First impressions of the 2022 Lincoln Navigator Black Label: Is it still the king of the hill?

Despite the addition of a few high-end extras, this massive American 3-row SUV retains its full-size strength.

However, just because Lincoln’s Navigator three-row SUV is one of the more venerable American luxury barges on the market today, doesn’t mean it has lost its edge when it comes to performance and handling. In fact, the new, V-8-powered Cadillac Escalade and the (don’t call it a Jeep) Grand Wagoneer are no match for the big Lincoln with two fewer cylinders and two more turbos. We haven’t tested Jeep’s new 3.0-liter twin-turbo Hurricane inline-six, which will be available in the Grand Wagoneer soon, but it has 500 horsepower.)

The 2022 Lincoln Navigator has had a facelift to keep up with its larger Lincoln SUV brothers, adding a variety of features and improvements to give it more panache and prestige. “L I N C O L N” on the back hatch, a Navigator insignia on the fender, and an eye-catching grille of Lincoln logos ensure that you won’t mistake it for anything else.

For our review of the 2022 Navigator Black Label, we got access to every luxury amenity Lincoln has to offer, including everything from heated and ventilated seats to a heated steering wheel. The new for 2022 multi-adjustable second-row captain’s chairs feature a class-exclusive massaging function, and its Lincoln Play rear-seat entertainment system includes two 10.1-inch screens that can run Amazon Fire TV features separately. You can also revel in its magnificent, 28-speaker Revel sound system.

The 2022 Navigator’s new ActiveGlide hands-free driving system, which serves as a counterpoint to Cadillac’s Super Cruise, hasn’t met our high expectations thus far. Given recent improvements, the Navigator Black Label remains a competitive package at $109,950 all-inclusive, in line with the top trim levels of the Escalade and Grand Wagoneer.

The Powertrain Is Still There, And It’s Still Powerful

The Navigator’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 440 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque remains unchanged for the 2022 model year, with a 10-speed automatic transmission handling the gears and an adjustable all-wheel-drive system on hand to help with traction. It has a towing capacity of 8,700 pounds, or 500 pounds greater than the Escalade. The Grand Wagoneer, with a towing capacity of 9,850 pounds, is the vehicle to choose if you need to tow substantial loads with your three-ton fun people transporter (the Hurricane-powered 2023 Grand Wagoneer L will be able to tow 9,450).

An actual 6,071-pound Navigator 4×4 Black Label blazed through the quarter mile in 14.4 seconds at 96.0 mph flat, with the test team reporting that the vehicle’s best launch was achieved with the Excite mode and a holding speed of 2,100 rpm before takeoff, according to the results obtained at the test track. This is 0.3 seconds faster to 60 mph and 0.2 seconds faster in the quarter mile than a 2021 Escalade 600 Platinum with the 420-horse 6.2-liter V-8, but the Grand Wagoneer Series III with a 6.4-liter V-8 rated at 471 hp nipped the Navigator by 0.1 second to 60 mph and 0.3 seconds in the quarter mile.

The Navigator’s braking performance, on the other hand, was less than fantastic, slowing from 60 to 0 mph in only 135 feet. The Escalade spun out in 122 feet, while the Grand Wagoneer edged out the Navigator by 1 foot. A medium-firm brake pedal produced a clicky ABS noise that provided a lot of data, as predicted, according to the testing team. Although the 2020 Navigator, which we tested against a 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV (which the Navigator won), came to a stop in 125 feet, the Cadillac came to stop in 117 feet, and that’s how the Navigator came to be the victor. Depending on the weather and the type of vehicle, the effects can be vastly different.

Gliding On A Skidpad And In The Open Road

Probably the last thing Lincoln Navigator owners are thinking about is how many lateral g’s it can pull blasting around our skidpad (0.76 average) or how well it performs on our figure-eight course with the latest Lincoln tagline being “The Power of Sanctuary” (27.6 seconds at 0.63 g average). The only exception to this is if you’re want bragging rights. Begin boasting about your accomplishments. In comparison to the Escalade Platinum’s 0.60 g and 30.1 s at 0.53 g and the Grand Wagoneer’s 0.53 g, these stats are mind-boggling (0.65 g and 29.2 sec at 0.57 g). The Navigator is the most agile of these three-ton ballerinas, despite its light and vague steering and an ESC system that can’t be entirely disabled (as is the case with the Caddy and Jeep, but their systems are more harsh). “Without meddling,” says the Navigator, “you can determine the proper speed.”

The 2022 Navigator shines when out on the open road. The twin-turbo-piped-in, six’s throaty engine sounds is enough to bring some excitement to your home or office. To some extent, this is due to the Navigator’s adaptive suspension, which is capable of reading the road 500 times per second, as well as its incredibly supportive 30-way seats. Although the test team noted that the steering is light and vague, it isn’t jarring on the highway; nonetheless, if you press hard on the stop pedal, you may notice some dive.

The future of vehicles like the Navigator is still uncertain, considering the vehicle’s current inefficiency. However, for the time being, the Navigator is the best-tested full-size luxury SUV in the United States, and we’re sure Lincoln and its customers are thrilled about it.