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2019 Lincoln Navigator Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

Despite its size, the 2019 Lincoln Navigator has composed handling, and it provides a comfortable ride even over uneven pavement. The Navigator's powerful V6 engine easily pushes this large SUV along, and it gets good fuel economy ratings for the class.

  • "This is a great engine. It's flexible and offers plenty of top-end power to get 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)
  • "A single engine and transmission combination is offered, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. With 450 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 510 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm, the Navigator has no trouble getting up and going, despite a curb weight that can exceed 6,000 pounds fully dressed." -- New York Daily News (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The Navigator has a 450-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine packs plenty of power for most driving situations. The Navigator accelerates quickly for its size and can easily pass cars on the highway. Its transmission has relatively quick shifts, but it sometimes suffers from a slight lag in downshifts.

This Lincoln can tow up to 8,700 pounds when fully equipped. Fuel economy estimates aren't available for the 2019 model, but the nearly identical 2018 Navigator delivers 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Those are good estimates for the class.

  • "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
  • "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 is tuned for comfort. This poised cruiser delivers a relaxed ride over both rough and smooth roads. An adaptive suspension system with several driving modes is available, but some reviewers claim that there aren't many differences between the modes. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

  • "This big SUV is a decent handler for its size. It 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. 'Comfort' could easily be rechristened 'Land Yacht.'" -- Autoblog (2018)
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