The Lincoln Navigator won over my neighborhood.
With three Fords in our driveway, it’s apparent we’re Ford fans, and with Lincoln as the “rich” cousin, I was stoked to test drive the Navigator. And when the impressive 2015 Lincoln Navigator arrived in my driveway, turning heads on my cul-de-sac, my neighborhood swung into gossip mode. Had their neighbor (me) won the lottery or some family member died and left me an inheritance, allowing me to purchase this brand spanking new SUV?
In fact, one of the braver (read: more outspoken) neighbors greeted me in my driveway when I returned home after taking my newly “acquired” Lincoln Navigator out for spin. I assured him that my bank account hadn’t improved, but that this was an opportunity to test drive my first Lincoln.
Let’s get this straight – I live in a golf course development, so there’s some nice vehicles. But I also live in Denver west suburbia with lots of families with kids, so practicality reigns with 4-wheel drive trucks and minivans. Still, the neighbors crowded around the Lincoln Navigator to get a look, with a lot of oohing and aahing.
First impression: I’m in love with luxury
Ford has dropped $2 billion into developing new Lincolns in the past few years. While the big daddy Navigator’s full replacement isn’t due out until 2017, some money was invested into refreshing this year’s model. While many reviews are naysaying the 2015 Lincoln Navigator, I’m going to quietly raise my hand with a hell yeah.
First of all, the 2015 Navigator really is big and beautiful. Although SUVs may be gas guzzlers, I’ve been driving Ford Expeditions almost since they first arrived on the scene. And these big SUVs continue to be popular with large families and drivers hauling their “toys.”
Lincoln’s SUV version, the Navigator, is a step up from the Expedition, with luxury add-ons and finishing touches. Towing capacity can be as high as 9,000 pounds, and with that third seat, seating up to 8 people rounds out the “big” options.
Lincoln Navigator had me at leather
I am in love with the interior: sinking into the premium leather seats (all 3 seats!), wrapping my hands around the shiny wood and leather steering wheel. And the new car smell is intoxicating with that hint of leather, right?
The huge dash panel is a bit more upscale, with updated controls and instruments, knobs that you can actually turn, new steering wheel, speedometer with two digital screens, the standard MyLincoln Touch, and not-so-fancy plastic vents. Lincoln has brought luxury to its interior.
My husband is a big dude, nearly 6 feet 3 inches, 270 pounds, and he loved settling into the roominess of the interior. I’m accustomed to driving big SUVs and trucks, yet I still felt comfortable in the interior space (without feeling like I was driving a big rig).
Making friends with the exterior
The first time it happened, I about jumped out of my shoes. I opened the driver’s side door, and the motorized running boards appeared from nowhere, and then disappeared when the door was shut. The split-wing grille on the front seemed out of place amidst all the black exterior of the model I test drove.
The Reserve Package of this model includes 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, and they look slightly oversized for the Navigator and definitely heavier (reported wheel tire combo weighing more than 90 pounds) Yet when everywhere I drove, from highway to city, straight roads to curvy mountain roads, the tires gripped well and I didn’t ride awkwardly or feel bulky.
Packs a powerful punch
In 2015, the 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost packs a powerful punch, and you can feel the torque amping up the horsepower when you apply the gas. Seriously, the Lincoln Navigator has some power, and for someone who lives in Colorado, where the mountain passes can bring a good SUV down, the Navigator steps it up. Although I wasn’t towing, I can see how this additional power will clinch the deal for those looking at towing capabilities.
It’s all about the ride
The true test is the ride, and the 2015 Lincoln Navigator was as smooth as silk. My first test drive was to Denver International Airport to pick up a client, and then we took to the highway to Fort Collins and Loveland, north of Denver. That first day, I easily put on nearly 200 miles.
I also loaded up the grandchildren and our bicycles a couple of times for a short drive into the Colorado foothills for a bike ride. It was my grandson who figured out how to open the sunroof, and we enjoyed the spring day letting the sun shine in.
After one week of driving the 2015 Lincoln Navigator, my husband and I nearly cried when they came to pick it up. The ride was so smooth, and the big and beautiful exterior literally turned heads.
WHAT I LOVED
- Reserve Equipment Group: $6,850 add-on which included motorized hideaway running boards, premium leather seats, Lincoln Drive Control, and some other bonus tidbits.
- Steering wheel – leather and the soft reaction to turning due to electric power-assisted steering and adjustable suspension
- EcoBoost – total fan of Ford & Lincoln’s extra power
- 3 rows with seating up to 8 people
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Rear view camera (I’m a huge fan of these)
- Lots of cargo space (especially when you fold the 3rd row)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Base price: just under $60,000 (The model I drove: $73,895)
- Fuel economy – 17 MPG (combined city/freeway)
- Takes regular gas
- 4YR/50K mile warranty
- 6YR/70K mile powertrain warranty
- 2Yr/24K comp maintenance
Lincoln provided the Navigator for my review; opinions expressed are my own. All photos courtesy of Diana Rowe.