2016 Lincoln Navigator Introduction

The Lincoln Navigator is a full-size, body-on-frame sport-utility. This third-generation Navigator was introduced as a 2007 model. Updating for 2015 gave the 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 Navigator is rated to tow up to 9,000 pounds.

Like the Expedition and similar SUVs, the Navigator comes in either standard or Navigator L extended-wheelbase form. Measuring 207.4 inches long in standard size; the 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 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. 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 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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