If you’re somebody swears by “keeping it real”, the Lincoln Navigator is as real as it gets in the world of full-size American luxury SUVs. The original, Navigator was first to market and was immediately embraced by the arbiters of cool. Upon its debut, Lincoln’s Navigator was the one to have back in 1997, when it went on sale as a 1998 model.
Yep. the ‘Gator ruled the roost huge—until Cadillac’s Escalade came along and displaced it. From a high of almost 44,000 units sold in 1998, the Lincoln’s numbers have steadily dwindled. Since 2009, the Navigator has struggled to surpass 8,000 units annually, with a high of just over 8,600 sold in 2013. Meanwhile, Cadillac moved just over 22,500 Escalades the same year (admittedly down significantly from an all-time high of 62,250 units in 2004).
Clearly, the market for the American full-size luxury SUV is down from its once lofty peaks, but the Cadillac still outsells the Lincoln at a rate of just under three to one. Clearly, Lincoln needs a hit from this redesigned 2015 Navigator.
The good news is this version is better in many ways than the model it replaces.
But is better good enough?