Based on Ford's hot-selling Expedition, the Navigator is the first truck ever sold by Lincoln. When it first debuted, the Navigator's price tag was hard to swallow because the vehicle offered minimal changes over the Expedition. As opposed to a lot of other luxury-SUV makers however, Lincoln has done a good job of adding additional features to distance the Navigator from the Expedition. Last year, the Navigator gained a 300-horsepower, 5.4-liter V8 engine. For 2000, it earns satellite navigation, a reverse-sensing system, side airbags, climate-controlled seats, and exterior and interior styling changes.
Inside, the Navigator has leather-bound seating for seven consisting of bucket seats for the front and second rows and a bench seat in the third row. Seating for eight (with a second-row bench seat) is a no-cost option. Of course, there are luxury touches galore. The new climate-controlled seats can be ordered for both driver and front passenger sides. The system provides both hot and cold air through the specially perforated leather-seat surfaces. The new navigation system utilizes a 5-inch monitor screen that fits neatly into the redesigned center console. New, softer Nudo leather is used on seating surfaces in the first and second row. Also, the use of real wood trim has been increased, and the center console has been redesigned to provide more storage and larger, improved cupholders.
On the outside, the 2000 Navigator features new body cladding integrated into larger side running boards. The antenna whip is removed from the front passenger-side fender and integrated into the passenger-side rear-quarter glass. Standard 17-inch wheels and tires complete the new, freshened exterior.
Using four valves per cylinder (as opposed to the Expedition's two valves per cylinder), the Navigator's V8 produces 300 horsepower and 360 ft-lbs. of torque. Four-wheel-drive models come with Lincoln's adjustable Control-Trac system that can be set in one of three positions by turning a dash-mounted knob. In automatic mode, the system applies power to the front wheels when rear-wheel slippage is detected and maintains it until traction is regained.
Driving this bruiser is actually easy. The powerful Navigator feels light when pulling away from a stop; 300 horses have a way of doing that. Highway cruising is relaxed and relatively quiet for such a big, blocky box, though wind and road noise do invade the plush cabin. But make no mistake; it takes a while to get used to the Navigator's size, especially when parking.
For people looking for a big luxury SUV, the Navigator is tough to beat. With its 300-horsepower engine, satellite navigation, and climate-controlled seats, Lincoln's SUV offers content worthy of a good luxury sedan. The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 470 are arguably better vehicles overall, but they also cost considerably more.