A few years back, the Lincoln Navigator was one of the hottest full-size SUVs. Then the segment blossomed with competitors, and the Lincoln seemed to lose its clout.
Now, for 2007, the redesigned model is poised to make a statement once again. It's certainly hard to miss because the big chrome grille, chrome side trim and chrome wheels stand out.
The Navigator is based on the redesigned Ford Expedition, and it is targeted at customers who want comfort and refinement without having to sacrifice towing and hauling capability.
Full-size SUVs aren't as popular as they once were, but for people who need what they offer, there really isn't anything that can take their place.
Lincoln's big SUV is available in rear-wheel or four-wheel drive and in regular or long-wheelbase models. The regular model has a 119-inch wheelbase, while the Navigator L has a 131-inch wheelbase and 25 cubic feet of additional cargo capacity. Maximum towing capacity is 9,100 pounds.
Like the Expedition, the Navigator has roots based in Ford's F-series pickup truck. The new frame is 10 percent stiffer, in part because of tube-through-tube construction. The independent rear suspension gives a smooth ride and better road holding than the old solid rear axle. The brakes, with standard anti-lock, are larger than those of the previous model.
Navigator prices start at $46,575 for a two-wheel-drive Luxury model and $51,475 for a four-wheel-drive Ultimate model. I drove the Ultimate.
Add the Elite equipment package to the Ultimate and you get a rear-seat entertainment system, power running boards and a navigation system.
The power-folding running boards are slick as well as practical. With the doors closed, they fold out of sight and into the lower body. When one of the side doors is opened, the running boards fold out to offer a step.
The Ultimate package also includes heated and cooled front seats, a power liftgate and power-folding third-row seats.
The Navigator's interior is plush. The center console sweeps up into rectangles that frame the dash panel. The instruments, said to be inspired by fashion eyeglasses, have thin metal rings around square gauges. Secondary gauges are arrayed in a line above the speedometer and tachometer. This layout looks more delicate than that of the Expedition.
On the road, the Navigator was extremely comfortable. The lack of wind and road noise was impressive. The test vehicle's cabin had very dark woodgrain trim highlighted with matte silver trim.
The front bucket seats have large bolsters and soft cushions. The driver's seat has more travel to accommodate tall drivers. The test vehicle was equipped with power adjustable pedals, reverse parking sensors and power rear quarter windows.
Surprisingly for a vehicle in this price segment, the navigation system does not have a rearview camera.
The test car's three-zone climate-control system enables each front-seat passenger and the rear-seat passengers to set and control their own temperature.
The console-mounted shift lever has a wood finish that matches the steering wheel, door panels and console.
Entertainment options include a rear-seat DVD system, satellite radio, in-dash six-disc CD changer and a jack for iPods.
A console separated the second-row buckets. A 40/20/40 second-row bench seat is also available. The load floor is flat with all seats folded.
Ford's 5.4-liter, 300-horsepower V-8 has a six-speed automatic transmission. This single-overhead-cam engine has three valves per cylinder and 365 pound-feet of torque. Noise and vibration from the engine have been isolated, and the powerplant feels as smooth as an electric motor.
Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on the Limited, but the test vehicle was equipped with the optional 20-inchers.
In addition to anti-lock brakes, safety equipment includes vehicle stability control with rollover sensors and side-curtain airbags for all three rows of seats.
The test vehicle's base price was $51,475. Options included a rear-seat entertainment system, power running boards, navigation system, premium audio with THX sound system, 20-inch wheels and Sirius satellite radio. The sticker price was $58,420.
Three years or 36,000 miles with a six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|David Thomas||Cars.com National||January 16, 2007|
|Kevin Schweitzer||Cars.com National||February 23, 2006|
|Steven Cole Smith||Orlando Sentinel||March 3, 2007|
|Emily Hansen||Mother Proof||February 20, 2007|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||January 19, 2007|
|Anita And Paul Lienert||The Detroit Newspapers||December 13, 2006|
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