2011 Lincoln Navigator L

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2011 Lincoln Navigator L Review


When Lincoln launched the original Navigator, it was America's first full-size luxury SUV. GM soon followed with the Cadillac Escalade, and has followed with much-improved second- and third-generation versions. As expected, the battle was resumed a few years later with the launch of the significantly improved Navigator and long-bodied Navigator L in 2007. Although this long-time rivalry still simmers, a number of new players have joined the game, including the Infiniti QX56, Mercedes GL 450 and Lexus LX 570. Though luxury SUV sales may not quite be where they used to, the Navigator still has much to offer those who need room for eight and/or a desire to tow heavy loads And the Navigator still has some clear advantages over the Escalade, namely the function and operation of its second- and third-row seats. Both rows fold flat into the floor, and the PowerFold feature flattens the back row at the touch of a button.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a big, roomy, highly capable hauler that's as quiet, comfortable and civilized as most luxury sedans, you have two logical choices. The 2011 Lincoln Navigator competes well with its Cadillac counterpart in most ways and beats it in some.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your needs do not require a large, truck-based SUV (e.g. for heavy hauling and towing), or your tastes and budget don't lead you toward the high-buck luxury-end of this segment or you prefer something smaller and more fuel-efficient, you'll be happier with a car-based " crossover," such as the Lincoln MKT.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, Lincoln adds as standard its voice-activated navigation system with SIRIUS Travel Link and HD Radio to the Navigator.

Driving the Navigator L
Driving Impressions

This 2011 Lincoln Navigator boasts a stiff structure and fully independent front and rear suspensions. Monotube shocks all around improve the ride and enable more precise tuning, while a variable-boost...

... power steering pump reduces low-speed effort and improves higher-speed feel and feedback. The Navigator is rock-solid yet surprisingly agile and comfortable on the road, even on rough surfaces. Performance is more than adequate, with appropriately large brakes to haul it down with authority and improved pedal feel thanks to a dual-bore master cylinder. The extra-long L version feels heavier (because it is), yet drives "smaller" than it looks. Both are uncannily quiet inside due to an acoustic windshield, thicker side glass and copious insulation throughout.

Power Running Boards
This vehicle is tall enough that most folks will find running boards useful for climbing in and out. Standard power-deployable units present themselves when any side door is opened and retreat neatly out of sight when all doors are closed.

PowerFold Third-row Seats
Standard on all models is the handy 60/40 split-back third-row seat that folds flat into the floor at the touch of a button.

2011 Lincoln Navigator L Details
2011 Lincoln Navigator L photo Interior

The Navigator's ultra-quiet, leather-lined cabin is divided by a "flow-through" center console that sweeps up into rectangular "eyebrows" that frame both sides of the dash. Night-time driving is aided by the visually stunning white LED lighting that permeates the dash, door panels and steering wheel controls. First and second-row seating offers good head and legroom, and the power folding third-row seats quickly convert the Navigator into a massive cargo barge in just seconds. Seating is soft but supportive and the fits, finishes and craftsmanship befit a fine luxury automobile and the gorgeous four-spoke leather and wood steering wheel includes audio, climate and cruise control buttons on its spokes.

2011 Lincoln Navigator L photo

The 2011 Lincoln Navigator is about as big, bold and flashy as they come. It begins with a large retro (from the 1960s) cross-hatch Lincoln grille between huge high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps. Below it, the pattern is repeated in a second full-width grille with fog lamps near its corners, and you can order a big chrome hood cap above it. Chrome strips highlight the beltlines and wide chrome trim decorates the lower doors. Standard wheels are 18-inch machined aluminum, with chrome wheels optional. Lincoln sedan-like tail lamps similar to those on the MKZ wrap around the rear corners and well into the liftgate. Step-in height is noticeably high, as is the reach to gain roof access.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Navigator's standard feature list is generous. Among the major items are automatic high-intensity discharge headlamps, leather-covered seats with 10-way front power adjustment and memory, PowerFold 60/40-split third-row seat that folds flat, dual-zone automatic air conditioning with rear controls, remote keyless entry with illuminated driver's-door keypad, power heated and folding outside mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, voice-activated navigation with SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Travel Link, HD Radio, power liftgate, heated and cooled front seats, heated second row seats, Front Park Assist, SYNC communication and entertainment system, THX II-certified audio with six-disc in-dash CD player and MP3 jack, Reverse Sensing System, power rear quarter windows, Rear View Camera, rain-sensing wipers, power retractable running boards and a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (RSC), four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Trailer Sway Control, dual-stage front air bags, seat-mounted side airbags and three-row side-curtain airbags with roll-over protection.

Optional Equipment

The Rapid Spec Package nets a power moonroof, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and the Limited Edition Package, which adds monochromatic accents, ebony wood interior trim and premium leather seats with black inserts and piping. Stand-alone options include a Class IV trailer towing package, rear seat entertainment system, remote start, power sunroof and chrome plated aluminum wheels.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Navigator is powered by a SOHC 5.4-liter V8 that delivers a smooth 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission. The available four-wheel drive uses a two-speed transfer case with optional electronic shift-on-the-fly capability. In low range it shifts the engine's electronic throttle control to a special off-road calibration for more precise torque management in the worst conditions, such as climbing hills under slippery conditions.

5.4-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
365 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (gasoline, 2WD), 9/13 (E85, 2WD), N/A (4WD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?