Families who regularly need transportation that can handle all kinds of terrain and carry loads of sports equipment and trailers for horses, boats and off-road vehicles need more than just a crossover or minivan.
The new Lincoln Navigator, completely redesigned for 2018, is the perfect SUV for these tasks, and it takes advantage of everything Ford has developed for the flagship F-150 pickup truck.
What we drove: The all-new for 2018 Lincoln Navigator in premium Black Label trim (three less-expensive trim levels are also available). The body-on-frame construction includes three rows of seats accommodating six adults, four doors and hatchback body style.
By the numbers: Powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine producing 450 horsepower with 510 pound-feet of torque through 10-speed automatic transmission, with seven drive modes for economy, sport, normal, normal 4x4, slippery, deep mud or snow, and slow climbs. Maximum cargo capacity is 103 cubic feet, and towing capacity is 8,300 pounds. The trailer-backing assist comes standard.
Price as reviewed: $96,570 for the Black Label trim with premium leather and wood interior, along with all comfort and convenience features, including 30-way adjustable front seats. Buying the less-expensive Select trim level with technology package, trailer towing and adjustable seating options saves $10,000 and is appropriate for most buyers.
What we liked: Impressive cargo and towing capacity in combination with interior trim comparable to top-line luxury sedans. It also has an attractive exterior and interior design and comes with a full range of technology, safety, comfort and convenience accessories. The cabin is quiet and comfortable, suitable for long trips.
What we coped with: The exceptional size, which is mitigated by the full-surround cameras, folding side mirrors and automatic running boards for ease of entry and exit. The Navigator is not difficult to drive, but you always need to be aware of its height and high center of gravity.
Bottom line: If we had a large and active family that regularly towed a trailer and carrying gear, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator would be at the top of our list.