Lincoln debuts redesigned Navigator luxury SUV with bolder design, enhanced technology

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co.'s luxury Lincoln brand on Wednesday revealed a redesigned 2022 model of its Navigator SUV, featuring a bolder exterior, fresh interior themes, new amenities for second-row passengers and the introduction of the brand's hands-free driving system.

"The confident, new look of Navigator and the introduction of advanced features such as Lincoln ActiveGlide — our hands-free driver-assist technology — are great examples of how we elevate our sanctuary experience and keep our vehicles fresh," Lincoln President Joy Falotico said in a statement. "The new Navigator will continue to play a critical role in differentiating our brand and will welcome even more new clients to Lincoln."

The 2022 version of the full-size SUV, which will be built at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant, is scheduled to arrive at dealerships early next year. Pricing information will be released closer to the launch; the 2021 model starts at $76,705.

Bolder design, luxe interior

The 2022 Navigator features an updated grille and new front end that Lincoln officials say were designed to give the vehicle a bolder, more dynamic feel.

It comes standard with adaptive pixel projector headlamps. New 3D tail lamps fade out from the center and wrap around the rear exterior.

"On the exterior, we took a cue from the client feedback and balanced the proportion with bold enhancement for both front and rear," said Earl Lucas, Lincoln's chief exterior designer. "There’s no mistaking the confident stance of the Navigator, and we’ve elevated it even further with a new and more commanding signature front grille. The appearance is more upright and more noble."

Navigator is available in three trims: Standard, Reserve and the premium Black Label series.

Lincoln Navigator Chief Engineer Mike Kipley introduces the 2022 model.

On the new model, Navigator Black Label introduces two additional themes: "Central Park" and "Invitation," joining "Chalet" and "Yacht Club."

The Central Park theme, according to Lincoln, seeks to evoke the famed New York City park, with open-pore dark walnut extending the length of the instrument panel and laser etchings of the park's pathways.

"Invitation" is intended to convey a sense of celebration. It features black leather and dual laser-etched designs on the open-pore Khaya wood that extends across the instrument panel and center console.

“We continue to evolve our exclusive Black Label themes based on luxury trends and the changing environment, ultimately drawing inspiration from our clients,” Marcia Salzberg, Lincoln senior color and materials designer, said in a statement. “Central Park and Invitation both represent an optimistic view of the future in a world where we are all coming together.”

The interior of the 2022 Lincoln Navigator.

The new model also comes available in new colors, including Starlight Gray and, in an exclusive for Black Label, Manhattan Green Metallic.

Navigator designers and engineers say they focused on creating a sanctuary-like environment within the cabin, finding new ways to reduce noise and upgrading existing features such as the vehicle's seat massage system.

Second-row seats, for example, now will come standard with heat and ventilation, with available massage capability.

Eight speakers were added to the SUV's Revel Ultima 3D audio system, for a total of 28. And in a local touch, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra recorded six chimes that sound for things such as an open fuel door or an unbuckled seat belt.

The new Navigator also introduces a new Lincoln Play system for entertainment in the rear rows. It features a 10.1-inch screen and wireless headphones, 16 gigabytes of storage and wireless streaming capabilities via Bluetooth pairing and Amazon Fire TV.

Enhanced technology

The 2022 Navigator will be the first Lincoln vehicle to offer ActiveGlide. The system marks the latest step for the brand's intelligent adaptive cruise control functions that include stop-and-go, lane centering and speed sign recognition.

Lincoln has not yet announced pricing for ActiveGlide, but a spokeswoman said that Co-Pilot360, Lincoln's suite of driver-assist technologies including ActiveGlide, is standard on the Reserve and Black Label trims but is not available on the base model. 

When the system's camera and radar are activated, blue light cues will appear on the digital cluster and head-up display. At that point, drivers can take their hands off the wheel. The system works on more than 100,000 miles of prequalified sections of divided highways in the U.S. and Canada.

A driver-facing camera monitors the driver's gaze and head position to ensure they're still paying attention to the road.

The new Navigator features a 13.2-inch Sync 4 Lincoln Exclusive Constellation Theme information center.

Meanwhile, the new Navigator is equipped with Ford's SYNC 4 infotainment system. Users can wirelessly connect their smartphones for integration of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and SYNC AppLink apps.

And upon launch, the 2022 Navigator will be capable of receiving over-the-air software updates. Customers will get alerts from Lincoln when updates — which might make new features available, for example, or fix bugs — become available.

It also comes with Alexa, Amazon's virtual voice-recognition assistant, built in to the vehicle. Owners will get complimentary access to some of the tool's features for up to three years.

The cabin features a larger, 13.2-inch center stack screen, as well as a 12-inch configurable digital cluster and a redesigned head-up display.

And in a bid to bring some of the front-row amenities to the back seat, the 2022 Navigator adds a 5.8-inch digital module with controls for climate and audio settings in the second row. 

Under the hood

Navigator comes equipped with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine that achieves 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque.

The new model offers a feature called "adaptive suspension" with a road preview tool that uses sensors to monitor body movements, vehicle motion, steering, acceleration and braking activities. Sensors, including a forward-facing camera, read the road 500 times per second and automatically make adjustments up to 100 times per second to reduce "unpleasant impacts," according to a news release.

A heavy-duty trailer tow package that's available for Navigator adds trailer reverse guidance, which uses high-resolution cameras to provide multiple views and steering guidance to assist in maneuvering and backing up a trailer.

A digital cluster driver's display for Lincoln Active Guide hands-free driving technology is on the steering column. An infrared camera between the turn signal stalk, left, and the wiper control stalk, right, tracks the driver's eye position, gaze and head position to ensure safe driving.

Navigator also offers numerous other options from Lincoln Co-Pilot360, some of which come standard. New standard features include intersection assist and active park assist 2.0, and a "park out assist" function that helps drivers navigate out of a spot when another vehicle is parked too close.

Other standard features include forward collision warning, post-collision braking, distance alert, dynamic brake support, pedestrian detection, auto hold, hill start assist, automatic headlamps, voice-activated touchscreen navigation and the ability to use your phone as a key.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski