2018 Lincoln Navigator: A Fancier SUV Than The Expedition; Debuts At 2017 New York Auto Show

Apr 13, 2017 04:30 AM EDT | Andrew Davis

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is set to catapult back the company's place as the leader in luxury SUV, as it makes its debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show. Despite sharing its frame with Ford's Expedition, the Navigator is definitely a radical departure from the company's outgoing designs for the automaker's full-size SUV and is a fancier SUV than the Expedition.

It seems that Lincoln has taken a page out from the Range Rover's book with its stunning and distinct design for the Navigator. In fact, this is the first time in a decade that the automaker has remade the Navigator and it is definitely a massive comeback.

Exterior. The 2018 Lincoln Navigator shares its platform with the 2018 Ford Expedition. It shares that conventional ladder frame found in the Expedition. The good thing is that Lincoln's design team has ditched the gull-wing doors, which was first showcased in the concept form in last year's New York auto show.

The Navigator's signature grille screams "biggest and baddest brute" in the market. The automaker has settled for a mesh grille with a Lincoln logo sitting on the center.

This specific grille design first appeared in 2016 on the MKZ and also is found on the Continental, which just recently launched. Looking closer, the grille's shape opening is a Lincoln star outline.

The Navigator also sports very pronounced headlights, while at the rear are dramatically sweeping tail lamps across the SUV's rump. Plus, the SUV rolls on radially bold 22-inch wheels.

The SUV's body panels are made from aluminum, which basically explains the automakers claiming that the 2018 Lincoln Navigator has shed 200 pounds. But the SUV sort of gains back that lost weight thanks to its new features like a laminated windshield and panoramic sunroof.

And like all other Lincolns vehicles, the SUV will soon be available in the three Lincoln Black Label themes, which is inclusive of exterior and interior touches, plus a VIP access to specific events.

Interior. The automaker has finally given the Navigator a luxurious interior that worthy of an upmarket price. So, the designers have kept much of the design that was in the concept that debuted in New York last year.

A horizontal design theme dominates the interior such on the Navigator's seats, dashboard and also on the shifter. There is a massive screen in place of the gauge cluster and another infotainment screen mounted on the center.

Now, for tech, the Navigator packs loads of technology such as the standard WiFi hotspot, 110-volt household-style plug, and 6 USB ports. Plus, a wireless phone charger is part of the additional options list.

The driver's seat has been outfitted with heating, ventilation, and of course a massaging backrest. All models of the Navigator will sport the latest Sync3 infotainment system from Lincoln and will also have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

As for the rear seat, there will be 10-inch screens and wireless streaming from any Android device. For the 3rd row, there is a power reclining adjustment system and the automaker has outfitted the SUV with a configurable cargo shelf system.  

Engine. A 3.5-liter, the twin-turbocharged V6 engine has been dropped in the Navigator's engine bay and has been mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This is good for an estimated 450 horsepower. AWD will likely come as standard, yet the automaker didn't officially announce.

Competition. Likely competition for the 2018 Lincoln Navigator includes the Infiniti QX80, BMW X5, and Cadillac Escalade. Plus, GM is likely to unveil a redesigned Escalade next year, so that is something to watch out for.

Thanks to its distinct and bold design, this revival could give Lincoln at shot at taking center stage amidst the growing market of luxurious SUVs. As of this writing, pricing and fuel economy for the 2018 Lincoln Navigator have not yet been officially announced. 

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