Once the king of full-size luxury SUVs, the Lincoln Navigator has largely stood still as competitors became more advanced in recent years. It's no longer the most opulent or brash choice, but it's a commodious vehicle that's a good choice for people hauling things or passengers.
The bigger question buyers need to ponder, though, is whether they need the truck-based abilities of the Navigator -- or if they'd be better off with a more comfortable and efficient crossover.
Entering its eighth model year in its current version, the Navigator gets no meaningful changes for 2014.
The Navigator's exterior hasn't changed much since its 2007 redesign. It may be huge, but it isn't as imposing as a Cadillac Escalade or Range Rover, nor is it as tasteful as a Mercedes-Benz GL450 or Audi Q7. Worse, it looks very similar to the Ford Expedition with which it shares many components.
It's in the Navigator's interior that age becomes a bigger problem. Materials are far from opulent, and a Navigator makes do with a relatively small screen and few advanced features like lane departure warning, around-view monitors or trick off-road controls. At least what's there is relatively easy to use -- and features like SYNC voice recognition, navigation, HD radio and power-deploying running boards are all standard equipment. Another advantage: The third-row is usable for adults and folds flat with power-assist.
Under the Hood
The only engine is a 5.4-liter V8 with 310 horsepower -- it's outdated, underpowered and not that economical at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. The six-speed transmission is, likewise, outclassed by eight-speed gearboxes from many competitors.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, while a four-wheel drive system is an option. Towing capability is up to 9,000 pounds.
The truck-based underpinnings of the Navigator hurt its maneuverability, and it isn't more spacious than unibody competitors. In addition to a bouncy ride and vague steering, it doesn't handle with much confidence and is ultimately more of a chore to drive than any luxury vehicle should be.
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