Lincoln Navigator Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.45/5 Average
484 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

Since its pioneering days in the 1990s as the first full-size luxury SUV, the Lincoln Navigator has always been a traditional truck-based SUV with standard V8 power. Over the course of its three generations, the Navigator has offered seating for seven to eight and plenty of cargo and towing capacity. As such, it often appeals to large families and/or those with a boat or trailer to tow.

Drawbacks to the early Navigators included subpar fuel economy, sluggish acceleration, sloppy handling and an interior that didn't really live up to other luxury brands. Although the current Lincoln Navigator is certainly the most advanced, those drawbacks continue to this day when stacked up against its rivals. Add in a retro interior design that looks both intentionally and unintentionally dated, and you get a full-size luxury SUV that is far past its prime.

Current Lincoln Navigator
The current Lincoln Navigator is a full-size SUV styled and equipped for an upscale audience. It shares the bulk of its underpinnings with the Ford Expedition, including its standard 310-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission. Navigator buyers have a choice between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.

The Navigator is offered in one well-appointed trim level that includes 18-inch wheels, three-row seating for seven (with captain's chairs in the second row), leather upholstery, multizone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second- and third-row seats, Sync voice activation, a navigation system, Bluetooth, a power liftgate, power-folding third-row seats and a 14-speaker surround-sound audio system. Stand-alone options include 20-inch wheels, a sunroof, a heavy-duty tow package and a dual display rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

The ability to seat adults comfortably in all three rows of seats is the Lincoln Navigator's greatest advantage over other full-size competitors, most notably the Cadillac Escalade. The Navigator's independent rear suspension allows for a lower floor, which opens up more rear legroom while providing fold-flat capability for the third row. Besides its dated interior and cumbersome driving dynamics compared to more modern SUVs, the Navigator also suffers from lackluster acceleration and fuel economy.

Used Lincoln Navigator Models
The present, third-generation Navigator took to the stage in 2007 with significant updates to the exterior styling, frame and rear suspension, along with larger brakes, higher-quality cabin furnishings and additional sound insulation. These changes added significantly to curb weight, but yielded tidier handling dynamics and a quieter, more refined ride.

The 2007 refresh also brought about a pronounced, chrome-heavy grille design that was reminiscent of an early 1960s Continental as well as a similarly retro-inspired cabin design that further differentiated the Navigator from its Expedition roots. Two years later the Navigator gained 10 more hp, Ford's Sync voice control system and a more advanced, hard-drive-based navigation system that allowed voice activation. Only minor feature updates have occurred since.

For other used Navigators, you'll want to check out the two previous generations. The second generation was in production from 2003-'06 and featured many revisions inside and out, compared to the first generation. In addition to a larger grille and numerous other styling changes, this variant was the first to incorporate a six-speed transmission and an independent rear suspension. One of the more prominent interior alterations included a symmetrical, dual-cockpit layout also inspired by vintage Lincoln Continentals.

Consumers looking at used Lincoln Navigators would be wise to confine their search to 2005 and newer models, as Navigators sold in 2003 and '04 had an older version of the 5.4-liter engine. It had a 300-hp rating but produced less torque than the current engine. It also came paired to a less sophisticated four-speed automatic transmission. Safety-conscious buyers should note that Navigators sold before '07 did not have front-seat side airbags and only provided side curtain coverage for the first two rows of seating. Stability control was optional rather than standard, up until the '05 model year.

The first generation Lincoln Navigator was sold from 1998-2002. It arrived one year after Ford's Expedition hit the market and was basically a rebadged version of that vehicle but with softer leather, extra wood grain trim and additional chrome detailing. The differences weren't so easy to spot, especially on the inside where Lincoln's dash design hardly differed at all. In fact, the Navigator's most noticeable distinction over the Expedition was its higher price, and indeed the first-gen Navigator enjoyed one of the highest profit margins of any vehicle on the market.

First-year Navigators were considered underpowered, as a 230-hp 5.4-liter V8 was their sole source of motivation. Things improved in 1999 when the Navigator got exclusive access to a 300-hp, double-overhead-cam version of the 5.4-liter V8. Compared to today's large SUVs, the first-gen Navigator was decidedly trucklike in its demeanor. Continual course correction was necessary to keep it pointed straight ahead on the highway, and the steering had a disconnected feel, whether you were finessing the Lincoln into a parking space or going around a curve at speed.

If you're shopping for a used Lincoln Navigator from this generation, it's a good idea to pay attention to the year-by-year changes. In addition to the more powerful V8, 1999 Navigators gained power-adjustable pedals and more easily removable third-row seats (thanks to rollers mounted on the bottoms). For 2000, the Navigator received front-seat side airbags, much needed optional rear parking sensors and a CD-based navigation system. Rear-seat video entertainment

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 484.00
  • Navigator is King - 2001 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    This vehicle has been awesome, my wife and I love it. We have never had to do anything other than regular maintenance, oil changes and tire rotations. I cannot think of better vehicle to take on a long road trip with children, and the size and weight gives me a feeling of security for my wife and children, the only negative of the vehicle is the fuel consumption. We do most in town driving and get around 13.5 miles per gallon, but it is a small price to pay for the luxury, comfort, and ride.

  • The 03's are made of cheaper materials - 2003 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    Although the seats and ride are much better the earlier models, the interior has been made with cheaper materials. They used a lower quality of leather. The steerinring wheel looks as though it came out of a cheap toyota corolla. You think that for a premium vechile they wouldn't have cheapened the product. They must have made them at the old chicken farm,....cheap, cheap, cheap..

  • Luxurious but fun - 2003 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    got what I expected for the price and more. after I showcase my Nav to my peers, I made them wished that they should have waited on purchasing an SUV

  • Nice SUV - 2004 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    Second one I have owned.

  • Big Beautiful SUV - 2001 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    This has power, style and charm. This is the best SUV value out there if you are looking for a good balance between luxury and utility.

  • Lincoln is better than Edmunds says - 2005 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    I test drove the Escalade (Reg& XL) The Lincoln had more room and more luxury than the Caddys.In the XL there are 3 tiny steps in the very back that make you feel like your eating your knees.The Reg.Escalade was smaller than the other two.While the Caddy has a teeny bit more power,the Lincoln can Scat as well.I bought the Lincoln Navigator.I also Drove the Pathfinder Armada and if the body style on the outside were different I would have picked that one over both.It had Everything the Lincoln had and alot more power than the Caddy!That thing was amazing but the body style was not my style.It's too bad because it would have been cheaper by about 12,000.00 bucks.

  • LINCOLN The Standard of LUXURY - 2002 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    Our GATOR is black with mono-chrome treatment. Soon to be Pearl black & Harley orange 2 tone. For the MOST part we get an average of 14 to 17 miles to the gallon around town & usually about 16 to 21 on the highway and we do NOT drive her like we have an egg under our right foot!!! We do have an edelbrock S/S cat back exhaust system & she breathes better & sounds a LOT better!! The ONLY thing it could use is MORE power & we will be adressing that soon with a supercharger... Well that and a FEW other lil goodies! HEEHeeee Like Harley Davidson rims, bigger tires, custom paint & of course all the HARLEY emblems & badges, Lund moon visor & such..After ALL "ITS ONLY MONEY" !!

  • Safe, Reliable and BIG - 2001 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    I thought I could never get used to being so high off the ground and never fit into a parking space again. Turns out, the opposite is true. This is an exceptional vehicle. The ride is very smooth, it's fantastic in the snow and it's luxurious. The only downside is the gas mileage.

  • Love it - 2000 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    I owned this since it was new, now 9 years old and still great. I have had the heaters in the seats go and not covered under even extended warranty, and also had a transmission electrical switch go out while traveling, and the one plastic piece on the door and one on the lumbar seat. But those were to only trouble I had with this wonderful vehicle. For 9 years service I have loved it since day one. With gas at $4 a gallon I still love it but for me the end is soon because being a woman I want something newer. 9 years is a long time for me. If you are thinking of an older navigator I would say go for it. For 9 it still looks great and performs great.

  • Best SUV on the Market - 1999 Lincoln Navigator
    By -

    this is way better than mb and bmw suvs the real luxury and ride can beat out any suv around.

Lincoln Navigator Reviews By Year:
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