When the wraps came off the heavily facelifted Lincoln Navigator at the Chicago Auto Show I cringed in terror. The elegant, instantly identifiable front end of the Lincoln Navigator was gone replaced by a grille that was kindly described by one journalist as a “teenager with bad braces”. Above the grille on the leading edge of the hood is a heavy chromed applique that had AutoPacific staffers wondering if it was an integral bug guard.
Even having Magic Johnson at Chicago to reveal the Navigator could not hide the travesty that was on the stage. Journalists surveyed after the Navigator reveal seemed destined to rate it as “Worst of Show”.
The other seven-eighths of the Navigator are OK, even well done. Sure there were criticisms of the chrome moldings on the doors that seem to have no purpose except to add more bling to the SUV. The interior is spectacular with Navigator finally getting rid of the flip up door over the audio system controls.
So, Lincoln provided Chicago show-goers with a trifecta of follies. Number one is the abominable grille on the Navigator, number two is the renaming of the almost all-new Lincoln Zephyr as the MKZ, number three is the overall alphanumeric naming strategy of Lincoln’s cars. They have abandoned Continental. They have abandoned Zephyr. They have abandoned who they are.