The 2021 Lincoln Navigator Just Earned This Impressive Distinction From U.S. News

The Lincoln Navigator might be one of the most iconic symbols of what a full-size luxury SUV is all about. While there are significantly pricier full-size SUVs out there — the 2021 Range Rover with the Westminster package for $124,000 comes to mind — the new Navigator still crushes the competition. Furthermore, even though the 1998 Lincoln Navigator was introduced behind most of its competitors, it has surpassed them all in popularity and brand loyalty. Halfway into 2021, we see little to no change in that status.

If beauty is what we feel inside, then the Navigator is it

A white 2020 Lincoln Navigator luxury SUV model driving through an urban city environment
2020 Lincoln Navigator | Ford Motor Company

Most of us have heard the old saying, “Beauty is what we feel inside.” If that’s the case, the interior of the 2021 Lincoln Navigator will have you feeling like Kendall Jenner — inside, remember? However, don’t fret because the exterior is nearly equally exquisite; at least it doesn’t look like you’re cruising around in a $130,000 cereal box on wheels.

The U.S. News’ review of the Navigator states that its “interior is deliciously lavish, with three rows of comfortable seats, abundant cargo space, and intuitive infotainment tech.” In addition to poshness, the Navigator offers many levels of cargo space, even by giant luxury land yacht standards. It’s one of the few full-size vehicles that aren’t a minivan or charter bus that can seat up to eight adults comfortably, as well as store your weekly groceries in the rear—though it’s safe to say you wouldn’t usually go grocery shopping with eight adults. 

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator is listed as the most luxurious SUV by U.S. News

On June 14, 2021, U.S. News (USN) published a review of “The 22 Most Luxurious SUVs for 2021.” That’s a lot of competition in the vehicle selling world, especially in combination with exorbitant prices, growing consumer concern over sustainability, and, yeah, exorbitant prices. Can it stand up to the MotorBiscuit scrutiny test?

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator proves that good genes mean a lot when competing for first place in any race, even if they’re technically from a distant relative you barely know. USN gave the 2021 Navigator an interior score of 8.9/10 and an overall score of 8.7/10.

“The luxury large SUV class features some absolutely top-notch interiors, but the Lincoln Navigator has a real claim to being the best of the bunch,” the review states. “The features list includes an easy-to-use infotainment system and plenty of active safety features, and cargo space is outstanding in both the standard-wheelbase [sic] Navigator and long-wheelbase Navigator L models.”

The 2021 Audi Q3 came in second place with an Interior Score of 8.3/10 and an Overall Score of 8.4/10. USN lists its starting MSRP at just $34,000. Meanwhile, in last place, you have the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA with a USN Interior Score of 7.5/10 and an Overall Score of “TBD” (to be determined). Mercedes-Benz only managed to secure 10th place and ninth place on the list. Of all the models to have gotten 10th, it was the nearly $132,000 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

Lincoln’s large SUV was dealt a winning hand from day one

According to the most recent listings on the Lincoln website, you have three choices of land-yacht to choose from: the “Standard” trim ($76,705 starting MSRP); the “Reserve” trim ($82,4901 starting MSRP); the “Black Label L” trim ($101,855 starting MSRP). The latter trim features a longer chassis; hence the “L.” Unlike seaworthy yachts, don’t expect the Navigator to be a beacon of environmental concern because it only gets an EPA estimated 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

The entry-level trim features the following standard features: power-illuminated running boards; LED reading lamps for first row passengers; a premium 14-speaker Revel Audio System with HD radio technology; heated 40/40 second-row captains chairs (power foldable); 10-way power front seats with power lumbar and driver’s seat memory.

Additional optional features include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, hill descent control (only optional on the 4X4 model), and 20-inch 14-spoke bright machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets. Frustratingly enough, the “Standard” trim only offers a single enhanced security feature: intrusion and inclination sensors.

With all that said, luxury must be in the eye of the beholder because models like the 2021 Cadillac Escalade offer a lot more standard safety and driver-assist features — not to mention it is nearly 50 percent cheaper. Car and Driver also gave the Escalade nearly the same score as U.S. News did the Navigator. Keep in mind that many review sites tend not to feature the truly base models when listing “standard” features, making navigating the buying process confusing. So, be sure to read carefully.

RELATED: U.S. News Calls the 2021 Lincoln Navigator the Best 8-Passenger SUV to Buy