2012 Navigator L New Car Test Drive
Lincoln Navigator boasts the towing and load potential of a truck with the comfort and convenience of an expensive sedan. The Navigator offers real space for up to eight passengers. It also features enormous cargo capacity.
Lincoln 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, however, 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. The car-based crossovers don't offer the towing capability of the truck-based Lincoln 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 Lincoln 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.
For 2011, Lincoln Navigator changes are minimal. Voice-controlled navigation with HD Radio technology, SYNC and Sirius Travel Link is now standard, there's standard Trailer Sway Control with AdvanceTrac and Roll Stability Control, the MyKey system allows limiting vehicle top speed and radio volume, and there is complimentary maintenance for the first 12 months or 15,000 miles. Some options have been changed. Navigator was last redesigned for the 2007 model year.
The Lincoln Navigator 4x2 ($57,155) and Navigator 4x4 ($60,055) come with leather upholstery and wood trim.
Two second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench seat are standard for seven-passenger seating, though a three-place second-row split bench seat is available at no charge for eight-passenger seating. Rear seats are heated, while the front seats are both heated and cooled. A power-folding third-row seat and power liftgate come standard. Other standard features include a high-watt stereo with six-CD changer, 14 speakers and auxiliary input jack; three-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat fan and controls; leather-and-wood steering wheel with audio and climate controls; 10-way adjustable front seats; power-adjustable pedals; keyless entry keypad; remote keyless entry; front seat position memory; power-deploying running boards; roof rack; high-intensity discharge headlights; power-folding mirrors with memory; fog lamps; and 255/70R18 tires on alloy wheels.
The Navigator L 4x2 ($59,320) and Navigator L 4x4 ($62,220) are similarly equipped.
The 101A Decor package ($3,460) includes Olive ash wood trim and Canyon Premium leather with black piping. Stand-alone options include DVD entertainment ($1,995), remote start ($345), 20-inch polished wheels ($1,310), moonroof ($995), the Trailer Tow package ($595) which includes rear load-leveling air suspension, heavy-duty hitch integrated with rear bumper, two-inch receiver, heavy-duty radiator and transmission cooler, brake module wiring, and four-pin and seven-pin connectors, and the Monochrome Appearance Package ($420) which includes body-colored trim and chrome accents.
Safety features include dual-stage front airbags, front-seat side-impact airbags, and curtain-style head-protection airbags with rollover sensor for all outboard seats. All Navigators are equipped with Lincoln's AdvanceTrac electronic stability program with Roll Stability Control, which uses a gyroscopic roll-rate sensor to enhance rollover resistance. Four-channel antilock brakes (ABS), rearview camera, and a tire-pressure monitor are standard.