Photo of 2018 Lincoln Navigator exterior by Vince Taroc.

Photo of 2018 Lincoln Navigator exterior by Vince Taroc.

The Lincoln Navigator may win the prize for Most Improved SUV of the 2018 model year, as this body-on-frame large SUV has added dazzling exterior styling, slimmed itself down by 200 pounds, and added a slew of new technology.

Exterior styling can often seem like a superficial thing, but a vehicle's look and stance — it's body lines and face — can make a lasting first impression. Automakers use words such as "emotional" and "design language" to describe exterior styling, which can subconsciously communicate the excitement of driving it.

The 2018 Navigator started as a concept vehicle at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, and it seemed like something that would be nearly impossible to execute with its gullwing doors, wardrobe management system, and concertina steps. However, the fourth-generation vehicle has arrived with few modifications to the exterior — including its expansive chrome grille, wrap-around headlights, and pinwheel-style wheels. It has also delivered on many of the promised tech upgrades.

Let's start with the 200-pound weight reduction that was achieved using Ford's aluminum-body-panel strategy that started with its 2015 F-150. This large SUV is still a formidable presence at 6,083 pounds with a 210-inch length.

The 2018 Navigator is still powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 that also moves the F-150 and Expedition. Power has been boosted by 70 horsepower (to 450 hp) and 50 lb.-ft. of torque (to 510 lb.-ft.) above the outgoing model.

Photo of 2018 Lincoln Navigator cabin by Vince Taroc.

Photo of 2018 Lincoln Navigator cabin by Vince Taroc.

Getting comfortable and ready for the drive may take some time, because the front seats offer 30 different power adjustments, heating, cooling, and a massage function. Second-row controls allow passengers to set climate in their zone and control audio functions.

Technology abounds. A built-in Wi-Fi system can connect up to 10 devices, and a gorgeous tablet-style screen displays vehicle and infotainment data. Plugs include six USBs, four 12-volt outlets, and a 110-volt connection.

Cargo area measures 18.1 cubic feet with all three row of seating, and increases to 103.3 cubic feet with all rows folded. We didn't get the concertina steps, but powered running boards illuminate at night.

Related Photos: Lincoln's 2019 Navigator

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet

About the author
Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

Former Senior Web Editor

Paul Clinton covered an array of fleet and automotive topics for Automotive Fleet, Government Fleet, Mobile Electronics, Police Magazine, and other Bobit Business Media publications.

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