Lincoln Navigator

2016 Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator is a full-size, body-on-frame sport-utility. This third-generation Navigator was introduced as a 2007 model. Updating for 2015 gave the Navigator a new look along with greater power. The 2016 Lincoln Navigator carries over essentially unchanged.

Navigator is most comparable to the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon, as well as upper-level models of the Ford Expedition, which shares the Lincolns basic structure. A properly equipped Navigator is rated to tow up to 9,000 pounds.

Like the Expedition and similar SUVs, the Navigator comes in either standard or Navigator L extended-wheelbase form. Measuring 207.4 inches long in standard size; the Navigator L stretches to 222.3 inches, providing an additional 24.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

Somewhat surprisingly for a vehicle of this size, the Navigator excels in ride and handling. Adaptive dampers are available for the suspension, but grouped into an expensive option package.

V8 engines are gone, but a twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 whips up 380 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Navigators use a 6-speed automatic transmission. Lincoln claims the highest towing capacity in its class, and theres only a slight fuel-economy penalty for choosing four-wheel drive.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16/22 mpg City/Highway.

Leather-rimmed seats are standard in all three rows, as is a rearview camera. A more user-friendly Sync 3 interface is gradually phasing in to replace MyLincoln Touch, which uses touch, voice-activation or steering-wheel controls to operate phone, climate, audio, navigation and other functions. Weve found MyLincoln Touch to be an annoying and troublesome interface, so its good news to see a replacement.

On the highway, trailer-sway control can correct for the pendulum-like swing that a towed vehicle tends to induce. Large mirrors and a glassy cabin give the driver an expansive view.

Power-folding capability lets you stow the third row quickly and easily. Fords MyKey system can allow parents to limit certain functions when a teenager is driving the vehicle.

Bulky but sturdy SUVs like the Navigator typically score well in crash-testing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it a five-star overall rating. Rollover resistance rated four stars for four-wheel-drive models, three for rear-wheel drive.


2015 Lincoln Navigator

Lincoln Navigator is a three-row luxury SUV with the towing potential of a full-size pickup and the cargo volume of a van, with comfortable room for up to eight adults, and the features and conveniences of a luxury sedan.

The 2015 Navigator features a more powerful, more fuel-efficient engine. The new Ecoboost 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is smaller than the V8 it replaced, but it delivers more power and better fuel economy, rated at 380 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, while attaining an EPA-estimated 16/22 mpg City/Highway on Premium gasoline. It pairs well to a 6-speed automatic transmission and comes with rear-wheel drive (2WD) or electronically engaged four-wheel drive (4WD). The four-wheel drive can be used on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing. Unless you live in the Sun Belt we recommend the four-wheel drive.

Also new for the 2015 Navigator is Lincoln Drive Control, continuously controlled dampers, 22-inch wheels, and blind-spot warning with rear cross-path detection. The dashboard is updated for 2015, including a new instrument panel that flanks the speedometer with a pair of four-inch screens, as has MyLincoln Touch.

While a Navigator can mimic a pickup in work capacity, it is smooth and quiet on the road, with a compliant, fully independent rear suspension that smoothes over the roughest of pavement. It uses a ladder-type truck frame adapted from Fords F-150 and separate body, giving it towing capability and off-pavement durability. For this reason, the Navigator is not as responsive as the Lincoln MKX crossover utility.

Lincoln Navigator is available in two lengths, standard and a long-wheelbase version dubbed Navigator L. Both can seat seven or eight passengers, depending on the configuration ordered, with essentially identical passenger accommodations. Navigator L is 15 inches longer overall, adding a substantial amount of cargo space, and it is 12 inches longer in wheelbase, aiding towing stability.

Of course the Navigator also offers all the infotainment electronics youd expect in this price class. Voice-controlled navigation, HD radio, and Sirius Travel Link are just a few of the Navigators standard features; a dual-screen DVD system is available. Lincolns corporate SYNC system includes voice activation with standard operator assist and SOS post-crash alert, while SYNC AppLink software provides hands-free voice control of select smartphone apps. Navigator does not offer a head-up display or automatic cruise control/forward collision warning system many alternatives do.


2013 Lincoln Navigator

Lincoln Navigator boasts the towing and load potential of a truck with the comfort and convenience of a luxury sedan. The Navigator offers real space for up to eight passengers. It also features enormous cargo capacity. Navigator is rated to tow up to 9,000 pounds.

Yet the Navigator is smooth and quiet on the road, with a compliant, fully independent rear suspension that smoothes over the roughest of pavement. It is a truck with a ladder-type box frame and separate body, so the Navigator is not as responsive as a crossover SUV such as the Lincoln MKX. Car-based crossovers don't offer the towing capability of a truck-based SUV such as the Navigator, however.

The Lincoln Navigator comes in the standard size or a long-wheelbase version called the Navigator L. Both can seat seven or eight passengers, depending on the seating configuration ordered. The Navigator L is almost 15 inches longer than the standard version. Passenger accommodations are essentially the same, but the Navigator L provides an additional 24 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third seat.

The Navigator is powered by a 310-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which we found work smoothly together. Navigator is available with either rear-wheel drive (2WD) or electronically engaged four-wheel drive (4WD) that can be driven on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing. We recommend opting for the four-wheel drive.

New and standard for 2013 is Curve Control. Integrated into Lincoln's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, Curve Control helps you keep the wheels on the pavement and the shiny side up should you misjudge a curve and try to round it too quickly. Lincoln says that trying to take a curve too fast contributes to 50,000 crashes in the U.S. annually. And while no electronic widget can change the laws of physics, features such as curve control can help compensate for human error.

Of course the Navigator also offers all the infotainment electronics you'd expect in this price class. Voice-controlled navigation, HD Radio, and Sirius Travel Link are just a few of the Navigator's standard features. Ford's corporate SYNC system includes voice activation with standard Operator Assist, while SYNC AppLink software provides hands-free voice control of select smartphone apps.


 

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