2007 Navigator New Car Test Drive
The 2007 Lincoln Navigator has been substantially redesigned in an effort to re-establish itself at the top of a category it more or less invented. It remains a big, heavy, luxurious sport-utility vehicle, with most of the advantages and disadvantages that go with big sport-utility vehicles.
The Navigator is now offered in two versions: the standard size, and an even larger, longer, Navigator L. With the exception of its 300-hp, 5.4-liter V8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, everything inside and out has been thoroughly revised. It's still available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
We'd call the 2007 Navigator an across-the-board improvement, except perhaps in the very subjective area of styling. Yet it's an incremental improvement, and it doesn't restore the clear edge Lincoln once had among full-size luxury SUVs. While Navigator hits the basic targets set for such vehicles, it's not loaded with emotional appeal.
The Navigator is essentially a truck, with a ladder-type box frame and separate body. As such, it's not as responsive, certainly not as sedan-like, as the unit-body sport-utilities proliferating at the high end of the market. But it's a smooth, quiet truck, with lots of noise- and vibration-mitigating technology and a fully independent rear suspension.
The Navigator also is very big. That means lots of passenger room and a full-size third seat, acres of cargo carrying space and impressive towing capacity. It's well equipped with safety features, including full-cabin head protection airbags, electronic stability control and a rollover protection system. Its styling seems deliberately retrogressive, probably in an effort to recreate the romance of Lincoln's glory days. Those who embrace the styling will find a nice finish inside, with rich wood and leather, and nearly all the bells and whistles available in luxury sedans.
With the upward trend in gasoline prices, big, luxurious sport-utility vehicles have lost some of their luster as a group. Still, the strengths that made them popular to begin with remain: real space for eight passengers, high bling factor and the comfort and convenience of an expensive sedan with the towing and load potential of a truck. The Lincoln Navigator shares those strengths at a competitive luxury-class price, and it doesn't even require premium fuel.
The 2007 Lincoln Navigator is available with a standard or long wheelbase, and rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Any version of this full-size sport-utility vehicle can seat either seven or eight. All are powered by a 300-hp 5.4-liter V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Lincoln Navigator 4x2 ($45,755) and Navigator 4x4 ($48,655) come with features expected in the luxury class. Leather upholstery and a choice of Dark Ebony or lighter Anigre wood trim are standard. Two second-row captain's chairs also are standard, though a three-place split bench seat is available at no charge.
Standard features include a high-watt stereo with six-CD changer and auxiliary jack, three-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat fan and controls, leather-and-wood steering wheel with audio and climate controls, front seat position memory, power-deploying running boards, rear park sensor warning, roof rack, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and complimentary maintenance for one year.
The Navigator L 4x2 ($48,775) and Navigator L 4x4 ($51,655) are 14.7 inches longer than the standard models. Passenger accommodations are essentially the same, but the Navigator L provides an additional 25 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the third seat.
The most popular option grouping is the Ultimate Package ($2,000), which adds heated and cooled front seats, Lincoln's power-folding third seat, power liftgate and power moonroof. The Elite Package ($5,575) is the full ride, and includes a voice-activated navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment package with eight-inch screen, and the Preferred Appearance package, which adds custom seat stitching, contrasting piping and embroidered Lincoln logos.
The navigation system ($1,995) and rear-seat DVD entertainment ($2,485) are available separately. Other stand-alone options include Sirius Satellite Radio hardware ($195) with a six-month subscription, a remote starter ($445), 20-inch chromed wheels ($1,495) and a heavy-duty tow package ($595).
The Navigator's standard safety features meet the luxury-class baseline: dual-stage front airbags, front occupant side-impact airbags and curtain-style head protection airbags for all outboard seats. The curtain bags feature a rollover sensor, and all Navigators are equipped with Lincoln's AdvanceTrac anti-skid stability program. This system features Roll Stability Control, which uses a gyroscopic roll-rate sensor to enhance rollover resistance. Four-channel antilock brakes (ABS) and a tire-pressure monitor also are standard.