The Lincoln Navigator serves as Lincoln's full-sized luxury SUV. The Navigator shares the same platform with the lesser Ford Expedition full-size SUV. Introduced in 1998, the Navigator has proven extremely popular, comprising 40% of the American luxury SUV market in 2001. It is the larger of the two truck-based SUVs produced by Lincoln in the early 2000s, the smaller being the Aviator (which becomes the MKX for 2007). While the current 2006 Lincoln Navigator ranges in price from roughly $50,140 to $67,645, the new 2007 Lincoln Navigator will feature a price range of $52,990 to $66,545. If customized, the Lincoln Navigator's price can range to well over $100,000.
First generation (1998â€“2002)
The 1998 Navigator introduced the concept of the American luxury SUV, competing at first with only the Land Rover Range Rover. It was trimmed with leather, wood, and fine carpeting, but its humble pickup truck roots could be easily spotted. This didn't slow sales, though, upon introduction of the Lincoln Navigator for the 1998 model year waiting lines for the Navigator formed. Competitors from Cadillac and GMC with the Denali Series quickly followed. Much like the Cadillac Escalade, the Navigator found a spot with celebrities and the customized truck scene.
Upgrades came just one year later with a more powerful DOHC InTech engine and power-operated pedals. More luxury features appeared in 2000, including a satellite navigation system and reverse sensing system as well as side impact airbags. No more major changes were made in 2001, and the Navigator was redesigned after 2002.
Second generation (2003â€“2006)
The Navigator was updated in 2003, along with the Ford Expedition, on the new Ford U platform. The interior was also substantially revised to bring it up to the level expected by luxury buyers. Some ingenious features debuted with this redesign, including power-deployable running boards that deploy when a side door is opened, a power liftgate, and a power folding third row seat.
Tire-pressure monitoring was made standard for 2004, with Roll Stability Control an option, and the mid-level Premium trim line was deleted. Along with a light facelift the powertrain was revised for 2005, with the DOHC 5.4 L V8 being replaced by a new SOHC 3-valve design borrowed from the F-150, driving the wheels through a new ZF Friedrichshafen AG-sourced 6-speed automatic transmission. The stability system was now standard on all models. An Elite package for the Ultimate trim includes a THX audio system, rear-seat entertainment, and HID headlights for 2006, the last year of this generation.
The 2007 Navigator was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2006. It is joined by a long wheelbase Navigator L based on the Expedition EL and shares the new Ford T1 platform with that vehicle. The L model is 14.7 in (373 mm) longer than the standard Navigator.
The new Navigator sports a large chromed grille and "power dome" hood to emphasize its size and power. An independent suspension debuted in the second generation Navigator. However, the 2007 model has a greatly improved design that will cause the new Navigator to ride even better than the vehicle it replaces. The 5.4 L 24-valve InTech engine remains unchanged, however, and is now surpassed in size by the 6.2 L unit in the competing Cadillac Escalade, but with the new "power dome" and the upcoming 6.2 L Ford Hurricane engine the displacement and power will be almost equal.
Although most other Lincolns will adopt a three-letter name for 2007, the Navigator name will remain unchanged.