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2015 Lincoln Navigator 4x4 Auto Page Review By John Heilig +VIDEO

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REVIEW: 2015 Lincoln Navigator 4x4

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2015 Lincoln Navigator 4X4
ENGINE: 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 380 hp @ 5,250 rpm/460 lb.-ft. @ 2,750 rpm
WHEELBASE: 119.0 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 207.9 x 78.8 x 78.1 in.
TIRES: P285/45 R20
CARGO: 18.1/54.4/103.3 cu. ft. (behind 3rd row/3rd row seats folded/2nd row seats folded)
ECONOMY: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway/15.2 mg test
FUEL TANK: 28.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 6,069 lbs.
STICKER: $72,900 (includes $995 delivery, $6,850 options)
BOTTOM LINE: The Lincoln Navigator is a good, solid large SUV. It has the kind of luxury you expect from not only a Lincoln, but from a full-size SUV.

It’s a funny thing about the Lincoln Navigator. You don’t appreciate its size until you start comparing it to other vehicles. For example, we got into the Navigator after a week in the Mustang GT. Not only did we gain a back seat, we gained two rows of back seats. Power was roughly equivalent – 380 horsepower in the Navigator versus 435 in the Mustang – but the engines were totally different – a 5.0-liter V8 in the Mustang, a 3.5-liter V6 in the Nav.

The approach to the use for that power was totally different as well. The Lincoln is much smoother and drives like you’d expect a large SUV to drive. Ride quality is excellent under all circumstances. We first had a long Interstate run with the Nav, but we also had a chance to drive it on more normal roads with twists and turns. In all fairness, the Nav handles like a big truck that is prone to top-heaviness, but it is in no way unwieldy.

Also, for a large car it is fairly easy to park in parking lot slots, like supermarkets and shopping centers. Cross Traffic Alert with a standard rear view camera aid when trying to get out of those spaces. On the highway, the Blind Spot monitoring system keeps you from nudging smaller cars out of the way.

I called the Navigator’s ride “Goldilocks;” not too soft, not too firm, just right. It is very comfortable on long runs.

One of the reasons for its adaptability is Continuously Controlled Damping with three control modes – normal, sport and comfort – that the driver can choose.

The cabin is quiet and the Navigator transmits almost zero road noise to the passengers.

Entering the Navigator is easy, thanks to slide out running boards. Assist handles on the A and B pillars also id entry for the driver and all passengers. Real hanger hooks replace the overhead assist handles in the back. Big Yays for those.

The pushbutton start can also be activated remotely, which is a benefit in colder weather. While you don’t have to let the car warm up, just having everything awake when you get in is a big help.

There is a simple instrument panel with a large speedometer, trip information on the left and audio information on the right. The THX audio system gave good sound, but my demographic doesn’t challenge audio systems the way younger people might.

I liked the ease with which we could program the navigation system. We didn’t do it with voice commands, but “the old fashioned way,” by pushing buttons.

All three rows of seats are leather-covered. Between the front two seats is a large console/arm rest and a pair of cupholders. There is another pair at the rear of the console, ostensibly for the second row passengers, but they also are close enough to help the front passengers who might have extra bottles of water.

Second row legroom is good, and the seats are heated as well. The third row bench seat offers easy access from the second row thanks to the pass-between the two captain’s chairs. Third row legroom is surprisingly good, about equal to the second row. The third row seats power fold using a switch on the side of the cargo compartment. The switch to power lower the tailgate is also located on the side.

The Navigator shows a more subdued interpretation of the Lincoln split-wing grille. According to Lincoln (I didn’t count them) more than 222 LEDs illuminate the exterior for a distinct look.

I hadn’t driven a Navigator in many years, and this time it was everything I had remembered. There was a quality ride in a quality luxury SUV with enough power to do the job under all the circumstances I subjected it to. Since our family car for many years was a full-sized van, any large vehicle to me is almost like coming home and I get a warm fuzzy feeling just sitting behind the wheel.

2015 The Auto Page Syndicate