Why the 2015 Lincoln Navigator Matters:
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator adds a breathe of new life into a full-size SUV that had gotten rather stale over the course of the past few years. Although not a complete redesign, the updated Lincoln Navigator brings the vehicle into closer orbit with the brand’s styling language, and also introduces a long-overdue drivetrain upgrade. The Navigator has found itself lagging behind not just its cross-town rival the Cadillac Escalade (itself new for 2015), but also nearly every other large SUV in the premium segment. Lincoln has a long way to go if it wants to recapture the best-selling status enjoyed by the Navigator in its early days, and this is the first legitimate step in that direction for the automaker.
What’s New for the 2015 Lincoln Navigator:
- Front and rear completely re-styled.
- Twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 replaces last year’s V-8.
- New interior appointments and design.
New 2015 Lincoln Navigator: Styling and Design
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator’s overall silhouette hasn’t changed much, but coming and going the SUV certainly makes a new impression. The Navigator’s bisected grille will no doubt divide opinions over whether Lincoln has gone a bit too far with its toothy design, but the extroverted look matches the rest of the automaker’s stable in a way that the 2013 model simply didn’t. LED taillights that span across the entire rear of the vehicle also add a touch of modernity to the vehicle, while the interior gains ever more exotically-named leathers and trim intended to coddle up to eight passengers with the traditional luxury that is the Navigator’s trademark.
New 2015 Lincoln Navigator: What’s Under the Hood
The biggest news for the 2015 Lincoln Navigator is the fact that the SUV has abandoned its boat-anchor of a V-8 engine in favor of a more powerful, and (presumably) more frugal twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6. The new 3.5-liter unit pushes out 370 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque (preliminary numbers from Ford), which are huge improvements over the 5.4-liter mill that toiled under the SUV’s hood since its 20th century inception. Official fuel mileage numbers have yet to be released, but its hard to imagine the direct-injected EcoBoost offering anything other than a marked improvement over the old-tech eight-cylinder unit. A six-speed automatic transmission remains standard with the Navigator, and four-wheel drive continues to be available as an option.
New 2015 Lincoln Navigator: Features and Technology
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator doesn’t go overboard in offering breakthrough technologies or features. Buyers can expect the same power-folding third row seat and MyLincoln Touch vehicle interface from last year, buttressed by new standard electric power steering as well as the availability of Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD). CCD is a new adaptive suspension system for the Navigator that aims to improve what was already a very smooth ride from the SUV, and it offers Sport, Normal, and Comfort settings.
New 2015 Lincoln Navigator: What Autobytel Thinks
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator’s move to a turbocharged V-6 could be enough to bring it back to relevance in the luxury SUV segment, where its lack of power and dreadful fuel consumption saw it fade as a potential competitor to models from Cadillac, Lexus, and Audi. There’s plenty of room for a premium people mover that doesn’t blaze through the slalom, but the question is whether Lincoln will be able to convince potential buyers to look past the Navigator’s styling – and to ignore the more car-like rides offered by the steady flow of luxury crossovers that dominate the market.
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