Refreshed for the 2015 model year, the Lincoln Navigator (along with the Ford Expedition) eschews its predecessor’s 5.4L V-8 in favor of Ford’s EcoBoost 3.5L twin-turbo V-6. Producing 380 hp, the EcoBoost is an excellent companion for the Navigator, providing reasonable acceleration and fuel economy—especially for such a large vehicle.
However, the Navigator hasn’t been redesigned in years, so its structure and interior feel a generation behind the brand-new Cadillac Escalade, arguably the Lincoln’s most natural competitor. Additionally, its electronics brain can’t handle added features like adaptive cruise control or collision mitigation, notable absences in this class of vehicle.
Luckily, the Navigator starts about $10,000 less than the Cadillac, and its independent rear suspension frees up space in the third row for passengers’ knees and behind the seats for cargo. Power-folding aft seats expand that stuff-hauling space vastly.
It’s not the best vehicle in its class, admittedly. Its dated design prevents it from being a true world-beater. However, its unique twin-turbo powertrain, composed ride and handling, and cavernous rear seats make it a good match for large families who may not need or want to pay for fancy electronic driver aids.