2015 Lincoln Navigator Review

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2015 Lincoln Navigator Review

December 23, 2014

It’s been a while since my last Ford vehicle review.  When I was asked to review the 2015 Lincoln Navigator, it was perfect timing.  Our family is expecting our third baby and we have been looking at new vehicle options.  I currently drive a Tahoe and while we have the third row bench, it is very difficult to access when the second row captains chairs both have tethered car seats.  They won’t flip forward because of the car seats and the permanent centre console doesn’t allow for walkthrough access to the third row from the second row.  My 6 year old daughter would need to climb in through the trunk to access her third row car seat.  The other problem is that the 60/40 split third row doesn’t fold flat and has to be physically removed (and those seats are heavy!) if you want more space and then stored outside of the vehicle, which is super inconvenient.photo 4444

The Navigator was definitely of interest to our family since it was in the same 7 passenger full size SUV class as the Tahoe and the third row actually folds flat!

 

Exterior

My first thoughts about the exterior were that I really liked the look of the 22” polished wheels and the entire front end andHID headlights are really cool looking.  The front end is definitely the best visual feature on the vehicle.  I was disappointed in the rest of the vehicle; to me, it still looks just like a Ford Expedition, just with a new front end.  It has a very boxy rear.  One of the more interesting exterior features that I haven’t seen before is the Lincoln Logo that shines on the ground next to the vehicle.  It lights up the ground after dark and is a really unique feature.

 

 

 

 

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Interior

The first thing I noticed when entering the vehicle is If the fob is on you, the doors don’t automatically open when you touch the handle, like in other fords.  We have a Ford Edge, and I really like the feature that the doors automatically unlock if you have the key in your pocket.  For a mom with her hands full and a toddler constantly grabbing for the keys, this is a great feature that I felt was missing on the Navigator.  I really like the automatic running boards.  They take a bit of getting used to, but after a few times hoping in and out, I knew to wait a second until the running board was out.  There is tons of head room, even with a sunroof, and there is leather and wood grain everywhere.  The inside has a really nice look and the seats are very comfortable; exactly what you would expect in a big Lincoln!  I was very disappointed that there wasn’t a heated steering wheel.  For anyone who has read my reviews before, you know that I feel like moms living in cold Northern climates basically have cold hands half the year.  You can’t wear gloves or mitts when buckling kids into car seats; they just get in the way.  So, a toasty heated steering wheel is total luxury and in a vehicle with an $85,000+ price tag, I would expect this option.  I really liked the controls; it has the usual Ford Touch screen that is very user friendly, but it also had lots oftraditional buttons as another option of controlling everything.  If you have driven a Ford, you know how user friendly the Sync system is for linking your smart phone.  The Navigator is no different.  Within a minute, your phone is easy connected.

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Rear Seats & Cargo

The second/third row seats and truck space are definitely one of the more important aspects of a vehicle for me and my family.  With kids being in car seats now up to 80 lbs, families have to be extra aware of the space they take up and ensuring that all seats can be easily installed and accessed.  Both the second and third rows had the same amount of space you would expect in a vehicle of this size.  The fold flat option of the third row was really nice and very easy to use with the touch of a button.  There were also tons of cup holders and TV’s in both headrests.  The DVD entertainment system is a $2300 package and many people would say that ipads are the way to go.  I find if my kids are on an ipad or iphone, they constantly get the screen too close to their eyes.  I like that a built in system stays in one place, buttons can’t be touched and little ones can’t have their nose inches from the screen.  The only tricky part about the head rest TV’s as opposed to a single TV mounted from the roof is that the third row has to look over the second row to see the screen, which could be impossible, depending on where they are sitting in the third row.

The trunk had quite a bit of space, even with the third row in use, but my one complaint was that the trunk closure button is too far into the trunk.  I felt like I had to reach way inside the truck and then quickly get out of the way before the trunk hit me.

Car seat installation and access of the second row is always the true test of a 2+ child family vehicle review.  The third rowcouldn’t be easily accessed when there are 2 car seats installed in the second row, unless that person could step over the permanent console or enter through the trunk.  The second row seats aren’t able to flip forward when a car seat is installed.  Unfortunately this car failed miserably at the car seat installation.  The clips in the seat were easy to locate, it was the rear tethering that was nearly impossible.  To tether the seats, you would normally fold the third row flat to access the back of the second row seats for tethering.  Unfortunately, it is so tight in the third row that when the third row is folded flat, the third row seats touch the back of the second row seats, so you can’t access the metal clip to tether the second row seats.  At 33+ weeks pregnant, I had to fold one third row side at a time (they have the 60/40 split), sit in the third row and then tether the seat.  I had so much trouble uninstalling the car seats that I took the vehicle back to the dealership early to have a staff member remove the car seats and it took them nearly 30 minutes to take out 2 car seats.  The head rests wouldn’t budge, he was nearly too big to sit in the third row to work on removing the seats and the second row doesn’t move forward to allow for more room.  More full size SUV’s need to have a rolling second row.  This would allow for easy third row access and also for install and uninstall of car seats from the second row while standing outside of the vehicle.

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Power

As everyone knows, my reviews are more about mom and family comfort, not about the torque horsepower, etc.  The onething I heard my husband saying was that it isn’t a V8 and he felt it should be for the size and price of the vehicle.  For those who are concerned, for a vehicle of this size, there is still tons of power to get on the freeway or pass quickly, even though it’s a V6.  The EcoBoost V6 has 380 horsepower without the super gas guzzling V8.  Although, if you are driving mostly in the city, don’t expect small/mid-size SUV results.  This is a really large vehicle and most busy moms and families will be filling up the giant 100 litre tank weekly.

 

Conclusion 

Overall, for a family like mine who is looking to replace our current full size SUV, the Navigator doesn’t fit everything we are looking for.  The top reasons are accessing the third row, car seat installation and price to luxury ratio.  At this price, I would prefer the Infinity QX80 that has all the tech conveniences, heated steering wheel and modern exterior appeal.  This is the first time I am reviewing a Ford and not giving it my mom-approved stamp of approval, but for me, the Navigator just fell short in too many areas for the price.  Going with a Ford Explorer Sport would probably be a much wiser decision and for a family that has 2 children the Edge Sport has superior handling, awesome tech/appearance packages and the interior space for a mid-size SUV is fantastic.

 

Pricing:

Base price $75,110

Options: Total additional options were $9900 (sunroof, wheels, DVD entertainment package etc)

Price as tested: $86,760

 

Note: This vehicle was provided by Ford Canada.

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