By KBB.com Editors
When Lincoln launched its original Navigator it was America's first full-size luxury SUV. GM soon retaliated with a Chevy Tahoe-based Cadillac Escalade and has followed with much-improved second- and third-generation Escalades since then. Now Lincoln is fighting back with this significantly improved new Navigator, which trails in power but boasts some advantages over the 2007 Escalade, including its second- and third-row seats. Both rows fold flat into the floor, and the segment-exclusive 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. This one 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," or CUV.What's New for 2007
Some may question why Ford is introducing new full-size truck-based Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators when the U.S. market for big SUVs is shrinking due to high gas prices. But there is no suitable replacement for folks who need to carry a lot of people and cargo in weather- and theft-protected security and be able to tow those heavier trailer loads.Driving It Driving Impressions
This new Navigator boasts an all-new stiffer structure and new fully independent front and rear suspensions. Monotube shocks all around improve ride and enable more precise tuning, while a new 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, and the new larger brakes 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 a new acoustic windshield, thicker side glass and increased insulation throughout.Favorite Features
Power running boards
This truck is tall enough that most folks will find running boards useful for climbing in and out. These optional power-deploying 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 the top-line Ultimate model, this handy feature turns the 60/40 split back row into a flat load floor at the touch of a button.
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. The instrument bezels, "inspired by popular rectangular fashion eyewear," have a '50s retro look. The real wood trim is a choice of dark ebony or light "Anigre," with adjacent panels "bookmatched" to precisely align the grains, while the accents are satin nickel and chrome. The seats are soft but supportive, the fits, finishes and craftsmanship befit a fine luxury automobile and the gorgeous four-spoke leather and wood steering wheel with audio, climate and cruise control buttons on its spokes is shared with Lincoln's new MKZ sedan and MKX crossover.Exterior
This truck 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. New Lincoln sedan-like taillamps wrap around the rear corners and well into the liftgate.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2007 Navigator's standard feature load is generous. Among the major items are automatic high-intensity discharge headlamps, leather-covered seats with 10-way front power adjustment and memory, fold-flat 60/40 split third-row seat, 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, reverse sensing system, power rear quarter windows, premium audiophile sound system with six-disc in-dash CD changer and MP3 jack, 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), dual-stage front air bags, seat-mounted side airbags and three-row side-curtain airbags with roll-fold technology.Notable Optional Equipment
The top-level Navigator Ultimate adds a power liftgate, power moonroof, heated and cooled front seats and the Powerfold third-row seat. Additional options include voice-activated DVD navigation, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, 40/20/40 split bench second seat, a cargo management system, a Lincoln Soundmark THX II-certified ultra-premium audio system, power-deployed running boards, Class IV trailer towing package and chrome aluminum wheels.Under the Hood
The 2007 Navigator is powered by a SOHC 5.4-liter V8 that delivers a smooth 300 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.
300 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
365 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD); N/A (4WD)
The standard two-wheel-drive Navigator starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $46,575, and the 15-inch longer L model is $49,575both nearly $9,000 less than the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV. On the other hand, Kelley Blue Book projects the standard and stretched Navigators' five-year residual values at 32 and 36 percent, versus 39 and 40 percent for the pricier Escalades. Uplevel Ultimate models are $2,000 higher, and four-wheel drive adds $2,900. Navigator transaction prices may vary, so be sure to check Fair Purchase Prices to see what people are actually paying in your area.