If you’re looking for the ultimate in luxury, interior space, power and prestige, a used 2016 Lincoln Navigator hits all the right marks at a price that will save you thousands over a new model. Built off the same platform as the big Ford Expedition, the Navigator enjoys the same powerful 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, best-in-class tow rating and massive rear seat and cargo bay. Lincoln then takes the Navigator a few steps further, giving it a lavish interior, distinctive styling and an advanced adaptive suspension system.
As good as it is, the 2016 Navigator isn’t the most sophisticated or powerful full-size luxury SUV in its class, which is why Lincoln loads it with features designed to upstage the Navigator’s primary rival, the Cadillac Escalade. Take the Navigator’s third-row seats, for example. While the Escalade’s seats require a small rise in floor height to accommodate them when folded, the Navigator’s power-operated rear seats fold flush with the floor. Like the Escalade, the Navigator comes in an extended-wheelbase model that significantly increases rear cargo space. While the Escalade offers more horsepower and better acceleration than the Navigator, the Lincoln’s 9,000-lb tow rating (8,800 pounds for the L model) handily beats the Cadillac’s 8,300-lb limit. We think the Navigator’s interior is more distinctive than that of the 2016 Infiniti QX80, with a unique dual-cowl dashboard, 2-tone leather seating with matching piping, and sophisticated entertainment systems such as Lincoln SYNC 3 with navigation and the THX II audio system.
What We Like
Extended-wheelbase model; large power-folding third-row seat; distinctive interior; impressive towing ability; comfortable ride; improved handling and performance
What We Don’t
Average fuel economy; missing some key luxury and driver-assist features; massive proportions make parking and maneuvering in small spaces difficult
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
The Navigator is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 good for 380 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy figures for 2-wheel-drive models are 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway (15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy for the L) and 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy when 4-wheel drive is added to the mix (15 mpg city/19 mpg hwy for the L).
Standard Features & Options
The Navigator is offered as one well-equipped model in two body styles, the Navigator and the Navigator L. Both regular- and long-wheelbase models come in 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive (2WD or 4WD).
The base Navigator includes 20-inch polished wheels, SYNC audio with the voice-activated SYNC 3 infotainment and navigation system, bi-xenon headlamps, dual automatic climate control with rear seat controls, perforated leather seating on the first and second rows, 10-way power driver and passenger seats with power recline and 2-way power lumbar support, heated and cooled front seats, a power folding 60/40-split third-row seat, a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, THX II 5.1 Surround Sound audio, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, a rear backup camera, a MyKey remote fob with push-button start, a heavy-duty trailer tow package, power adjustable pedals, a power rear liftgate, a self-leveling rear suspension and remote start.
The Navigator L is identically equipped but adds 12 inches to the wheelbase and 14 inches to the rear end.
Both models can be outfitted with the Reserve Package, which adds premium leather seating in all three rows, Lincoln Drive Control adaptive suspension, Ziricote wood trim and a hand-wrapped leather dash, door panels, console and steering wheel.
Standalone options included a power sunroof, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, 22-in polished wheels and a 4.10 axle ratio on the short-wheelbase Navigator.
When new, the Navigator costs substantially less than a similarly equipped Cadillac Escalade, so you can bet a used model will be an even better bargain. For a good idea of the Navigator’s price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see which models are currently for sale in your area.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued no recalls for the 2016 Lincoln Navigator.
Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle’s identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
The Lincoln Navigator earned five out of five stars in the NHTSA front- and side-impact crash tests. In the rollover roof-strength test, the 2WD model earned only three out of five stars, while the 4WD model earned four stars.
The Navigator left the factory with a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. In addition to the new-vehicle warranty, second owners can purchase extended coverage when they buy from a certified pre-owned (CPO) Lincoln dealership. CPO vehicles come with a 200-point inspection and a 6-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty starting from the time the vehicle enters service.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Cadillac Escalade — The Escalade offers more power, a more sophisticated suspension and more high-tech features, but it also costs more. The Escalade’s third-row seats aren’t as comfortable, and outward visibility isn’t as good.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class — The GL offers better handling, more luxury features and better fuel economy from its optional diesel engine. The GL’s two gasoline V8 engine options are much more powerful than the Navigator’s EcoBoost, but its unit-body frame can’t tow as much weight.
2016 Infiniti QX80 — The QX80’s V8 offers more horsepower but less torque, and it can only tow 8,500 pounds. The QX80 also offers a power-folding third-row seat, plus luxury features not available on the Navigator (such as adaptive cruise control).
If you need the added space, the Navigator L’s long wheelbase is the best choice. However, the added length makes an already difficult-to-maneuver SUV even more ungainly. The base Navigator with the Reserve Package offers just about every feature in the Lincoln luxury vault, and has enough interior room for most needs.