Lincoln still builds the Navigator.
We’re as surprised as any to learn this, seeing as the heyday of truck-based, gas-thirsty, full-size SUVs has long passed. But just over 8,600 examples of the Navigator found new homes in 2013, and Cadillac sold roughly 12,600 Escalades last year as well.
Caddy has an all-new version headed to dealers this year that’s been re-engineered from the ground up. So to keep pace, Lincoln announced Thursday it's giving its Navigator a nip and a tuck, and an all-new engine under the hood for the 2015 model year.
Gone is the 5.4-liter V-8 in the outgoing Navigator. In its place will be a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 EcoBoost engine that cranks out 370 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. That’s a jump of 60 horsepower and 65 pound-feet of torque over the older V-8.
This engine is similar to the one Ford uses in the Explorer Sport and uses direct injection to help keep up efficiency. The V-6 will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission in the Navigator, which will be available in rear- or all-wheel-drive.
Wrapped around this new engine will be updated sheet metal that brings the style of the 2015 Navigator closer to the rest of Lincoln’s lineup.
"From a design standpoint, the new Navigator is more of what Lincoln customers want in a full-size SUV," Jim Grake, Lincoln exterior designer, said in a statement.
Though it will still have all the aerodynamics of a tree trunk, the 2015 model sports a new split-wing grille up front and a new LED light bar running across the rear liftgate. Twenty-inch wheels will be standard, with the high-zoot Reserve package turning those into 22-inch wheels.
Inside, the refresh continues, with a leather-trimmed dashboard draped around a revised instrument panel and Sync infotainment system. The Navigator will still come in two sizes, each with three rows of seats. Two bucket seats are standard for the middle row, though buyers can opt for captain’s chairs or a 40/20/40 split bench seat if they like.
The regular-length model allows 18.1 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row, while the extended-length sees that number jump to 42.6 cubic feet. The third row of seats also folds flat at the touch of a button.
Lincoln hasn’t announced pricing on this latest version of the Navigator, but don’t expect it to change much from the current model, which starts at $57,160 for the rear-wheel-drive version.
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator will make its debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 6 and go on sale in the early fall.
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