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For luxury SUV buyers with large families and massive amounts of cargo to haul, it doesn't get any more practical than the 2007 Lincoln Navigator L. However, with middling vigor under the hood, this Lincoln feels like less of an indulgence than most of its competition.
Genuinely upscale interior ambiance, comfortable seating in all three rows, 60/40-split third-row seat folds into floor, agile handling for its size.
Three-ton curb weight overburdens V8 engine, huge amount of exterior chrome pushes the taste barrier.
Available Navigator L Models
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An extended-wheelbase version of the regular Navigator, the 2007 Lincoln Navigator L is a new model this year. Seven-passenger seating remains standard, but the L offers considerably more cargo room behind its third row.
Luxury SUVs don't get any larger than the 2007 Lincoln Navigator L. A new edition to the company's full-size SUV lineup, the seven-passenger Navigator L rides on a 12-inch-longer wheelbase than the regular Navigator, stretches 15 inches longer overall and offers an extra 24 cubic feet of cargo capacity. At first glance, it's easy to write off this 18.5-foot-long Navigator as another example of early-21st-century excess, especially with its overbearing chrome grille and 20-inch chrome wheels. However, Lincoln insists the Navigator L is a legitimate response to existing Navigator owners' demands for more space.
It's also a belated response to GM's extra-large luxury sport-ute, the Cadillac Escalade ESV, which had gone unchallenged on the domestic front since its 2003 introduction. These two are nearly identical in size, and they benefit from the same over-the-top approach to interior design, complete with leather-lined easy chairs and wide expanses of glossy wood. Yet, the Navigator L weighs 360 pounds more than its rival while offering 100 fewer horsepower and 50 fewer pound-feet of torque. In the me-too world of big, ritzy SUVs, this performance deficit could be a significant obstacle. The Lincoln does offer a few advantages of its own, though. Like the regular '07 Navigator, the L benefits from a stiffened frame and revised suspension and steering components. An independent five-link rear suspension gives it a civil ride on pavement, while allowing Lincoln to package in a fold-flat third-row seat -- something the Caddy does not have. The third row is even roomy enough to accommodate adult passengers.
This added level of convenience, along with the Lincoln's significantly lower price tag, is one of the main reasons to buy the 2007 Lincoln Navigator L instead of the Cadillac. Meanwhile, those more interested in performance will undoubtedly prefer the ESV and its 403-hp V8. Neither of these domestic entries is what we'd consider the end-all, be-all luxury sport-utility vehicle, though, and for those who don't need cargo capacity specs in the triple digits, the competitively priced Mercedes- Benz GL450 is worth a look. It's quicker, more agile and more refined, and it's just as useful for chauffeuring family and friends.
A long-wheelbase version of the standard Navigator, the 2007 Lincoln Navigator L is available in a single trim level with either rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive. In standard configuration, it seats seven, with twin captain's chairs in the second row. A 40/20/40 second-row bench seat is a no-cost option for those who need eight-passenger capacity.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon HID headlights, power-folding running boards, power-retractable mirrors, leather upholstery, real wood interior trim, 10-way power front seats (with memory for the driver), dual-zone climate control up front (plus a separate air conditioner for the rear) and a nine-speaker audio system with an in-dash CD changer and an MP3 player input jack.
Major options include 20-inch chrome wheels, a navigation system, 14-speaker THX-certified audio system, a rear-seat entertainment system and Sirius Satellite Radio. Most of these items can be purchased separately, or you can buy them in packages. The Ultimate Package bundles a moonroof, a power rear liftgate, heated and cooled front seats and a power-fold feature for the third-row seat.
The 2007 Lincoln Navigator L comes with a 5.4-liter V8 that makes 300 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. It's matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability. Buyers have a choice of two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (with low-range gearing). Fitted with the optional Class III/IV trailering package, a 2WD Lincoln Navigator L can tow up to 8,850 pounds, while 4x4s max out at 8,475.
Lincoln offers a comprehensive list of standard safety features for its flagship SUV, including stability control with a rollover sensor, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, traction control, tire-pressure monitoring and power adjustable pedals. Airbag coverage includes front seat side airbags and three-row side curtain airbags. Rear parking sensors are also standard, but a rearview camera is not available. In federal government NHTSA crash tests, the Navigator received five out of five stars for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions.
Up front, the square-shaped gauges and other dash details are clearly intended to be reminiscent of Lincoln's past, which could be good or bad, depending on your taste. Save for the somewhat chintzy metallic trim on the center stack, materials quality is solid, and the liberally applied wood trim is real. Passenger room is excellent, and for luxury SUV buyers who intend to make use of all three rows on a regular basis, the Navigator makes a lot of sense. Aware that many buyers are likely to use the Navigator L for transporting children, Lincoln incorporated several family-friendly features. A standard overhead console offers a parabolic conversation mirror so you can keep tabs on warring 10-year-olds in the third row. That third-row seat is large enough that you can actually sit back there with the kids as well, and there are still 42.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity with all three rows in use. When you need more than that, the third row folds in a convenient 60/40 split, yielding 86.3 cubic feet of space. With all the rear seats out of the way, there are an impressive 128.2 cubes -- second only to the Escalade ESV among luxury SUVs.
The 5.4-liter V8 is responsive, but no one would call the 2007 Lincoln Navigator L quick. Although acceleration is never more than adequate, power delivery is refined. The six-speed automatic serves up smooth shifts, but hunts a bit more than we'd like in passing situations. Considering that it weighs more than 6,000 pounds, the Navigator offers surprisingly secure and predictable handling around corners, although it's still a big vehicle and demands that you respect it as such. Ride quality is smooth and comfortable, and the cabin is well insulated from noise on the highway.
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