If the world is your ocean, the 2012 Lincoln Navigator is certainly not a bad yacht to take you on your daily voyages to work, a shopping center, or on the U.S.'s vast set of highways.
With a leather- and wood-lined interior, the Navigator is as luxurious as it is accommodating. And with seven-passenger seating and a length that fluctuates between 208 and 223 inches depending on the model, it's very accommodating. Power comes from a 5.4-liter V-8 capable of 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, which gives drivers the ability to tow as much as 9000 lbs when properly equipped.
Entering its sixth model year, the current Navigator has fallen behind its rivals by close to 100 horsepower in the full-size SUV segment. While Lincoln has dropped words in favor of alphanumeric names in the rest of its lineup, the Navigator stands as the last of an era when Town Cars, Continentals, and Marks ruled the Lincoln lineup. Its body-on-frame construction is still common within the luxury off-roader class, but it's going out of style in favor of lighter unibody construction. The Navigator has an impressive list of available technology, but that won't save it from a growing list of newer, more modern rivals.
Body style: Five-door sport utility vehicle
Engines: 5.4L, V-8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Models: Lincoln Navigator, Lincoln Navigator L
The 2012 Navigator receives Sync AppLink technology that lets users program their favorite phone applications into the award-winning Sync infotainment system. It will allow drivers to not only speak through a hands-free phone, but it should also allow them to check for traffic delays, book reservations, and accomplish a host of other activities without having to take their hands off the wheel. Also new are Autumn Red Metallic and black exterior paint colors as well as walnut swirl and olive ash optional wood trims.
Big, bold, and brash, the Lincoln Navigator's exterior harkens back to the style of the Lincoln Continental from the 1960s. With a cross-hatch grille and chrome galore, the Navigator couldn't be anything but American. Helping well-heeled passengers in and out of the car are automatic running boards that deploy when the doors open and ascend back into the bodywork when the doors shut. Perhaps more helpful, though, is the standard power liftgate that needs just a touch of a button on the keyfob to go up or down.
Keeping with the retro theme, Lincoln's dash is finished in swaths of satin aluminum and wood trim that was styled with Lincolns of the 1960s in mind. Seats are wide and plush with massive center consoles separating passengers in the front two rows. The same passengers also enjoy heated leather seats, and rear passengers can enjoy two optional seven-inch monitors integrated into the driver and front passenger headrests. The Navigator has a THX audio system, and power-adjusting foot pedals are optional.
Performance & Handling
With three tons of mass to move, the Navigator feels getting up to speed. But once it gets to its intended velocity, highway cruising is a breeze, and the ride is smooth. Despite having a four-wheel independent suspension, the Navigator is no sports car when the road gets curvy. The ride is soft, and the large Lincoln experiences a large amount of body roll. However, with stability, traction, and roll stability control, handling is never scary.
The Navigator carries AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability control, traction control, Safety Canopy head airbags for all three rows, tire pressure monitoring, SOS post-crash safety alert, dual-stage front- and seat-mounted airbags, and anti-theft detection, and the programmable MyKey to electronically limit speeds and radio settings as standard equipment. Also optional with Sync is a system that will alert police in the case of an accident.
EPA Fuel Economy
Navigator: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway (2WD); 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway (AWD)
Navigator L: Not rated
- Interior features
- Cargo capacity
- Interior space
You Won't Like
- Sluggish acceleration
- Fuel economy
Able to navigate the urban jungle with ease, but newer rivals can do it better
If You Like This Vehicle
- Cadillac Escalade
- Infiniti QX56
- Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
- Land Rover Range Rover
- Lexus LX 570