Talk about baller on a budget.
The Lincoln Navigator arrived on the market back in 1997 as a luxury version of the Ford Expedition, looking to do battle with the successful Cadillac Escalade. The Navigator was an immediate hit and these two full-size luxury SUVs have been the flagships of their respective brands ever since. No other automaker has been able to challenge the dominance of these two American giants, both of which continue to sell extremely well. The fourth-generation Navigator has been on the market since the 2018 model year and after just a few short years, used prices have already reached affordable levels.
If you are in the market for a full-size luxury SUV that can haul passengers and cargo while also being able to tow over 8,000 pounds, you have few options. The Infiniti QX80 and Lexus LX570 offer decent (if not dated) alternatives to full-size luxury but if you want the newest and most spacious vehicle on the market, your choice boils down to the Navigator or Escalade. A new 2021 Escalade was just revealed but it will take time before used ones become available.
This just leaves the Navigator. Having been on the market for three years now, you can get a great deal on a used example with low mileage. The Navigator is larger than its European rivals (with an option for an extended wheelbase) and with the same engine as a Ford F-150 Raptor, it's pretty capable as well.
A brand-new 2020 Lincoln Navigator in RWD Standard guise will set you back $75,825 while the long-wheelbase Navigator L model starts in the Reserve trim for $84,565. But looking around, you can now find used examples starting as low as $45,000 for the standard Navigator and as low as $55,000 for the L. This is less than you'd pay for a brand-new BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GLE, both of which are much smaller than the Navigator.
The Navigator is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, which is shared with the F-150 Raptor. 450 horsepower is routed to rear- or all-wheel-drive through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to its aluminum body construction, this Navigator weighs around 200 pounds less than the previous generation but still measures in at around 5,700 pounds. Despite the Navigator's massive size, 0-60 mph takes a respectable six seconds and it can tow between 6,200 to 8,300 pounds depending on the configuration.
Lincoln has made huge strides with its interiors, where the Navigator no longer looks like an Expedition with some fake wood. The cabin design is generally excellent though we will say the Europeans competitors still make better use of materials. There is a lot of cheap-feeling chrome here, though it is offset by nice woods and soft leathers. Since the Navigator was released before the Aviator, its infotainment screen is smaller and isn't quite as advanced. On the plus side, you can still get Lincoln's advanced 30-way adjustable seats with massage functionality.
Lincoln offers the Navigator as a seven- or eight-seater with the former containing a center console positioned between the two second-row captain's chairs. Rear occupants will have plenty of space with 42.6 inches to stretch their legs while third-row occupants still get an impressive 40.9 inches of legroom. This is one of the few vehicles where third-row passengers won't be giving the driver dirty looks as their knees get crushed.
Behind the third row, the Navigator houses 20.9 cubic feet of space which opens to a whopping 103 cubic feet with the second row folded. Just note, the second-row center console option ruins the otherwise flat load floor. For even more space, the Navigator L increases the space to 36 and 120.3 cubic feet, respectively. As expected from a large SUV like this, fuel economy is rated at a thirsty 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
The fourth-generation Lincoln Navigator has been a hit since it was revealed back at the 2017 New York Auto Show and now it can be yours for much less than the price of a new one. We think the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade will force Lincoln to update the Navigator but at least for now, a used Navigator is the much better deal.