I’m going to do something I’ve never done before – give you the price tag of our fly whip up front: $107,390. That’s for a regular length 2023 Lincoln Navigator with the Reserve package. That’s pretty heady pricing against the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and Lexus LX, but is it worth it? Let’s find out.
A walk around suggests a vehicle of high prestige and price. It starts with a large chrome mesh grille wearing a lighted ornament and flanked by curve-following LED projector headlamps. Keep walking to see 22” wheels swallowed by giant fenders and broad sheetmetal expanses. It’s all quite sleek and elegant, if a bit large, preserved by power running boards and highlighted by narrow horizontal taillamps. You definitely won’t miss its exuberant American style outside…or inside.
Although the Navigator goes without curved glass infotainment, it finds a welcoming mid-century vibe glittered with technology. Genuine wood trim, arm pads that echo classic Eames chairs, and front seats that heat, ventilate, massage, and adjust 24 ways are debonaire. Middle row chairs get their own temperature and massagers. Tri-zone automatic climate control and panoramic sunroof are also nice, but operating the latter with white icons on a plethora of beige buttons is frustrating – should have seen me fumbling for the shade retractor.
It may not be quite the art show, but I like the Navigator’s flatscreen gauge cluster and large infotainment touchscreen that’s super intuitive to operate audio, phones, and navigation. Skip the joywheel controllers – not needed here. Proper volume and tuning knobs plus redundant physical climate controls made me smile. Connect devices through Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless console charging. Pump tunes through the crisp saturating 28-speaker Revel audio system.
Beyond all that, drivers will appreciate the wide head-up display that projects speed, navigation, and safety systems above the hood. Going one better, our Navigator comes with the Lincoln Blue Cruise hands-off system that monitors your eyes for attention, but lets you relax on over 130,000 miles of highway. Safety is further enhanced by automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and blind spot warning.
Moving this largesse along is a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 delivering a robust 440 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s enough to move three rows of passengers with ease or tow up to 8,300 lbs. of RV or speed yacht when properly equipped. It all routes to the electronic all-wheel-drive system through a nearly imperceptible 10-speed automatic transmission. Given its size and power, fuel economy ratings of 16/22-MPG city/highway seem quite reasonable.
There’s no denying the Navigator is a big truck, but it doesn’t drive like one – at least not in regular length. Steering is tight and cameras plus sensors provide all-around vision for maneuvering. Out on the road, the adaptive suspension keeps the wagon from leaning excessively in corners while providing a mostly comfortable ride, though it seems to meet its match when trying to quell roughness from the 22” wheels over broken pavement or heaving bridge joints. That said, I’d gladly drive one a thousand miles without hesitation.
So, has the Navigator Reserve earned its window sticker? Mostly, yeah. It’s a half-step behind top competitors in technology and refinement, but if somebody dropped it in my driveway, I’d be delighted to own it. And, if you don’t want to pay the aspirational $107k, and I may not, there are less special Navigators available from $82,765.
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