Longer Navigator Boosts Fuel Economy And Roominess

Tom Halligan
Posted on January 18, 2015

Operators have indulged a love-hate relationship with big SUVs over the years. They love how these Big Boys accommodate two rows of rear passengers and their cargo, but hate the sense of getting about five blocks per gallon of gas.

How times have changed. Now that the national average for a gallon of gas is less than $3, combined with recent strides to increase SUV fuel economy, now is a good time to consider adding large luxury SUVs to your fleet. It all adds up to good ROI.

Take the newly redesigned 2015 Lincoln Navigator L for example — “L” meaning longer than its regular-length sibling, with more cubic space coupled with a new power plant that sips less gas due to its new EcoBoost V-6 engine that replaces the long-time V8.

At the LCT-NLA Show East in Atlantic City in October 2014, Lincoln exhibited the Navigator L 4X2 that now sports the split-wing grill design that is the face of the Lincoln fleet lineup. I spent some post-Show road time with the vehicle.
First, it’s big. The longer Navigator has a minimum of 42.6 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the third row, and when it is folded down, there’s enough room to store a Fiat. The PowerFold button quickly submerges the third row, and the 60/40 split-bench second row combine to accommodate six average size passengers.

Second row seats are heated and the dual-zone electronic climate control allows passengers to adjust rear-cabin temperature.

For an SUV of its length and girth, the Navigator maneuvers surprisingly well due to standard electric power-assisted steering. Its 6-speed select-shift transmission and 3.5L V.6 EcoBoost engine deliver 380 horsepower with swift, assured acceleration. Lincoln data says the Navigator averages 17 mpg (15 city/20 highway). I averaged mostly 17.5 to 18 mpg in combination of fairly heavy city and turnpike driving over several days. The L also has a bigger fuel tank (33.5 gallon capacity) compared to the 28-gallon standard model.

The Navigator offers responsive steering and smooth acceleration, and a noticeable tight turning radius eases U-turns and negotiating cramped parking lots. Note to Chauffeurs: Avoid parallel parking. The Navigator’s height, large front end, and 22-inch wheels shield any hazards that might be lurking curbside.You certainly don’t want to nick the Navigator’s “Tuxedo Black” metallic paint.

The new Lincoln Navigator L is all about second and third row comforts, with more space, better climte controls, and easier entry and exit for chauffeured clients.

The new Lincoln Navigator L is all about second and third row comforts, with more space, better climte controls, and easier entry and exit for chauffeured clients.

Rear Cabin
The extended L at 223.3 inches long is almost 15 inches longer than its little brother. That bodes well for passengers in the third row seats who have additional head, hip and shoulder room than in the standard Navigator. Meanwhile, those seated in the second row can enjoy heated seats on cold, snowy rides.

One nice function clients will appreciate is the ease of entry/exit to the third row because of “E-Z Entry,” in which a power-activated seatback release allows the second row seat to fold down and move away from the third row, so passengers don’t have to contort and twist to get in and out.

In addition, the backs of the driver and passenger seat headrests are equipped with entertainment system monitors containing DVD/CD player, video and headphone jacks, infrared transmitters, and other electronic goodies to occupy passengers.

Considering the global drop in fuel prices and the Navigator L’s better mpg engine, coupled with its ability to transport a group of clients in comfort and style, the L can provide operators with a better bang for their investment buck.

  • Engine:  3.5L V6 EcoBoost
  • Transmission: 6-speed selectShift
  • Performance:  380 hp @ 5,250 rpm; 460 lb-ft torque
  • Fuel Economy: 15 city/20 hwy/17 comb.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity:  33.5 gallons
  • Total Passengers: 8 (including driver)
  • Wheelbase:  131 in.
  • Curb Weight:  6,061 lbs
  • Second Row Headroom: 39.7 in.
  • Second Row Leg Room:  39.1 in.
  • Second Row Hip Room:  59.9 in.
  • Second Row Shoulder Room: 63.7 in.
  • Third Row Headroom: 38 in.
  • Third Row Legroom: 37.7 in.
  • Third Row Shoulder Room: 67.1 in.
  • Trunk Capacity:  behind third row 42.6. cu ft; behind second row 86.3 cu ft (when third
  • row down).
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles. 4 years/100,000 plan available
  • Price As Tested: $69,210 (with options—rear headrest DVD, polished aluminum wheels, floor mats)
  • Base Price: $63,646

Related Topics: Lincoln, Lincoln Navigator, new vehicles, SUVs, Vehicle Reviews

Comments ( 3 )
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  • luice

     | about 5 years ago

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