Time doesn't make much sense anymore, so it's simultaneously surprising and unsurprising that we've already reached midcycle refresh time for the fourth-generation Lincoln Navigator. After four model years, Lincoln is bringing some solid changes to its three-row luxury SUV.
The 2022 Lincoln Navigator may not look all that different from its forebear, but there are some tweaks hiding in that mass of sheet metal. Standard adaptive headlights bring slight changes to the front end, accompanied by new grille designs for both the standard and Black Label variants. Out back, there's a new taillight design with a little extra flourish when the car is locked or unlocked. New bumpers round out the aesthetic upgrades.
While the inside is largely the same as before, Lincoln has whipped up two new Black Label themes that really ramp up the interior design. Central Park pairs open-pore dark walnut wood trim overlaid with laser-etched maps of -- you guessed it -- New York City's Central Park. The Invitation variant relies on Khaya wood with a different pattern etched onto it. Regardless of trim, the 30-way front seats get an improved massage function, while second-row passengers get standard heating and ventilation, in addition to optional massage capabilities.
A majority of the 2022 Navigator's changes involve the underlying tech. In the middle of the dashboard is a new 13.2-inch infotainment display that drastically reduces the size of the screen's bezel while offering more digital real estate for the Sync 4 telematics system. Sync should feel much snappier, too, thanks to double the computing power of previous models, and it now offers wirelessand . Over-the-air software updates will keep the whole shebang up to date with the possibility for new features to be added over time.
Second-row passengers get a little extra screen love, too. A new 5.8-inch display between the captain's chairs allows occupants to adjust the audio and climate controls, while a pair of 10.1-inch screens play host to a new Lincoln Play rear entertainment system, which offers Bluetooth headphones, Amazon Fire TV integration for streaming media and a bunch of onboard storage for offline viewing.
The most interesting technological addition is ActiveGlide, which is Lincoln's name for Ford's BlueCruise hands-free driver aid. This getup combines adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and speed sign recognition to hold the vehicle in its lane and keep pace with traffic on certain premapped segments of highway. Using a driver-monitoring camera, ActiveGlide lets drivers go hands-free on those stretches, so long as they keep their eyes on the road. I recently tested the system in a Ford F-150, and I walked away impressed, so it should be more of the same with Lincoln's version.
Lincoln also added a couple new safety systems that come as part of its Co-Pilot360 2.0 aid suite. Intersection Assist will prevent the vehicle from making a left turn across traffic if it detects a potential collision, and Active Park Assist 2.0 will help drivers get out of a parking spot if somebody parked too closely.
The 2022 Navigator picks up a few mechanical tweaks, as well. The 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V6 under the hood stays put for now, but its output has mysteriously dropped by 10 horsepower to 440, while torque remains the same at 510 pound-feet. Lincoln didn't offer an explanation as to why, though. A 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive remain standard. New for 2022 is an adaptive suspension that uses cameras and sensors to read the road ahead and adjust damping to better soak up potholes and the like. Trailer Reverse Guidance, part of the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package, offers multiple trailering views and steering guidance to help maneuvering while towing.
The 2022 Lincoln Navigator will be built at the automaker's Kentucky Truck Plant. It'll arrive in dealerships early next year, and pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.