What's New for 2007
For the 2007 model year the Lincoln Navigator gets a significant update. The look is almost all new, with a huge chrome grille up front and more stylized taillights out back. Inside, the Navigator also gets a new interior that uses higher-quality materials and looks more luxurious. Also new is a power fold-flat third row of seats. Mechanically, the truck gets a new frame and independent suspension, plus additional insulation and a thicker windshield to make the ride quieter. Twenty-inch chrome wheels are now an option for those who still think more is more. Finally, drivetrain warranty coverage has been extended to six years/70,000 miles.
Anyone who's a fan of large luxury SUVs has the Lincoln Navigator to thank. The Navigator was the first full-size luxury SUV, and although that early version was little more than an F-150 with a wagonlike body and some luxury bits thrown in, the Navigator and the segment it helped to pioneer have become a sales force to be reckoned with.
In spirit, the redesigned 2007 Lincoln Navigator isn't much different from the original. Big and capable, it's ready to take seven or eight passengers to their favored destinations with ease. But this year, Lincoln has focused much of its attention on improving the Navigator's luxury and quality. Underneath, there's a more rigid chassis that borrows its front frame section from the F-150 pickup, and revised front and rear suspension designs. Additionally, the rear driveshafts flow through the frame rails, which lowers the big SUV's center of gravity and opens up more room for third-row passengers. Other revisions include larger brake calipers and thicker brake rotors to shorten stopping distances, as well as a new master cylinder to improve pedal feel.
Inside, the dash, center console and door panels are now covered with rich-looking wood trim and the analog clock mounted in the center of the dash is a near perfect blend of modern sophistication and old Lincoln style -- two words we'd have been reluctant to use in describing previous Navigators. Even the somewhat overdone exterior has an elevated level of elegance, especially when viewed from behind. It remains to be seen if vehicles like the Navigator will continue to sell well in light of fluctuating fuel prices but Lincoln certainly deserves credit for raising the bar with the new Navigator.
But that praise comes with a word of caution. Heavier than last year and now weighing in at more than 3 tons, Lincoln's is a full-size SUV in the fullest sense. Granted, it comes with a ton (pun intended) of standard features like stability control and a cocoon of airbags. But motivation still comes from a 5.4-liter V8 (the same one you get in the similar Ford Expedition), which makes for unimpressive acceleration and some pretty ugly fuel economy numbers, especially for those who want the four-wheel-drive model.
It's big, it's bright, it's heavy and the super-sized Lincoln logo up front is almost comical in its dimensions -- not exactly our cup of tea, but for some luxury SUV shoppers, just right. If luxury is your number-one goal and you're not into subtlety, by all means you'll want to check out the 2007 Lincoln Navigator and compare it to Caddy's new Escalade or Chrysler's Aspen. If you find these domestic-brand large SUVs not quite to your liking, Infiniti's QX56 and Mercedes-Benz's impressive GL450 are solid alternatives.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Lincoln Navigator is a full-size luxury SUV and is offered in two trim levels: Luxury and Ultimate. The Luxury version comes with such features as 18-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors, turn signal mirrors, adjustable pedals, leather-covered 10-way power front seats with memory, a trip computer and an auxiliary jack for connecting MP3 players. Step up to the Ultimate and the standard features list grows to include a power rear liftgate, power-folding third-row seats, an overhead console, heated and cooled seats and a sunroof. Most of those features can be added as options to the Luxury trim. Major options include a THX-certified audio system, a navigation system, a rear seat DVD entertainment system and exterior enhancements like 20-inch chromed alloy wheels, chrome exhaust tips, power retracting running boards and a towing kit.
Powertrains and Performance
Lincoln's full-size luxury SUV is available in both rear-wheel and four-wheel-drive configurations. All Navigators are powered by the same 5.4-liter V8 that drives other Ford trucks. It's good for 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque, and sends its power through a six-speed automatic transmission. While 300 hp sounds like plenty, the Navigator's approximate 6,000-pound curb weight keeps the truck from feeling even a little sprightly. Properly equipped, the Navigator's towing capacity is 9,100 pounds.
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 seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants and three-row side curtain airbags. In federal government NHTSA crash tests, the 2007 Lincoln Navigator received five out of five stars for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions.
Interior Design and Special Features
Lincoln has spent considerable time on just the seats in the Navigator's upscale interior. To boost passenger capacity to eight, a 40/20/40-split second-row seat is available as a no-cost option, and the optional power fold-flat third-row seat is truly a luxurious option. Even the seat frames have been revised so they transmit less vibration from the truck's floor. 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 -- most competitors have somewhat cramped third-row accommodations. Up front, the gauge cluster and other dash details are clearly intended to be reminiscent of Lincoln's past. With both the second- and third-row seats lowered, the Navigator can carry 104 cubic feet of cargo -- a good number for this class.
With slightly softer suspension tuning than other full-size Ford trucks, the 2007 Lincoln Navigator is intentionally aiming for comfort. Even so, the big truck feels reasonably agile and body roll is acceptable for a large luxury SUV. The stiffer frame and five-link independent rear suspension pay noticeable dividends here, but the truck's ride quality is smooth first and foremost. The 5.4-liter V8 is responsive, but no one would call the Navigator 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.