Used 2002 Lincoln Navigator Review

If you really need a luxury SUV built by Ford, just get the Eddie Bauer Expedition.




what's new

A new Limited Edition package is designed to drum up interest in the aging Navigator for 2002. It includes monochromatic black paint, special 17-inch machined aluminum wheels and a reverse sensing system.

vehicle overview

Based on Ford's million-selling Expedition (itself based on the F-150 pickup), the Navigator is the first truck ever sold by Lincoln. When it debuted back in 1998, the Navigator's price tag was hard to swallow because the vehicle offered minimal upgrades over the Expedition. Since then, Lincoln has done a good job of adding additional features to distance the Navigator from its Ford-badged brother.

For example, the Navigator's 5.4-liter V8 produces 300 horsepower and 360 foot-pounds of torque, more than the Expedition (but less than the all-new Cadillac Escalade). Fuel mileage, as expected, leaves something to be desired. With a 30-gallon tank to fill, you might want to keep that in mind. 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 the power split until traction is regained.

Inside, the Navigator has leather-bound seating for seven consisting of bucket seats for the first and second rows and a bench seat for the third row. Seating for eight is possible with the optional second-row bench seat. The standard rear captain's chairs are very comfortable, which is not surprising since there is plentiful leg, head, shoulder and hip room. The third-row bench accommodates adults, too, but headroom is expensed for thigh support. If you want to maximize cargo volume, get a friend to help yank out the heavy third-row bench.

Of course, Lincoln would have a hard time justifying the Navigator's price tag if there weren't some additional luxury feature content over what can be found in an Expedition Eddie Bauer. One appreciated item is climate-controlled front seats. The system provides both hot and cold air through the specially perforated leather upholstery. An optional navigation system utilizes a 5-inch monitor that fits neatly into the center console. Other choices to consider include a power moonroof, Alpine audio system with six-disc CD changer, a rear-seat entertainment system, chrome wheels and a reverse sensing system.

That last item is highly recommended. Due to a low seating position, dark tinted privacy glass and rounded-off exterior mirrors, it's not easy to see out of the Navigator. Front seat comfort is adequate, but after awhile, the cushions feel hard and there's little side support to speak of. Truck-tough underpinnings have been softened a bit for use in the Lincoln, so roadway dips cause some bound and sway. Body roll is excessive, and the 17-inch tires exhibit a low pain threshold.

Hauling cargo can also pose a problem with the Lincoln. With the third seat removed, 63.2 cubic feet of space is available. But since the middle row is comprised of captain's chairs and a floor-mounted console, the Navigator can't be expanded into triple-digit territory like some other SUVs unless you order the available second-row bench seat. For people looking for an imposing icon of success, wealth and environmental carelessness, or folks who simply need a garish tow vehicle that can actually go pretty far off the road, the Navigator has plenty to offer. Just don't expect much more than a gussied up work truck in terms of the driving experience.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.