- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 8, 2007

Are you an American Dreamer who desires a full-sized luxury SUV? If so, you’ve been targeted as a buyer for the 2007 Lincoln Navigator. Not only will you get a significantly revised version of this sumptuous seven-to-eight-seater, but you can also dream in regular or long, as Lincoln has added an all-new 2007 Navigator L version. The “L” is 14.7 inches longer than the “regular” version, and makes way for 25 cubic feet more cargo-carrying volume behind the third row.

Having sat back on its cozy haunches over the past remakes, the newest Navigator composes a more bold statement in its class, with modernized looks and uptown features designed to soothe the souls of the well-heeled and their brood, as well as to tow their toys.

“America’s original full-size luxury SUV” is how the 2007 Lincoln Navigator is described by its marketers. When it first debuted in 1998, the Navigator experienced immense popularity and owned the biggest corner of the block when it came to the luxury SUV segment.

Its second-generation revamp, in 2003, coincided with Ford’s redesign of the Expedition, a vehicle with which Navigator shares its platform, as do Ford’s F-Series trucks. Features such as power retractable running boards and a power liftgate defined Navigator as truly top-notch. Lincoln’s third-generation Navigator is also based on the new Expedition’s architecture. Like this Ford SUV, Navigator now comes in an “L,” filling in the size gap that Ford’s Excursion vacated when it ceased production in 2005.

Powerful but quiet elegance defines the new Navigator’s exterior and brings down-the-road recognition as a Lincoln. An expansive egg-crate, chrome grille highlights the nose and is echoed by a lower valance with similar trim texture, adorned by the prominent Lincoln star.

Above the grille, a chrome cap adorns the front end of the Powerdome hood. Available 20-inch wheels and tires are well-proportioned and properly mature, with 18-inchers standard. Thick chrome cladding cues strength at the door bottoms, while accents along the window bases communicate refinement.

A standard power moon roof trims the top. In accordance with Lincoln’s current product portfolio, Navigator embraces simplicity over complicated articulation.

In developing the interior, designers turned to Lincoln’s existing customer base and moved further from Ford’s Expedition. “The typical Lincoln Navigator owner is a check-every-box buyer,” explains Lincoln’s Raj Nair. “If there’s an option, they want it.” Thus, attention has been focused on opulent accommodation and superior design. Genuine wood trim, satin nickel accents, cool white interior lighting, plush leather upholstery and a gauge cluster inspired by “fashion eyewear” are assembled to produce a warm and accommodating cabin space that’s filled with upscale accoutrements.

Thanks to additional length, Navigator L models swallow up 25 cubic feet of cargo with all seats in position. Dropping second and third rows, 128.2 cubic feet unfolds, while “Regulars” manage 103.5 cubic feet. An available power-folding third-row seat eases interior reconfiguration. The L version stretches longer on top of a wheelbase extended by 12 inches.

The new Navigator utilizes one engine, a 5.4-liter Triton V-8 delivering 300 horsepower and 365 foot-pounds of torque. Power is directed through a six-speed automatic transmission and sent to either the rear wheels (RWD) or both ends (4WD). Fully independent suspension comes as a double-wishbone setup at the front and a five-link configuration in the rear.

Load-leveling suspension is also available as an option.

Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are bundled with AdvanceTrac that brings Roll Stability Control. Lincoln reports that fuel economy increases by up to 7 percent because of the six-speed gearbox, compared with a “typical” four-speed unit. Rear-wheel-drive models are expected to achieve 13 city and 18 highway miles per gallon; 4WD figures have not been announced.

Standard 18-inch aluminum wheels come wrapped in 255/70 series tires, while optional chrome 20-inchers roll via low-profile 275/50 series tires.

The 2007 Navigator employs electronic supplementation throughout. The power liftgate opens and closes via a vehicle-mounted button or the remote key fob. Class-exclusive power deployable and retractable running boards are available on Ultimate models. Exterior mirrors fold under power and adjust via memory settings.

Inside, power-adjustable pedals optimize driving positions; 10-way power front seats have driver’s memory; and the third-row seats can electronically fold into the floor via optional PowerFold technology

Load-leveling suspension works with the Navigator’s electronics to keep this 119-inch wheelbase, 3-ton vehicle stable and a power moon roof lets the sun shine in.

There are two primary trim levels: Luxury and Ultimate. Luxury equipment includes keyless entry; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; power-adjustable pedals; power windows and locks; power folding and heated outside mirrors; reverse sensing; a universal garage-door opener; dual automatic climate control; a six-CD changer; leather upholstery; 10-way power front seat adjustment; a multifunctional steering wheel; curtain air bags covering all rows along with front side-impact air bags.

Ultimate trim adds a power liftgate; power moon roof; an additional overhead console; heated/cooled front seats; and power-folding third-row seats.

Stand-alone features consist of power-deployable running boards; DVD satellite navigation; Sirius satellite radio; DVD rear entertainment; heated/ cooled seats; moon roof ; power liftgate, cargo management system; heavy-duty trailer tow; and 20-inch wheels.

Rear-wheel-drive versions of the 2007 Lincoln Navigator Luxury models sticker for $46,575; 2007 Lincoln Navigator Ultimate versions retail for $48,575. Luxury variants with 4WD ring up for $49,475; 4x4 Ultimate models start at $51,475. Pricing for the 2007 Lincoln Navigator L is not yet available.

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