|2015 Lincoln Navigator – if you like big, this is the vehicle for you|
A full size luxury SUV is probably the best vehicle for a long distance road trip and they don’t get much better than the Lincoln Navigator. So when we had a 2015 Navigator show up, we had no choice but to drive it everywhere and see if the Navigator is as enjoyable as we remember it from its early days.
The Navigator looks similar to last year's model but there have been a lot of changes. The exterior receives some minor tuning with a newly designed hood and a new grille. There are also new jewel like daytime running lights as well as HID headlights with LED accents. Lincoln says that there are a total of 222 LEDs illuminating the exterior of the new Navigator. Under the hood is the biggest change to this year’s model. The standard engine is now a 3.5 liter EcoBoost twin turbo 3.5 liter V6 that puts put 380 hp. The new engine promises more power especially at lower rpms for towing and better fuel economy.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]380 hp is a lot of power but with over 6000 pounds of vehicle, the Navigator not exactly a drag race machine. We would not call it slow but it is not super quick either. Let’s just call the power level adequate. We did not try to tow anything but Lincoln engineers say that the new engine is well suited to towing and the Navigator is rated to tow up to 9,000 pounds which is very impressive.
The engineers were also focused on keeping the interior as quiet as possible. They claim that the new engine is a big part of the quieter interior. Other changes include acoustic laminated glass, enhanced carpet, headliner and insulated door and floor panels. All in all, the improvements result in what you would expect a Lincoln to be like, very quiet at highway speeds.
There are also a host of mechanical and electronic changes in the suspension to make the Navigator easier to drive. A new electric power steering helps free some horsepower and improves fuel economy while the Lincoln Drive Control option offers continuously controlled damping, a technology applied to the shocks that monitors multiple vehicle sensors and road conditions every two milliseconds and adjusts suspension needs accordingly.
Continuously controlled damping provides a smoother ride and allows the driver to customize the vehicle ride by selecting one of three control modes: normal, sport and comfort. The changes do help to make the Navigator a very nice riding vehicle that absorbs bumps well and does not ride like a truck that can tow 9,000 pounds but the difference between the settings was barely noticeable for us.
Designed to seat up to eight, Navigator offers second-row options that include two captain’s chairs with or without a center console, or a fold-flat bench. Due in part to Navigator’s independent rear suspension, the Navigator offers a power folding third row seat that folds flat and can create a huge cargo area.
Extended-length models provide 128.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 86.3 cubic feet behind the second row and 42.6 cubic feet behind the third row. Standard-wheelbase models have 103.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 54.4 cubic feet behind the second row and 18.1 cubic feet behind the third row.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]The new engine is said to improve fuel economy and the 4×4 Navigator is rated at 15 mpg city and 20 mpg on the highway. We saw around 15 mpg in city driving and actually saw around 22 mpg in highway driving. The Navigator may be more fuel efficient than before but you can’t expect more from a 380 hp truck that weighs 6,000 pounds so the fact that we saw 22 mpg is actually pretty good. If you get the two wheel drive version of the Navigator, your mileage improves a little.
The Navigator has never been cheap and this much luxury never is. Prices start at $62,475 and the top of the line version can cost you $75,065 which is actually very good when you compare the Navigator to its competition.
The Navigator gives you a lot for your money when it comes to capability and luxury. It is tough to beat a vehicle that can seat up to 8 people and wrap them in total luxury in while towing a 9,000 pound trailer. It is a vehicle that you can use for many things and you will end up putting a lot of miles on it.