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2007 Lincoln Navigator First Impressions

The men and women at Lincoln have been very busy recently- especially in the SUV department where they have launched a brand new crossover
2007 Lincoln Navigator (Photo: Rob Rothwell)
SUV titled the MKX and the beautifully restyled and re-engineered Navigator. I had an opportunity recently to experience the much-improved Navigator, which for 2007 comes in two sizes. The standard-length Navigator is a healthy 5,293-mm (208.4 in) from stem to stern. The Navigator L places an additional 379-mm (14.7 in) between the bumpers, resulting in an overall length of 5,672 mm (133.3 in). The extra sheet metal increases cargo volume by a whopping, 705 litres (25 cu ft), giving the "L" a massive maximum stowage capacity of 3,630 litres (128.2 cu ft). That crowns the Navigator L as the big boy on the block- bigger than the Cadillac Escalade ESV!

With "size does matter" issues out of the way, it's time for some critical
2007 Lincoln Navigator (Photo: Rob Rothwell)
analysis of the big and bigger SUVs. Regardless of length, most noticeable for 2007 is a H-E-Double-Hockey-Stick of a grille. Although the revised sheet metal encompasses a power-bulge hood, sheer panels and large Lincoln'ess taillights, it's the imposing chrome grille that dominates everything- and how cool is that! Hi-tech HID headlights, chrome wheels and numerous pieces of chrome trim complement the mighty grate, bestowing upon the great beast a look that combines upscale elegance with bad-boy attitude.

As much as I like the emboldened perimeter of the new Navigator, I am most impressed with what awaits inside. Bar none, the Navigator's interior architecture is the best I've seen in any full size SUV, domestic or otherwise. Judging by the "oohs" and "aahs" from dropping jaws, I wasn't alone. The orthogonal theme of the dash is artistically bisected by a
2007 Lincoln Navigator (Photo: Rob Rothwell)
beautiful, wood-trimmed centre stack that flows seamlessly into the centre console, where the shift lever and cup holders reside just ahead of a colossal storage bin. A similar storage bin separates the two captains' chairs that make up second row seating. The Lincoln reps on-hand pointed-out the real wood accents and went so far as to explain the laser cutting method used to ensure the grain matched perfectly around the pop-out coin tray etc. Lincoln has done a marvelous job of incorporating a sophisticated sense of style and elegance in the cavernous cabin. Seating up front is exceptionally comfortable. Lincoln claims that the seats will accommodate a wide diversity of shapes and sizes, from 4-foot-10 to 6-foot-5, and from 90 to 300 pounds. Power-adjustable pedals aid in enabling a proper fit for all.

Thanks to the near-infinite range of adjustment, I convened a driving position that was perfect for my elongated limb size; from here I went on to experience the new Navigator's enhanced ride and refinement on hilly
2007 Lincoln Navigator (Photo: Rob Rothwell)
backroads roads that twisted like a python squeezing prey. The big Navigator held firm through the corners, ponderous due to its size and weight but secure and planted nonetheless. Keeping all in perspective, the behemoth is a competent handling rig, especially when its ultra-smooth ride is factored-in. The Navigator's new independent rear suspension absorbed bumps, ruts and potholes without kicking or jumping unnecessarily. Much of the vehicle's stability over rough roads can be attributed to a new, extra stiff frame for 2007. The frame's rigidity and the Navigator's solid body structure prevented unpleasant shudders or reverberations from entering the cabin when tackling rough roads.