Lincoln’s fourth generation Navigator SUV provides the utmost in carrying people in luxury. It is offered in two lengths with a 3112-mm (122-inch) and 3342-mm (131-inch) wheelbase, a huge vehicle by today’s standards.
While its arch-rival the Cadillac Escalade offers the same size and luxury, the Caddy comes with a traditional 6.2-litre V8 while the Lincoln’s momentum is provided with a 3.5 V6 with a whopping 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. It needs this power, as the long-wheelbase version weighs in at 2746 kgs, which is over three tons. The Navigator is assembled in Ford’s Louisville, KY facility.
Although its size and bulk are ponderous at first, the Navigator becomes easy to maneuver and it is quite light to the controls, belying its pickup truck DNA. Although it weighs three tons, the torque of the V6 provides more than enough grunt to get down the road. Sightlines from the driver’s seat are excellent, as one sits as high as a bus driver. Lincoln has worked hard with suppressing road noise and the harshness of its body-on-frame architecture.
As befitting all Lincolns, the Navigator exudes refined and subdued luxury, although the dashboard and central console are close to fussy with all the switchgear and buttons. Lincoln has done a fine job with curtailing road noise and ride, and the torque from the V6 feels endless. The panel in front of the driver provides elegant and understated graphics, and the front seats offer an almost endless choice of positions.
The Navigator comes with dashboard-mounted push button transmission selections, which may take some time for familiarity. Also taking time to use with ease is the interior door handle placement. And the rear windshield wiper is too small.
Gone are the days of the nine-seater, three-seat station wagons such as the Chevrolet Caprice and Ford Country Squire. While SUVs smaller than the Navigator offer lots of seating, as do mini-vans, cargo area suffers. Not so with the Navigator. It would be ideal for large families. The Navigator is also a perfect candidate for livery service.
Price as tested: $104,200, base $96,750.
Engine: 3.5-litre V6, twin turbochargers.
Power/Torque: 450 horsepower, 510 lb-ft.
Fuel Mileage: 9.6 L/100 km highway, 8.9 L/100 km city, 9.3 L/100 km overall.
Drivetrain: Ten-speed automatic, 3.73 to 1 final drive ratio, front suspension short and long arm with coil-over shocks, rear suspension independent multi-link, brakes 350.52-mm ventilated disc rotors front and rear, P285-45HR22 tires.
Specifications: Wheelbase 3342-mm (131.6 in), weight 2746 kgs (6056 lbs), cargo area behind front seat 3403 cubic liters (120.2 cubic feet), cargo area behind second seat 2075 cubic liters (73.3 cubic feet), fuel tank capacity 87 liters (19.1 gallons).