2016 Lincoln Navigator Introduction

The Lincoln Navigator is a full-size, body-on-frame sport-utility. This third-generation Lincoln Navigator was introduced as a 2007 model. Updating for 2015 gave the Lincoln Navigator a new look along with greater power. The 2016 Lincoln Navigator carries over essentially unchanged.

Navigator is most comparable to the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon, as well as upper-level models of the Ford Expedition, which shares the Lincoln’s basic structure. A properly equipped Lincoln Navigator is rated to tow up to 9,000 pounds.

Like the Expedition and similar SUVs, the Lincoln Navigator comes in either standard or Lincoln Navigator L extended-wheelbase form. Measuring 207.4 inches long in standard size; the Lincoln Navigator L stretches to 222.3 inches, providing an additional 24.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

Somewhat surprisingly for a vehicle of this size, the Lincoln Navigator excels in ride and handling. Adaptive dampers are available for the suspension, but grouped into an expensive option package.

V8 engines are gone, but a twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 whips up 380 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Lincoln Navigators use a 6-speed automatic transmission. Lincoln claims the highest towing capacity in its class, and there’s only a slight fuel-economy penalty for choosing four-wheel drive.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16/22 mpg City/Highway.

Leather-rimmed seats are standard in all three rows, as is a rearview camera. A more user-friendly Sync 3 interface is gradually phasing in to replace MyLincoln Touch, which uses touch, voice-activation or steering-wheel controls to operate phone, climate, audio, navigation and other functions. We’ve found MyLincoln Touch to be an annoying and troublesome interface, so it’s good news to see a replacement.

On the highway, trailer-sway control can correct for the pendulum-like swing that a towed vehicle tends to induce. Large mirrors and a glassy cabin give the driver an expansive view.

Power-folding capability lets you stow the third row quickly and easily. Ford’s MyKey system can allow parents to limit certain functions when a teenager is driving the vehicle.

Bulky but sturdy SUVs like the Lincoln Navigator typically score well in crash-testing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it a five-star overall rating. Rollover resistance rated four stars for four-wheel-drive models, three for rear-wheel drive.

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