While many SUVs are becoming Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs) with unibody chassis and lowered tow ratings, the 2011 Lincoln Navigator stands out as one of the few big luxurious SUVs that still have a body-on-frame chassis that can carry a full load of passengers and tow a large trailer.
Two models are available, the Navigator and Navigator L; the L is 14.7 inches longer than the regular model, and the added length goes toward improved third-row seat access. Cargo space is greater in the Navigator L, too. Both versions come with a 310-horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8 engine rated at 310 horsepower at 5,100 rpm and 365 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm. You can choose either two- or four-wheel drive — both come with a six-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. Four-wheel independent suspension helps smooth the ride, while still being able to carry heavy loads.
Navigator is closely related to Ford’s Expedition but is plusher inside. It’s a little quieter and with more amenities, making it feel like a true luxury vehicle. Navigator has a surprisingly up-to-date set of connectivity and convenience features. Power-deployable running boards help ease ingress and egress. Also new is a voice-controlled navigation system, HD Radio and Sync connectivity. Sirius Travel Link information services and Ford’s MyKey system, which lets drivers set limits on top speed and radio volume, are now standard. The SYNC and Sirius Travel Link system offers voice-activated control of climate and navigation systems, plus the ability to search traffic and weather conditions in real time. Other features include a rearview camera system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, EasyFuel capless fuel fill, Front Park Assist, and heated second-row seats. Towing is a natural for the Navigator; maximum tow rating is 9,100 pounds. Prices start at $57,570.