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2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label features African mahogany, 30-way seats

Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Owning a luxury car is not about how fast you go or how much you spend. It's about how special you feel and how many stories you can tell about your car.

Against all odds, Lincoln appears to have figured that out. The new 2018 Lincoln Navigator SUV is steeped in the knowledge, full of details you initially miss, only to find them delightful upon discovery.

I recently tested a top of the line Navigator Black Label loaded with those goodies.

Lincoln completely reworked the Navigator this year. It's new from stem to stern, from high-strength steel frame to 30-way seats, Apple CarPlay and aluminum body panels.

Really, 30-way seats? Lincoln counts fore and aft for each cushion as two ways (misleading, perhaps), but even being able to adjust 15 things on a seat is crazy.

Those are big changes, but the things that will help most as the Navigator tries to claw back to the top of the luxury-SUV market are smaller touches an owner may not notice until they've had the big SUV for a few weeks. This includes diamond stitching on the inner side of a grab handle; laser-burned pinpricks in the Khaya wood trim. Khaya wood? That's African mahogany, don't you know? And if you don't, you just made the day of an owner who will be delighted to tell you all about it.

 

The 2018 Navigator is also big, quiet and powerful. There are two models, the 210-inch-long Navigator and 221.9-inch long-wheelbase Navigator L. Prices start at $72,055 and $80,750, respectively.

Long-wheelbase models typically account for about 30 percent of Navigator sales. Black Label is Lincoln's top trim level. Black label vehicles come with special, high-end interiors and loaded with features like 20-speaker Revel audio.

I tested an all-wheel-drive regular-wheelbase Navigator Black Label with burgundy paint and interior trim. It stickered at $95,375.

The 2018 model is the first all-new Navigator in more than a decade. It uses a high-strength steel frame similar to that of the Ford F-150 pickup, but adds an independent rear suspension – Lincoln's hallmark in this segment.

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