Navigator is a dressier version of the Ford Expedition, and this full-size sport utility vehicle debuted in the 1998 model year, one year after the Expedition. Navigator distances itself further from the less-expensive Expedition with a new but optional satellite navigation system and climate-controlled front seats.
A five-inch screen and CD-ROM drive are mounted in the center console for the navigation system, which provides route directions, finds points of interest and links to an emergency assistance center. The climate-controlled seats use small fans to circulate warm or cool air through the perforated leather upholstery.
Leather-covered seats are standard, with two captain's chairs in both the front and middle rows. The rear bench is a removable three-place bench. A three-seat bench is optional for the middle row for eight-passenger capacity. Power-adjustable brake and accelerator pedals with a three-inch range are standard.
A Lincolnesque grille and unique taillights and rear trim are Navigator's chief styling differentiations from the Expedition. Both come in four-door styling.
Under the Hood
The 300-horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8 with dual overhead camshafts engine available in the Navigator is not available in the Expedition. Two- and four-wheel-drive models are available, and the latter engages automatically and can be used on smooth, dry pavement.
Side-impact airbags for the front seats will be offered as an option later in the model year. Also coming later in the year is the sonar Reverse-Sensing System, which detects objects while the vehicle is backing up. The system, also used in the Ford Windstar minivan, alerts drivers that objects behind the vehicle are within 5.9 feet with warning beeps. As objects become closer, the beeps sound more frequently and become a continuous tone when the object is within 10 inches.