A sensuous, curvy front end makes the 2006 Navigator fit in with the
rest of Lincoln's high-class lineup. Power deployable running boards are
a flashy option, as they disappear under the body after the doors are
closed for a clean, uncluttered look.
This is the best interior you can get from
the factory in a full-size SUV. The quality of materials and
construction is outstanding, especially compared with the lackluster
plastics in its Cadillac and Infiniti rivals.
If you're in the market for a full-size
luxury SUV in 2006, you have three choices. One is the Cadillac
Escalade, which has monster power and a trendy body that shows up way
too often in music videos. Cadillac hopes gyrating girls and tricked-out
wheels can distract you from the tacky plastic inside.
Another is the Infiniti QX56, which is all
about size. It's so big it comes with a rear-view camera as standard
equipment, but its cabin also suffers from the black plastic plague.
Then there's the Lincoln Navigator.
In terms of overall refinement and interior
quality, the Navigator stands head and shoulders above both its
competitors. It's roomy and comfortable, and it even has flashy features
like power folding seats and power running boards that Cadillac and
Infiniti don't offer.
Still, its sales have languished behind the
Cadillac for years. Chalk it up to an image problem, as Caddy has gained
a following among the younger, hipper, MTV-watching crowd that sets the
rules for what's cool and what's not. Lincoln is mainly known for its
wrinklemobile, the Town Car. It's a shame the marketing gurus at Lincoln
couldn't create more "buzz" about the Navigator, because it deserves as
much attention as any SUV on the road.
The accolades start piling up when you first
look at the body styling, particularly the front end. While it's based
on the Ford Expedition chassis, a very curvy, car-like hood and grille
give it a softer appearance that fits in with Lincoln's high-class
lineup. The side profile is passť and makes it look very much like a
Ford, but the back is different with wraparound taillights and a
staunch, upright stance.
Inside is where the Navigator really shines,
though. The overall look in the cabin is elegant and modern, and it uses
far less of the cheap-feeling plastic than its competitors. From the
piping sewn around its soft leather seats to the fit and finish of its
real wood trim, this is the best interior you'll find in a full-size
This plush interior is dominated by a big
center stack on the dash that includes the navigation screen and a whole
bunch of buttons for audio and climate control functions. A lid can
cover the navigation system and audio controls to make the stack look
beautifully simple, with only the climate buttons remaining exposed.
There's lots of space for spreading out -
too much, if you ask my wife. No matter where she sat in the Navigator,
she had trouble stretching across the wide, spacious cabin to give our
crying baby a binky.
The Navigator comes standard with leather
seats, a reverse sensing system and all the usual luxury goodies for
$50,325 with rear-wheel drive or $53,875 with all-wheel drive. The
Ultimate Preferred Equipment Package adds a power glass sunroof, power
liftgate, heated and cooled front seats, and a power folding feature for
the third-row seat for $3,100.
Options include a 300-watt THX audio system
with DVD navigation for around $3,000, power retractable running boards
for about a grand, a rear-seat DVD player for $1,415 and a sunroof for
This huge Lincoln is also pleasing to drive,
considering its size. It has a smooth, responsive feel that doesn't
float or bounce as much as the Town Car, and its steering, braking and
suspension systems all work in harmony for a velvety ride.
The Navigator's biggest downside is a lack
of horsepower from its V8 engine, if you can call 300 horses weak. The
Escalade still gets bragging rights with 345 horses, and you can
definitely tell the difference from the driver's seat.
All in all, though, the Navigator is a
fantastic luxury SUV and one of the best vehicles on the planet for
taking your family on a road trip. If only Lincoln can figure out how to
get hot girls to dance around it on MTV, it might have a chance to beat
Cadillac on the showroom floor.
What was tested: the 2006 Lincoln Navigator
Ultimate 4x4 ($55,285). Options: Cashmere tri-coat clearcoat ($495),
limited edition monotone package ($1,195), elite package ($7,045).
Price as tested (including $820 destination charge and $695 discount for
chrome plated wheels): $64,145.
Why buy it? It's the most refined full-size
SUV on the road, with the best quality interior and great driving
dynamics for such a big vehicle. It's spacious, comfortable and stylish.
James E. Bryson © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Ford Home Page
Byline: Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo ©
through rough waters
2006 Lincoln Navigator Ultimate 4x4
2006 Lincoln Navigator Ultimate 4x4
Lincoln Internet Media
2006 - 04
the Microsoft Word version here:
Download the Original Image File here:
2006 Lincoln Navigator