2015 Navigator New Car Test Drive
Lincoln Navigator is a three-row luxury SUV with the towing potential of a full-size pickup and the cargo volume of a van, with comfortable room for up to eight adults, and the features and conveniences of a luxury sedan.
The 2015 Navigator features a more powerful, more fuel-efficient engine. The new Ecoboost 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is smaller than the V8 it replaced, but it delivers more power and better fuel economy, rated at 380 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, while attaining an EPA-estimated 16/22 mpg City/Highway on Premium gasoline. It pairs well to a 6-speed automatic transmission and comes with rear-wheel drive (2WD) or electronically engaged four-wheel drive (4WD). The four-wheel drive can be used on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing. Unless you live in the Sun Belt we recommend the four-wheel drive.
Also new for the 2015 Navigator is Lincoln Drive Control, continuously controlled dampers, 22-inch wheels, and blind-spot warning with rear cross-path detection. The dashboard is updated for 2015, including a new instrument panel that flanks the speedometer with a pair of four-inch screens, as has MyLincoln Touch.
While a Navigator can mimic a pickup in work capacity, it is smooth and quiet on the road, with a compliant, fully independent rear suspension that smoothes over the roughest of pavement. It uses a ladder-type truck frame adapted from Ford's F-150 and separate body, giving it towing capability and off-pavement durability. For this reason, the Navigator is not as responsive as the Lincoln MKX crossover utility.
Lincoln Navigator is available in two lengths, standard and a long-wheelbase version dubbed Navigator L. Both can seat seven or eight passengers, depending on the configuration ordered, with essentially identical passenger accommodations. Navigator L is 15 inches longer overall, adding a substantial amount of cargo space, and it is 12 inches longer in wheelbase, aiding towing stability.
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; a dual-screen DVD system is available. Lincoln's corporate SYNC system includes voice activation with standard operator assist and SOS post-crash alert, while SYNC AppLink software provides hands-free voice control of select smartphone apps. Navigator does not offer a head-up display or automatic cruise control/forward collision warning system many alternatives do.
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator 2WD ($61480), Navigator 4WD ($65,055), long-wheelbase L 2WD ($63,645) and 4WD ($67,220) all come with a turbocharged V6 engine and automatic transmission.
Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, rear climate control, 10-way power heated/cooled front seats, heated second-row bucket seats (captain's chairs or a split-fold bench are no-cost options), power folding 60/40 third-row seat, power liftgate, power-deploy running boards, power folding heated mirrors with auto-dim driver side, voice-control navigation with HD and XM (6-month subscription) radio and Sirius XM Traffic and Travel Link (72 month subscription), 14-speaker THX II certified 5.1 surround sound, genuine wood trim, leather-and-wood power tilt steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, park sensors front and rear, rearview camera, bi-xenon headlights, LED running and tail lights, rain-sensing wipers, six power windows, trip computer, 110 VAC outlet, front tow hooks, receiver hitch with vanity cover, and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels. Navigator L also gets a 4.10:1 axle ratio (optional on standard-wheelbase) and a double-deck cargo management system.
Primary options are a Reserve package ($6850 4WD, $7500 2WD) with polished 22-inch wheels, Lincoln Drive Control adjustable dampers, two-tone exterior paint, unique cabin features and Ziricote wood; moonroof ($995); special paints ($495-695); dual-screen DVD rear entertainment ($1995) and second-row seat configurations.
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 and trailer sway control, blind-spot warning, MyKey, perimeter alarm, keypad entry/lock, SOS post-crash alert, rearview camera, and tire-pressure monitors.