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2015 Lincoln Navigator gets a little refresh and new engine

The Navigator remains one of the few "true" full-size SUVs. With length of at least 208 inches (223 for the "L" version), its only rivals are the Cadillac Escalade, the Lexus LX and the Infinity QX80. (The Mercedes GL and the Audi Q7, having similar length, are build on smaller mid-size SUVs are not quite as big inside, and the Range Rover is 5-seats only).

The main upgrades of the 2015 Lincoln Navigator are as follows:

1. Same respectable dimensions: 208"x78"x79"


The Navigator is based on the body-on-frame chassis of the Ford F-150, but with independent rear suspension, providing better handling and ride comfort.

Another important advantage of usage of the independent suspension is that it leaves more interior space: the Navigator features nearly-full-size third-row seats for three.

The seconds row consists of two separate seats standard, but a 3-place bench is a no-cost option, which increases vehicle`s capacity to 8.

Also there is the longer "L" version of the Navigator available, which features 1-foot longer wheelbase and total length of 223.3 inches. Though it doesn`t provide more space for passengers, but doubles the volume of the cargo for those who need 3 rows of seats and a big trunk.

2. New, Lincoln-corporate-style front end


Instead of a massive, aggressive, nearly all-chrome front grills, the 2015 Navigator features a more elegant front shape, with new headlights, grill and bumper.

Also the taillights now use LEDs.

3. New 3.5-liter bi-turbo V6 engine: more power, better fuel economy


Instead of the old 5.4-liter, 310 hp V8 engine, the new Navigator features Ford`s EcoBoost engine, which provides 370 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque (+60 horses and +65 lb-ft improvement).

No dynamics specs have been released yet, but judging but the performance of the Ford F-150 with the same engine, the 2015 Lincoln Navigator will probaly be be able to accelerate to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds, which is a huge improvement.

The acceleration (and also towing ability) can now be be improved even further thanks to the optional shorter final gears (4.10 against stock 3.73). Maximum towing capacity now reaches 9,000 lbs.

Finally, the new engine promises improved fuel economy, which, combined with huge 28-33 gallon fuel tank, can provide really long distance between refills. It`s expected that it might even make the Navigator the most fuel-efficient full-size luxury SUV (especially since all the competition is only equipped with V8s), but no certain numbers have been released yet.

4. improved, maybe even sportier handling


Thanks to independent rear suspension and high body rigidity, the Lincoln Navigator has been knows for its car-like handling since its second generation debut in 2002.

For 2015, two major upgrades are added:

- electronically adjustable shocks, which should make the ride softer on bumpy roads and make suspension a little stiffer on curves to improve handling. There are 3 modes available for the driver: Comfort, Normal and Sport

- electric power-assisted steering, instead of traditional hydraulic system provides features like automatic compensation of crosswind or crowned surface. Also it provides slightly better overall fuel economy

5. Luxury materials and equipment


Though the architecture of the interior remains the same, the equipment and materials of the Navigator`s interior have been improved considerably for 2015. These include:

- new dashboard with two displays, new steering wheel and center console

- new MyLincoln multimedia system with multiple features including voice control of the navigation, the phone and even the climate control

- special premium Trevino leather and Ziricote wood trimming are available

- new ambient lighting similar to the one in the Mercedes GL

6. Still average but respectful off-road capabilities


Though the Navigator shares its chassis with the Ford F-150 pickup and the Ford Expedition (which are quite good off-road), the Lincoln`s flagship lacks off-road features like low range transmission and lockable differentials. Thus one should be very careful when going off the road.

But thanks to high ground clearance, retractable side steps, optional 4-wheel drive and electronic assistance, the Navigator should not fail on light off-road.

7. Goes on sale this fall for about $60,000


The 2015 Lincoln Navigator goes on sale this fall. Prices haven`t been announced yet, but it will remain at approximately the same $60 000


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