The 2017 Lincoln Navigator remains one of the top picks for shoppers in the market for a full-size luxury SUV, capable of hauling virtually any combination of people, cargo and trailers. Unlike many of its unibody competitors, the Navigator is built with traditional body-on-frame architecture, which not only contributes to its best-in-class 9,000-pound towing capacity, but also gives it a boost in off-road credibility.
After a minor refresh in 2016, this year's Navigator has relatively few changes. There's now a standard 17-inch spare wheel and tire and two new color choices, Palladium White Gold Metallic and Riviera Sands Light Brown. This third-generation Navigator was introduced in 2007, so the model is due for a complete redesign, and the concept that appeared at the 2016 New York Auto Show might have hinted at things to come.
But in the meantime, there's plenty to like about the current Navigator, especially its spacious interior. Large families will appreciate the standard seating for seven that can be bumped up to eight at no extra cost. And those who carry a lot of cargo can take advantage of 18.1 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats in the standard-length model and 42.6 cubic feet in the Navigator L. Folding down the third-row and second-row seats bumps that up to a whopping 128.2 cubic feet in the longer version.
While the Navigator's interior may lack some of the outright plushness of a few of its rivals, the Lincoln still manages to impress with plenty of leather and wood, a host of power accessories, heated and cooled seats and a premium sound system. And the new Sync 3 infotainment system, which can be controlled by voice-activation or steering-wheel buttons, provides smartphone integration for access to a number of apps.
Available in rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, the Navigator is propelled by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 380 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Although some of its competitors have larger V8s and eight- or nine-speed transmissions, the Navigator behaves quite well on the road. The V6 is smooth and quiet, and even fully loaded and pulling a trailer it remains surprisingly lively.
Fuel economy for the standard rear-wheel-drive Navigator is EPA rated at a combined 17 mpg (15 city/21 highway). The numbers for the four-wheel-drive model are virtually identical, and those for the long-wheelbase Navigator L are close at a combined rating of 16 mpg (15 city/19 highway).
The standard-length Navigator and the L model are each available in two trim levels, Select and Reserve. The very well-equipped Select includes a host of comfort and convenience features, which are magnified at the Reserve level. And of course there are a dizzying number of optional packages and accessories to allow buyers a wide range of customization. Whatever your preferences, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Lincoln Navigator that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.