|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Assembly||Wayne, Michigan, U.S. (Michigan Assembly Plant) (1997-2009)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. (Kentucky Truck Plant) (2009-present)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury sport utility vehicle|
|Body style||4-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
The Lincoln Navigator is a full-size luxury SUV built by the Ford Motor Company for its luxury division, Lincoln. Introduced as a 1998 model, production began May 14, 1997 with sales beginning in August. The Navigator was Lincoln's first SUV as well as its first four-wheel drive capable vehicle. The Navigator shares its platform, mechanical features, and other equipment with the Ford Expedition, which was introduced a year earlier. Unique and upscale styling, interior materials, and other features differ the Navigator from the Expedition. Given its platform mate, the Navigator is the largest vehicle Lincoln currently offers, having the greatest cargo capacity and seating for seven to eight people, depending on the model. For 2007, a longer, extended wheelbase version of the Navigator called the Navigator L was introduced, increasing cargo capacity further. Since its introduction, Lincoln has offered only one engine choice at a time in the Navigator in any model year.
In spite of a base manufacturer's suggested retail price of over $42,000 in 1998, the Navigator proved to be popular with nearly 44,000 sold in its first year. Competitors from General Motors like the Cadillac Escalade and the GMC Yukon Denali quickly followed to cash in on Lincoln's success with the Navigator. Much like the Cadillac Escalade would do, the Navigator found a niche with celebrities and the customized SUV scene.
First generation (1997–2002)
|First generation (UN173)|
|Assembly||Wayne, Michigan, U.S. (Michigan Assembly Plant)|
|Body and chassis|
|Platform||Ford U platform|
|Engine||5.4 L Triton SOHC V8
5.4 L InTech DOHC V8
|Transmission||4-speed 4R100 automatic|
|Wheelbase||119.0 in (3,020 mm)|
|Length||204.8 in (5,200 mm)|
|Width||1998–99: 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
2000–02: 79.9 in (2,030 mm)
|Height||2000–02 2WD: 75.2 in (1,910 mm)
1998–99 2WD: 72.7 in (1,847 mm)
2000–02 4WD: 76.7 in (1,948 mm)
1998–99 4WD: 76.7 in (1,948 mm)
The 1998 Navigator was introduced in August 1997 as Lincoln's first sport utility vehicle (SUV) with seating for up to eight people. The Navigator was based directly on the Ford Expedition, which was introduced the year before, but was positioned to be a new luxury choice in the then-growing full-size SUV market segment, with more features and an upscale design. Though the Navigator's exterior bears resemblance to its Expedition cousin at a glance, it differs in a number of ways, including different front and rear fascias with unique headlights and taillights, a chrome "waterfall" style grille, a unique hood, different style wheels, unique wheel arches, a different roof rack, and different door handles. Inside, the Navigator's humble truck roots could be more easily spotted as it had the same dashboard layout as the Expedition and F-150. However, the Navigator's interior featured upscale additions including standard leather seating surfaces, fine wood inserts, extensive carpeting, and greater sound deadening. Navigator was also developed under the program code name UN173, with the Expedition developed under the UN93 program code name.
In terms of other features, Navigators were equipped with dual front-side airbags, four wheel anti-lock disc brakes, a four-speaker premium audio system with AM/FM-cassette radio, automatic climate control, a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel with redundant audio and climate controls, "captain's chair" front bucket seating, power driver and passenger seats, first- and second-row floor consoles, an overhead console (with map lighting and electronic information displays), power windows, power door locks, power heated mirrors, remote keyless entry, illuminated running boards, automatic headlights, foglights, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Upscale options included a power moonroof, a universal garage door opener, an electrochromic rearview mirror (which filters out headlight glare from other vehicles behind the Navigator), a seven speaker, 290-Watt audio system with a six-disc front console-mounted CD-changer, rear seat audio controls, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Underneath its luxury appointments, the Navigator was mechanically similar to the Expedition. Both were full-size, rear-wheel drive body-on-frame SUVs with a short-long arm (SLA) independent front suspension and live axle rear suspension. The Navigator differed slightly compared to the Expedition featuring a load-leveling air suspension with tuning for enhanced ride comfort.
Two-wheel drive was standard on the Navigator with the available automatic ControlTrac four-wheel drive system offered as an option. ControlTrac initially included four modes: Two High, Auto, Four High (lock) and Four Low (lock). The Two High mode was dropped for the 1999 model year. The Navigator initially shared the same 5.4 L SOHC V8 as the Expedition, which made 230 hp (170 kW) at 4250 rpm and 325 lb·ft (441 N·m) of torque at 3000 rpm. Likewise, the Navigator shared the same 4R100 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive as the Expedition. The rear axle ratio of the Navigator, whether it was two-wheel or four-wheel drive, was 3.73:1. With a base curb weight of well over 5,000 lb (2,300 kg), the Navigator wasn't particularly fast off the line. A four-wheel drive model tested by Motor Trend magazine that weighed in at 5,557 lb (2,521 kg) could accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.3 seconds and complete a quarter mile (~400 m) in 17.7 seconds at 78.7 mph (126.7 km/h). However, the same Navigator came with a useful towing capacity of 7,700 pounds (3,500 kg).
In its first calendar year of sales (1998), Navigator contributed to an unprecedented event of recent decades - the overtaking by the Lincoln brand of perennial rival Cadillac in annual sales volume. Initially, published figures indicated that Cadillac had outsold Lincoln by a scant 222 vehicles sold, thanks to an enormous surge in Escalade's monthly sales in December, from hundreds in previous months to almost 5,000. A subsequent audit resulted in a retraction/apology in May 1999, attributing the "error" to "overzealous" low-level employees.
Upgrades came to the Navigator after only one model year in the interest of refining the vehicle and keeping it competitive. The 1999 Navigator initially came with the same 5.4 L SOHC V8 used previously, though it was revised to produce 260 hp (190 kW) at 4500 rpm and 345 lb·ft (468 N·m) of torque at 2300 rpm. Arriving later in the same model year replacing this engine was a new 5.4 L DOHC V8 that produced 300 hp (220 kW) at 5000 rpm and 355 lb·ft (481 N·m) of torque at 2750 rpm. The new DOHC V8 was marketed under the name InTech, making it the second Lincoln engine, after the 4.6 L DOHC V8 of the Lincoln Mark VIII, to use this name. The rest of the Navigator's powertrain, including the transmission and rear axle, remained largely unchanged. Thanks to the new InTech V8, zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration times were cut to the mid-eight second range and towing capacity increased to over 8,500 lb (3,900 kg). Elsewhere in the Navigator, power adjustable brake and accelerator pedals became available for 1999 and 17-inch alloy wheels were now standard. In 2000, the Navigator's options list expanded to include a satellite navigation system, heated and cooled front seats, a reverse-sensing system, and side-impact airbags. Also in 2000, softer, Nudo leather replaced the previous leather used in the Navigator and the radio antenna of the Navigator was removed from the front passenger-side fender and integrated into the rear passenger-side quarter panel window. For 2001, a rear-seat, VHS-based video entertainment system became available. In a minor change, the back coloring of the "four-point star" logo, the symbol of Lincoln, changed from red to black on 2001 and newer Navigators. The Navigator was carried over unchanged for 2002 as a redesigned Navigator was planned for 2003. Also for 2001, the text from Navigator - Lincoln on the back changed to Lincoln - Navigator.
Second generation (2003–2006)
|Second generation (U228)|
|Assembly||Wayne, Michigan, U.S. (Michigan Assembly Plant)|
|Body and chassis|
|Platform||Ford U platform|
|Engine||5.4 L InTech DOHC V8
5.4 L Triton SOHC V8
|Transmission||4-speed 4R100 automatic
6-speed ZF 6HP26 automatic
|Wheelbase||118.8 in (3,020 mm)|
|Length||2003–04: 206.0 in (5,230 mm)
2005–06: 207.5 in (5,270 mm)
|Width||2003–04: 78.7 in (1,999 mm)
2005–06: 80.2 in (2,040 mm)
|Height||77.8 in (1,980 mm)|
For 2003, a number of changes and improvements were made to the Navigator thanks to a thorough redesign. The Navigator continued to share a platform with the Ford Expedition, which was also redesigned for 2003, but continued to differ from it in terms of styling and various upscale features. The 2003 redesign featured a thoroughly revised exterior, the first since the Navigator's launch, with only the front doors and roof panel unchanged from the previous generation. The new exterior came with things such as a larger chrome waterfall grille, brighter quad-beam headlights with larger housings, revised chrome door handles set in color-keyed bezels, and slightly wider running boards. Inside the Navigator was an all-new instrument panel and dashboard area which, significantly, was not shared with the Expedition. Inspired by the symmetrical, "dual-cockpit" layout of the 1961 Lincoln Continental, the instrument panel and dashboard area was adorned with real walnut burl wood inserts and panels and switches painted with a low-luster satin nickel color. Adding to the upscale interior design further were white LEDs, 120 in all, which provided backlighting for controls and switches. Additionally, to direct attention to the high-quality satin nickel-faced analog clock mounted in the dashboard, an articulating door is present to conceal the radio head unit and optional satellite navigation system when they are not in use.
Highlighting the Navigator's design changes were other new features and options for 2003. Newly available features like Ford's Safety Canopy side curtain airbags and a tire pressure monitoring system improved occupant safety. Convenience was enhanced by the availability of power running boards (an industry first), power-folding third row seats, a power liftgate, and HID headlights (for top end models). The available rear-seat video entertainment system was updated to be DVD-based and all Navigators now came with standard 18x7.5-inch alloy wheels with 18x8-inch chrome wheels available as an option.
Like the redesigned 2003 Expedition, the Navigator benefitted from a reworked chassis, new rack-and-pinion steering, and an all-new independent rear suspension (IRS), which brought better handling and ride comfort. The Navigator continued to benefit from a load-leveling air suspension but it now lowered the vehicle by an inch when stopped in the interest of easing entry and exit. The Navigator's powertrain was modified from 2002, but the 5.4 L DOHC V8 used before was no longer advertised under the InTech name. But it now produced 300 hp (224 kW) at 5500 rpm and 355 lb·ft (481 N·m) of torque at 3750 rpm Due to changes brought with the redesign, the Navigator's base curb weight increased to 5,760 lb (2,610 kg) in two-wheel drive models and nearly 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) in four-wheel drive models. In turn, towing capacity dropped slightly.
Tire-pressure monitoring was made standard for 2004 while Ford's AdvanceTrac, a type of traction control system, with Roll Stability Control was an option. In 2004, for 2005 the Navigator received a minor facelift with new square-shaped foglights replacing the circular ones used previously. AdvanceTrac with RSC was now standard while HID headlights were available on all models. In the interest of cost effectiveness, the 5.4 L DOHC V8 introduced in the 1999 model year was replaced by the same 5.4 L 3-valve SOHC V8 that had been available in the F-150 since the 2004 model year. Though having a different head design, the new engine offered similar overall output, producing 300 hp (220 kW) at 5000 rpm and 365 lb·ft (495 N·m) of torque at 3750 rpm. On a side note, the new engine was not marketed under the Triton name in the Navigator even though it is mechanically identical to the F-150's engine. The venerable 4R100 4-speed automatic transmission used in earlier Navigators was replaced with a new ZF Friedrichshafen AG-sourced 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2005 Navigator's base curb weight fell to 5,555 lb (2,520 kg) while four-wheel drive models dropped to 5,842 lb (2,650 kg). Towing capacity increased slightly over the previous model year to 8,600 lb (3,900 kg) in two-wheel drive models and 8,300 lb (3,800 kg) in four-wheel drive models. For 2006, an Elite package for the Ultimate trim level was made available, including a DVD-based satellite navigation system with a voice-activated touch screen, THX audio system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and HID headlights.
Third generation (2007–present)
|Third generation (U326)|
|Also called||Lincoln Navigator L
Lincoln Navigator L Limousine
|Model years||Current version: 2007-2014
Refresh version: 2015
|Assembly||Wayne, Michigan, U.S. Michigan Assembly Plant (2007-2009)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. (Kentucky Truck Assembly) (2009-present)
|Body and chassis|
|Platform||Ford T1 platform|
|Engine||2007-2014 version: 5.4 L Triton SOHC V8
2015 refresh: EcoBoost 3.5L V6
|Transmission||6-speed ZF 6HP26 automatic
6-speed 6R80 automatic
|Wheelbase||SWB: 119.0 in (3,023 mm)
L: 131.0 in (3,327 mm)
|Length||SWB: 208.4 in (5,293 mm)
L: 223.3 in (5,672 mm)
|Width||SWB: 78.8 in (2,002 mm)
L 2WD: 78.1 in (1,984 mm)
L 4WD: 79.7 in (2,024 mm)
|Height||78.3 in (1,989 mm)|
|Curb weight||SWB: 5,780 lb (2,622 kg)-5,986 lb (2,715 kg)
L: 6,031 lb (2,736 kg)-6,239 lb (2,830 kg)
The Navigator was redesigned under the U326 program code name, with new styling and mechanical features for 2007. Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2006, the Navigator featured its most distinctive styling update since its introduction with new front and rear fascias and side cladding. In the front was a large, upper chrome grille resembling those of classic Lincolns like the 1963 Continental, an all-new, more complex headlight design, a lower chrome grille with integrated foglights, and a more prominent "power dome" hood. Elsewhere, an updated rear fascia featured taillights inspired by the Lincoln MKZ and chrome trim was more prominently used along the Navigator's sides, including chrome lower body molding on the doors. The distinctiveness of the Navigator's exterior followed into the interior, highlighted by an all-new dashboard and instrument panel. These areas saw an extensive use of rectangular shapes, such as in the gauges, as well as greater use of real wood and satin nickel accents.
Accompanying the Navigator's redesign for 2007 was a new model, the Navigator L developed under the U418 program code name. Comparable to the Cadillac Escalade ESV, the Navigator L is 14.7 inches (370 mm) longer than the standard Navigator on a 12-inch (300 mm) longer wheelbase, increasing its cargo capacity. The Navigator L was introduced parallel to the Expedition EL, an extended version of the Ford Expedition. Both the Navigator and Expedition were redesigned for 2007 and based on Ford's T1 platform, which is related to the same platform that the 2004+ F-150 is based on. Compared to the Navigator's previous platform, the new platform provides greater rigidity for better driving dynamics. The independent rear suspension has been replaced with a new five-link IRS design to further enhance handling and ride quality. The Navigator continued to come with standard 18-inch alloy wheels but both 20- and 22-inch wheels are now available. The 5.4 L 3-valve SOHC V8 introduced in the 2005 Navigator remained unchanged for 2007. The ZF Friedrichshafen 6-speed automatic transmission was replaced by Ford's own 6-speed design, the 6R80 for the 2009 model year. Due to the Navigator's redesign, its base curb weight increased to 5,872 lb (2,663 kg) in two-wheel drive models and 6,070 lb (2,750 kg) in four-wheel drive models. Navigator L models were even heavier at 5,963 lb (2,705 kg) in two-wheel drive models and 6,221 lb (2,822 kg) in four-wheel drive models. In spite of this, thanks to their improved frame, the Navigator's towing capacity increased for 2007, approaching 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) in two-wheel drive models.
Since the 2007 model redesign, the Navigator no longer uses the same transfer case as the Expedition. Expedition four-wheel drives continue to use a two-speed dual range transfer case with off road low range reduction gearing and default off road program that remaps (reprograms) the electronic throttle control and traction control system response for off road conditions. Navigator four-wheel drives have been demoted to a light-duty one-speed single range transfer case which lacks low range gearing.
For 2008, packaging for the Navigator's luxury and convenience features was simplified, resulting in the elimination of the perennial Luxury and Ultimate trim levels and the standardization of a number of features that were previously optional. Some of these newly standard features included heated and cooled front seats, power-folding third row seats, a power liftgate, and a 600-Watt 14-speaker THX II-Certified audio system. Also newly standard was a 3.31:1 rear axle ratio, though a 3.73:1 ratio was still available as option for the Navigator and remained standard in the Navigator L. Newly available was a rearview camera to aid in backing up.
For 2009, the Navigator's 5.4 L V8 gained 10 hp (7.5 kW) as well as flex-fuel capability. The rearview camera that was new for 2008 was now standard, as were heated second row seats, Front Park Assist, a capless fuel filler, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and Lincoln SYNC.
The third generation Navigator and Navigator L continued to be offered for the 2010 model year, with only slight changes.
For the 2013 model year, the only changes made to the Navigator were the addition of new color trims: Kodiak Brown Metallic Tri-Coat, Midnight Sapphire Metallic, and Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat.
The 2014 model year was a carryover from 2013 with the same features and no cosmetic changes. This would be the last model year that it would feature the front grille fascias.
In March 2013, Ford had confirmed reports that the next generation Lincoln Navigator would not be a repackaged Ford Expedition as the previous generations were, despite trailing the MKX in terms of sales but ahead of the MKT, but hopes to make it more competitive in the luxury SUV segment as they prepare to take on the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, each of which had already or would launch new generations within 2013 or 2014, and would be designed by the new Lincoln design team that also designed the new 2013 MKZ. It would be completely new and would feature the 3.5 Ecoboost, new interior and exterior and performance upgrades. But in May 2013 a prototype Navigator with a different front grill was tested featuring the EcoBoost in preparation for the updated Navigator, which was followed by more spy shots taken in September 2013 that was sporting Lincoln's updated signature front grill.
On January 22, 2014, three photos of the 2015 Navigator were released on Twitter and Instagram, along with an announcement that the refreshed SUV would be revealed at the Washington Auto Show the following day (January 23, 2014). However, hours after the leaks were made public, Lincoln held a press event in Detroit for the vehicle and revealed the updated Navigator earlier than expected. The 2015 Navigator and Navigator L kept the same exterior styling design as the Expedition instead of the reported repackaging that was announced earlier by Ford. However, it now featured an updated front grille with the rear tailgate lights bearing a resemblance to the Dodge Durango. The EcoBoost V6 engine is the only engine offered for the 2015 model year and makes 380-horsepower and 460-lb ft. The exterior included HID headlamps with LED running lights and full LED taillights. The twenty-inch wheels comes standard, replacing the 18-inch wheels, while a reserve package featured 22-inch wheels. The dashboard panels features MyLincoln Touch with Sync as a standard and controlled through an eight-inch, touchscreen display in the dash, and home to twin 4.2-inch displays that flank a central speedometer, falling in line with the rest of the Lincoln models. The push-button start became standard, likewise a passive entry and a rear-view camera. The blind-spot monitoring was added as an optional feature. Both the refreshened and redesigned Navigator and Navigator L went into production in the Summer of 2014, and arrived to dealers in the Fall of 2014 as a 2015 model.
Next Generation Lincoln Navigator
On August 21, 2014, Lincoln announced that the new 2015 Navigator will be produced until the middle of 2016, when a fourth generation will be unveiled, in which it will go on sale as a 2017 model.
|Calendar Year||American sales|
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- "Lincoln Navigator Rolls Out With Large Order Bank". theautochannel.com. May 14, 1997. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
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- "Frank Quenneville". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
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- Bartlett, Jeff. "One-Year Test Verdict: 1998 Lincoln Navigator." Motor Trend. 1999.
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- "2007 Navigator Overview". Ford Media. Ford Motor Company. 2007.
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- 2011 Lincoln Navigator from carversation.com (July 2010)
- 2013 Lincoln Navigator from media.lincoln.com
- "Lincoln Navigator to Drop V-8 for EcoBoost V-6, Expedition May Get V-6 and V-8" from Motor Trend (March 11, 2013)
- "Next Lincoln Navigator to drop V8 in favor of V6, but Ford Expedition might get both" from Autoblog (March 12, 2013)
- "Caught: Lincoln Navigator Prototype Spied" from Motor Trend (May 20, 2013)
- 2015 Lincoln Navigator Spied Testing On Public Roads From Truck Trend (September 18, 2013)
- from Twitter posted January 22, 2014
- From Lincoln Motor Co. posted January 22, 2014
- "2015 Lincoln Navigator: First Look" from The Washington Post (January 23, 2014)
- "2015 Lincoln Navigator gets new look" from Detroit Free Press (January 23, 2014)
- "2015 Lincoln Navigator puts on a brave face, offers EcoBoost V6 only" from Autoblog (January 23, 2014)
- "2015 Lincoln Navigator Teased, Debuts on Thursday, Gets 3.5L V6 EcoBoost" from Carscoops (January 22, 2014)
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