Review: 2015 Lincoln Navigator 4×4

Friday November 20th, 2015 at 12:1111 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Lincoln Navigator 4x4

By David Colman

Hypes: Cargo Hungry Behemoth, Prime Airstream Tote
Gripes: No Memory Settings, Flimsy Mirror Stalk

The Navigator is Lincoln’s effort to turn the Ford Expedition into a true luxury SUV. Since both vehicles weigh 6,200 pounds, share similar Eco Boost turbocharged 3.5 liter V6 engines, and 6 speed automatic gearboxes, what makes the $66,066 Navigator worth $20,000 more than the $46,315 Expedition? Call it panache, or the refinement of breeding, but the Lincoln name plate, which has long stood for excellence, does not disappoint in this instance. Our first drive in it took us home at night, When we flipped the key fob remote to unlock the burly SUV, the first thing we noticed were power deployed running boards tipping into place to facilitate cabin entry. The Navigator, after all, stands 78 inches tall, so step-in is no easy chore without running board assistance. The second thing we took note of was the large display of an illuminated Lincoln logo on the dark pavement on either side of the vehicle. This ingenious entry light system won our hearts over immediately. It really is a brilliant touch, unlike anything we’ve seen before.

2015 Lincoln Navigator 4x4

The good vibes continue once ensconced in the vast cockpit. We should point out that our test vehicle did not make do with base level equipment. Rather, it included pricey Equipment Group 101A ($6,850) which the window sticker would lead you to believe just adds 22 inch polished aluminum 20 spoke wheels and 285/45R22 Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires. Further research, however, indicates you receive much more than wheels and tires for your extra six thousand dollars. Specifically, the 101A Group also adds those useful running boards, upgraded premium leather low backed bucket seats, upgraded leather instrument panel, door panels and console, unique color headliner, upgraded Ziricote wood appliqué, and 2-tone exterior tuxedo black lower body-side moldings. All these niceties add up to a rather stellar looking package. The deviated light tan stitching across the sweeping chocolate dashboard looks fetchingly European. The seats are sumptuous front and rear, with myriad fine tuning available for back rest angle, lumbar support, heating and ventilation. About the only thing missing from the luxury index is a provision for memory retention of driver settings for seat, mirror and steering wheel position.

2015 Lincoln Navigator 4x4

This rig drives big, like a semi. You need to be real careful about where you position it in your lane, because its width of 80 inches does not allow much room for error. While the steering feedback is surprisingly accurate and informative, the sheer size of the Navigator demands your full attention. The Pirelli Scorpions are enormously effective at gobbling up the miles without jiggering the ride quality. Their vast 285mm tread snags a lot of pavement when you’re tackling winding secondary roads. While you’ll never forget the 3 ton bulk you’re commanding here, the Navigator never embarrasses itself in the handling department. And in the power department, Lincoln has found the magic key to make a fuel efficientV6 rival the large displacement V8 it replaces in the Navigator line for 2015. This turbo marvel, which you can barely see when you peer into the vast engine bay, produces 380hp and 460lb.-ft. of torque, more than enough grunt to tow 9,000 pounds of trailer with ease. By comparison, the sibling Ford Expedition makes 365hp and 420lb.-ft. of torque, so in the power department you get what you pay for with the Lincoln. The Navigator’s exterior rear view mirrors are particularly generous in size, which makes them perfect for towing chores. Their lower edge incorporates directional signals, and you will find side traffic alert lights located on the outer edge of the mirrors. Trailer sway control is a welcome standard feature.

2015 Lincoln Navigator 4x4

The interior of this unit is so vast that most of the time you’ll wonder what to do with its 61.5 cubic feet of cargo space. New for 2015 are electrically folding second and third row seats, so transforming the interior of the Navigator from people mover to cargo truck is less of a chore than it once was. The console receptacle between the front seats is deep enough to accept a couple of six packs, so even small object storage is never a problem inside the Navigator. Compared to some newer luxury SUVs, the Lincoln’s music/operations interface (called My Lincoln Touch) seems exasperatingly involved and demanding, which should come as no surprise since Microsoft provides the dynamics. The only other niggle is the inside rear view mirror, which is so insubstantially mounted to the windshield that it vibrated like a tuning fork. Aside from those minor issues, the Navigator is without question the Cunard QE2 of the highway, regal looking in its optional Ruby Red Tinted Metallic Clearcoat ($495), magisterially towering above the flotsam and jetsam like a true luxury liner.

2015 Lincoln Navigator 4x4

2015 Lincoln Navigator 4×4

  • Engine: 3.5 liter v6 Eco Boost turbo
  • Horsepower: 380hp
  • Torque: 460lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 15MPG City/20MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $73,395
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2015 Lincoln MKC AWD

Thursday July 30th, 2015 at 2:77 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Lincoln MKC AWD

By David Colman

Hypes: Handsome, Useful and Fun to Drive
Gripes: Tight Rear Seat

After Ford jettisoned its Mercury brand, they also allowed their Lincoln franchise to drift aimlessly for several years. The nameplate that once symbolized speed with its Zephyr in the 1930s and personal luxury with its Continental in the 1940s and 1950s, completely lost focus in recent times. But Ford has resolved to end the slide by refreshing Lincoln’s product line. Their latest effort is the MKS, a new offering for 2015 that brings Lincoln into the mid-price crossover SUV market with an upgraded and restyled version of the Ford Escape.

The best thing about the MKS is its explosively powerful turbocharged 2.3 liter EcoBoost inline 4. This engine package, which is not available on the Ford Escape, is worth every penny of the extra $1,140 you will pay. It absolutely rockets the MKS to the forefront of performance for this class of SUV. While it’s no gas miser at 21 MPG overall consumption, the extra fuel you ignite with the EcoBoost power plant yields 285hp and a whopping 305lb.-ft. of torque. With that kind of output running through a paddle-shifted 6-speed Select Shift automatic gearbox, the MKS becomes one of the liveliest mid size SUVs you can buy for under $50,000.

2015 Lincoln MKC AWD

Given that kind of performance advantage under the hood, it is surprising that Lincoln engineers dropped the ball on other aspects of performance that should make such a vehicle fun to drive. Two areas of concern become obvious before you’ve driven the MKS a couple of miles. Steering effort is much too light to provide any sense of road awareness. The feather touch steering effort encourages imprecision through over control. Brake pedal response is so touchy that you’ll inadvertently perform a panic stop before you get the hang of where the threshold point is located. After a couple of drives in the MKS, you will learn to compensate for these idiosyncrasies, and driving it does then become rewarding. The optional 19 inch diameter, 5-spoke alloy wheels (a bargain at $395), mount 245/45R19 Michelin Latitude tires which contribute significantly to stability on twisting back roads. While you never entirely lose the bobblehead ride motion created by the elevated stance of the MKS, the compromise between ride comfort and sharp handling is well modulated in this Lincoln.

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The central pillar of the dashboard contains the “My Lincoln Touch” screen which oversees most functions of the infotainment system, navigation needs, and ventilation controls. Unlike its Ford counterparts, the MKC dash also includes redundant buttons for air conditioning, fan and heat. This duplication makes it much easier for you to attend to the basics of climate control without the need to fiddle with a bouncing touch screen. The MKS’s center stack also presents a novel interface for gear selection. Along the left edge of the binnacle, you will find a series of oversized buttons that look like they belong on a ’59 Edsel, or on one of those phones designed for seniors with bad eyesight. The top button starts and stops the engine, while the rest control operation of the gearbox. These are arrayed in vertical sequence beneath the ignition button, with an “S” labeled pad at the very bottom which sets the transmission into sport mode for manual override driving. Even at the end of my week in the MKS, I found this start/transmission array difficult to operate because it never falls readily to hand or mind. I also accidentally caused the gearbox to slip into Neutral while fiddling with the adjacent radio selection screen. That made me wonder what would happen if the R button for Reverse was depressed mistakenly. One nice feature of this setup is its ability to automatically shift from Drive to Park when you simply turn the engine off. Another benefit of the button stack is that it opens up the entire floor console between the front seats to cup and oddment storage.

2015 Lincoln MKC AWD

Lincoln outfitted our test MKS ($6,935)with Equipment Group 102A, which brightens the interior with an enormous panoramic, double pane sliding roof. It also adds folding exterior mirrors, navigation with voice recognition, heated and cooled front seats, rear cross traffic alert, and a nifty hands free rear lift gate. While you will benefit from these niceties, the Technology Package ($2,235) is kind of a mixed bag. Adaptive Cruise Control is handy for stress-free speed maintenance at 65mph, but the included “Forward Sensing System” which illuminates a bank of flashing red lights right under your nose, is a complete waste of time. It illuminated repeatedly when the system detected something as inert as a guardrail lining the outside of a sharp turn. Save your money on this option group.

2015 Lincoln MKC AWD

2015 Lincoln MKC AWD

  • Engine: 3.0 liter alloy V-6 with twin scroll turbo, CVVT and DOHC
  • Horsepower: 325hp @5400rpm
  • Torque: 354lb.-ft.@3000rpm
  • Fuel Consumption: 19 MPG City/28 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $48,225
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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Table of Contents – Editorial Car Reviews, Feature Articles

Tuesday October 11th, 2011 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: Derek

CarReview_Contents_header

Below is a comprehensive list of all the Expert Car Reviews and feature articles published on CarReview.com [updated 10/11/2011]:

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2012 Lincoln MKT Review – Big on the outside, big on the inside

Monday August 22nd, 2011 at 11:88 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2012 Lincoln MKT
By contributing editor David Colman

Hits:

  • Impressive power from EcoBoost V6 engine
  • Heavy hauler will tow 4,500 lbs.
  • Twin sunroof adds to spaciousness

Misses:

  • Poor rear vision
  • Annoying center console lid design
  • Shortage of storage compartments

The Lincoln MKT makes optimal use of Ford’s sweet EcoBoost motor which is twin-turbocharged to produce 355 hp from just 3.5 liter of V6 displacement. This relatively small and efficient engine, also used in Ford’s Flex, returns good gas mileage figures (16 city/21 highway) considering its bus-like application in this spacious (6 or 7 passenger), heavy (4,680 pound) people mover. If you opt for the standard seating package of two front buckets and two rows of benches, you’ll be able to squeeze seven aboard, with just a footlocker at the back for belongings. The MKT provides a convenient power assist for opening the rear hatchback either via the key fob remote or a switch located under the dash. Unfortunately, there is no source of power provided to slam the hatch closed other than your own wrist.

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2011 MyLincoln Touch Review – Help or hindrance while driving the Lincoln MKX?

Wednesday July 20th, 2011 at 3:77 PM
Posted by: Derek

two configurable full-color LCD screens in the gauge cluster
By Gary Chan

Pros:

  • Finding POI’s was nice and simple
  • Setting and customization of personal preferences
  • Ability to make changes to settings via steering wheel mounted buttons

Cons:

  • Lag while system processes voice command
  • 8-inch touch screen not very touch sensitive
  • Entering navigation destinations by voice or touch … ugh!

What do an 8” LCD touch screen on the center stack, two customizable LCD screens, media integration and connectivity (USB, RCA video), and the ability to turn the vehicle into a local area network for your passengers using a wireless USB modem all have in common? They are all components of MyLincoln Touch technology.

Based upon the new MyFord Touch technology unveiled last year, MyLincoln Touch is now available on the 2011 Lincoln MKX and will become standard equipment across the Lincoln lineup. We recently received an MKX for testing and I decided to put the MyLincoln Touch technology to the test to see if it really did enhance my driving experience. Integrated voice control of music, phone, climate, and navigation in a luxury SUV — it doesn’t get much better than this, or does it?

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2011 Lincoln MKT AWD Review – Singing Along in the Family Wagon

Friday June 10th, 2011 at 11:66 AM
Posted by: peter

2011 Lincoln MKT distinctive split-wing grille
By Peter N.

Pros:

  • V6 engine that performs like a V8
  • All-wheel drive delivers acceleration and confidence
  • Advanced technology for the latest bells and whistles

Cons:

  • Restricted visibility
  • Some advanced technology was awkward and/or confusing

For this review, I had the unusual pleasure of testing a 2011 Lincoln MKT AWD on a snowy weekend trip up to Tahoe. What better way to test the cruising capabilities, the all-wheel drive for stability, and hauling capacity to pack a family for a ski vacation?

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2011 Lincoln MKX First Impressions Review

Thursday March 10th, 2011 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits:

  • Luxuriant and well put together
  • Heated front and rear seats and steering wheel
  • Panorama dual sunroof

Misses:

  • Distracting Disneyland dash
  • Useless up/downshift button on gear selector stick
  • Needs to lose some of its 4,251 pound curb weight

If you’re looking for a mid-size crossover SUV for less than $50,000, then you’ll want to consider Lincoln’s newly empowered MKX. Last year, the 4,251 pound Lincoln depended on a modest 3.5 liter V6 to produce 265hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. This year, Lincoln has upped displacement of the V6 by 200cc. The enlarged engine now makes 305hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, a 15 percent increase that improves performance and pulling power. The 2011 MKX steps out smartly when asked to accelerate, yet despite the bonus power, the new MKX gets better gas mileage than its predecessor (19/26MPG versus 17/23MPG).

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2011 MKZ Hybrid Review – The Cost of Driving Green Just Got More Affordable

Monday November 29th, 2010 at 11:1111 AM
Posted by: Derek

Pros:

  • Same price as MKZ with V6 gas engine
  • SYNC® In-car Connectivity System is standard
  • Better fuel economy than the Lexus HS 250h

Cons:

  • Interior of base trim model not much improvement over Ford Fusion
  • Utterly uninspiring econo-drone in the cockpit when accelerating hard

Gas prices have been as volatile as the speculative housing market and experts assure us both will be rebounding, though nobody knows exactly when. Investing in the market now, though it might seem counter-intuitive, could set you up for a handsome reward in the future. The same goes for buying a new fuel-efficient automobile. If you purchase a hybrid vehicle today, when demand for fuel-sippers is relatively modest, you’ll probably end up getting a better deal on the car and you’re also insulating yourself from future spikes in gasoline prices. Think of it as an automotive tax shelter, but without the sleazy real estate agents and enormous subprime mortgage scandals. For those looking to buy a luxury sedan with the exceptional fuel economy of a hybrid, the MKZ Hybrid is a logical choice.

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2010 Lincoln MKS Ecoboost Review – Return of the hot rod Lincoln

Tuesday April 13th, 2010 at 12:44 AM
Posted by: AKramer

By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Impressive 355 hp turbocharged engine
  • All-wheel drive provides wet weather confidence
  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • Roomy, well-appointed interior
  • Active Park Assist really works

Cons:

  • Strangely designed paddle shifters
  • A bit soft in the corners
  • Decent fuel efficiency, but not quite eco-friendly
  • Exterior design lacks flair

My pappy said, “Son, you’re gonna’ drive me to drinkin’
If you don’t stop drivin’ that Hot Rod Lincoln”

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2010 Lincoln MKT Review – Lincoln finds the sweet spot for luxury crossovers

Tuesday November 10th, 2009 at 11:1111 AM
Posted by: twain

2010 Lincoln MKT
By Twain Mein

Pros:

  • Very quite and well-damped ride
  • Beautifully appointed interior
  • Massive dual-panel panoramic sunroof
  • Incredible THX-certified sound system
  • Exterior styling

Cons:

  • Visibility
  • iPhone syncing
  • 3rd row leg room and overhead space
  • Exterior styling (!)

Introduction

The 2010 Lincoln MKT is Ford’s up-scale version of the Ford Flex “crossover”. Crossover is taking a traditional car platform and extending it to give the space of an SUV. Many SUV’s, like the Chevy Tahoe, are built on truck chassis (“body on frame”) versus a car chassis (“unibody” construction where the body is structural). By enlarging a car unibody, crossovers promise the space of an SUV with ride and handling of a traditional car. The Lincoln is built on the same D4 platform as the Ford Flex, and it distinguishes itself with aggressive styling and luxurious amenities. The D4 platform is a “stretched” version of the D3 platform which originally underpinned the ’03 Volvo XC90 as well as the Ford Taurus. These Swedish genetics are good assets for Ford/Lincoln which provide a rigid structure and competent chassis. The version we tested had the base 3.7 liter, 270 hp Duratec engine and was optioned for a ~$49,000 price tag.

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