The new Lincoln Navigator has much in common with the new Ford F-150 Raptor. Both class leaders, there’s also much that differentiates them
Eduan R. Maggo
Families are curious concepts, nd the familial bonds they foster even more so. From an early age we’re socialised to respect kinship unquestionably, regardless of the merit.
Now, while that might not theoretically sound entirely logical, the need for classification is, and that’s led to some interesting familial relationships in realms beyond the human.
This year the assembly-line concept Henry Ford introduced in the early 20th century has produced two very interesting models, the Ford F-150 Raptor and the Lincoln Navigator. Built on the same platform, the two vehicles are similar in a lot of ways — but their differences couldn’t be more different.
Both are big, powerful and endowed with enough wonderful if at times superfluous mod cons to enthrone them at the top of their categories. The one’s a truck, and the other an SUV, even if both are luxurious takes on those concepts.
Let’s start with the practical. In addition to keyless entry, both come with keypads so you can use a pin to unlock the doors — no more worrying about losing your key at the beach or on a hiking adventure.
The retractable step makes getting in even easier, as does the fact that the steering column automatically moves up and seat back to give you more room.
The seats are of ultra-high-quality leather, and even come with adjustable lumbar support in front. The back row (and even third row of the Navigator) comes with enough legroom for even the tallest passenger.
There’s more storage compartments than you’ll ever need, and the latest communication tech caters to those needs. A host of sensors and 360-degree camera with split- view displayed on the touchscreen mean you’re able to navigate into the tightest parking spot or through a narrow trail without breaking a sweat. Driver-assist tech makes road trips more enjoyable and rush-hour traffic less aggravating.
All of that said, these are not the same vehicle. The ruggedly handsome Raptor is both beauty and the beast. A full 227kg lighter than its predecessor, it features a 10-speed gearbox and purpose-tuned 3.5-litre ecoBoost engine delivering more power with greater efficiency than the outgoing 6.2-litre V8.
Notably, the Raptor comes with new all-terrain modes — six in total — to traverse everything from sand to snow. Inspired by the likes of (its sibling) the Mustang, in Sport mode it handles and performs like a much smaller muscle car on the tarmac; in Baja it’s able to race across dunes, and in Rock Crawl it does exactly that.
Duke + Dexter
Finlay & Co
Clearly brawn, the Raptor would appeal more to the petrolhead demographic. The Navigator, or the brains, appeals for its refinement, especially in the Presidential line that offers personalised themes. This doesn’t mean it hasn’t inherited some of its cousin’s brute strength — it comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 engine and 10-speed gearbox, with paddles to boot.
But while it’s open to galloping, this isn’t a car you want to take to the dragstrip — the interior features genuine wood and it even has an embedded modem and a wireless charging pad, for crying out loud! The Navigator redefines the luxo-SUV category, and is the standard to which other full-sized luxury SUVs will be measured.
Little touches that make it perfect for families include individual touchscreen monitors behind the front seats to entertain those at the back, and a little convex “conversation” mirror so you can keep an eye on the back seats without having to turn around or adjust the rear-view mirror.
And yes, the Raptor’s ample bed is translated into a trunk you could almost fit a bed in.
So, the two vehicles are clearly related and share genetic material. But if the Raptor is the young and fun jock in the family, always ready with a joke, the Navigator is the studious older uncle — the responsible one everyone looks up to, the one who’s often the sole bearer of a title or some initials prefixed and suffixed to his name.
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