Big, bold and unapologetically American, the 2020 Lincoln Navigator has a visual that luxury SUV owners love. Although it shares many components with its Ford kin, the Navigator is no longer a gussied-up Ford Expedition clone, which is all the more evident when you view it’s stunning looks. The exterior is at its most distinctive in one of three Black Label trims, and the interior is interesting and packed with luxury features.
Its 12-in SYNC 3 touchscreen is also easy to use. The cabin offers considerably more space than other full-size SUVs (especially the Cadillac Escalade) with a third-row seat that can comfortably fit even large adults. In fact, opting for the extended Navigator L only adds extra cargo space behind the third row.
The 2020 Navigator also benefits from superior mechanicals, including an adaptive suspension and a turbocharged V6 (shared with the Ford F-150 Raptor) that pumps out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. With a modern powertrain and advanced safety feature, the Navigator may have just leapfrogged its closest rival, the Cadillac Escalade, and moved into the realm of Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.
What’s New for 2020?
The Navigator gets several features as standard equipment, including ventilated front seats, wireless charging and the Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assistance technology. Also, the model range has been simplified to three trims for the standard wheelbase and two trims for the long wheelbase. See the 2020 Lincoln Navigator models for sale near you
What We Like
Adult-friendly third-row seat in both body lengths
Smooth and powerful engine
Many standard features
What We Don’t
Ride could be more comfortable
Unique color schemes exclusive to the most expensive Black Label trim
Rear-seat entertainment system isn’t standard on Black Label
Every Navigator is powered by a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 that produces a prodigious 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while four-wheel drive is available. The Navigator can tow as much as 8,700 pounds.
The fuel economy is 16 miles per gallon in the city, 23 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in combined driving with the regular length body style and RWD. The extended-length Navigator L can get up to 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined. 4WD lowers those estimates to 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The Lincoln Navigator is available in regular and extended-length (L) body styles. There are Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label trim levels.
The base Standard ($75,825) is the only trim that’s regular length only. It comes standard with 20-in wheels, adaptive suspension, wireless charging, automatic LED headlights, LED fog lights, a hands-free power liftgate, parking sensors, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, a rear cross-traffic warning system and automatic wipers. Inside, you get proximity entry and push-button start, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated 10-way power front seats, heated second-row seats, driver memory functions, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, a power-folding third-row bench and heated second-row captain’s chairs that are power-folding and sliding.
Tech features include a 12-in LCD instrument panel, a 10-in SYNC 3 touchscreen interface, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, integrated navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six USB ports, four 12-volt outlets, one 110-volt house-style outlet and a 14-speaker Revel audio system with HD and satellite radios, an auxiliary audio jack and a media player interface. You also get the Lincoln Co-Pilot360 safety tech suite which includes blind spot detection with cross-traffic alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, a lane-keeping system, a backup camera and automatic high beams.
The Reserve ($81,365/L $84,565) adds first-row 24-way Perfect Position seats, a second-row center console, power-deployable illuminated running boards, 22-in wheels, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, a 360-degree camera, and a panoramic Vista Roof with a power sunshade.
An optional add-on for the Reserve is the Reserve I package ($1,500), which adds a head-up display and an illuminated Lincoln grille emblem. Also optional is the Reserve Monochromatic package ($3,495) which provides a visual upgrade with 22-in 12-spoke ebony-painted wheels, a unique body-color mesh grille, and body-color painted side mirrors.
A few other options become available when you upgrade to the Navigator Reserve I or Reserve Monochromatic, including the Luxury Package ($2,500) which adds 30-way massaging front seats and Revel 20-speaker premium audio.
The Black Label ($96,770/L $99,970) includes all of the above options, everything you would get in the Luxury Package, plus standard 4WD, paddle shifters, the upgraded exterior trim, special paint choices and a choice of three unique interior styling themes: Chalét, Destination, and Yacht Club, which all offer their own unique premium looks.
Optional on the Reserve I, Reserve Monochromatic and Black Label is the Lincoln Play rear-seat entertainment system ($2,000) with two screens and wireless headphones.
Every Navigator comes standard with wind-correcting stability control, front side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. Every 2020 Navigator also comes standard with the Lincoln Co-Pilot360 safety tech suite, which includes blind spot detection with cross-traffic alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, a lane-keeping system, a backup camera and automatic high beams.
In crash testing, NHTSA gives the 2020 Lincoln Navigator five stars, with five stars in all areas except the rollover test, which earned four stars for the 4WD model and three for the RWD model.
Behind the Wheel
Admittedly, we were a little disappointed by the Navigator’s ride, despite most trims operating on adaptive suspension dampers. We were expecting a buttery-smooth Lincoln, but there was a bit of impact harshness over big bumps. Unfortunately, that’s probably unavoidable given the truck architecture and the 22-in wheels found on most trim levels.
Fortunately, while it’s similar to a truck in terms of its size and handling, the steering makes maneuvering easy and reliable, even around winding roads. Those adaptive suspension dampers at least do a good job keeping body motions in check. For a big and heavy truck, the Navigator is also incredibly quick thanks to its smooth and powerful turbocharged V6.
The interior is where the real show happens, especially in the divine Black Label trim level’s cool "Yacht Club" blue or "Destination" dark red. Lesser trims still impress with a design that combines 21st century and Mid-Century Modern. It evokes Lincoln’s greatest era without taking the retro route. As for the 21st-century credentials, the 12-in touchscreen is mounted and easy to reach and takes advantage of Lincoln/Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment tech. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included.
As for space, you literally cannot beat the Navigator for third-row space unless you get a van. Large adults can comfortably fit back there for hours, whereas small children would have every right to complain in the back of an Escalade. The second-row space is excellent — as it should be — and can be outfitted with a full center console for added comfort and storage. The cargo space is significant but the load-in height, though taller than a crossover, is much shorter than the Escalade’s. On the whole, the Navigator offers superior practicality.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Ford Expedition – The 2020 Expedition is also relatively new and offers the same interior space with a bit more towing capacity. However, it has less power and a less luxurious interior.
2020 Infiniti QX80 – The Navigator is still the overall superior package, but the new QX80 is also a considerably cheaper luxury SUV.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class – The latest GLS may not have the Navigator’s ultimate space or towing capability, but it’s far better than you’d expect given that it’s a crossover. Its high-lux cabin is the only competition that can top the Lincoln.
Used Land Rover Range Rover – The old Navigator would’ve made this comparison ridiculous, but that’s not the case with the new one. The high-style Range Rover (albeit a cheaper used one) is a worthy alternative to the Navigator.
If you have the money, the Black Label’s uniquely stylish interior themes make it the most desirable trim by far. Otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with opting for the Standard trim given its adaptive suspension and generous standard technology. Adaptive cruise control, a huge sunroof and those Perfect Position seats make the Reserve trim pretty tempting as well. Find a Lincoln Navigator for sale