2015 Lincoln Navigator Restyled, Shifts to EcoBoost Power

Just the Facts:
  • Ford's premium division will unveil the 2015 Lincoln Navigator at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show early next month.
  • Revised front and rear styling, an updated interior and a move away from trucky V8 power are highlights for the 2015 Navigator.
  • The 2015 Lincoln Navigator will be in dealer showrooms early next fall.

DETROIT — In advance of its debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show early next month, Ford's premium division unveiled to the media its restyled and revised 2015 Lincoln Navigator full-size SUV, which is scheduled to be in dealerships early next fall.

New styling at the front reshapes and smooths some of the current Navigator's bluntness, and incorporates Lincoln's split-wing grille — although the Navigator's execution seems less exaggerated than does that of the new Lincoln MKZ midsize sedan.

The 2015 Lincoln Navigator's hind portions are subtly redefined, highlighted by a full-width LED taillight design and new exhaust tips. There is a power tailgate, although Lincoln did not incorporate Ford's pioneering foot-motion sensor to open the new Navigator's hatch.

Standard wheel size for the 2015 Navigator now will be 20 inches, with 22-inch alloys available in a new Reserve package that also includes premium Trevino leather and a two-tone interior color motif.

A major shift comes under the hood, where despite being in a class in which many customers might expect V8 power, Lincoln decided to do away with the Navigator's former 5.4-liter V8 in favor of Ford's popular EcoBoost turbocharged 3.5-liter V6.

Chief Engineer Elaine Bannon said buyers will experience full "win-win" in the switch from V8 to V6 power. The EcoBoost engine will generate at least 370 horsepower, compared to the relatively mellow 310 hp coming from today's 5.4-liter V8. Torque also will be substantially upgraded from the current V8's 365 pound-feet to "at least" 430 lb-ft with the new Navigator's EcoBoost V6.

Backed by a standard six-speed automatic transmission, Lincoln also is promising the EcoBoost V6 will deliver a meaningful fuel economy gain over the combined 16 mpg (14 mpg city/20 mpg highway) the current rear-wheel-drive Navigator achieves and the combined 15 mpg (13 city/18 highway) for four-wheel-drive Navigators.

The 2015 Lincoln Navigator's restyling leaves major dimensions unchanged, and the revised Navigator will continue to be offered in standard and long-wheelbase variants. Both the long-wheelbase model — 15 inches longer than the standard-wheelbase Navigator — and the standard-length 2015 Navigator come with seating for seven, with an optional second-row bench seat to increase total occupant capacity to eight.

Despite this year's launch of General Motors' fully redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and 2015 GMC Yukon full-size SUVs — or, more directly, Cadillac's 2015 Escalade — Lincoln said the 2015 Navigator will retain its best-in-class accommodations in several key metrics, including total cargo capacity and storage space behind both second and third-row seats.

Lincoln engineers also are quick to point out that thanks to the Navigator's independent rear suspension, its third-row seating section folds completely flat when maximum cargo capacity is required. GM's new full-size SUVs do not offer the same flat-floor feature.

Inside, the 2015 Navigator has a completely redesigned instrument panel, hand-wrapped in leather. The latest MyLincoln Touch infotainment interface features a return to large rotary knobs for volume and tuning control.

Edmunds says: Larger families and those with towing needs will be gratified this year to have their pick among several redesigned full-size SUVs, including the 2015 Lincoln Navigator.