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2020 Lincoln Navigator Performance Review


Performance: 8.0

The 2020 Lincoln Navigator has a brawny engine and a refined ride, even over broken pavement. Considering its size, it also has balanced handling and decent fuel economy ratings.

  • "The drivetrain is quick and responsive, steering is low effort, and the suspension is relatively slop-free. The V6 is plenty strong and gets you up to speed in a hurry." -- Edmunds
  • "The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine puts out 450 horsepower, plenty to move this big box around, and the 10-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly; we suggest leaving it in Drive and skipping the paddles." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Acceleration and Power

Powering the Navigator is a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 450 horsepower. It comes mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine is potent enough for just about any driving scenario, and the 10-speed automatic transmission is usually responsive, though it can make some unrefined downshifts at lower speeds. A properly equipped Navigator can tow up to 8,700 pounds.

As of this writing, the EPA has not evaluated the 2020 Navigator for fuel economy. The mechanically identical 2019 model earned estimates of 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Those are good figures for the luxury large SUV class. With four-wheel drive, the 2019 Navigator gets 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The Navigator L earns ratings of 16/22 mpg.

  • "Under the hood is an impressive turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that cranks out a stout 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The new 10-speed automatic almost always shifts quickly and seamlessly, though we did get two clunky downshifts during our drive, both dropping from second to first. The programming is on point and gives you little reason to use the paddle shifters, so much so that there's no full manual mode. The piano key push-button shifter takes some getting used to, but it's a considerably better execution than GMC and Honda's attempts." -- Motor Trend (2018)
  • "Lay into the throttle and the Navigator is a beast. That 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque moves this nearly three-ton truck like a muscle car. The Navigator is legitimately and quite surprisingly a very quick machine with torque that pins your body deep into the seat." -- Autoweek (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Navigator provides a blissful ride, and its suspension effortlessly soaks up most road flaws. No one would call such a bulky vehicle sporty, but this Lincoln tends to remain composed around turns. Although there’s an available adaptive suspension that lets you alter drive modes, you may not notice much difference between them.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

  • "Large vehicles tend to nose-dive or squirm around when you jam on the brakes suddenly, and the Navigator is no exception. That said, braking performance is perfectly adequate for the class. It also feels composed around town and even on tight roads. We wouldn't go so far as to call it sporty. But for the amount of comfort it provides, it's not the clumsy behemoth you'd expect it to be either." -- Edmunds
  • "I was told to expect a great disconnect between the visual mass of the Navigator and the perceived mass of its handling. They were right and that disconnect is one of the most important things a full size SUV can deliver. Nobody enjoys driving a house, and I never felt like I was. Turn-in through curves involves the front wheels and body at once, not the first and then the latter." -- CNET (2018)
  • "Lincoln was eager for us to try the Navigator's various new driving modes (a combination of the familiar normal/eco/sport drive modes and a variety of off-roading/slippery weather modes), but we struggled to detect any differences in the optional adaptive suspension. This stands in sharp contrast to the Lincoln MKC, for instance, where the differences are some of the greatest found in any car." -- Autoblog (2018)
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2020 Lincoln Navigator

MSRP: $76,185 - $100,335

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