Since the inception of the ISDA Executive Vehicle and Secure Transportation Survey in 2013, our data has shown the primary mode of secure transportation has been an SUV.
And the most commonly used SUV is the Suburban which has always been on the top of the list, although in 2017 the Cadillac Escalade with its increased cargo and payload capacity, two features necessary for executive vehicles, took 2nd place.
The 2017 survey results, which you can get a copy of from the ISDA Store at store.isdacenter.org, did not have the Lincoln Navigator in the top five vehicles. We conduct the survey at two-year intervals and we are convinced that the Lincoln Navigator will be competing with the Escalade and Suburban for the top Executive and Secure Transportation vehicle (US).
The logic behind our belief is that the 2018 Navigator has raised the bar in Secure Transportation. For those that use older Navigators as a guide, we can say without hesitation that the 2018 Navigator is much better than the former versions of Lincoln Navigators.
In our opinion the L Black Label 4×4 is not just the largest, most opulent, and most powerful Lincoln ever; it is the epitome of what an Executive SUV should be, but it does not come cheap. With only a few options the Navigator L Black Label 4×4 cost $101,765 MSRP, and as a measure of their success, Lincoln can’t build them quick enough because they didn’t think the demand would be as high as it is. Sales are up 65%, and the Navigator inching closer to its main competitor the Cadillac Escalade. If you are an owner of an Escalade and are in the market for another SUV, Cadillac will offer you a $10,000 discount if you stay with the Escalade.
One of the survey questions we ask is, “what are the features you look for in an executive vehicle?” Always at the top of the list is interior design and load capacity, and this is where the Navigator beats out many of its competitors. The interior of the Navigator is fitting for any executive, with a lot of room for passenger and luggage. Storage is abundant but cleverly hidden so as not to look like a soccer mom minivan. There’s plenty of leg room for second-row passengers while the third row is surprisingly roomy.
Comfort is also a key decision point, an uncomfortable principal and passengers won’t work out well for the security driver, and again this is where the Navigator excels. The interior room and the unique design of the Navigator seats set them apart from other SUV’s.
The Navigator by the numbers
Measuring 207.4 inches long overall, the standard Navigator offers 103.3 cubic feet of interior space, with up to 54.4 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row. A Navigator L stretches to 222.3 inches, adding 24.9 cubic feet of cargo space, with 128.2 cubic feet of cabin volume.
We can’t forget two other Secure Transportation issues, performance, and safety.
As all Scotti School and Vehicle Dynamics Institute, students will attest – It is always a good idea to have a vehicle that has a high go – stop and turn capability.
And again, the Navigator does well.
The Navigator stops at 191 feet from 70 MPH. To interpret that for former students it stops at approximately .9 G’s. Not bad for a vehicle that weighs 6330 pounds.
It moves from zero to 60 mph: 5.5 sec, again not bad for a vehicle that heavy.
It handles at .78G’s – for those former students, that equates to driving through the slalom course at approximately 33 MPH at the 80% mark, with roughly the same results through the lane change. Again not bad for a 6330 pound high center of gravity vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the Navigator a five-star overall crash-test rating, as well as five stars in most individual tests. Rollover resistance of a rear-drive Navigator is rated at three stars (four-star with four-wheel drive).
The four-star rating means that the vehicle has the probability of a rollover between 10% and 20%
The three-star rating means that the vehicle has the probability of a rollover between 20% and 30%
Lincoln does not offer such safety features as lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control, but large mirrors and bountiful glass area enhance visibility, we at the ISDA feel that not having the lane keeping assist is a plus.
With its height, there is good visibility for the driver.
Those were all the Navigators positives – but there are some negatives.
It has a large turning radius at 20.4 feet – turning radius is defined as the radius of the smallest circular turn that the vehicle is capable of making.
The Cadillac Escalade turning radius 19.5 feet and the Suburban is 21.5 feet
The one issue that could be the downfall of Navigator is the comments by almost all those who tested the vehicle – it’s ride quality.
The problem could be the Black Label’s standard 22-inch wheels. It may be considered uncomfortable, but the vehicle feedback lets you know that it is born from the F-150 truck. But, and it is a big but, all the sensations are felt at the pedals, and steering wheel.
There are some that complained about the low-speed body motion, especially in the rear of the vehicle, if that is a fact it is problematic for the SUV.
And for those that need to maneuver through traffic and narrow roads the massive size makes in-city maneuvering difficult.