Vehicle Type: SUV

History/Description: Though the Escalade has become the superstar posh-ute of our era, the Lincoln Navigator offers a similarly American take on great big luxury, capability and power. For drivers after generous towing capacity, sophistication, all-weather capability and luxurious space to spare, Navigator was a popular choice after helping to start the luxury SUV scene in the late nineties.

The last-generation model was available from 2007 to 2014, with standard power from a 5.4L V8 engine, automatic transmissions and four-wheel drive all around. Look for 310 hp, over 2,900L of total cargo space, and towing capacity of 9,000 pounds.

Feature content for this full-sized SUV included a THX audio system, power-adjustable pedals, power deployable running boards, navigation, parking assist, Bluetooth with full Sync connectivity for your smartphone, climate-controlled memory seating, a power tailgate, automatic climate control, rear-seat entertainment consoles and plenty more.

What Owners Like: Many owners rave about the quality feel of the interior of their Navigators, having appreciated the abundant use of leather, wood and chrome for an upscale atmosphere. Ride quality, especially on rough surfaces, a responsive engine and transmission team, and comfortable rear-row seating are all noted as well. Favourite features include the power tailgate, power-folding rear seats and THX stereo.

What Owners Dislike: As it tends to go with great big SUV models, the most common gripe relates to fuel consumption, and some owners complain that the power deploying running boards are sensitive to snow and ice buildup in the winter, and occasionally fail to work.

Here’s what some owners have to say on

The Test Drive: First off, shop a Navigator with a seller that’s willing to let you bring it to a mechanic (or meet you at a shop) for a pre-purchase inspection. You want to get your potential used Navigator candidate into the air for a full going over of its underside as a bare minimum. Have the mechanic check for signs of leaky axles and differentials, signs of excessive rust, floor-pan damage, corroded brake or fuel lines, and to take a look at the suspension and all accessible components for signs of wear.

If careless off-roading or frequent voyages down pothole-riddled roads have left bushings, sway-bar links or shocks in need of some attention, now’s the time to find out. Note that worn suspension components often generate clunking, clicking or popping noises audible from within the car on a test-drive, so be sure to kill the stereo and listen for them.

Confirm proper operation of all electronics and accessories, including the steering-wheel audio controls, motorized seat adjustments, seat heating and ventilation functions, the power tailgate, the folding rear seats, the navigation system, and anything else that runs on electricity. Be sure to triple-check the power adjustable pedals, and deployable running boards, which should pop out from under the doors, for proper operation. If they don’t, the solution could be as simple as a little squirt of WD40 on the door sensor, or something pricier.

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