Upscale interior is dressed with wood accents, leather upholstery, and premium carpeting. Remove the Lincolnized elements and you're left with an attractive and functional interior design, rife with comfort and convenience items.
Riding the coattails of the seemingly unstoppable sport/utility craze, Lincoln made a bold move by adapting Ford's successful full-size Expedition to the luxury division for '98. In '99, the Navigator pushed Lincoln annual sales beyond Cadillac for the first time in years, and the heated sales race inspired General Motors to hastily affix a crested-wreath badge to the premium GMC Yukon Denali.
The formula for the Navigator's popularity was to transform the mainstream Expedition into a high-end vehicle with prerequisite Lincoln attributes and a significant styling update. Package in the "Lincoln Commitment" four-year warranty, roadside assistance, and service loaner program, and the Navigator seemed poised for success.
We ordered a four-wheel-drive Navigator to test the leather-lined behemoth for a year to get to know first-hand what the fuss was all about. Building on a $42,660 base price, we were able to assemble a healthy list of options and still keep the price under $46K. For interior comfort, we added auxiliary climate controls ($705), premium 290-watt audio system ($355), CD changer ($595), and electrochromatic rearview mirror ($110). For sheer functionality, we ordered a 17-inch all-terrain tire upgrade ($305) and skidplate package ($105). And for Al Gore and CARB, we absorbed a mandatory California emissions system for $170.
This may seem like unusual order-sheet restraint for us, but the Navigator comes with so many standard features, there's little room to heap goodies and additional cost onto it. Beyond basic power features and air conditioning, the Navigator offers true standard luxury features such as leather upholstery, remote keyless entry, passive anti-theft system, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, aluminum wheels, load-leveling air suspension, real wood trim, illuminated running boards, heated mirrors, and so on. Welcome to sport/ute high society.