The 2000 Lincoln Navigator 4WD has done a respectable job of fighting off its main competition, the Cadillac Escalade and the Navigator's own "cousin," the Ford Expedition. Each vehicle had its loyal fans, and the 5,723-pound Navigator seemed to fit the middle ground of being better-appointed than the Expedition and less expensive than the Escalade.
This huge vehicle's target market ranges from someone who wants to be seen and make a statement to the guy who wants all of the functionality of an SUV, including off-road capability, without sacrificing luxury. This four-wheel drive model could pull 8,100 pounds, with a payload max of 1,520 pounds. It was built with a load-leveling system to help improve the ride when there's significant cargo (this system also serves to let the SUV kneel down an inch for easier entry and exit).
A dash-mounted selector knob on the dash lets the driver select the four-wheel drive mode: part-time or full-time, both of which can be engaged on the fly, or low-range. This trim (which was priced about $4000 more than the base 2WD) came with low-range gearing and Control-Trac, which controls the distribution of torque between the axles to maintain optimum traction.
A 32-valve, 5.4-liter V8 supplies the propulsion, putting out 300 horsepower and 360 lb.-ft. of torque. Its partner is a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, and 4-wheel antilock disc brakes are there to bring it all to a stop.
The 2000 Navigator saw some new standard equipment: side-impact air bags and a driver's-side assist handle, plus leather covering for the console between the second row's two bucket seats. The LATCH system was added to the third row, a removable bench seat that can seat three. New body cladding in the form of bright sill plates above larger running boards was added and 17-inch wheels were made standard.
Power-adjustable pedals with a three-inch range came standard; a two-position memory function was included. Other useful amenities included are the automatic parking brake release and front-seat power-lumbar adjustment, which a few critics found to be a bit too stiff.
In online reviews, owners of this SUV mostly wrote of their satisfaction with their choice, specifically mentioning its spaciousness and stylish looks. Many happy buyers considered it the height of luxury, although some who'd driven the competition (especially the Lexus and Cadillac offerings) felt otherwise.
The number-one consumer complaint was the Navigator's meager fuel economy, although buyers were well aware of the guzzling factor before they signed on the line, and most of them seemed to shrug this off and proclaim the car to be worth it. If you build it they will buy - it must be as simple as that.