By on March 2, 2011

A different driving experience is worth a few points in my book. A vehicle can be flawed, even seriously flawed, but if it provides a unique experience I personally find it more appealing than a technically superior but emotionally vacant appliance. With this in mind, and a Lexus LX 570 my ride for the week, I decided to have one last fling with a pair of dinosaurs, the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. Few vehicles are more out of step with the current market. Today, the Lincoln.

So, how do you take a large Ford SUV and make it seem worthy of the Lincoln badge and a $60,000+ MSRP? Well, there’s the right way, and then there’s the easy way. The easy way: add a lot of chrome. The slabs on the lower doors are standard, while that over the grille is a $75 option. To these the dealer appears to have felt the need to add the B-pillar appliques. Even paired with “tuxedo black metallic” the result isn’t convincing. The Navigator had a few years in the middle of its run when it looked almost classy. But both the early and recent generations have been all about wretched excess superficially and even haphazardly applied to a basic box that’s much more at home as a Ford.

Inside the Lincoln Navigator this story continues. The current interior is a step back in materials and style from the one the preceded it. Lincoln claims that the wood is real, but it doesn’t look real, and it certainly isn’t spectacular. The instruments look dated and cheap, while the controls feel dated and cheap, even clunky in the case of the shifter. The controls in a luxury vehicle should never feel clunky. The same HVAC controls that look a little cheap inside the 2008 Ford Taurus X I recently purchased are employed inside this $63,360 Lincoln. Lincoln has upgraded the interiors in its most recent products, but the Navigator is apparently being left to die on the vine as time passes it by.

In terms of function the Lincoln fares better. The seats in the first two rows are huge and cushy. Perhaps even a little too cushy and lacking in support, but they befit the brand. Expansive windows pair with a high seating position to provide outstanding visibility. One ergonomic shortcoming: there’s nowhere for the driver to rest a left foot. So said foot must simply be planted flat on the floor.

Unlike the Cadillac Escalade (or the Lexus LX 570, for that matter), the Lincoln Navigator has an independent rear suspension. The main benefit: a low, flat floor in the rear of the vehicle, for the best third-row seat in the entire industry. There’s plenty of room back there, and with the third-row bench very high off the floor and a little less cushy than the others it’s arguably the most comfortable place to sit in the Navigator. This never happens.

There’s only a foot or so of cargo space behind the third row. For those who want to carry six-plus people AND their luggage Lincoln offers the Navigator EL. In the EL the seating dimensions remain about the same, but there’s another foot behind the third row for luggage. If you’re getting this sort of vehicle you might as well go all the way; I tested the regular wheelbase only because it was closer in size to the Lexus.

Ford’s “modular” V8 has never received much love, and that’s not about to change in its waning days. The three-valve-per-cylinder 5.4-liter V8’s specs aren’t bad: 310 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. But they’re up against a curb weight north of three tons. Worse, the V8 produces an unseemly roar while going about its work and the six-speed automatic isn’t the smoothest. With so many gears to choose from, you wouldn’t expect the sort of overly aggressive kick down common with lesser endowed boxes, but it’s here.

The steering has a moderate weightiness to it and feels pretty good for this class of vehicle. That’s the high point of the suspension. Handling is thoroughly predictable but ponderous, even compared to the Cadillac. Despite the independent rear suspension and luxury mission the Navigator pounds and shimmies over bumps. The body feels flexy and too loosely attached to the frame. Old man Leland must be rolling in his grave. His Lincolns never rode anything like this. The tested vehicle was shod with the optional 275/55R20 tires. These could be poorly suited for the suspension, and the standard 18s could ride better. But the 20s possess plenty of sidewall. They’re hardly rim protectors. Even with them there’s no obvious reason the Navigator rides as badly or feels as unpolished as it does. Competitors also tend to be quieter inside.

When testing Explorers and Expeditions in the past I’ve wondered how Ford could go through the cost and trouble of fitting an independent rear suspension to its otherwise conventional SUVs and still manage to underperform the live-axled competition from General Motors. With the latest, and perhaps last, Navigator, this mystery continues. The big SUV’s roominess and comfort are outstanding, but in just about every other way it falls short, even far short. The luxury is all superficial, at best. From the minor controls to the shifter to the engine to the chassis the Navigator feels clunky. Given its age and configuration I expected the SUV to feel dated. But the thorough lack of finesse came as a surprise. While rare these days even among low-priced subcompacts, this isn’t the sort of distinctive driving experience I was looking for.

Craig Carlson at Varsity Lincoln in Novi, MI, provided the vehicle (248-305-5300).
Michael Karesh owns TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.

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92 Comments on “Review: 2011 Lincoln Navigator...”


  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I recently spent a week being shuttled around NYC via car service for work. Got PLENTY of seat time in the back of Towncars, Navigators, and Escalades. I’ll take being driven in the back of the SUVs any day, and I didn’t see much in it between the Lincoln and the Cadillac. I wouldn’t want to actually DRIVE any of them, but with Manuel behind the wheel it is all good! 

    To me, the big, bold, SUVs are the current iteration of the Yank Tanks of days gone by, and are completely brand-appropriate. If you want a nice interior, spend real money and get an S-class.

    • 0 avatar
      ctoan

      Oh come on, Big American Luxury had a high point, and it was a lot higher than this.  Big, yes, flashy, yes, cheap?  Maybe, but nicer than this.
       
      More to the point, they were proud of the gaudy tanks they made.  They were huge and imposing and covered in chrome and stupid details, and they had cool toys and big engines.
      Luxury does not mean, and never meant, “If I cover it in enough chrome nobody will notice that it’s a truck”.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      I remember driving a 1970s Continental with a full leather interior. So nice and cushy. And so much nicer on the eyes than what I see here.

    • 0 avatar
      wstansfi

      I ride in the back of the usual livery cars occasionally as well. Although I haven’t been in the back of a Navigator, I can say that the ride in a mid-size cadillac or Town Car is considerably better than the ride in the back of an Escalade. Sure, the leather is nice and the interior is nice, but seating position in the second row of an Escalade leaves a little to be desired (let alone the 3rd row) and there’s simply no escaping that you’re in a truck, not a car.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    The only redeeming thing about the Navigator is that it has not yet been cursed with the brand’s Baleen Whale Face Grille [BWFG(TM)], which the tastelessly rich use for filter-feeding on children at school crossings and the occasional cyclist. Known as perhaps the ugliest face in motordom, save the Acura Bird Beak Appendage [ABBA(TM].*

    *Not to be confused with the Swedish pop group.

    • 0 avatar

      DomesticHearse-your comment about “filter feeding on children at school crossings and the occasional cyclist” was stupid.  Truly stupid.  Not funny at all.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I laughed.
       
      I also have a bike.
       
      Maybe I need to work on being more easily offended…

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      I’m with bikegoesbaa. I lol’d at that.
       
      Good job, Domestic Hearse. Well done.

    • 0 avatar

      I laughed as well. Then again, I’m also a Darwinist who believes pedestrians and bicyclists should always adhere to one rule above all others – “cars are bigger than you and must be respected, even if you have the right of way.”

      (And while I’m ranting, can someone tell me why we insist on having radar-enforced “School Zones” in front of high schools? Seriously… if the little brats haven’t learned to not play in the street by their teens, we should probably encourage culling them from the herd.)

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      Sorry Phil. As a roadie myself, I see you must be the serious, crit twit kind that won’t clip into the spuds without donning perfectly matched Team Radioshack apparel. Allow me to explain: at no point was I advocating the use of a Lincoln for filter-feeding on people, on foot or on wheels. That was sarcasm. A reference to the past elitism of the former glorious Lincoln brand itself. Next time, I’ll include more footnotes.

    • 0 avatar
      DavidB

      I’m a newbie racer (cat-5 and 41) and I laughed at Domestic Hearse. My whole family cycles more than we drive. Which leads me to why I was reading this thread: Our ’05 Eddie Bauer Expedition is, as we’ve named her, the “big rig.” Majestic on the highway, a pain to park in town, slurps fuel faster than a Parisian can smoke a Gitane unfiltered, but now very quiet at all speeds wearing her new Michelin LTX-MS2 tires. It holds my family of four with each of our bikes (hitch rack) AND gear comfortably. AND it will play concert DVD’s in surround sound. It is what it is…

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      While I didn’t lol, I thought it was funny.

    • 0 avatar

      “Serious crit twit”? WTF? Yes, I ride, and race, and have done so for a bunch of years.  Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be offended by your stupid comments.  Having lost three good friends who were killed after being run down from behind by idiots in vehicles over the years, I think I’m entitled to my lack of LOL-ing. By the way I ride Time pedals, not “spuds”.

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      Few years back, I was riding the Ride the Rockies event with my best friend: riding medic, doctor. Second day, we come up on complete carnage. Kid, 16, newbie, rode up the wheel in front of him, pulled out, right into a dump truck. Bike lying in the road, twisted glob of charcoal and aluminum. Truck pulled over, driver sobbing. Docs scooped up the kid into a CO DOT pickup (serving as a sag wagon), rushed him to the nearest medical facility. It was a veterinarians office. Heroic efforts were made, but the boy didn’t. Did I mention it was his birthday? I showed up in a separate truck with all those medics’ bikes gathered up. Lots of tears.
      Same ride, last day, brickin’ it downhill into Golden. Well, till that one guy went wide in a corner straight into a minivan. Massive head trauma. Buddy on the radio, calling a life flight out of Denver. Didn’t make it.
      So yeah, I get it. The only sane response I have is to laugh or I’d never ride again. Make jokes or I’ll see that kid’s dad fall to his knees over and over. If you’re that deeply offended, sorry. Really. We all cope with it in our own ways.

    • 0 avatar
      prattworks

      I’ve had two friends hit by trucks while ridiing their bikes.  One was in body cast for months.  I have a pretty dark and twisted sense of humor, but find none in the comment above.  Having driven an Alfa Spider for years, my regard for SUVs (and often their owners) is pretty low.

    • 0 avatar

      Surprised how many bikies are among the B&B. When I got hit by an SUV (my fault, not his) I was a little disappointed that the surgeon used a stainless plate to fix my knee, not titanium to match my Litespeed.

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      Ha Ha Ha!
      LMAO!

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      I was against it until you pointed out it might be used against bicyclists. Now I want one.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Auto-Zone chrome B pillar appliques! Where are the stick-on portholes? You’ve got to be kidding. I sure hope the “closed” sign on the theater isn’t prophetic for Lincoln, but this vehicle doesn’t appear to dissuade that thought. You know, something about this really bothers me.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

     
    Lose the pillar chrome, and have extra chrome bits to make the door panel lower chrome flow into the wheel openings, and that side view would look much much better.  As it is, it looks really poorly done.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      As stated in the article, the door pillar chrome was something the dealer added, Lincoln (thankfully) does not ship them that way.  The lower door chrome has a factory delete option if you don’t care for it.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

       
      I’m fine with the lower door chrome, just wish they’d carried it through onto the wheel well openings.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Talk about mailing it in.  Lincoln needs to either commit to the big SUV market and do it right, or let this die.  The “extra chrome on a Ford” technique is not going to cut it, even with real wood in the dash.

  • avatar
    Steinweg

    With a straight face I can say, I’d rather have a Dodge Caravan – and I definitely do not want a Dodge Caravan. What a parading piece of nonsense this thing is. And the words “sport” and “utility” could not be more misused. I’ve been treated to the Navi experience and found it appalling that anyone (I’m talking to you Uncle Glen) with any sense would have one.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The Navigator is great for what it is – a big flashy comfortable eight seater truck.  If your vehicle needs include towing something in the 8,000+ lbs range, sometimes while taking the whole family with you, vehicles like this, the Expedition, Suburban, and Escalade are really your only choice.
     
    The drive isn’t designed to be sporty or communicative – the Navigator buyer wants to be isolated from the road and the world outside, and it does that job well.  It does suffer from being the longest in the tooth Lincoln left (not counting the town car) – hence the old style climate controls and the older V8.  It’s also due for replacement very soon, I think as a 2013 model.
     
    The market for something like this has dwindled, but the practical features still exist.  You can see the abundance of cupholders from your photos, to keep your kids/passengers happy.  The stereo lets you play different sources front and back so the kids can listen to Bieber or watch Hannah Montana DVDs in the back while you jam out to Maynard up front.  The third row seat isn’t only comfortable, it sinks into the floor with a touch of a button for extra flat cargo space, no lugging out a heavy seat needed, ever, and that alone helps steal plenty of sales from the Caddy dealership.
     
    You are right in that the one to get is the extended wheelbase version – the extra cargo space is nice, but it also makes the ride more settled.  The only reason to get the short wheelbase is if the long one won’t fit into your garage.

    • 0 avatar

      Good to hear that the EL also settles the ride. The last Expedition I drove was an EL with the 18-inch wheels, and I remember it riding much better than this Navigator, if still not as well as the GM products.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      I don’t know.  Someone who’s looking for a trailer towing family hauler is probably looking at a fully loaded Suburban, not the Navigator or the Escalade.  The latter two have become too blingy in the popular mind to be thought much of as family vehicles.
       
      Personally, I’d argue that full sized vans are much better for just about everything family road trip related than SUVs.  A little less family related – my department in grad school had a Quiggley that was much more practical for towing and hauling than any SUV on then on the market.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Signal11 -
       
      True, the Expedition/Suburban/Sequoia is the more common family hauler, and it shows in the sales, but for those looking for something with a little more cred in the country club parking lot the Navigator/’Slade fill the same role.  A loaded King Ranch Expedition give you 95% of what you get in the Navigator for 80% of the price, that would be the route I would go.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      @Null
       
      We disagree on the contents of the parking lot at the club, Null. For the same reasons there are plenty of F-150s but nary a Blackwood, there’s usually more Suburbans in the lot than Escalades.  Actually, there’s usually a lot more LXs than either, but then we’re changing the argument a bit.
       
      Though I think geography might have something to do with it.  I think in certain parts of the US, Escalades and Navigators carry a certain negative social connotation.

    • 0 avatar

      Amen, Nullo. We bought a 2000 Expedition Eddie Bauer for towing a livestock trailer and carrying stuff and passengers to shows. Not having any experience with the large SUVs before, I was a bit surprised how somewhat crude it was for a $40,000 (at the time) vehicle. Fairly noisy, growly engine, and a floaty suspension. Ours has the air suspension and you really know it when the air pump comes on. It has several electrical gremlins that NO ONE seems to be able to solve, so we live with it. But, we love it (hate the gas mileage) for the size and power. It swallows up six adults with room to spare. Have to check to see if the 16′ trailer is still back there, big wide leather seats and lots of neat luxury features (neat to me anyway). Debating selling it however since we now have an ’05 Silverado 2500 HD crew cab for towing and hauling. Would like to have a newer Expedition or a Navigator but not practical for us to spend that sort of money anymore.

  • avatar
    aircooledTOM

    I sell both of these, the Cadillac is a WAY better machine.  And the chrome in the B-pillar is hideous.  Absolutely horrible.  The third row comment is very accurate.  Only a GM Lambda is better in the third row.  The Escalade third row sucks.  But it’s a superior product– more motor, magnetic ride control, almost sporty driving experience, better looking interior (particularly with the Platinum trim level– incredibly supple leather).

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      In my experience the Escalade has the nicer engine, and cleaner outside styling, while the Navigator has a softer ride (you can love it or hate it, depending) better interior packaging, and a better nav/sound system.

      I haven’t seen a Platinum ‘Slade traded in yet, but the Navigator does have an upgraded interior package available from the one Michael drove, if you get the Monochrome limited edition package you get nicer interior leather, more natural looking wood, and it deletes the bottom door trim chrome.

  • avatar
    cackalacka

    I must confess, my only exposure to the Navigator is seeing the facilities manager’s truck at my office, who parked his late-model princess in my office lot until his group got let go.
     
    We all got a great look at it, daily, because this guy had the stones to park his Navigator in the front row, diagonally, across three spaces. Strike that, across three handicapped spaces.
     
    The vehicle exuded a certain, je ne sais quoi. Nothing says ‘class’ like a chromed out $50k vehicle with four-figure rims, ostensibly splayed across spaces earmarked for handicapped people.
     
    Looks like Lincoln is still well poised to capture this discriminating target demographic.

  • avatar
    86er

    In terms of function the Lincoln fares better. The seats in the first two rows are huge and cushy. Perhaps even a little too cushy and lacking in support, but they befit the brand. Expansive windows pair with a high seating position to provide outstanding visibility.

    Sounds like the major problem that afflicts the Navigator is that it’s a truck and not a car.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Forget the Escalade. LTZ Tahoe. Less money and much more tasteful. Plus your not saddled w/that MPG robbing AWD and lack of 4LOW. I like that they put the larger engine in the caddy which is far less likely to ever have anything hooked to the back of it. Although much to my surprise while out in the Black Hills this winter I did see a 4 place enclosed snowmobile trailer hooked to the back of a Hybrid Escalade in the lodge parking lot. That has to be a first.  Same can be said for the Lincoln. Just load up the much more attactive Ford and be done with it.

    • 0 avatar
      aircooledTOM

      LTZ has the dash from an Impala.  And the leather feels like it came off plastic cows.  The 6.2 enhances drivability.  And it’s actually pretty fuel efficient for a 400 horsepower motor pushing a million pound vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      A friend tows an aluminum livestock trailer with her Escalade. Rather classy looking package on the road, black Caddy and shiny silver trailer.

  • avatar
    derek533

    If I was in the market for a $60K+ SUV, my first and only choice would be the QX56 just based on the interior alone which the Lincoln and Caddy can’t hold a candle to in terms of quality of materials and fit/finish.
    Just my opinion though.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      I’m curious, why would you hypothetically go for the QX56 over the LX570?

    • 0 avatar

      The QX56 looks like a RHINO. Easily the ugliest SUV I’ve ever seen. Should only be sold on African safaris.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      For $60k, I’d go with a GMC Yukon XL Denali.

      Handsome, with great actual utility.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      SVX pearlie
       
      60g?!
      Pick up a 2-4yr old Suburban for 25g.. and put the rest of the money ya saved into a high yield savings account to earn money for GAS for the damn thing,

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I too would choose the QX56 over the Navigator/Escalade/LX570/GL/Q7 just because of the interior. I find Infiniti has raised the bar for interior design in this class.
      Now that I have a couple of kids in tow, I can now see the usefulness of this vehicle to get me to the shopping mall or into my driveway. (and I’m saying that with zero sarcasm, unfortunately)

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      If I can afford $60k for a SUV (or any car, really), I can afford the gas to fill it with.

      OTOH, if I really cared about fuel costs, I guess I could get the Yukon XL Denali Hybrid…

      In reality, if I’m buying used, $30k goes a long way.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      If I am ever in the market for a $60k SUV, shoot me, please.  What a dumb way to spend $60k!

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      All at the same time, I owned a $68K Suburban, a $74K Benz, and a $70K Benz.
       
      The Suburban is the only one of the three that I’d buy again without hesitation.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      This is completely typical of the entire Ford SUV lineup. Of all the major auto manufacturers, Ford products look the most like a giant minivan perched atop a truck chassis. Follow a Navigator around town one day and tell me I’m wrong.
       
      Ford has the worst styling of any non-French auto-maker, hands down.

      (No idea why this stand-alone comment appeared in this thread.)

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      All at the same time, I owned a $68K Suburban, a $74K Benz, and a $70K Benz.

      Wow, M 1, you sure are an impressive human being!  Tell us more, please.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    I can’t believe this ‘luxury’ vehicle doesn’t warrant one of Fords new V8s. Mustang has it, F150 has it, Lincoln Navigator? No that’s got the old Modular V8. Reeeeeeaally? Sure seems like this is a vehicle that could put the extra 100+ ponies to work.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      If the next Navigator is still full sized BOF, it will get the 6.2.  If it turns out to be more similar to the new Explorer, it will get the 3.5 EcoBoost, either one will be a huge improvement.  The current Navigator hasn’t had an update since ’07.  I’m sure there would have been a way to work the 6.2 liter into it for this year, but since it only has one more year to go before it’s replaced, it was probably determined not to be cost effective.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Seriously… more money than brains!

  • avatar
    MoppyMop

    The dash looks like it came straight out of a ’75 Granada.  Gross.

    • 0 avatar
      Dimwit

      Ha! I thought you were joking until I saw the pictures. Gross indeed.

    • 0 avatar
      Zarba

      My parents had a ’76 Monarch Ghia.  I’m offended anyone would comapre this pig to that  ………….  uhhh, pig.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I can see a bit of Granada just from the square speedo/tach and the horizontal line of instrument readouts.  This design came out when Lincoln was doing similar things with the MKZ and MKX – the first gen of both also had 70s retro gauge treatments.  Personally, I thought they looked kind of cool, but apparently most others haven’t been huge fans.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    We rented a Navigator on a family trip to Orlando around 2003, shortly after the 2nd generation debuted. The modern and cohesive interior was easily best-in-class, while the Escalade was stuck in deluxe pickup mode and Mercedes was shilling the touch-it-and-it’ll break plasticized ML. The chrome trim was limited and tasteful, while the waterfall grille was 100x better than that grotesque 1960′s throwback Lincoln committed to for all of three years.

    Lincoln gets so little effort it’s amazing that they still any cars at all.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I’ll agree, the middle Navigator was great.  I thought it looked classy outside, and the inside was also really nice.  Haven’t sat in this one, but just looks-wise, it does seem a step down inside and out.
     
    Why do I sometimes find I want a vehicle like this though?  Never felt that in the past 10 years.  Now, I find that I sometimes think a nice, big, comfy Navigator, or Escalade, or Tahoe or X5 sounds pretty good.
     
     

  • avatar
    Wagen

    Seeing this truck parked in front of a closed movie theater is such a good reflection of Ford’s R&D devoted to Lincoln: CLOSED. 

    With all that (mostly less than tasteful) chrome, it’s almost as worthy of a visit to the Bling Cafe as was the QX.

  • avatar

    I drove a 2008 Navigator the second they got to my dealer. My Uncle traded in his 07 Navigator for the new model.   http://www99.epinions.com/content_258470416004
    This was one of the last “bigtrucks” I’d driven.  Around this time I was finishing up a lease period on an Escalade EXT.   Just a couple points:
    #1 The Navigator and Expedition are the most spacious full sized SUV’s there are and they make no compromises.  The other SUV’s in GM’s fleet have 3rd row seats that you have to remove because they don’t fold flat.  The Nav and Exp’s 3rd rows fold flat perfectly with their power switch.
    #2 I loved that the new Navigator had a more spacious interior than the cramped 2nd generation. I HATED driving that thing. The new model had a nice, airy feel – although it felt a bit cheap in places.
    #3  I think the engine fits the truck perfectly. You can use regular unleaded and not have to worry about torque or HP loss. It’s more fuel efficient than the Escalade’s Super premium unleaded thirst.
    #4  My Uncle raves about the fact the GM trucks are faster than his Navigator, but, once you get to a corner, they have to slow down otherwise they’ll flip over. The Navigator has very well controlled roll in and out of corners. It’s a great truck to be in for long drives.
    #5 I liked that the new navigator had better interior space and a higher ceiling than my Escalade EXT did.  I don’t miss that truck one bit.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Ok, I get it.. the designers at Lincoln are blind too.. hideous.. inside and out. Looks like they pulled up to Autozone and bought every cheap plasti-chrome add on and said “Voila!” Only thing missing is the cheapo hub caps to round out this gaudy ensemble.. I wonder if it’s part of the “El Cheapo” trim package.. What’s worse is that a bunch of people signed off on this thing. Full gauges are nice though..
    Sorry Linc, my 60k is going elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    This Navigator, just like the other Lincoln rebadges, are the saddest excuse for a luxury vehicle on the road.
     
    Hyundai makes more convincing luxury vehicles than Lincoln.
     
    The brand of rebadges needs to die.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Or, Lincoln could get smart and start using unique sheetmetal.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      They could…but I don’t think it will help them.  Their last interesting product was introduced in 1999…the LS.  How can a company survive like that?
       
      Ford does not have the ability to turn Lincoln around.  Ford has neglected the company so much, that nothing can save them.  Except maybe PROPER pricing.
       
      With Lincoln’s current lineup of rebadges, not ONE of their vehicles should be priced over 50 grand.  But then you run into the problem of Lincolns being priced the same as Fords (but, Fords are severely overpriced as well…)
       
      I don’t think our resident sales-person could convince Big Al to buy a Lincoln.
       
      I feel sorry for the dealers that had their Mercury inventory abruptly ripped away from them and are now just trying to survive on Lincoln’s pitiful sales numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      For the longest time, every sedan & coupe in GM was badge-engineered. If an elephant like GM can turn things around, one has to imageine that a smaller, more nimble company can, too.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Huh, didn’t know they still made these. The Navi’s pretty “long in the tooth”, but with gas prices looking to hit the 4-5 dollar region again Ford is better off focusing (no pun intended) on their small car line up.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    These things are, and always have been, a joke.  The Escalade, the Lexus, hell, any of these overdone “luxury” SUVs are just ridiculous symbols of conspicuous consumption.  But the Navigator has always been the dumbest looking one.  With its abundance of chrome, and dual “yin-yang” taillights it looks just like Clark Griswald’s Family Truckster.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I never quite understood the appeal of the Escalade/Navi. Yes, they seem to be brands to aspire to over their more pedestrian brethern that they are spawned from. Yes, they make great limos. That being said GM and Ford’s luxury divisions should just have designed their own exclusive type of lux SUV a bit larger than than their current crossovers like the MKT,to compete with the likes of Range Rover,Merc M or ML-Class.

  • avatar
    prattworks

    13 mpg city / 18 mpg highway.  I can’t figure out who is in deeper denial – the people who make it or the people who buy it.  It brings to mind a morbidly obese couple gorging themselves at a buffet while they look lovingly into each other’s eyes – I suppose everyone needs somebody to love.

  • avatar

    Here is Similar Story
     
    While no longer the icon it was in the late 1990s, the Lincoln Navigator carries the distinction of being the first full-size SUV to be offered by a domestic luxury brand. Born at a time when SUVs were becoming ever more popular, the Navigator — big, imposing and flashy — was initially seen by some as the ultimate rolling status symbol.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Political correctness and non-offensiveness uber alles.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Anyone notice, except for ONE comment, the lack of any reference to Chrysler? Also, back to the subject at hand. I like the back door chrome window divider, just like the old days - now if Ford would just include a full window-reveal molding instead of a too-heavy sill molding, it would do much more for the overall appearance than random chrome pieces stuck all over the place! To another comment about the “Blackwood”, the reason you don’t see any at the club is that they only made one and it’s in a nearby neighborhood close to me!

  • avatar

    I’ll get a car service to the airport on occasion; the guy I use has a couple of very new Town Cars he uses, plus a recent Navigator. The Navigator rides like a military vehicle. I haven’t been in a ‘sclade to compare, but for anything other than the bombed-out streets of NYC, my choice is a Town Car.

  • avatar
    mjz

    The current versions of the Nav and Slade are dinosaurs. Bring on the Explorer based Navigator and the Lambda based Escalade stat!

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I would be loathe to call vehicles based on platforms of the ultra-competitive half-ton market “dinosaurs.” Ford and GM keep their trucks exceptionally up to date and tend to them in a way they haven’t with passenger cars.

      Plus, does the market really need more large amorphous cross-over dealies?

    • 0 avatar

      Ford has neglected its full-size SUVs. There seems to be quite a bit still here from the original 1996 Expedition. The full-size pickups have been more thoroughly revised twice over the same time period.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      You mean 1997, and still, you’re quite a bit off the mark, respectfully.

      The Expy was vastly updated, sharing most underpinnings with the 1997-2003 generation F-150 in 2003 (with the added bonus of IRS).

      Then in 2007 it was heavily updated again, with the benefits of the 2004-2008 generation F-150.
      I know the Expy (and Navigator, by extension) didn’t receive as much of the massive investments of the F-Series program, but got quite a few good “hand-me-downs”.  Plus, updating a truck isn’t quite like updating a car (more about what you don’t see). Maybe some of the switchgear on the dash has stayed similar in layout, but the chassis has been heavily reworked from the original 1997 model.

  • avatar
    mjz

    In the world of $4-5 gas, they will become extinct just like the Brontosaurus did.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Fair enough, you meant “destined for an oil-shaped asteroid” when I thought you meant that they’re “antiques”. 

      For argument’s sake, the Navigator, Escalade, QX56, LX570, et al. didn’t die out in ’08, but I’m cognizant that at least as far as the Detroit 3 are concerned, they’re not putting any extra investments into BOF full-size SUVs anymore, and the next Navigator and Escalade will be D4 and Lambda, respectively.

      It’s just a pity, as far as I’m concerned, even though I’m not the target market for these vehicles.  Where some autocognoscenti see a plethora of choice, I see a dearth of it with this rampant homogenization.

      Perspective, I s’pose.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Makes me love my understated black monochrome 2006 Navigator that much more. Bought used for $25k, slapped on a Roush blower and a kick ass stereo setup, and it’s a fantastic cruiser that holds all my drum gear effortlessly.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    Am I the only one that was amused by the Seinfeld reference?

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I drove a supersized escalade for a while, i didnt really like it, i found it bouncy with just one or two people in it  – way too bouncy i thought.  Then i rented a supersized tahoe and six of us went on a trip.  I liked that ride… silly cause they are basically the same vehicle.  Maybe because the tahoe was pretty loaded?  i dont really know. As for the lincoln, yes it is a huge styling mess, but i bet its comfortable for many people on long trips. Perhaps these monstrosities are best appreciated under full loads?  i dunno.  I have no particular use for them, so i will nor be in the market for one.

  • avatar
    davant

    I don’t understand why people buy tarted up fords with different badges. 

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    That interior sure looks 80′s to my eyes and quite outdated. It’s 13/18 mileage ratings are also bottom feeder territory along with the 5.4 that strains it’s heart out to get this monster rolling with verve. The wood is also in the wrong place on the steering wheel, an obvious cost cutting move, and the exterior chrome is all wrong- Cadillac does it better on the Slade. There is a reason the Caddy costs more- it’s a better vehicle in many ways even despite the cushier Ford seats in the Nav.

  • avatar
    Cease2Exist

    I honestly don’t understand why anyone would buy this vehicle with their own money.
    I can think of few other vehicles that are as aged, mis-advertised (based on what you’re getting versus what the manufacturer claims), hideous to look at, or overpriced as this.
    Maybe the union forced Ford to keep the line going on this monstrosity.


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