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2008 Lincoln Navigator Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Lincoln Navigator was new.

Reviewers praise the 2008 Navigator for having a spacious and comfortable interior, superior cargo room and a long list of modern standard features. Nevertheless, this seven- or eight-seater's retro-style dash and quality of materials some leave test-drivers begging for more.

Edmunds says the navigator has an "immense amount of passenger and cargo space" and an "impressive list of standard luxury features." Cars.com adds that "Throughout all eight seating positions - and beyond - this is a well-thought-out interior."

However, Cars.com notes, "The huge dashboard didn't leave a great impression on anyone during our week with the Navigator," and add, "There's something odd in the texture of Lincoln's new interior plastic. . . it doesn't seem nice enough to be in a pseudo-luxury vehicle -- though it isn't what I would call cheap, either." Consumer Guide comes to a similar conclusion, saying the Navigator's "premium ambiance" was "let down by low-budget switchgear feel, painted plastic panels, [and] a few too may unpadded surfaces."

Seating

On balance, most test drivers were pleased with the seating in the Navigator, noting its spacious layout with room to spare in almost every direction.  New Car Test Drive asserts, "The front seats are large and thickly padded, yet they adjust to accommodate all sizes, from NBA guards to those who must sit up close to the wheel to peer over the tall dash." The front row allows 39.5-in. of headroom, 60.2-in. of hip room, 41.1-in. of legroom and 63.3-in. of shoulder room.

While the second-row seating arrangement consists of two bucket seats with a console in the middle, an optional bench seat is available at no extra charge. The second row allows 39.7-in. of headroom, 59.9-in. of hip room, 39.1-in. of legroom and 63.7-in. of shoulder room.

According to Edmunds, "The Escalade is just as comfortable, except when you're stuck in the third-row seats. Back there, the Navigator, whether the standard-length version or the L model with its 15-inch stretch, provides more room and a better seating position. Additionally, the Navigator's split third row can be conveniently folded into the floor via two cargo-bay-mounted electric switches." The third row allows 37.5-in. of headroom, 50.1-in. of hip room, 37.7-in. of legroom and 51.9-in. of shoulder room.

Most of all, some reviewers cannot stop boasting about how easy it is to climb into the cabin's rear. "Access to the third seat is easy, with a one-hand flip lever that folds the second seat forward and clears a wide path to the rear," says New Car Test Drive. "Passengers already in the third seat have a strap release that reverses the process. The third seat is another of the Navigator's strengths. It will actually seat adults approaching six feet in reasonable comfort."

Interior Features

The 2008 Navigator's classic front-end styling theme continues throughout its interior cabin, though on balance it is not well-liked. Although The Auto Channel boasts that "the interior is redesigned and very nicely so," many other reviewers disagree -- pointing out what The Family Car refers to as a "dated" instrument layout. "We're not big fans of the old-style square gauges," says Edmunds. "They remind us too much of the days when Ford Fairmonts roamed the Earth." Still, Detroit News claims that, overall, "the Lincoln's cabin seems more refined, at least at first glance. The center stack, in particular, is elegant, and the top-stitched leather seats look expensive."

Notable interior features standard on all trim levels include leather upholstery,10-way power adjustable front seats with lumbar support, second- and third-row fold-flat seats, adjustable head restraints and first- and second-row floor consoles. Moreover, visor-imbedded vanity mirrors, a universal garage door opener, adjustable pedals, driver's seat/side mirror memory settings, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio/temperature/navigation controls and a dual-zone automatic climate control system with second- and third-row vents contribute to overall comfort.

Stereo and Entertainment

Every 2008 Navigator trim level is outfitted with a six-disc in-dash Audiophile Sound System, a subwoofer and eight speakers. For drivers who prefer an even higher standard, an optional THX II Certified Audio System -- including 14 speakers and 600 watts of peak power -- is available for all Ultimate trims. All trims may also opt for the Navigator's Rear Seat DVD Entertainment System, which includes a second-row overhead DVD player, an 8" screen, a remote control and two wireless headphones.

Navigation

Optional for all Ultimate trim levels is Navigator's DVD-Based Navigation System, which is both voice-activated and voice-guiding as well as comprised of a combination of DVD mapping and Global Positioning System technologies. Although Consumer Guide notes that it "awkwardly combines pushbutton and touch screen operation, governs too many audio functions, [and] loses legibility in many sunlight conditions," others find it useful and convenient. New Car Test Drive asserts, "The optional navigation system works well. The video screen is smaller than many, but it's easy to figure out without studying the owner's manual. And unlike some nav systems, it had information about some obscure roads far from the beaten path. In other words, it keeps working when you're likely to need it most."  However, on the negative side, a few reviewers observed what the Detroit News did, that "the navigation system is the same one that's offered on the $26,000 Ford Edge; the screen is too small and the controls are not intuitive."

Cargo

Cargo space in the Lincoln Navigator is abundant. With the second- and third-row seats folded down, the Navigator delivers 103.3 cu. ft. of storage space. With only the third row folded, the vehicle maintains 54.4 cu. ft. of cargo room. When all the seats are placed in their upright positions, the Navigator still maintains a respectful 18.1 cu. ft. of space.  Evaluating the extended Navigator L version, New Car Test Drive boasts, "Fold both the second- and third-row seats, and the Navigator L opens a whopping 129 cubic feet of cargo space. For perspective, that's more space than the entire interior volume of most passenger vehicles on the road."

Review Last Updated: 3/12/09

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