For 2005, the Lincoln Navigator undergoes some driveline changes. Based on the Ford Expedition, it receives a new engine from the F-150 truck line. Although it’s the same 5.4-litre displacement as 2004, it now has three valves per cylinder instead of four. Horsepower remains the same, but torque rises by 10 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic replaces the four-speed of 2004. Although you’re still not going to get the high-five from Greenpeace, fuel consumption remains the same despite the increase in power.

There are also exterior design changes, including a new front fascia, chrome grille, revised side cladding and running boards, and four new exterior colours. AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control is now standard, and new 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels are an available option. A new Camel with Light Parchment headliner interior colour scheme becomes available.

The Navigator comes in a single trim line (several option groups and packages are available) and includes ControlTrac automatic four-wheel drive, 18-inch aluminum wheels, power liftgate, high-intensity discharge headlamps, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals and puddle lights, remote keyless entry, roof rack, Class III/IV hitch receiver, six-CD stereo with nine speakers and subwoofer, dual-zone automatic climate control, auxiliary rear fan controls, driver’s memory function, power-adjustable pedals, leather and wood steering wheel with audio, climate and speed controls, power sunroof, power flip-out rear quarter windows, heated and cooled front leather seats with ten-way power adjustment, and a 60/40 third-row seat that folds flat into the floor.

The “Lincoln Town Truck” is an exceptionally comfortable vehicle, able to tow up to 3,765 kg (8300 lbs) while still offering such amenities as an optional rear-seat DVD system to keep small passengers quiet while you’re towing the boat to the cottage. The new six-speed automatic, derived from that used in the Jaguar XJ8, is a perfect match for the new engine, providing an exceptionally smooth ride and agile performance that’s surprising, given the 2673 kg curb weight. Access to the third row of seats is quite good, although they’re a tight fit and more suited to children; their fold-flat capability is a bonus when you’ve got a lot of cargo to haul. The Navigator is less expensive than the Cadillac Escalade, and to many eyes, its design seems more integrated, looking more like a truck built by Lincoln, than a truck built by GMC with upscale badges stuck on.

The Navigator is built in Wayne, Michigan.

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