2014 Navigator L New Car Test Drive
Lincoln Navigator boasts the towing and load potential of a truck with the comfort and convenience of a luxury sedan. The Navigator offers real space for up to eight passengers. It also features enormous cargo capacity. 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 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. Car-based crossovers don't offer the towing capability of a truck-based SUV such as the 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 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.
New and standard for 2013 is Curve Control. Integrated into Lincoln's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, Curve Control helps you keep the wheels on the pavement and the shiny side up should you misjudge a curve and try to round it too quickly. Lincoln says that trying to take a curve too fast contributes to 50,000 crashes in the U.S. annually. And while no electronic widget can change the laws of physics, features such as curve control can help compensate for human error.
Of course the Navigator also offers all the infotainment electronics you'd expect in this price class. Voice-controlled navigation, HD Radio, and Sirius Travel Link are just a few of the Navigator's standard features. Ford's corporate SYNC system includes voice activation with standard Operator Assist, while SYNC AppLink software provides hands-free voice control of select smartphone apps.
The Lincoln Navigator 4x2 ($57,775) and Navigator 4x4 ($60,675) 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 THX II Certified 5.1 Surround Sound audio with Sirius XM radio, plus input jacks for auxiliary audio, USB, and headphones; voice-activated SYNC with AppLink: voice-activated navigation with integrated Sirius XM Traffic and Sirius XM Travel Link; dual-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 integrated spotter mirrors, memory and puddle lamps; fog lamps; and 255/70R18 tires on machined alloy wheels.
The Navigator L 4x2 ($59,940) and Navigator L 4x4 ($62,840) are equipped the same as the standard-wheelbase models.
The Monochrome Appearance Package ($420) means body-color side cladding with chrome lettering, plus body-color lower grille and mirror caps. The Monochrome Limited Edition ($1,645) combines the Monochrome Appearance Package, a power moonroof, and unique interior décor, including Olive Ash wood trim and premium leather in a milk-chocolate color Lincoln calls Canyon (with black piping). Or, for the same price, choose the more prosaically named Equipment Group 101A ($1,645) which delivers the same monochrome exterior and power moonroof, but changes the interior color scheme to ebony woodwork and premium leather seats in Camel (tan) or Stone (gray).
Stand-alone options include DVD entertainment with screens mounted on the front-seat headrests ($1,925); remote start ($345); 20-inch polished wheels ($1,310); chrome hood accent ($75); moonroof ($995); a 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 a dealer-installed cargo organizer ($135).
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. For 2013 Lincoln has added Curve Control. Four-channel antilock brakes (ABS), rearview camera, and a tire-pressure monitor are also standard.