Lincoln Navigator Performance
Most test drivers agree that the 2014 Lincoln Navigator has a comfortable ride, but lacks the handling ability of some of its more recently-redesigned rivals. Auto journalists also note that the Navigator is less powerful than most other luxury large SUVs.
- "Overall ride quality isn't as good as in more modern crossover SUVs, but it is far from truck-like, either." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Considered on its own, the 5.4-liter V8 engine under the Navigator's hood might seem like a perfectly acceptable choice. Its subpar performance stands out, however, when you drive the Lincoln back to back with competitors that have more muscular power plants. Load the Navigator up with passengers and cargo or hook up a good-sized trailer and this shortcoming becomes even more apparent." -- Edmunds
- "One might think that because of its stiff, truck-based frame the Navigator would logically drive like a big pickup truck, but this is not the case." -- AutoTrader
Acceleration and Power
The Navigator is powered by a 5.4-liter V8 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed through a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is up to an EPA-estimated 14/20 mpg city/highway, which is comparable to most class rivals' fuel economy estimates.
Most test drivers agree that the Navigator is not very powerful. They note that it has trouble delivering prompt acceleration, especially during passing maneuvers or when towing. The transmission earns praise for its smooth shift quality and overall responsiveness.
- "The big 5.4-liter V8 seems to struggle a bit when the Navigator is fully loaded, but it manages to get up to speed eventually and has ample torque for towing and passing." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "First off, the Navigator hasn't received a substantial overhaul since 2007, and it's beginning to show its age in a variety of areas. A key example is the full-size Lincoln's 5.4-liter V8 engine, which feels anemic compared with the more muscular V8 engines powering its rivals." -- Edmunds
- "One area where the big truck lags behind the competition is its powertrain. The Navigator's 5.4-liter 3V V8 has been updated to 310 horsepower, but is still roughly 100 less than what many rivals offer." -- Left Lane News
- "Navigator is not quite as peppy as some class competitors, though its V8 supplies more-than-adequate power in most any driving situation. The alert automatic transmission delivers smooth gear changes." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Handling and Braking
Rear-wheel drive is standard on the Navigator and four-wheel drive is optional. Reviewers say that the Navigator's independent rear suspension gives it a smooth, comfortable ride that keeps road imperfections from being transmitted through the vehicle. Some critics mention that the Navigator doesn't handle as well as some of its rivals. However, others counter that body motions are well-controlled through turns for such a large vehicle, and that its steering feels accurate. Still, others say that a wide turning circle makes the Navigator difficult to navigate through tight areas. A few reviewers add that the brakes have plenty of stopping power, but hard braking causes a fair amount of nose dive.
- "In addition, the Navigator's wide turning circle, combined with its sheer size, makes it a handful in crowded parking lots. Although many of the Navigator's rivals are also oversized, most handle and steer with more precision than the big Lincoln." -- Edmunds
- "Lincoln is quite proud of the 2014 Navigator's stiff body-on-frame structure and fully independent rear suspension that, in combination with its monotube shocks, lower ride height and a host of electronic stability programs, ensure a smooth and controlled ride." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "A fully independent rear suspension allows the rear wheels to move up and down independently (as opposed to a solid axle, which links the two wheels together and allows events that occur at one wheel to affect the other). This setup, in combination with a set of monotube shocks and extra rubber bushings, isolates the Navigator's cabin from the harsh realities of the road." -- AutoTrader
- "Steering feel is accurate, and Navigator tracks well in straight-line highway driving. Body lean in turns in decently well-checked for a large SUV. However, the plus-size dimensions mean close-quarters maneuvering can be a challenge. Braking is strong, but fast stops induce lots of nosedive." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
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