2012 Lincoln Navigator Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
Test drivers say that the 2012 Lincoln Navigator performs adequately, with moderate acceleration and a smooth ride that’s appropriate for a luxury vehicle.
- "Navigator's sheer size and weight tame most surface imperfections. It's stable on wavy pavement, too.” -- Consumer Guide
- “It drives smaller than it looks, and the independent rear suspension helps the ride, handling, and third-row space.” -- Car and Driver
Acceleration and Power
Every Lincoln Navigator is powered by a 5.4-liter V8 engine that makes 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. Reviewers say the engine is up to the task of moving this heavy machine around, but that it begins to seem inadequate when compared with the Cadillac Escalade’s 403-horsepower powerplant. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on the Navigator, and most reviewers say it works well.
The Lincoln Navigator in regular-wheelbase trim can tow up to 9,000 pounds with two-wheel drive, while two-wheel drive Navigator L models have a maximum towing capacity of 8,700 pounds.
No matter the trim, though, the Navigator is one thirsty beast. Two-wheel drive models only get 14/20 mpg city/highway, and four-wheel drive models get 13/18 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA. Although the Navigator can take E85 fuel, it’s far less efficient with E85, so you’ll pay significantly more in fuel costs if you decide to fill up with ethanol.
- "This Lincoln is not as muscular as rival Cadillac Escalade. It is still up to the task in any situation, abetted by an adept 6-speed automatic transmission.” -- Consumer Guide
- "Acceleration seems satisfactory until you compare it to the significantly gutsier Escalade. The 5.4-liter V8 engine's relative power deficit is especially noticeable on Navigator L models when loaded down with people and/or cargo or while pulling a large trailer. The six-speed automatic offers quick shifts, though it sometimes has a hard time finding a suitable gear for the driving situation at hand.” -- Edmunds
Handling and Braking
Most reviewers feel that the Navigator delivers acceptable ride and handling for such a large vehicle. Even when its size is taken into consideration, the Navigator should be easy to live with around town. The Navigator L has an even smoother ride than the regular-length model, thanks to its longer wheelbase.