However, straight-line performance is where the Navi’s performance potential begins and ends. Steering feel is numb and its sheer bulk prevents it from being a vehicle that encourages enthusiastic driving. But the most serious problem with our test vehicles was their ride quality. Wearing optional 22-inch wheels, the Navigator was sometimes jittery, and sharp impacts were followed by bouncing rebounds—the worst of both worlds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Unlike its V-8 competition, the Navigator employs a downsized, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 and a 10-speed automatic transmission in the quest for better fuel economy. Despite its smaller engine, it’s far from fuel efficient and proved unexpectedly thirsty during our real-world highway testing. Despite a highway-fuel-economy rating from the EPA of 21 mpg, our test vehicle delivered 18 mpg over the course of 200 miles. For more information about the Navigator’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Navigator’s interior is lavishly spacious and genuinely luxurious. Materials such as open-pore wood trim and massaging front seats are only available in the upper trim levels, but even entry-level Navigators have much to offer. The Navigator’s third row is one of the best examples of that seating arrangement. There are 1.1 inches more legroom in the Navigator’s third row than that of the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, and other competitors fall even further behind. The Navigator offers optional 30-way-adjustable massaging front seats, a keystone feature for Lincoln’s flagship SUV. The seats are almost sculptural and are so customizable that you can even adjust the individual left and right thigh supports to different heights. The Navigator’s immense size can be a drawback when weaving through traffic or attempting to park, but it’s a huge boon when it comes time to pack for vacation. Short-wheelbase models have limited cargo space with all three rows in use; cargo space is abundant with the third row folded. Long-wheelbase L models have cargo room aplenty even with the third row in use.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Navigator comes standard with an eye-catching 13.2-inch touchscreen and has USB ports in every row. The infotainment system’s graphics are slick and easy to read—important for Lincoln’s presbyopic clientele—and the huge screen is like a glittering jewel atop the Navigator’s prow. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and the system is capable of over-the-air software updates thanks to an onboard 5G Wi-Fi hotspot. A 14-speaker Revel stereo system is standard but a 28-speaker Revel Ultima 3D stereo is part of the optional Luxury package.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Lincoln also makes its Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assistance technology standard on the Navigator and that includes blind-spot monitoring, automated emergency braking, and pedestrian detection among other items. For more information about the Navigator’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode