2012 Lincoln Navigator SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Lincoln Navigator SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Lincoln Navigator Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 310 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Lincoln Navigator

  • The 2012 Lincoln Navigator impresses with a luxurious ride and cosmopolitan ambience, but its lackluster V8 engine will likely limit towing options for more adventurous owners.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Plush ride; upscale passenger cabin with comfortable seating in all three rows; power-folding third-row seat; may price out less than comparable competitors.

  • Cons

    V8 engine feels overworked under heavy loads; cumbersome handling; many interior surfaces and buttons feel cheap; antiquated electronics interface.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Lincoln Navigator now has integrated blind-spot mirrors as standard. AppLink for Sync is also new; it provides voice control of certain mobile phone apps (such as Pandora).

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2011 navigator 4x4

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Vehicle: 2011 Lincoln Navigator

This is our first Lincoln Navigator after owning 3 Ford Expeditions. Our Navigator is White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat. The color shows very little dirt. After putting 200,000 miles on our last 2005 Expedition (and it was still going strong), we upgraded to a Navigator. With 4500 miles on our new Navigator, we hope this SUV proves as "Ford tough" as previous Expeditions. We very much enjoy our Navigator, and have absolutely no buyers remorse. However being very pleased with three Expeditions (the last being an Expedition Limited), I am not certain the "Lincoln" brand is worth the additional cost. However, the Lincoln Navigator definitely turns more heads than a Ford Expedition.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A great navigator l 4x4

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Vehicle: 2011 Lincoln Navigator

My 2011 Navigator L 4x4 is a Ingot Silver exterior and Charcoal Black interior beauty with 20" wheels and tires. This is my first Navigator L 4x4 after having had 14 Town Cars, an Aviator and a MKS AWD. The interior and exterior design, style, build quality, comfort and convenience are outstanding. I have no problems accessing and using all of the Navi's features with ease. The THX sound system, Navigation system and Sync capabilities are also excellent. The ride, handling, performance, reliability and responsiveness of the Navi are also outstanding. Highway, suburban and city driving is easy, comfortable and enjoyable. I highly recommend the Navigator L 4x4 to everyone.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2011 lincoln navigator limited edition

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Vehicle: 2011 Lincoln Navigator

I really like the vehicle. It super comfortable to drive. The one let down I have found is that it only has a single disc CD/DVD player. I would have thought a luxuary car would have a 6 disc player. Quality is some of the best I have seen but some of the SYNC/Navigation system is taking a while to learn. I have had 4 trucks with the SYNC before this one and this one is different. Some of this high tech stuff is hard for us older folks to learn, but the comfort is there.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Headrests need to go back

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Vehicle: 2011 Lincoln Navigator

Recently traded a 2006 Navigator for a 2010 model. The ride is very smooth and handling around corners is fine. As Edmunds has stated, sometimes the transmission can't seem to find the right gear. The biggest complaint is the driver's and front passenger's headrests are way too hard causing this driver a headache. The 2006 Navigator had just the right headrest as it was more adjustable being able to pivot forward as well as up and down and was more cushioned. The 2010 can only move up and down with hardly any cushion. It's hard to understand why auto manufacturers don't stick with a good thing once it's created.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Our 2nd navigator

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Vehicle: 2011 Lincoln Navigator

We love the feel and drive of the car. We had a 2000 Navigator and that is why we purchased the 2011. I really like that the 3rd seat folds down flat for great room to haul stuff. We are having trouble with keeping the driver seat position with the 2 key fobs. Is any one else having this problem>



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Lincoln Navigator Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Lincoln Navigator now has integrated blind-spot mirrors as standard. AppLink for Sync is also new; it provides voice control of certain mobile phone apps (such as Pandora).

Introduction

Prior to the recession and volatile gas prices, the Lincoln Navigator was a seductive poster child for conspicuous consumption. While large, flashy SUVs have lost most of their hip-hop allure in these more modest days, vehicles like the 2012 Lincoln Navigator still have their place.

As status symbols go, the Navigator -- and its long-wheelbase sibling known as the Navigator L -- can still turn heads with its brawny silhouette, spacious leather- and wood-lined passenger cabin, plush ride and glitzy chrome. Since the Navigator features a traditional body-on-frame construction, it's suited for towing trailers heavier than even the largest crossover can handle. But the Navigator's platform is also one of the oldest in the market, and its aging 5.4-liter V8 is underwhelming in the power department.

The Navigator's main competition includes the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, which offers better handling and a more prestigious image. The Cadillac Escalade and Infiniti QX56 boast much more powerful V8 engines and more up-to-date technology. The Lexus LX 570 is another worthy competitor that can boast superior off-road skills. All have interiors of higher quality, tighter construction and more modern design.

Shoppers may also consider a high-line trim of the related Ford Expedition if they want to save some money, or perhaps a Ford Flex (http://www.edmunds.com/ford/flex/2012/) for a similarly equipped vehicle with more carlike handling and fuel economy. Given this wealth of choice, the 2012 Lincoln Navigator is clearly not our top pick. However, if you need to tow something and welcome the versatility of its fold-flat third row of seats (especially in Navigator L guise), this mighty Lincoln is definitely worthy of consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Lincoln Navigator is a full-size luxury SUV offered in two sizes: regular and extended-wheelbase Navigator L. Both models have three-row, seven-passenger seating. The second-row bucket seats can be replaced with a three-person 40/20/40-split bench that increases seating capacity to eight.

Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors, a power liftgate, power-folding running boards, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear auxiliary controls, heated and ventilated power front seats, driver memory settings, leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated second-row seats and a power-folding third-row bench. Also standard are the Sync voice command system, Bluetooth, a navigation system, a touchscreen electronics interface and a 14-speaker surround-sound audio system with HD radio, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

If the glut of exterior chrome is too overwhelming for buttoned-down owners, Lincoln offers a Monochrome Appearance package that softens the Navigator's attitude with body-colored elements. A similar Monochrome Limited Edition package includes unique leather upholstery and Olive Ash wood trim. Other options include 20-inch chromed wheels, a sunroof, a heavy-duty tow package and a rear-seat entertainment system with twin headrest-mounted screens.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Lincoln Navigator comes standard with a 5.4-liter V8 that's rated at 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. It's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can choose between rear- and all-wheel-drive models, the latter featuring an electronically controlled single-speed transfer case.

The last Navigator L tested by Edmunds accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, well off the pace for this segment. Properly equipped, a rear-wheel-drive Navigator is capable of towing up to 9,000 pounds.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined for the 2WD model. The 4WD Navigator is rated at 13/18/15.

Safety

The 2012 Lincoln Navigator comes standard with stability control (with a rollover sensor), traction control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, three-row side curtain airbags and a post-crash alert system. Also standard is Trailer Sway Control, which uses the stability control sensors to detect and minimize a trailer's tendency to weave in some situations. The programmable MyKey system is another nifty standard offering that allows parents to specify speed limits and stereo volumes for their teenage drivers.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Navigator comes with virtually every high-end feature imaginable, from heated and ventilated front seats to power-retractable running boards. You'll definitely feel pampered, but its retro design lost its luster long ago and the materials used are subpar for the class. The silver-painted buttons in particular look quite cheap.

On the upside, the 2012 Lincoln Navigator offers one of the most accommodating interiors in the segment. Seating comfort is excellent, and the seats make way for cargo with ease. The second row folds down manually, but the power-folding third-row seat is easily stowed, opening up a flat load floor. (You must physically remove an Escalade's third row.) The base Navigator holds a respectable 104 cubic feet of cargo. The longer Navigator L, thanks to its additional space behind the rear seats, offers a generous 128 cubic feet of cargo storage, and the extra length helps with access to the third-row seat when powered back to the up position.

The voice-operated Sync system is particularly useful; among other functions, it allows you to control your cell phone and iPod (or other MP3 player) without removing your hands from the steering wheel. And now the AppLink adds voice-command capability to select smartphone applications, and you can use apps like Pandora for your favorite music. Unfortunately, the Navigator's small touchscreen isn't as useful or user-friendly as the electronics interfaces found in competitor vehicles.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Lincoln Navigator delivers what's expected from a luxury vehicle: a supple ride quality and a hushed cabin that largely insulates its passengers from the outside world. Alas, it also exhibits the flaws of such a big SUV, with noticeable trucklike body roll in sharp turns. And since the Navigator L measures almost 19 feet long, it can be a handful in tight parking situations with its 44-foot turning circle. The regular-wheelbase model isn't much better.

Acceleration seems satisfactory until you compare it to its significantly gutsier competition or fill it to the brim with people and gear. Ford's 5.4-liter V8 never was the most spirited truck engine on the market, and towing a full load just reinforces the Navigator's most glaring shortcoming.

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