A few weeks ago, I reviewed the handsome new 2015 Ford Expedition, which got a mild refresh and a great new turbocharged engine to bring it back to the top of its game. This week, I’m in its leather-lined fraternal twin, the Lincoln Navigator.
Like the Expedition, the Lincoln got a nose job, though the Lincoln’s is more dramatic, replacing the last model toothy “waterfall” grille with split horizontal bars flanked by beady headlamps with integrated LEDs. My tester came with the Reserve package, and its table-sized 22-inch wheels. All Navigators got a butt lift as well, with a full-width band of horizontal LED taillamps spanning the entire tailgate ensuring that from blocks away, you won’t mistake this for anything else—certainly not that other bitch, Escalade, whose LEDs run vertically. So there.
Mechanically, the Navigator is not much different than the Expedition. It’s powered by the same silky turbocharged V-6 with the same six-speed automatic, and is strong enough to tow Rosie’s bar—or at least 9,000 pounds of it—out the beach. No, what really sets the Lincoln apart is the redesigned interior. While the instruments and SYNC infotainment system are also Ford parts, Lincoln essentially decided to just cover everything from the seats to the entire dashboard in leather. (I, for one, am not complaining, having a bit of a penchant for cowhide myself.) In the case of the Lincoln, however, the “Trevino” leather is spectacularly soft, considerably better than that in the Ford, and it even covers the power-folding third-row seats. It comes in multiple shades, but personally, I wouldn’t consider any color other than black, to match my, well, never mind.
Swank as it may be inside, I’m not sure I love the new Navigator. With crossovers getting so capable and luxurious, the Navigator is feeling more and more like the porky truck that it is. You can certainly spread out and get comfortable, but you’d better be sure that you have the room in your garage—and your gas budget—for something this size. Because unless you’re already used to driving something this big, the Navigator’s almighty hugeness becomes cumbersome. Then again, most of the leather guys know how to handle big things.
2015 Lincoln Navigator
Base Price: $62,915
Power: Turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 (365 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Fuel Economy, city/hwy mpg (EPA est): 16/22 (2WD) 15/20 (4WD)
Or you could buy:
GMC Yukon Denali