By on August 18, 2021

Lincoln has refreshed the Navigator, giving both the standard and long-wheelbase SUV new features. While there have also been some changes made to the flagship vehicle’s design, the company is not straying far from what it already knows works. But that doesn’t mean everything is exactly as it should be.

Despite adding some desirable tech, Lincoln has tweaked the turbocharged, 3.5-liter V6 to produce less horsepower than before. The 2022 model year produces 440 horsepower and 510 ft-lb of torque, whereas the previous version offered 450 hp. Considering Ford has yet to release EPA-certified economy figures, we’re betting this was done to boost efficiency. Compression ratios are also different, with the 2022 MY running 10.5:1 rather than the previous 10.0:1.  

This was downplayed during its introduction, however, so that Lincoln could spend more time focusing on the company injecting Ford Motor Co’s hands-free highway driver-assist system into Lincoln products. Referenced as BlueCruise when pertaining to the Ford brand, Lincoln has opted to call the system ActiveGlide — making it sound like a personal lubricant of some kind. But it’s functionally the same, providing Navigator owners with the ability to occasionally take their hands off the wheel while the vehicle pilots pre-mapped highways.

Though it should be said that the function does not work on all roadways and owners need to be okay with Lincoln having mounted a driver-facing camera to ensure that you’re constantly paying attention while using a feature that does its utmost to remove you from the action. It’s extremely similar to Cadillac’s SuperCruise system and something your author truly doesn’t understand or see offering much practical value to the driver.

But it’s a good way to build hype around a vehicle and bound to snag a few tech-obsessed customers, provided they’re willing to pay the subscription fee. ActiveGlide will be an optional feature on the Reserve and Black Label Navigators, meaning a loftier MSRP. But you do get three years for free before Lincoln pushes you into a subscription model.

Additional changes include giving all SUVs new pixel projector headlights, allowing for an adaptive beam pattern, and LED taillights that offer various animation sequences that vary depending upon what you’re doing. The grille has also been updated on select trims, and it looks more premium, though I’d probably never had noticed if the manufacturer had not made specific mention of the change.

Interiors now come with updated graphics for the gauge cluster and a 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment center using SYNC 4. That means wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and over-the-air updates as standard. While OTAs have unique benefits (Ford suggested adding drive modes to the Navigator as an example) most automakers haven’t used connectivity in a manner that seems wholly beneficial to the consumer and it encourages things like subscription fees and putting installed features beyond digital paywalls.

Lincoln has not ignored the physical elements of the interior, however. Second-row seating can now be optioned to have the same heating, cooling, and massage features that are available on the frontal chairs. Your choice in interior materials and trim have also been broadened somewhat and there’s a new infotainment package with upgraded screens for rear occupants. These come with all sorts of planned connectivity features, though the company said some of those may be locked behind subscriptions.

Black Label models offer two new choices of interior themes to spruce up the Navigator’s already lavish cabin. One of these is called Invitation while the other is known as the Central Park theme and provides a bunch of visual references to New York City. As someone who currently lives there, it’s hard to envision the locals wanting any reminders of present-day Manhattan. It’s also curious to see Lincoln trying to embrace NYC after it worked so poorly for Cadillac. But the optional Manhattan Green paint job (also new) is decent and the associated urban-themed interior is bound to be a hit with Midwestern moms that went to see a show on Broadway a couple of years ago and feel like they have “a real connection to the city.”

The company had some really vapid marketing jargon to go along with the theme. But it would have done far more damage to Lincoln than anything whipped up here. Ultimately, the brand is offering more in terms of interior options and they all look pretty decent — including the walnut-wooded, laser-etched Central Park.

It seems like the 2022 Lincoln Navigator update is a mixed bag. We’re losing a smidgen of power for questionable economy gains and getting some new technology features you’re going to need to pay more for anyway. But the interior, which has long been one of the vehicle’s greatest strengths, is getting some extra niceties customers will undoubtedly appreciate.

Pricing is TBA but we’d expect the 2022 model year to surpass the previous starting point of $76,700 to account for some of the new hardware Lincoln has added.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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26 Comments on “Mixed Bag: Lincoln Tweaks Navigator for 2022...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Awesome SUV. FCA or Stelantus or Cerubus or Daimler or what ever they call themselves should have copied this SUV. It’s amazing. The luxury. Wow. And that super powerful turbo V6.

    #triggered………..

    LOL

  • avatar
    jmo

    ” It’s extremely similar to Cadillac’s SuperCruise system and something your author truly doesn’t understand or see offering much practical value to the driver.”

    Vs. having to keep your hand on the wheel? That is kind of annoying as it’s constantly yelling you that you aren’t applying enough force. Or, depending on the system, disconnecting because you applied too much force. Just being able to sit there and look ahead seems much easier.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I almost never see these. Is there an issue where livery companies really really prefer Suburbans and Escalades? Does GM do more than Ford to cater to the needs of that industry?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I don’t see these in my town mainly because we don’t have a Lincoln dealer.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I live 3 blocks from a Lincoln dealer and I hardly ever see these or the Expedition

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I see mostly Tahoe’s and surprisingly a lot of Nissan Armada’s. When it comes to the long wheel base “big” SUV’s I see mostly large GM Yukon full length Denali’s and Suburban’s. There are some Ford Expedition XL’s floating around too. I don’t see many Cadillac SUV’s. I don’t recall ever seeing one of these.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It is a little odd that Ford owns the commercial/government fleet market except for full-size SUVs where the GM offerings are the default.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @ajla – that is a good point. The Suburban has been around for longer than the Crown Victoria. It’s a proven platform that hasn’t seen big changes so the fleet market is very familiar with it. Ford has had multiple variations of large SUV’s. That inconsistency would drive up purchase costs and typical “upfitter” costs. If Ford would have kept building the Excursion I bet that they would have eventually cut into GM’s dominance. I used to see fleet diesel Excursions all over the place in my part of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I see a million of these around and find it strange that any of you aren’t seeing them. Every fancy hotel has either one of these or an Escalade sitting at the door and I see a lot of privately owned ones too.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The Escalade has outsold the Lincoln by about 2:1 since 2014 but on the road it seems more like 5:1. So either the Gator blends in a lot more in traffic/parking lots or it’s comparatively more popular out West.

    • 0 avatar

      I see new Navigators in my hood in SF Bay Area. But there all kind of expensive cars around. Yesterday walking on the street saw electric Porsche what ever they call it. There are more Teslas than Camries.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Where have I seen that rear before…oh yeah, the dozen Jeep articles over the past two days.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Lincoln has the Mach-E Mark on the way. I wonder if they’ll hire Mark Wahlburg as a spokesman?

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    You can tell better craftsmanship than the crappie Cadillac. Interior is better quality.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Lets be real, this Navigator will always play second fiddle to King Escalade until it has a V8. Until then, enjoy your turbo lag.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      The Navigator had a V8, and discontinued it a few years ago. It’s not likely to come back.
      It has plenty of power with the V6, enough that Ford took ten of the HPs away. They had better have achieved an improvement in MPGs, because the Navigator is a very thirsty beast.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @pmirp1 – I’ve driven EB 3.5 F150’s and I didn’t notice much in the way of turbo lag. If you floor it it behaves about the same as my F150 with the 5.4. The EB 3.5 responds better to smooth inputs. Drive it like it’s a diesel and surf the torque curve.

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      It’s a shame because the Navigator was a better attempt than the first Escalade, with more interesting powertrains (Intech V8) and a more differentiated styling.

      And the 2018- Navigator is vastly better than the K2XXX Escalade, it’s still arguably better than the new ones.

      Problem is…

      Lincoln dropped the ball between 2007 and 2017 and Cadillac took off an even bigger advantage than years prior.

      That’s been enough time to make a dent in reputation on a market where loyalty is king.

  • avatar
    gregtwelve

    I saw a circa 2013 or 2014 model Navigator recently and while driving behind it I noticed some horrendous pitting of the rear aluminum tailgate.
    The rest of the car including the paint looked in mint condition.

    When is Ford going to fix the aluminum hood and tailgate paint defects on these and other vehicles (especially Explorer, Mustang hoods and now entire F150 bodies etc.)? It has been a problem for more than a decade as far as I can tell. Other brands with aluminum panels have not have anywhere near the problems with pitting as these have.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I sure do like that classic Chris-Craft being towed

    The Lincoln does have a beautiful interior

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Why is an NYC-themed Navi any stranger than a Texas Edition pickup? The Navi is one of the official vehicles of the NYC chauffeur/livery trade.

  • avatar
    1st_one

    As gorgeous as this vehicle is, I cannot take it serious without a proper V8. Something about the turbo in a vehicle this size disturbs me.

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    Did you actually drive the thing? I don’t see a word on the driving dynamics, which I thought were pretty damned good for such a gunboat. Tight driving situations in town were eased considerably/ I haven’t driven everything (such as the biggest Mercedes SUVs) but I ranked the Navigator as my favorite among the big haulers. The GMC Yukon Denali XL was also good. Cadillacs are just too pimped out now for me.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Just wait for the new Range Rover or Range Rover Sport or Land Rover Defender 130 arriving next year before you decide…

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