2015 Lincoln Navigator Ditches V8 For EcoBoost V6

2015-lincoln-navigator-11-1The Lincoln Navigator has for two decades been one of the most-expensive, and least fuel efficient vehicles in the Ford lineup. The 2015 Lincoln Navigator doesn’t do much to change either or those notions, though the all-new Navigator does ditch its 5.4 liter V8 motor for the most-powerful 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engine Ford has built.

Ford claims the new 3.5 liter EcoBoost motor will yield at least 370 horsepower and 430 ft-lbs of torque, output that overshadows even the torque-heavy F-150 EcoBoost engine with its 420 ft-lbs of pulling power. This means the 2015 Lincoln Navigator will having a best-in-class towing capacity of 9,000 pounds, and while Ford isn’t citing any specific numbers yet, engineers are predicting a big fuel economy improvement over the 14 city/20 highway rating of the 2014 2WD Navigator. It’s the second Lincoln to get only EcoBoost engine options, following in the footsteps of the new Lincoln MKC.

While the 2015 Navigator retains same massive proportions and body-on-frame design, and six-speed automatic transmission should also contribute to better fuel economy, which should probably be on par with the F-150 (about 22 to 23 MPG highway). Lincoln also sought to update the technology offerings in the 2015 Navigator, making items like push-button start and the MyLincoln Touch with SYNC standard, and the Lincoln now rides on 20-inch rims, with optional 22s reserved for those craving a bit more bling.

HID headlights and LED taillights add some technology to the outside, along with a standard rearview camera. But while the interior has been touched up with higher-quality materials as well, the pictures can’t hide the fact that there’s still a lot of hard plastic right next to stitched leather, a juxtaposition that won’t make the Lincoln popular with the detail oriented.

This is hardly the massive makeover the Navigator needed to help relaunch the “Lincoln Motor Company”, but there’s still a solid market for body-on-frame luxury SUVs in America, apparently. Ford has already squeezed a lot of money out of the Lincoln Navigator, and one more refresh before putting this old pony out to pasture probably won’t hurt.

The Navigator hasn’t seen much in the way of updating since 2007, and sales have fallen off a cliff as a result. While this new model probably won’t get many people talking, it should allow Lincoln to read water long enough to design and produce a suitable, 21st century replacement for an aging 20th century dinosaur.

 

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.