2015 Lincoln Navigator: First Look

Navigator1

Competes with: Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Lexus LX 570

Looks like: The old Navigator with a new grille and headlights

Drivetrain: 370-plus-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6; six-speed automatic transmission; optional four-wheel drive.

Hits dealerships: Fall 2014

There isn't a rabid large-luxury SUV following begging for new products, but with Cadillac unveiling the heavily revised 2015 Escalade late last year, those in the market may have wondered when the next Lincoln Navigator, the Escalade's main rival and the original American luxury truck, would arrive. Lincoln has just revealed its new 2015 Navigator ahead of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, where the SUV will make its public debut, and we have the details.

Exterior

Far from being a major makeover, the new Navigator has received a mild freshening at best. The only exterior differences are a new grille, bumpers, hood, headlights and taillights, which are all designed to bring the Navigator into line with the rest of the Lincoln aesthetic. Fenders, doors, windows and the roof all apparently carry over from the previous Navigator.

Two lengths are again available, a standard-length model with a 207.4-inch wheelbase and an extended-length model with a 222.3-inch wheelbase. LED running lamps are now present, and a new full-width LED taillight runs across the liftgate. Also in the lighting department is a new Lincoln "welcome mat," a projected Lincoln logo that is beamed down to the ground next to the SUV when approaching and unlocking the vehicle with the remote key fob. Replacing the 18-inch wheels are newly standard 20-inch wheels, with optional 22-inch rims as part of a new Reserve Package.

Interior

Even less has changed inside. The dashboard has been mildly revised and is now covered in stitched leather, but the door panels and lower console look no different. The latest MyLincoln Touch multimedia system with Sync graces the upper console along with the ubiquitous 8-inch touch-screen displaying audio, navigation and various apps. New gauges with a 4.2-inch LCD screen are standard and similar to that appearing in other Ford and Lincoln models, and the steering wheel has been carried over from the new MKC small crossover that's slated to appear this year. Real ziricote wood trim is available on the Reserve model, as is Trevino-brand leather, replacing the Eagle Ottawa-branded leather on standard models. Ambient lighting and a new two-tone interior are also available.

Where the Navigator still excels is room, for both people and stuff. It features the largest cargo space in the class, according to Lincoln, with seats up or seats stowed. Extended-length models provide 128.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 86.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and 42.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row; standard-wheelbase models deliver 103.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 54.4 cubic feet behind the second row and 18.1 cubic feet behind the third row. Seating for eight is standard; optional second-row captain's chairs reduce seating capacity to seven.

Under the Hood

Perhaps the biggest changes happen in the engine compartment. Gone is the long-lived 5.4-liter V-8 engine and in its place is a standard twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, making in excess of 370 horsepower and 430 pounds-feet of torque (final numbers haven't yet been certified). This is the only engine to be offered in the Navigator, but Ford says it makes more power and torque than the outgoing V-8, should have a best-in-class tow rating and will be nearly 15 percent more fuel efficient. Power is routed through a standard six-speed automatic transmission to either the rear wheels or all four, with a 4x4 system optional.

Ride and handling should improve now that the Navigator features standard electric power steering and an optional Lincoln Drive Control system, which is a continuously adjustable active suspension system that uses sensors to monitor road conditions and adjust damping accordingly. It will allow drivers to select one of three modes to operate in — Normal, Sport or Comfort — and adjust suspension firmness to personal preference. A load-leveling system will be standard.

Safety Features

With the update to the Navigator on the mild side, safety features received only a couple advancements, including a new blind spot warning system and a backup camera.

Lincoln executives were clear that the 2015 model is aimed at current Navigator owners. With a 75 percent owner loyalty rating for the Navigator, it would seem that the only people buying the behemoths are folks who already have one. Given the extensive redo and upgrade that the new 2015 Cadillac Escalade will present to shoppers later this year, the 2015 Navigator's underwhelming refresh sends the message that Lincoln has all but given up on the full-size luxury SUV segment — giving loyal buyers one more iteration to enjoy but ultimately conceding segment leadership to Cadillac, at least for now.

Click on any image below for a larger version.

Editor's note: This post was updated on Jan. 29 to reflect where the Navigator will debut.

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

Comments 

jyd

Introducing the newest nail in Lincoln's coffin.

cody

'heavily revised cadillac escalade'?? it's a complete redesign from the ground up...come on editors.

Rock

222" wheelbase?! Good lord that thing's huge.

Supposed to be 222" overall length.

kj

Amazing that people actually buy a whale of an SUV like this. If you have that large of a family that you really need such a ridiculous vehicle then I suggest you own a U-Haul truck.

skippydog

This and the Escalade are what stupid people buy when they come into money to impress their friends. The Escalde is the most repo'd luxury vehicle. Does that tell you something about the people who buy them?

carma

Front styling reminds me of a mitsubishi SUV from a few years ago. Dramatically improved efficiency is always good news.

Why is it only the american entries into this segment get insulted all the time? How are these vehicles any more "stupid" than the GL, Range Rover, LX570, etc.?

Bowrider

Yeah buy a Uhaul..that's a good comparison. Stick to your Toyota Siennas and Honda Odysseys, Skippydog and Kj. I'll take an Escalade.

Rodney

It's the perfect vehicle for the uber rich 1% Hollywood crowd AKA environmentalists.

othree

Dodge called. They said you flattened their 2014 Durango tail-end and they're pissed.

John

a) It seems as if Ford doesn't really care about the large SUV market.
b) "This is what people who come into money buy to impress their friends." Do you own a boat? If so, large SUVs are a necessity, and the price premium and marginal cost of a luxe SUV vs. standard is negligible.

Danny Ulster

The front end looks really pathetic....like it's frowning! It's not as noticeable on the black color, but on the white one shown above it looks depressed.

J

Aaron,

As much as I am not a GM supporter...You guys screwed this up big time...

The current Escalade is based on the GMT900 platform where the 2015 is based on the new K2 platform. How is that a "heavily revised" when it is a complete redesign on a different platform?

This and the pricing mis-info from yesterday really says something about cars.com and Cadillac's relationship...

KeithO

Disappointing on several levels...Lincoln needs to do MUCH better, lest it join Mercury in the Graveyard of Dead Car Brands.

Others

Excellent Looks.
Good that they are installing a fuel efficient V6 Ecoboost.

Ford is very successfully with Ecoboost just like Toyota is successful with Hybrids.

Audi

Anyone that has driven the previous Navigator will agree that that truck was good. it had sharp unique looks, powerful engine, and smooth ride. this new truck looks bangin. and with better gas mileage and power it should be more popular.

Steve

Lincoln should not only exude luxury, but by the looks of this SUV, it should also denote antiquity.

Tomas

If you have over 3 kids this is a perfect SUV.

Bishop

Thanks Lincoln. Love the new grille. I like the VW passat and this has an SUV version of a nice professional grille. I love to monstrous look up close but relaxed look from far away. I just bought a 10 Navigator and I love it so naturally this one is loved also. For all the negative comments on here, these clearly aren't big SUV people nor people that actually care about trying the car out vs the Escalade. That vehicle is just overrated. This vehicle has more room and is more reliable and to me looks better. I'm not so sure about the ecoboost engine. I love my roar from my Navi (most I've drove don't roar). Gas mileage isn't that great though, not the way I drive. I like to test out the whole 310hp. Looking forward to this new updated version to try it out.

Lincoln Fan

I'm on my 4th Navigator and have to say that if you want size, reliability and comfort in the large SUV market this is a great vehicle. Also like the fact that I can still select 2WD, 4WD Auto or 4WD. Living in the Midwest, I like knowing that when I want 4WD it's there full time not computer selected. Excited about the changes even if they are deemed minimal. Will be ordering a 2015 as soon as available.

Don

God how awful looking! This ugly monstrosity looks like that monster wagon in one of the Vacation movies with chevy Chase. This looks like it would apeal to someone with good credit and little class that wants people to think that they have some class.

Raminator

Looks like a rhino with that new front grill. Oh and how much did Ford pay Chrysler for the rear tail light design off the new Durango? What happened to the Extremely Stricking line and dot led tail lights from the cars? They weren't so striking...

Fernando

I cannot tell you how ugly I think this is.. It is a shame...

MrSpraycheez

Not my Favorite Navigator Design but it slightly works with Lincoln's designs. The front Fascia does look depressed but there were worse cars at the auto shows for 2014.
The Navigator needed a redesign, but they could've done better.

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