2006 Lincoln Navigator Review
2006 Lincoln Navigator Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- 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.
Only minor package revisions are in store for the 2006 Lincoln Navigator.
A spacious and stylish full-size luxury SUV, but the Escalade is more powerful and the Lexus LX 470 more refined.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2006 Lincoln Navigator Luxury 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$371/mo for Navigator Luxury
Avg. Large SUV
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.13 out of 5 stars
Great design & value
Richard Hill, 07/24/2005
2006 Lincoln Navigator 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
4.63 out of 5 stars
Needs more Horse-Power
Jay Gowens, 05/24/2005
2006 Lincoln Navigator 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.
3.75 out of 5 stars
So-So Experience with Navigator
2006 Lincoln Navigator Ultimate 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
It was between this Navigator and a Range Rover Sport. The deals and financing Lincoln was offering was leaps and bounds better than Land Rover was offering. So far, the navigation system only works when it wants to and half the time doesn't know where the car is, or the screen won't come up. My biggest complaint is the seating. The heated/cooled seats are too firm and need to have … softer filling. Beware that the Ultimate seats with the heating and cooling are stiffer than the standard luxury seats. After driving for a period of time, the seats are so stiff that my legs fatigue and become numb. The seats should be softer for a $60K vehicle and have not such a hard and unforgiving feel.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Charles Robertson, 11/03/2010
2006 Lincoln Navigator 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.
2006 Navigator Highlights
|Combined MPG||13 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$371/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRolloverNot RatedDynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated