2022 Lincoln Navigator Review: This Big Boy Will Wow You

Me With The Lincoln Navigator

3 Rows of true luxury are just the start in this classic, old school SUV.

My heartbeat speeds up every time I see the Lincoln Navigator. The large nautilus-inspired wheels, the classic full size SUV silhouette and a newly refined design are just the start. I smile because I know just how much luxury its occupants are enjoying. So I was excited to test drive the 2022 model recently. For this model year the Navigator has gotten a nip/tuck makeover: A few subtle changes make this large, capable and luxurious SUV even more attractive. 

Related: How Lincoln Created a Sanctuary of Luxury and Elegance in its New SUVs

Center Row Seats Slide And Tilt Forward To Allow A Nice Space To Climb Into The Third Row

Center row seats slide and tilt forward to allow a nice space to climb into the third row. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Who This Car is For

  • Families or drivers who regularly need 3 rows
  • Families with kids in car seats; there are four sets of child passenger car seat anchors and 6 tethers
  • Drivers who appreciate a full sized, truck based SUV
  • Buyers who want a true luxury experience 
  • Buyers who need lots of space for passengers and cargo
  • Drivers who need 4 wheel drive and tow capacity; the Navigator can tow up to 8,300 lbs. 
  • Buyers who want lots of amenities for second row passengers, too
  • Anyone who wants a massage while driving. This feature is awesome

Related: Lincoln: Nautilus Versus Corsair, Take Your Pick

The 2022 Lincoln Navigator

The 2022 Lincoln Navigator. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What You Need to Know

  • This is a full size 3-row SUV: it is 210” long and 76” high; driving it can take practice and precision
  • It seats 8 (7 with center row captains chairs)
  • 4 wheel drive is optional (though it’s standard on the top of the line Black Label trim)
  • It has a twin turbo V6 engine that generates 440 horsepower and 510 torque
  • It is estimated to get 17 MPG city/23 MPG highway; we averaged about 11 MPG
  • It has 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and 103 cubic feet with the third row folded flat
  • Pricing starts at $77K; fully loaded it’s about $110K

Related: 6 Reasons the 2021 Cadillac Escalade Luxury 3 Row SUV is the A-List Mom Taxi

The Cargo Area Behind The Second Row Is Simply Huge

The cargo area behind the second row is simply huge. Photo: Scotty Reiss

This SUV is Big, but Get Over It. It’s Worth It

My first thought when I saw the Lincoln Navigator squeezed into the spot in the parking deck for pick up was, ‘oh, my; I’m going to be doing a lot of walking from the far corners of parking lots this week.’ And in some cases, I wondered if I’d actually be able to park it. 

But, the Navigator, partly by its nature and partly by its engineering, became increasingly easy to manage. By the end of the week I was popping it into narrow parking spots alongside large SUVs and pickup trucks with ease. I felt very accomplished. 

Related: 2022 Grand Wagoneer Lives Up to the Hype of Luxury and Capability

The Exterior Camera View Offers Extremely Clear Detail

The exterior camera view offers extremely clear detail. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Engineering Helps to Manage an SUV This Big

It starts with the simplest thing: The automatic extending running boards, which are a standard feature. By having this step to help you climb into the Navigator you don’t have to open the door as wide. Such a simple detail and yet, so freeing; I was able to park in almost any parking spot and get in and out with ease. However, drivers with small children who need help getting into their seats or who have to be lifted into the car may find that while the running boards help, they’ll need to fully open the doors and may opt for larger parking spots.

Next, the surround view cameras are a true gift. Just tap the button on the center of the dashboard just under the multimedia screen and you’ll get a wide view; tap the icons to pick your view. You can see in front of the Navigator to pull into a tight space or out of a narrow drive.

And if you don’t want to do the parking yourself, you can use Navigator’s park assist feature. Just tap the button and the car will search for a spot and prompt you to assist it in parking. It does all the heavy lifting, you just manage the accelerator. This feature is one that I don’t think is necessarily a worthwhile expenditure in many cars, but in a large SUV like the Navigator, it’s a great thing to have. Especially when it comes to parallel parking.

Last, the Navigator has a surprisingly tight turning radius, which I found helpful during my test drive; due to its sheer size I found the need to make more 3-point turns than usual, but with a tight turing radius, they were not 8 point turns. It was also easy to make a U-turn on a busy street, another maneuver I feared would be challenging but wasn’t. 

2022 Lincoln Navigator Black Label Central Park Interior

2022 Lincoln Navigator Black Label Central Park interior. Photo: Lincoln

A Gentle, Intelligent Creature

Once I got over the idea of how big this SUV is (and started to enjoy commanding such a large ship), I delighted in learning its finer points. And there are a lot.

It starts with the owner’s manual (trust me; keep reading). 

This is one of my favorite details. Gone is the thick and cryptic bible of the car, stuffed in the glove box to be covered with receipts and expired insurance cards. Instead, it’s a set of menus on the multimedia system. And while a lot of car brands have gone to featuring a digital owners manual, this one has interactive graphics and videos. You can choose a graphic of the steering wheel, for instance, and then tap the buttons on the image for an explanation of what that button does. Or, you can watch a video. 

Then, there’s voice assist, thanks to the new Sync 4 multimedia system. Just toggle on the wake word and you can activate most features by simply asking. Just say “Hello Lincoln, set the radio to NPR Now please,” and listen to your children whine. It’s delightful.

From there you’re treated to more Sync 4 features on the newly redesigned touch screen. The screen is organized and elegant and allows access to all the multimedia features and vehicle settings, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation and in our model, the Revel sound system, a premium system turns your car into a concert hall. Our model also had head up display; this projects key information, like the speed limit and turn by turn directions, onto the windshield in front of the driver. This is really helpful for keeping your eyes focused on the road. 

Center Row Seats Recline!

Center row seats recline!. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Seating That Fits You and Your Family 

Can I geek out about seats for a minute? Lincoln and its parent company Ford have been on a mission for a while to redefine excellence in seating. The result are front seats that adjust about a gazillion ways, from adjustable shoulder support to a headrest that extends or retracts, a  telescoping steering wheel AND adjustable foot pedals. No matter your size or comfort preferences, these seats will cradle you with perfect support for your legs, hips, shoulders and head. This is important for both visibility and control and I just love these seats. 

Then, they have a massage feature, which makes them even better. 

But back seat passengers are not ignored. Center row seats are beautifully designed, and heated and vented, too. Our test model came with captains chairs, but buyers can choose which they want: a 3-seat bench or captains chairs. 

The two outboard center row seats have child passenger car seat latches, as do the two outboard third row seats, for four total sets, another nice detail.  

The Floating Center Console In The Navigator Creates A Great Place To Put Your Handbag

The floating center console in the Navigator creates a great place to put your handbag. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs 

  • Standard model with a V6 twin turbo engine, 20” wheels, power folding heated/vented center row captains chairs or bench seating, Sync 4 voice activated multimedia system, wireless charge pad, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, phone as key function, 6 USB ports and a household power outlet, power running boards, capless gas filler, 3-zone climate, adaptive suspension, 360 surround view camera system, hands free liftgate, Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 2.0 safety suite with adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, automatic high beam headlights, pre-collision assist and lane keep assist, $77,635
  • Reserve edition adds 22” wheels, head up display, panoramic sun roof, ambient lighting, power adjustable pedals, Active Glide hands-free cruise control, illuminated running boards, 24-way front seats, $89,825
  • Black Label with exclusive themed interior (Central Park, Yacht, Invitation or Chalet), 30-way front seats, second row console and second row massaging seats, $109,635
  • Long wheel base, $3,030 (Reserve and Black Label only)
  • Add 4 WD to Standard and Reserve models, $3,000
  • Heavy duty trailer tow package, $940
  • Price of the model we drove, about $110,295 including $1,695 destination fee 
The Rear End Of The Lincoln Navigator Has A New Ligth Bar; It Lights Up When You Approch With The Key

The rear end of the Lincoln Navigator has a new light bar; it lights up when you approach with the key. Photo: Scotty Reiss

This Car is as Happy to See You as You Are to See It

One of the things I found most comforting was the warm welcome I got every time I approached the Navigator with my key in my handbag. The running boards extended, the rear light bar lit up and the doors unlocked. You can customize the settings in the vehicle settings menus, but I liked this so much I left it as is. Once inside, the Navigator has adopted the symphonic chimes that were introduced in the Aviator, so you’ll hear the pluck-pluck-puck of a harp to remind you to buckle your seatbelt. And then, you’ll  hear pretty much nothing. Just a posh, elegant hush all around. I did hear raindrops on the windshield, and low conversational tones from my passengers, but all else was a lovely, relaxing quiet. 

Knowing what you’ll get inside the Lincoln Navigator is enough to make you happy. But seeing the new rear light bar, the elegant metal link front grille and running boards and the promise they hold is a delight. All together, it’ll make your heart beat just a little bit faster. 

Disclosure: Lincoln provided the Navigator for this test drive but all opinions are my own. 

The Classic Nautilus Design Of The Wheels On The Lincoln Navigator

The classic Nautilus design of the wheels on the Lincoln Navigator. Photo: Scotty Reiss


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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss