How do you make the Navigator better? You take the spacious and comfortable SUV and turn it into the 2015 Lincoln Navigator with more power, better interior, smoother ride, and better efficiency.
The Navigator has been around since 1997 when it made the debut and defined the segment of full-size luxury utility vehicles. Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon Denali soon followed. Back then, the first generation Navigator used a 5.4L V8 that produced a very modest by today’s standards 240 horsepower.
Things have moved on far over the last 17+ years. The big news for the 2015 Navigator is under the hood. There lies the 3.5L twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine that is good for 380 horsepower and big 460 lb-ft of torque. Maximum torque is available down low at 2,750 rpm. Navigator is still big and heavy, but mash the skinny pedal and the beast leaps forward with ease. Acceleration came effortless during our short drive in the country side around Louisville, Kentucky. Lincoln managed the coax a somewhat deeper sound from the 3.5L EcoBoost than you get in other trucks, like the Ford F-150. Still, the sound is luxuriously muted under acceleration as the 6-speed automatic knocks off seamless shifts.
Jumping behind the wheel, the new Navigator immediately greets you with a very plush ride and light effort steering. This is classic American luxury. The torquey motor whispers near 2,000 rpm at highway speeds as this giant carries you away is quiet comfort. The Continuously Controlled Damping suspension smooths out all road surfaces. It has three settings: Sport, Normal, and Comfort. The difference between these is difficult to discern, although the Sport mode does communicate the bumps a little more.
The steering requires very little effort and does not provide a very direct feeling. Somehow, this is just fine. This is not a canyon carver. This is the largest SUV it’s class with capacity for eight people, that is capable of towing 9,000 lbs in a 2WD short wheelbase configuration. It would make an excellent vehicle to bring your boat or horse trailer to your next weekend adventure.
Here is a fun and informative TFLcar video match-up of the 2015 Lincoln Navigator and the 2014 model.
Also, check out this fun and informative TFLcar fist drive video of the all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC.
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, software engineer, writer, and reporter. He has been writing and reporting at TFLcar since 2011.