The biggest Lincoln on the market was the Navigator. And if the normal-sized Navigator was not enough, there was a long-wheelbase version. Both of them were able to carry up to 8 people inside.
While the Lincoln Navigator was often named a re-badged Ford Expedition, the 2018 Navigator was built to cut that impression, even though it sits on the same platform as the blue-oval parent company model. The biggest difference is on the image and on its luxurious features that could make other premium car-makers to run back to the drawing board. Both versions were built upon a Ford F-Series chassis and the longer version was on a heavy-duty one.
The size of a Navigator was expressed especially by its front chromed massive grille with a mesh-look design. The big and wide headlights with their LED running lights also made the car look larger. The automatic retractable sidestep was still offered as an option, for easier access in the vehicle.
Inside, the Navigator was offered three rows of seats and up to eight passengers seating. While the rear row was good for accommodating thee passengers, the middle one was offered with two or three seats. For the driver, the seat had up to 30 ways of adjustments, including a left-right mode for hip-support. The instrument cluster was a 12” TFT screen. For the infotainment system, a 10” touch-screen was installed.
Under the hood, the Lincoln Continental was fitted with only one engine option: a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine. It offered 450 hp and was mated to a standard 10-speed automatic co-developed with GM.
Not as marketed as the Cadillac Escalade, but still pretty much a presence in the full-size luxury SUV market, the refreshed Lincoln Navigator was released in 2015.
The updates introduced in 2015 were meant to keep the Navigator high, as most of the premium carmakers were updating their large SUVs. Without this update, the Navigator was in jeopardy on falling behind the competitors, as the old version was starting to look dated.
The exterior design was not dramatically improved, however, it was freshened with a split-wing grille and LED running lights. The headlights remained the same HID, while other options on the market were offering LED headlights.
Available in two wheelbases, the standard and the extended, the Navigator offered a roomy, comfortable and luxurious cabin. The 8-passenger interior saw much refinement and brought a more high tech feeling.
The GM’s big boy was surprisingly agile with the new electric power steering and the Lincoln’s drive control continuous damping system.
Probably the best part, the Navigator was fitted with a powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that developed V8 levels of power. The unit developed 380 hp and was mated with a very smooth 6-speed automatic transmission.
A rear-wheel-drive system was standard, however, the AWD version was equipped with hill descent control and hill start assist.
The Navigator was the first luxury SUV on the market, but since then, more carmakers have joined the niche segment and made life more difficult for Ford's luxurious vehicle.
With an impressive towing ability, the full-size SUVs proved to be very useful while going on long trips with the family and a trailer attached. While they were not so very useful or logical in congested city traffic, they still offered a high level of safety and a relaxed and comfortable ride, especially if the owner was chauffeured to the destination.
The third generation of the Lincoln Navigator was anything but subtle. Its massive grid-like chromed grille spread between the headlights was easy to spot from miles ahead. It replaced the older waterfall grille with vertical slats, which was no subtle either. Like the Escalade, the Navigator was a vehicle that proved a successful owner, not a subtle one. On the sides, Lincoln offered retractable side-steps that concealed gracefully into the rocker panels.
Inside, the carmaker installed an eight-seat interior, with folding second and third rows. The latter was easy to hide by a push of a button placed inside the trunk. Thus, it increased the cargo capacity to a cavernous level.
Despite sharing its chassis with the Ford F-150, the Navigator featured independent suspension in all corners and an option for air-bellows that could lower the back of the car for easier loading and unloading. Under the hood, Ford installed a 5.4-liter V-8 gasoline engine and paired it with a standard six-speed automatic. The all-wheel-drive system was optional.
The 2003 version of the Lincoln Navigator was throughly improved, including amazing features as power-deploying running boards and liftgate.
The first Lincoln Navigator was released in 1998 and looked like the more expensive version of a Ford Expedition, with more chrome and the latest technologies available included.
The Navigator was available in three trim levels: the Luxury (as the base model), the Premium and the Ultimate.
The base model came with dual-zone climate control, roof rails and power-folding side mirrors.
The Premium trim level added a stability control system, heated and cooled front seats.
The top of the range, the Ultimate trim level came with a power liftgate and a power-fold third row seat.
Safety wise, the Navigator was equipped with the latest technologies, having side curtain airbags, EBD and brake assist. A tire monitoring system was available as a standalone option.
The interior was one of the Navigator’s best selling points, as it offered great space even for the passengers in the 3rd row seats. The design of the cabin was luxurious, with wood accents, leather trims and classy metal accents all around.
The Navigator run on a 5.2-liter V7 engine that cranked out 300 hp and 355 pound-feet of torque. With such big engine and decent power, the Navigator was one of the thirstiest cars in the segment. The engine was mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission.
In 1999, Ford built the first generation of the Lincoln Navigator to impress, and besides the Greyhound buses and semis, it was the most commanding vehicle on the road.
Ford thought that a luxurious SUV would attract new customers, and it was right. All of a sudden, all the other limos and expensive German cars looked caught off-guard and humiliated by the insane big Navigator. Lincoln's designers were not completely satisfied with the size. They had to make it look like a fortress on wheels.
The impressive chromed grille with vertical slats stood proud above the already tall-mounted front bumper. Maybe it was a plastic one, but nobody wanted to found out if it was hard or soft plastic. Under the car, a shield with a pair of "fangs" made the situation even more complicated for the humble, regular sedans on the road. On the sides, the carmaker installed a set of steps to ease the ingress and egress from the car.
Inside, the seven-seat premium SUV featured captain seats in the middle row. A pair of wide seats separated by a massive center console left a lot of space between the front occupants. The driver could see a full instrument cluster with six dials and gauges. The gear selector found its place behind the steering wheel.
Under the hood, Ford installed two versions of the same 5.4-liter V-8 engine paired to a standard four-speed automatic transmission. Lincoln built the Navigator with either a rear-wheel-drive or a 4x4 on-demand system.