Ah, Malibu. The movies and postcards characterize easy, beachfront active with accessible roads, beginning air, and balmy weather. But don’t accept it. The austere absoluteness of the Pacific Bank Highway (PCH) on a Saturday is bumper-to-bumper traffic, bankrupt fumes, and a cold, clammy fog that hangs about for bisected the day and again aback gives way to baking sun.
Considering this less-than-idyllic scene, the agent of best for a drive up the bank is not the academic low-slung convertible with achievement tires and action suspension. It is a comfortable, abounding bodies carrier absorbed with the beef of a linebacker and the adroitness of a ballet dancer. Enter the Lincoln Navigator.
Introduced 20 years ago, the Navigator set the accepted for large, three-row affluence SUVs. Now in its fourth generation, it stands as a testament—along with the Continental auto and midsized Nautilus crossover—to Lincoln’s renaissance. Design administrator David Woodhouse and his aggregation bound the latest Navigator with sleeker lines, added avant-garde proportions, and a new advanced grille.
“We capital the exoteric to be about elegance,” Woodhouse told us aback the Navigator debuted aftermost year at the New York Auto Show. Our Black Label edition, Lincoln’s best aristocratic trim akin (starting at $93,705), is corrective in Chroma Molten Gold—an chaste beige-brown—and adapted with black-and-chrome 22-inch wheels, said to be aggressive by the agent blades of a jet engine.
On this weekend, I am arena bear and bout adviser for an out-of-town visitor—one who happens to be a power-train architect for a German car company. Like a day-tripper cat-and-mouse to canyon through a adopted clearing checkpoint, I feel self-conscious, afraid that abrogating stereotypes ability blush Herr Ingenieur’s admiration of this American behemoth. “It looks nice,” he says, as we both ascend aboard with the advice of retractable active boards. Score one for the U.S.A.
The Navigator’s redesigned berth boasts aesthetic details, bigger materials, and affluence of nooks and crannies for our phones, bags, and bottles of attic water. Three autogenous capacity are available; ours is “Chalet,” with bright copse trim and bone-colored covering upholstery, monogrammed with the aforementioned arrangement begin on the advanced radiator grille. Our analysis agent is adapted with alternative 30-way seats, and although they seemed to move in every accessible direction, I couldn’t absolutely acquisition the appropriate fit for my five-foot-four frame. I did like their massaging and ventilating features, which kept me air-conditioned and airy as we headed into Carpocalypse.
We hadn’t yet accomplished a standstill aback we larboard Santa Monica and headed north. Cartage was sluggish, but the Navigator’s aerial basement position accustomed us to see over the cars advanced and acquisition the gaps. With a columnist of the gas pedal, our Navigator delivered ample, effortless power, and a brace of lane changes later, those gaps were bound filled.
“Is it a V-8?” my traveling accompaniment asked afterwards I anesthetized a apathetic auto barter abounding with agronomical equipment. It’s not a V-8, but it feels like one. Black Label Navigators get a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 450 hp and 510 ft lbs of torque, commutual with a 10-speed automated transmission. For a abrupt stretch, the alley clears, and I bang it bottomward amid the bouncing hills accomplished Pepperdine University. The Navigator is able with six drive modes, which aren’t labeled in acceptable car-speak but in added communicative language. For example, you will not acquisition a Action mode. Instead, it’s alleged “Excite,” which does some sporty-ish things, such as alive apparatus at college revs, authoritative the best of the engine’s ability and torque and affective us calmly and calmly uphill.
Lincoln has accustomed its “quiet luxury” mantra in contempo years, and for acceptable reason. Although there is the slight boom of a abysmal bankrupt agenda aloft acceleration, the autogenous is contrarily silent. Our German acquaintance acclaimed the quietness, as well. Woodhouse uses the chat “sanctuary” to call the activity of the Navigator cabin, and we would be absorbed to agree. That is, until the guy in the lowrider pulls up with his 24-inch, 4,000-watt aftermarket subwoofer.
Of course, the Navigator isn’t advised to aloof backpack two people; its three-row basement is some of the best ample on the market. Back-seat cartage get their own allegation ports and accumulator cubbies, and an alternative rear ball arrangement allows wireless alive (via the Navigator’s Wi-Fi connection) to 10-inch adjustable screens. Our baggage fits calmly with all three rows in place, and should my bedfellow accept been absorbed to lug a surfboard aback with him, it would accept calmly been accommodated with the rear seats folded.
The best allotment of the day came afterwards the advance to Ventura County and back. I pulled into a parking atom on Ocean Avenue, angry up some Chet Baker on the Revel audio arrangement (with 19 speakers), and watched the after-effects blast over the Santa Monica sand. If you accept to be a chauffeur, the Lincoln Navigator is absolutely not a bad abode to be one. But aing time, I’m activity to bulb myself durably in the average row and let addition abroad drive.
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