The 2022 Lincoln Navigator luxury SUV gets one step closer to becoming its very own, well, navigator as part of a thorough refresh this year. Credit the availability of the brand’s ActiveGlide hands-free driver assist system.
ActiveGlide is essentially a rebrand of Ford’s BlueCruise, which the Blue Oval currently offers in certain variants of the F-150 and Mustang Mach-E. Whereas Ford’s marketing team seemingly called it a day shortly after company brass told them to “start thinking up a name for this new hands-free driver assist system, I don’t know something along the lines of, say, BlueCruise, only more proactive,” Lincoln’s marketers seemingly channeled the spirit of Sterling Cooper’s top creatives to settle on the jet age-y ActiveGlide moniker.
Designation dissimilarities aside, both ActiveGlide and BlueCruise rely on the vehicle’s adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and traffic sign recognition systems to take over steering and acceleration (including braking) duties from the driver on certain sections of highways throughout the United States and Canada that Ford and Lincoln call “Blue Zones.” Since ActiveGlide is not an autonomous driving system, Navigators with the setup also have an instrument-cluster-mounted camera that monitors the driver’s head position and gaze in order to ensure the individual behind the wheel is ready to take back control of the full-size SUV if necessary.
ActiveGlide isn’t available on the base 2022 Navigator, but ordering the setup for the Reserve and Black Label includes a three-year complimentary subscription to the service. If you want to actively glide after that, you’ll need to pony up a fee.
Of course, ActiveGlide is just one of the many updates Lincoln made to its flagship full-size SUV model for 2022. Both the Navigator and its long-wheelbase Navigator L compatriot benefit from subtle styling revisions that bring the vehicles’ looks closer in line with those of newer stablemates such as the mid-size Lincoln Aviator.
This is most notable at the rear of the 2022 Navigator, which features a cleaner full-width taillight design that highlights the SUV’s width while deemphasizing its towering height. The front end’s updates are more evolutionary, but shapelier headlights, a reworked grille, and a less fussy lower fascia add some elegance.
Inside the new Navigator, the most noteworthy changes similarly involve the rear. Or maybe it’s the middle. Either way, the newly standard heated and ventilated second-row seats—2021 Navigators merely have heating for that row—now offer an available massage function in addition to an optional 5.8-inch rear audio and climate control display. Drop a little more scratch and Lincoln fits a pair of 10.1-inch rear-seat entertainment screens, too, each of which is capable of displaying individual content and include Amazon’s Fire TV.
Lincoln didn’t forget the 2022 Navigator’s driver and front passenger; both benefit from a new 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment setup—3.2 inches bigger than before—running Ford Motor Company’s SYNC 4 system. Lincoln does even one better for Black Label buyers, as the brand adds two new interior themes to the trim: Central Park and Invitation. The former features open-pore dark walnut wood laser-etched with pathways from New York City’s famous park and Urban Green leather, which provide a nice complement to the available Manhattan Green paint exclusive to Black Label models. Invitation, meanwhile, includes laser-etched open-pore Khaya wood and black leather all over the SUV’s insides. Furthermore, the 2022 Navigator continues to offer today’s Yacht Club and Chalet themes. Alas, the Destination theme is now without a destination, as it has been discontinued.
For better or worse, the 2022 Navigator loses 10 hp relative to its 2021 counterpart. Blame Lincoln’s decision to increase the SUV’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine’s compression ratio from 10.0:1 to 10.5:1. The reason? Extra efficiency. Given the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to release fuel economy figures for the 2022 Navigator, it’s unclear if Lincoln’s tinkering notably helps the full-size SUV’s numbers, but for reference, last year’s model returned an estimated 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined in its most efficient two-wheel-drive, standard wheelbase form.
Nevertheless, with 440 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque on tap, the 2022 Navigator will remain plenty peppy enough for most consumers, considering a 2020 Navigator 4×4 accelerated from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds in our testing. The refreshed model will surely match that mark.
Maximum towing capacity is surely a more important figure for a large number of Navigator buyers. Although Lincoln’s keeping quiet on this front, it likely intends to maintain, if not improve upon, the 8,700-pound figure of the 2021 model. Regardless, the newly available Trailer Reverse Guidance system Lincoln includes in the SUV’s available Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package ought to make the act of towing less of a hassle. The camera-based system features steering guidance graphics to assist in maneuvering the trailer in tow. Finally, additional dynamic improvements to the 2022 Navigator come courtesy of a new adaptive suspension setup that uses the SUV’s forward-facing camera, as well as the data of a dozen vehicle sensors monitoring the likes of pedal and steering inputs, to view the road ahead and adjust the dampers—as often as 100 times per minute—accordingly.
So, while ActiveGlide is the 2022 Lincoln Navigator’s headline feature, it’s far from its most important one. In fact, the smaller updates Lincoln made to its biggest model for 2022 are likely to benefit Navigator drivers on a more regular basis. ActiveGlide may bring the Navigator one step closer to being its own navigator, but the other changes should make it better for the humans who usually handle that task.
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