By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/18/2012
America's first full-size luxury SUV, the 8-passenger Lincoln Navigator paved the way for many challengers such as the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX56, Lexus LX 570 and Mercedes-Benz GL. Big and capable, the Navigator can now add "high-tech" to its list of superlatives thanks to the addition of Lincoln's smartphone-integration software, Sync Applink. Although the market has shifted toward smaller, more-efficient car-based SUVs in response to skyrocketing gasoline prices, anyone who still craves a big, traditional SUV will appreciate the 2013 Lincoln Navigator's luxurious amenities, extraordinary cargo capacity and intimidating stature.
If you are looking for a luxurious family hauler with the lowest starting price in its class along with a spacious cabin capable of accommodating seven or eight passengers and their gear, take a close look at the 2013 Lincoln Navigator.
Unless your next luxury SUV must possess an eighth seat, you may find the more compact 7-passenger Infiniti JX, Acura MDX or Buick Enclave more appealing with their superior agility, fuel efficiency and pricing.
The only changes to the Lincoln Navigator for 2013 are a few new exterior paint colors.Driving It Driving Impressions
This 2013 Lincoln Navigator boasts a stiff body-on-frame structure and fully independent suspension front and rear. Monotube shocks 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 pleasingly agile for its size, although its turning circle is pretty large. Ride quality is smooth and comfortable on the road, even on rough surfaces. Performance is generally adequate but the 5.4-liter V8 engine can feel strained when carrying a full load. Strong brakes haul down the big SUV with authority. The extra-long L version feels heavier (because it is), yet drives very similarly. Both are uncannily quiet inside due to an acoustic windshield, thick side glass and superb sound insulation throughout.
LINCOLN SYNC APPLINK
Sync Applink controls popular mobile applications on your smartphone through voice commands. Simply download the compatible apps and connect your smartphone to the vehicle via Bluetooth to manage applications like Pandora, Stitcher or NPR News.
POWER-DEPLOYABLE RUNNING BOARDS
To ease climbing into and out of this lofty SUV, the 2013 Lincoln Navigator offers standard power running boards that automatically extend when any door is opened and retract once all doors are closed.
Depending on the second-row seating configuration, the 2013 Lincoln Navigator can accommodate up to eight passengers as well as enough gear to stage a big family picnic. Opting for the second-row captain's chairs drops the Navigator's seating capacity to seven but gains a convenient center console nestled between the two seats. The Navigator's expansive interior (and the overall bulk necessary to enclose such a space) begins to make sense if you frequently fill all those seats. On the longer-wheelbase Navigator L, most of the additional length is dedicated to cargo space behind the 3rd-row seat.Exterior
The 2013 Lincoln Navigator is big and bold, and it is styled to accentuate those proportions and make its presence felt on the road. Its flashy exterior is characterized by a massive chrome grille, large xenon headlamps and scores of chrome accents. The Navigator rides on standard 18-inch bright-machined alloy wheels; 20-inch chrome wheels and tires that really fill the fenders are an option. Although the power liftgate and power-folding third-row seats help, the Navigator's tall load-in height can make packing cargo a little challenging. The elevated step-in height is mitigated by power-assisted running boards that extend and retract automatically.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2013 Navigator's standard feature list is generous. Among the major items are automatic xenon headlamps, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with heating and cooling, heated second-row seats, a power-foldable 60/40-split third-row seat, rearview camera, a keyless-entry keypad for the driver's door, and power-adjustable pedals. On the technology front, there are voice-activated navigation with SiriusXM satellite radio and Travel Link, HD Radio and a 14-speaker THX II-certified audio system. Standard safety features include a full complement of airbags, trailer-sway control and Lincoln's MyKey system, which allows individual tailoring of driver alerts and warnings.Notable Optional Equipment
With just a single trim level, the Navigator only asks buyers to choose a length (standard or L) and a driveline, 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive (2WD or 4WD). An available option group offers a power moonroof and the Monochrome Limited Edition Package, which adds tasteful monochromatic accents, olive ash interior wood trim and premium leather seats with black inserts and piping. Stand-alone options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a Class IV trailer towing package, remote starting system and 20-inch chrome alloy wheels.
The 2013 Navigator is powered by a 5.4-liter V8. It delivers its 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque smoothly but that's frankly not a lot of power for a vehicle of this size, especially when fully loaded. The 6-speed automatic transmission has a tow/haul mode. The available 4-wheel drive (4WD) system uses a 2-speed transfer case with optional electronic shift-on-the-fly capability. In low range it switches the engine's electronic throttle control to a special off-road calibration for more precise torque management in the worst conditions, such as climbing steep, slippery hills.
310 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
365 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (gasoline, 2WD), 10/14 mpg (E85, 2WD), 13/18 mpg (gasoline, 4WD), 9/13 mpg (E85, 4WD)
The 2013 Lincoln Navigator's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at $58,770, while the L model and its additional 15 inches of length is $60,935. Opting for 4WD on either model adds $2,900. Fully loaded, a 4WD Navigator L can reach $70,000. Navigator transaction prices may vary, so be sure to check KBB's Fair Purchase Price to see what people are actually paying for their Navigators in your area. Both Navigator models are considerably less expensive than the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, yet Kelley Blue Book projects the 5-year residual values of the standard and stretched Navigators to be nearly identical to those of the pricier Escalade models.