Lincoln announced yesterday that the Navigator is getting refreshed interior and exterior styling, as well as some powertrain and suspension updates for the 2015 model year. In a press release, Lincoln says that the 5.4-liter V8 powering the current model will be replaced by Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost (twin-turbocharged) V6, which is also available in the F-150 pickup truck.
Lincoln says that in the 2015 Navigator, the EcoBoost engine should produce a minimum of 370 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, though these specs aren’t finalized yet. This is a significant increase over the current model's V8, which is rated at 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. The 2015 Navigator will come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Lincoln says that the 2015 Navigator will deliver best-in-class towing capacity and return better fuel economy than the outgoing model.
The 2015 Navigator also gets an active suspension that Lincoln says uses sensors to scan road conditions and automatically makes adjustments to compensate for any detected road imperfections. Kicking Tires believes that this feature, along with a new electric power-assisted steering system, should improve the Navigator's handling and ride quality.
Inside, the Navigator gets a new steering wheel, an updated leather-wrapped instrument panel and the latest version of MyLincoln Touch with an 8-inch touch screen.
Not all auto journalists are sold on the 2015 Navigator's updated styling. Autoblog says, "The new design strikes us as a heavy handed and uninspired, lacking the sort of style we so enjoyed on the MKZ," and adds that the rear end looks very similar to that of the Dodge Durango.
Various automotive publications such as Car and Driver are skeptical that the Navigator's refresh will be enough to make it more competitive. Car and Driver writes, "This face lift, a half-hearted attempt to counter the 2015 Cadillac Escalade’s comprehensive overhaul, is unlikely to change the Navigator’s standing among its peers." The Navigator is currently ranked at the bottom of our luxury large SUV rankings.
Lincoln says the 2015 Navigator will go on sale this fall. Pricing for the 2015 model hasn't yet been announced, but for reference, the 2014 model starts at $56,165.
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