By on September 13, 2019

Ads for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator are scheduled to drop this Saturday, but those of us with internet access got to see them a day early. Lincoln’s “Fresh Take” campaign is a bit of a misnomer, however, because the person who’s chiming in on the new model is Matthew McConaughey.

Ford has used the Oscar-winning actor to showcase its premium products for years now, and this writer is not ashamed to say that he’s grown to love them. While not particularly substantive, they’re difficult to look away from. McConaughey muses about the vehicle in a calm, dreamlike haze. Occasionally looking into the rearview mirror before casually reapplying his attention to the always clear road ahead, he’s presumably talking to himself — but it’s really for our benefit.

And that’s why I’m so fond of them. In my mind, McConaughey is a polished lunatic — not quite a Patrick Bateman, but definitely unhinged. And it translates into comedy gold. Yet another viewer might see the ad and think, “Boy he’s handsome and calm — it’s like nothing is ever going to go wrong inside that car.” (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2019

They used to be commonplace, but the last decade or so has seen this automotive phenomenon fade from memory. Today we talk special branded editions, and how it’s time for them to make a comeback.

(Read More…)

By on March 1, 2019

lincoln grille 2018 navigator logo

Just how much the polar vortex and a chillier than normal February weighed on U.S. vehicle sales is up for debate, but Ford Motor Company felt the buying public’s cold shoulder last month. Actually, make that just the Ford brand. The Blue Oval division saw a 5.1 percent drop in sales, year over year, last month, thought its luxury stablemate continued its strong early 2019 showing.

The good news for Lincoln comes before anyone has a chance to buy what’s widely seen as the brand’s savior: the Aviator midsize crossover. (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2018

2018 Lincoln Navigator, Image: Ford Motor Company

Today’s subjects are ponderous, expensive, and very heavy. No, we’re not talking about state government representatives; we’re talking about full-size SUVs.

Come along, and we’ll select a big truck to burn.

(Read More…)

By on August 29, 2018

Where were you when you first saw an Escalade? Do you recall the lesser but identical Yukon Denali? Twenty years have elapsed since the Escalade’s introduction, and the luxury brand of wreath and crest has never looked back.

But today, we’re going to.

(Read More…)

By on August 20, 2018

2018 Lincoln Navigator

Traditionally, Lincolns served as the poster car for traditional, well-to-do Americans, just not ridiculously wealthy ones. Think successful club owner, business executive, law office partner, Vegas hashish importer, or rare antiques dealer. Regardless of model, the brand’s vehicles never ventured into the rarified pricing air occupied by European exotics — not even the Continental Mk. II, which stickered for the equivalent of $90k back in 1956.

That changes for 2019, as the Lincoln with the biggest margins — the full-size Navigator — joins its Cadillac rival in topping the six-figure mark. (Read More…)

By on June 14, 2018

2018 Lincoln Navigator, Image: Ford Motor Company

As we told you earlier this month, the full-size Lincoln Navigator SUV plays a much larger role in the brand’s fortunes than in years past. The nameplate now accounts for over 18 percent of Lincoln’s sales. Over the first five months of 2018, sales of the square-rigged luxomobile rose 85.8 percent, partially offsetting the loss of passenger car sales and topping up Ford’s coffers with the model’s generous MSRP.

Sales aren’t the only thing on the rise when it comes to the Navigator. (Read More…)

By on April 16, 2018

2018 Cadillac Escalade

They might not happen as often as they once did, thanks to deregulation leading to mergers and consolidation, but fare wars once were a regular occurrence as airlines fought to snag passengers by dropping prices.

The automotive industry isn’t immune to battles waged on price. Even luxury makes sometimes have to offer deep discounts to keep the competition at bay.

Which is what Cadillac is doing to stave off a challenge from Lincoln. Sort of.

(Read More…)

By on February 12, 2018

2018 ford expedition fx4, Image: Ford Motor Co.

For an automaker worried about shrinking profit margins, spending an extra $25 million is just fine if it means cranking out 25 percent more high-margin SUVs. And the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, now minty fresh after years spent withering on the vine, certainly fit the description of “guaranteed cash generator.”

Ford plans to add that sum to the $900 million already sunk into the Kentucky Truck Plant in an effort to boost production of its full-size SUV models, knowing full well Americans buyers will snap them up the minute they roll off the line. Is there a clearer example of an automaker treating SUVs as a license to print money? (Read More…)

By on January 2, 2018

2013 Ford F-150, Image: Ford

In 2016, Ford Motor Company’s stable of rear-drive vehicles came under scrutiny for six-speed transmissions that couldn’t decide whether to sprint or crawl. Owners reported that their 2011-2012 F-150s, Expeditions, Mustangs, and Lincoln Navigators would, suddenly and without warning, downshifting from upper ratios to first gear, ultimately forcing the automaker to recall some 153,000 of the vehicles in the United States.

It now looks like it didn’t recall enough of them. Dangerous downshifts continue, and not just in vehicles covered by the recall. Another concern is that the problem is reappearing in supposedly “fixed” vehicles. (Read More…)

By on December 28, 2017

2018 Lincoln Navigator Ad

Ford has been fine-tuning the Lincoln brand for a while now and improving the cars is only half the story. A luxury nameplate needs more than a lineup of quality autos, it needs prestige. Since taking on Matthew McConaughey as its official spokesmodel, Lincoln has witnessed an uptick in sales — growing by 1.6 percent year over year through November 2017 in the United States.

How much of that can be attributed directly to the Oscar-winning actor is up for debate. But you don’t mess with the formula when you start making headway, so Lincoln has decided to press onward with another weird add with him in the driver’s seat of the 2018 Navigator.  (Read More…)

By on November 7, 2017

2018 Lincoln Navigator, Image: Ford Motor Company

Despite the addition of a corporate split grill a few years ago, there’s no denying Lincoln’s outgoing Navigator is one old piece of kit. As such, the glitzy premiere of the new-for-2018 Navigator heralded greater full-size Lincoln SUV sales not just from new buyers, but returning ones.

Having seen what Dearborn was up to, it seems some inhabitants of the Renaissance Center decided to try and spoil Lincoln’s fun. If you’re the owner of a 1999 or newer Lincoln vehicle who’s thinking of maybe getting into a new Navigator, Cadillac would like you to know there’s 5,000 smackeroos waiting for you on the hood of your nearest Escalade. (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2017

2018 ford expedition fx4, Image: Ford Motor Co.

Despite festooning its large utility vehicles with the latest and greatest fuel-saving technologies — turbocharging, dual injection, 10-speed automatics — Ford isn’t finished reducing the thirst of its big SUVs.

According to sources with knowledge of the automaker’s product plans, the push for better MPGs includes giving those gas-fueled engines a break once in awhile. Care for an extra motor in your Expedition or Navigator? (Read More…)

By on June 20, 2017

2018 Lincoln Navigator, Image: Ford Motor Company

Large. Imposing. Square-rigged. Bold. All apt descriptions of the totally redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator. After withering on the vine for years as it weathered refresh after refresh, Lincoln’s full-size SUV flagship was finally given the architecture and hardware it needs to battle its chief rival, Cadillac.

However, as impressive a redesign as it was, the new Navigator (unlike its predecessor) lacked one thing compared to Cadillac’s Escalade: a choice of body lengths and the ability to haul more cargo. Not anymore, it seems.

Earlier today, brand executives revealed the 2018 Navigator will appear in showrooms this fall with two body lengths. Yes, you can have your new Navigator and stretch it, too. (Read More…)

By on April 12, 2017

navigator

There has always been something distinctively inelegant about Lincoln’s Navigator. It never felt nearly as special as the Cadillac Escalade and it was difficult to see its owners as people worthy of emulating. Lincoln made some positive headway in its third generation, but Navigator ownership still felt like you received a bum deal on an well-equipped Ford Expedition. It was working-class utility embellished with the lies of premium luxury and sold for more than it was worth.

While the 2018 Navigator still shares its platform with the Expedition, it has done away with that sense of unsavory sameness. They’re both hulking SUVs and fit for similar duties, but the Lincoln now feels prestigious. You can soon say that you drive one while raising your eyebrows in a suggestively triumphant manner. People might even envy you. The 2018 Navigator finally matches the Escalade in both kitschy flair and genuine class. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better than the Expedition, but it does — for the first time in history — provide a real reason to covet one over the other.  (Read More…)

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