{{featured_button_text}}

A gigantic Lincoln Navigator with a V6 engine? I couldn’t have imagined it a few years ago, but I find myself sitting in one today.

While the Navigator has always come with a big, unabashedly thirsty V8 before now, Lincoln decided to drop the eight-cylinder engine in favor of one that’s more in tune with the times: a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V6 for 2015.

The EcoBoost does a great job mimicking a V8 in the Navigator, offering the same low-end grunt and throaty, seductive exhaust note that large-displacement American engines are famous for.

Even better, it outperforms the old V8 by a noticeable margin. Horsepower is up to 380 and torque is increased to 460 pound-feet, all while gas mileage is improved to 22 mpg on the highway and 16 in the city — if you can believe the ratings. These EcoBoost engines are getting a reputation for burning more fuel than the window sticker would indicate.

Still, who would buy a vehicle like this for the gas mileage?

The new Navigator continues to offer over-the-top levels of performance and luxury. Even my long-wheelbase tester, which carried extra heft because of its extended length, accelerated like a smaller SUV and effortlessly zoomed to 75 mph before the end of freeway on-ramps. It’s fun to stomp the gas pedal and hear the engine do its best angry-lion impersonation.

Register for more free articles.
Stay logged in to skip the surveys.

Of course, you can’t mention the Navigator without bringing up its arch nemesis, the Cadillac Escalade.

The Caddy gets an all-new design for 2015 that makes the Navigator show its age a bit, especially on the outside body panels and to a lesser extent with the interior quality.

After driving the new Escalade a few months ago, though, one thing that surprises me is that I still like prefer Navigator’s ride. The Lincoln feels softer and smoother than the Cadillac to me, and I appreciated its silky, squishy suspension setup on some long stretches of interstate highway.

Third-row passengers will appreciate the Navigator’s spaciousness, too. Due to a difference in rear suspension designs, the Cadillac has a higher floor than the Navigator in back, making the Lincoln more suitable for adults in a pinch.

Overall, it’s a nice improvement on a tried and true design. The Navigator’s new EcoBoost engine makes it drive like a more modern SUV without compromising on power.

0
0
0
0
0