The 2002 Lincoln Navigator 4WD was built for the active SUV-buyer who wants it all. In addition to the versatility of a 4x4 he gets power for towing, amenities for top comfort, and a whole lot of good old American heft.
This finely crafted specimen is as handsome as it is imposing, with a proud and immense chrome grille preceding it all. You probably won't see one out crawling over rocks on the trails, but the point for many of its purchasers is that it could go there if they wanted it to.
But the theme of this SUV is luxurious comfort, much more so than off-road ability. Still, the 4x4 trim by its very nature has to sacrifice a bit of that, the result being a stiffer ride than the two-wheel-drive trim affords.
Like its cousin the Ford Expedition, the Navigator features Ford's Control Trac 4WD system, which employs a switch on the dash for the driver to select from among 2WD, automatic 4WD, 4WD High, and 4WD Low. This makes for a notably versatile 4x4 system.
The powerplant is a 5.4-liter SOHC V8, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. It delivers 300 horsepower and 355 lb.-ft. of torque at 2750 rpm - numbers that disappointed a considerable segment who expected more from such a behemoth. Still, it's enough to tow 8,000 pounds, and anyway, a full-sized SUV does not need to be peeling away from stoplights.
The 2002 'Gator's list of standard equipment was long, leaving just a few things (moonroof, cooled and heated seats, navigation system, and CD changer) that could be opted for. Some of the standout exterior features were oversized heated body-color side mirrors, roof rails, step rails, fog lights, swing-out rear windows, and a full-sized spare carried under the body. Drivers of various stature could surely appreciate the height-adjustable pedals and seat-position memory.
Mechanical features included limited slip differential, stability and traction control, and a wishbone front suspension and beam rear suspension with stabilizer bar. The suspension also came with an automatic leveling function that also kneeled down one inch for passengers' entry and exit.
Top compliments went to appearance, spaciousness, and comfort, although several pro and am reviewers complained that the seats, though nicely contoured, were on the hard side. Top complaints went to fuel consumption (and to make it worse, this one only has a taste for 91 octane), which was a concession most Navigator buyers were okay with.