2006 Lincoln Navigator Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of room for passengers and cargo, handles well for its size, stylish interior, smooth drivetrain, extensive list of luxury features.
  • A few low-grade interior materials, can't match the Escalade's power, some confusing controls.
List Price Estimate
$2,359 - $3,815

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A spacious and stylish full-size luxury SUV, but the Escalade is more powerful and the Lexus LX 470 more refined.

Vehicle overview

In 1997, Lincoln took the wraps off its first sport-utility ever. Dubbed the Navigator, the new luxury SUV amounted to little more than a Ford Expedition (itself a station wagon version of the F-Series pickup truck) with a softer riding suspension, acres of glitzy chrome exterior trim, an ultralux cabin and a sticker price, when fully loaded, of $50,000. Critics predicted a flop.

Instead, the Lincoln Navigator became a sales success, finding popularity with folks who wanted the prestige of a luxury nameplate and a full-size SUV all at the same time. General Motors was prodded into action and immediately dressed up a Chevrolet Tahoe with leather, wood, chrome and a Cadillac badge to combat the threat posed by the Navigator. The Lincoln and the Cadillac were larger and less expensive than the next nearest competitor, the Lexus LX 470, making them all the more attractive. Over time, Lincoln improved the original by bumping horsepower and torque, but it wasn't enough to hold off new and improved competition from at home and abroad. For 2003, Lincoln completely redesigned the Navigator and addressed many of the original design's shortcomings, including the Expedition-clone interior, sloppy handling and tight third-row seat accommodations.

In the process, Lincoln retained signature styling cues while adding neat convenience features like power-retractable running boards, a power liftgate and power-folding third-row seats. Available DVD entertainment in the back and a navigation system keep the vehicle abreast of the current techno toys, and the cabin is artfully rendered with a dual-cowl design reminiscent of Lincoln vehicles built in the 1960s. Last year the Lincoln Navigator received a more refined version of the 5.4-liter V8 engine, though it still produces the same output as before -- 300 horsepower. A significant addition, though, was a new six-speed automatic transmission. Power is adequate for most driving situations, but unimpressive next to the more powerful Escalade. Still, when it's time to haul the family, the 2006 Lincoln Navigator comes through, as it offers plenty of room in the second and third rows -- enough so that a road trip with six adults is actually a legitimate proposition.

2006 Lincoln Navigator models

The full-size Lincoln Navigator SUV is available in either Luxury or Ultimate trim. Luxury models come with leather upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, an in-dash six-disc changer, a roof rack and power-folding side mirrors. Still not satisfied? Opting for the Ultimate sets you up with heated and cooled front seats, a power liftgate, power-folding third-row seats and a power moonroof. Options for both trim levels include a 40/20/40 second-row bench seat (in lieu of the standard captain's chairs), a DVD-based navigation system, a THX-certified audio system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a Class III/IV tow hitch. Power-deploying running boards, a signature Navigator feature, are also available.

2006 Highlights

Only minor package revisions are in store for the 2006 Lincoln Navigator.

Performance & mpg

The Lincoln Navigator is powered by a 5.4-liter V8 engine rated for 300 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. As the Navigator weighs almost 5,800 pounds, acceleration is adequate but certainly not brisk, and fuel mileage leaves something to be desired. As with other truck-based SUVs, buyers have a choice between two-wheel drive (rear-drive) and four-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the Navigator can tow up to 8,600 pounds.

Safety

The Navigator comes standard with side curtain airbags and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and BrakeAssist. The AdvanceTrac stability control system, which features Roll Stability Control to help reduce the chance of a rollover accident, is standard on all models. The Lincoln Navigator earned a perfect five stars in frontal crash testing conducted by the NHTSA.

Driving

Acceleration is adequate in most situations, but when pushed on the highway, the Lincoln's V8 runs out of breath more quickly than its Cadillac rival. Although not as plush-riding as the Lexus LX 470, the 2006 Lincoln Navigator has a composed, confident feel on the road, and body lean is well controlled around corners.

Interior

The shapely dash has a dual-cowl design evocative of a 1961 Lincoln Continental and a pleasing blend of warm and cool tones. The sparingly applied walnut trim is convincing, and the leather upholstery is of high quality. Unfortunately, a closer inspection reveals a number of cheap plastics, and some of the controls are hard to use. The Navigator makes no such compromises when it comes to hauling passengers, though, as its third-row seat offers superior legroom -- giving it a usable capacity of seven or eight people. Cargo capacity ranges from 18.3 cubic feet with all the seats in use to 104.8 cubic feet with all rear seats folded down.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Lincoln Navigator.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great design & value
Richard Hill,07/24/2005
Luxury 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
Okay were do you start? The nature of the beast is she is a big SUV with 5.4. Don,t expect good MPH or blood rushing performance & because of the price you get what you pay for in terms of finish. However, she is reliable,well designed,has a massive carrying bay & one of the best looking 4 x 4 (excluding new Range Rover)on the road. She is very comfortable on long boring trips with all the nice bits in the cabin. Braking is very good & cornering is forgiving on that unexpected bend. I just would like Lincoln to spend a little more money on the general finish internally like our Japanese cousins do.I would not hesitate to replace her with the same model or recommend this vehicle to a friend
Needs more Horse-Power
Jay Gowens,05/24/2005
Ultimate 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
No other ride compares (speaking primarily about the suspension), and I have driven most luxury models, but I have to say more torque and horse-power is needed to eliminate that slight sense of drag during ecceleration.
Luxury Workhorse
Charles Robertson,11/03/2010
Ultimate 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
This beast has been a pleasure. It has hauled our family of seven on several trips to Florida, hauled boats and jet skis, and innumerable trips to Home Depot, while making the trips to the grocery store and school functions with ease. The 4WD/AWD makes it feel very safe in bad weather, and although we haven't needed much in the way of service it was easy to get worked on, no matter where we were (not so much with our BMW!) The power rear seat and video options made this a kid cruiser without equal. This isn't a practical vehicle for everyone, but it was a wonderful choice for us. 40k miles, no regrets.
A leftover 2006 Navigator w/3 dings...
Archangel,12/09/2006
Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
The 2006 Navigator is a wide body luxury experience; however, the interior does not live up to its level of classification, as many have already mentioned. My vehicle is a leftover and has hail damage (3 dings) that the dealership has agreed only to repair one at its cost. The 2007 has a cleaner and leaner interior, but the button to fold the side mirrors inward is very confusing. The drive, however, is smoother then the 2006, and you feel in control as you quickly pass on lookers, who can only look in envy.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2006 Lincoln Navigator

Used 2006 Lincoln Navigator Overview

The Used 2006 Lincoln Navigator is offered in the following submodels: Navigator SUV. Available styles include Luxury 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A), Ultimate 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), and Ultimate 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A).

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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Lincoln Navigator?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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