2016 Lincoln Navigator Review


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2016 Lincoln Navigator Overview

Sure, its look and feel are getting kind of long in the tooth, but the 2016 Lincoln Navigator will tote plenty while simultaneously providing a good view of the road and ample creature comforts. A significant upgrade to its 2015 profile has this 5-door, 7-8-passenger full-size SUV looking good on the way to the movie set, the ballgame, or even the White House. And despite its recent upgrades, the Navigator is slated to be totally reworked for the 2017 model year, including the debut of a lightweight all-aluminum body, like Ford’s current F-150, and the rumored addition of a hybrid version.

But that’s in the semi-distant future. For 2016, Lincoln has re-labeled its Navigator lineup to reflect the inclusion of the once-optional Reserve package as a separate (and more expensive) trim. Thus, the 2016 Navigator is offered in the entry-level Select, the longer-wheelbase L Select, and the now-flagship Reserve and L Reserve editions. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard, while a light-duty 4-wheel drivetrain (4WD), without the low-range gearing, is optional. The quasi-4WD system does, however, return with Lincoln Drive Control, standard descent control, and an adaptable suspension system that includes three selectable driving modes--Comfort, Normal, and Sport--with each mode adjusting ride firmness to suit your driving mood.

The standard wheelbase for non-L trims returns at 119 inches (9.9 feet), while the L versions will again sport a 131-inch (10.9-foot) wheelbase, all of which results in cargo capacity running from a total of 103 cubic feet behind the front seats in standard-wheelbase versions to 128 cubic feet behind the front seats in the L variants.

The only powerplant offered for the 2016 Navigator stable remains the recently introduced 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that puts out 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque when mated with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Look for fuel efficiency estimates of 16 mpg city/22 highway/18 combined from RWD trims and 15/20/17 from 4WD-equipped variants. Max towing capacity, meantime, remains a hefty 9,000 pounds in RWD versions packing the standard Class IV hitch and wiring setup.

Appearance-wise, expect the 2016 Navigator Select trims to boast 20-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, heated power-adjustable and power-folding mirrors, and power-folding step running boards, while the top-shelf Reserve trims add standard 22-inch alloy wheels and some exterior chrome. Both the 2016 Select and Reserve versions boast the available 4WD system and are scheduled to include Lincoln Drive Control as a standard feature.

Inside, both 2016 Navigator iterations are expected to tote premium leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, a power-folding third-row seat, standard second-row captain’s chairs (in the 7-passenger setup), and memory for driver's settings. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering will remain complemented by power-adjustable pedals, front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera in both trims, along with a remote garage door opener. Look for both the Select and the Reserve to again feature tri-zone automatic climate control.

Techno-goodies and entertainment features, you ask? Look for the 2016 Navigator stable to return sporting standard SYNC voice-command infotainment interfaced with Bluetooth hands-free technology. Also returning for the upcoming model year is the standard 600-watt THX II audio system that boasts a single CD/MP3 player, a DVD player, 14 Surround Sound speakers, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a memory-card slot.

Among the more noteworthy options for the 2016 Navigator are rear-seat DVD entertainment and a power moonroof, with further available add-ons including upgraded wheels, heated second-row seats, a second-row center console, and second-row bench seating for 8-passenger capacity.

For its standard safety equipment, the 2016 Navigator is expected to retain 4-wheel antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, 3-row side-curtain head airbags, LED daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, trailer sway control, and high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights. SYNC emergency alerts and communications also return standard in all trims, along with Ford’s touted MyKey teen-driver-oriented programmable speed- and audio- limiting technology. Additionally, the 2016 Navigator lineup returns boasting a standard post-collision safety system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and a remote antitheft alarm.

Because of the sheer bulk of full-size sport utes, neither the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests the Navigator for crashworthiness.

Look for the posh 2016 Navigator, with its revamped trim list, to again go against the likes of Cadillac’s legendary Escalade and Mercedes-Benz’s Euro-plush GL-Class when it arrives in dealer showrooms in the last quarter of 2015.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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