2006 Navigator New Car Test Drive
The Lincoln Navigator delivers luxury and prestige in a full-size SUV. The Navigator can carry up to eight passengers, haul 105 cubic feet of gear, and tow up to 8600 pounds of trailer. It offers a smooth, luxurious ride and is surprisingly nimble given its size. Its independent rear suspension is unusual in this class, shared only with the Ford Expedition.
A moderate facelift for 2005 gave the Navigator a kinder and gentler appearance, more like a luxury vehicle, less like a truck. At the same time, the Navigator got a small boost in power from a new 5.4-liter, single-overhead-cam V8 with three valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that responds to varying driving situations and contributes to a satisfying driving experience. This combination yielded lower emissions as well. There are no major changes for 2006.
Safety features include canopy-style air bags, designed to offer head protection in a side impact or rollover, and a sonar-based Reverse Sensing System that can help warn drivers of an object (or a child on a tricycle) immediately behind the vehicle whenever shifting into reverse. AdvanceTrac stability control with Roll Stability Control, which comes standard, can help the driver maintain control in an emergency handling situation.
Navigator's cabin is attractive and comfortable. Even the third-row seats are relatively comfortable for adults. When it's time to haul cargo, simply press a button on the keyless remote and the power liftgate raises, then walk up to the rear of the vehicle and press a pair of buttons and the third-row seats glide down to reveal a perfectly flat cargo area.
The Lincoln Navigator is available with two-wheel drive ($50,325) or all-wheel-drive ($53,875). All Navigators come with the 300-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission and feature a fully independent suspension with load-leveling at all four corners.
All have three rows of seats, leather upholstery in the first two rows, Reverse Sensing System, and nearly every luxury you would expect in a premium vehicle.
The popular Ultimate Preferred Equipment Package ($3,100) adds a power glass sunroof, power liftgate, heated and cooled front seats, and a power folding function for the third-row seat.
New for 2006, the Elite Package adds 18-inch chrome wheels, THX-certified audio with navigation system, HID headlamps, rear-seat DVD entertainment, power-retractable running boards and heavy-duty towing. The Elite Package is available only with the Ultimate Preferred Equipment Package.
Stand-alone options include a 300-watt, nine-speaker THX audio system with voice-activated DVD navigation ($2,995), power retractable running boards ($1,095), rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($1,415), HID headlamps ($495), Class III/IV trailer tow package ($350), chrome wheels ($695), sunroof ($1,595), and a monochrome appearance package ($995).
To achieve eight-passenger seating, a 40/20/40 split bench second-row seat is offered in place of the standard second-row bucket seats at no charge.