The Lincoln Navigator has arguably re-emerged as one of the biggest sales successes that the brand has seen in recent years. Once relegated to being a mere afterthought behind the Cadillac Escalade, the current generation Gator proved to be a solid full-size luxury SUV contender, and we even had the chance to take one for an adventure in northern Michigan a few years ago. But evolution is useful for any model, and Lincoln has given the 2022 Navigator some new tricks and improvements for the new model year.
A Nip And A Tuck Defines Navigator Exterior Updates
The exterior styling of the 2022 Navigator may look virtually identical to the outgoing model, but Lincoln designers did some minor cosmetic surgery to help keep the design fresh. The front grille is bigger than before, and pixel projector headlights replace the old units. The lower bumper has also been reworked slightly to help it accommodate the bigger real estate demanded by the new grille. The rear fascia has seen its fair share of changes, too, but this time around, it’s all about cleaning things up. The large light bar that once defined the old model is slimmed down while all-new 3D-designed taillights have their own welcome and goodbye routines.
The new lighting is a marked improvement over the old model, and it allows the Navigator to mesh better design-wise with some of the other members of the Lincoln family. It also allows the Navigator to hold its own against the revamped Cadillac Escalade, which also received a major styling refresh in its attempt to try and keep up with the times.
New Black Label Themes And Luxury Enhance Buyer Experience
The interior of the 2022 Navigator maintains some of the core design points of the outgoing model. Lincoln has made strategic upgrades in key areas. A bigger 13.2-inch infotainment screen comes equipped with SYNC 4 software. Also, it boasts improved navigation, a slicker Amazon Alexa voice command suite, and a Constellation design theme that’s carried over to the large digital instrument cluster and even the revamped heads-up display. As a bonus, Alexa Fire TV capability is also newly added for 2022.
Second-row occupants have a digital control module that allows them to adjust backseat climate and even audio settings. The key changes, though, are for those that opt for the ritzy Black Label model with two new design themes making their way into the mix for 2022. The first one is called Central Park and Invitation. As the name implies, Central Park is supposed to be a faithful interpretation of Central Park and how the large swath of green space seems to naturally mix with the modern buildings around it. To that end, Navigators equipped with this theme feature laser-etched open-pore wood accents with city streets and key areas being represented in some of the patterns.
Meanwhile, Invitation models are inspired by posh dinner parties and come equipped with black leather accents that feature theme exclusive perforated leather and open-pore Khaya wood with laser-etched patterns. As mentioned, this is a light round of updates. As a result, the rest of the interior carries through largely unchanged, which is not a bad thing considering that it still offers plenty of storage space, and the Navigator still has one of the best second rows in the business.
Unchanged Performance Hardware Carries Over To 2022 Navigator
With all of the changes coming to the Navigator, the one item that is carried over is the 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6. A detuned version of the outgoing Ford Raptor’s V6, the engine actually loses 10 hp and now makes 440 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. The engine is still mated to a 10-speed automatic and sends the power to the road through either standard rear-wheel drive or an optional all-wheel-drive system.
While having old goods from the past might seem like a detriment at first glance, this engine is still an excellent player in the Luxury SUV ranks, and we’re confident that most buyers will barely notice the missing ponies, especially when cruising through town or eating up the miles on long road trips. Speaking of long road trips, the Navigator is also the first production Lincoln model to debut the brand’s ActiveGlide system.
Essentially a renamed version of Ford’s BlueCruise technology, the system here works largely the same way, with ActiveGlide allowing hands-free driving within certain parameters, i.e., only on pre-mapped sections of freeway. ActiveGlide is the brand’s response to GM’s Super Cruise technology. It will be interesting to see how Ford’s interpretation measures up when we can experience it formally.
Lincoln did not announce pricing for the 2022 Navigator, but look for the revamped luxury SUV to go on sale sometime next year.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.