This 2009 Lincoln Navigator feels a little old already. The non-telescoping wheel made it difficult to find a truly comfortable driving position. Sure, movable pedals may help shorter drivers fit better, but when you're over 6' tall and prefer to sit close to the wheel, there isn't much room for your legs. My complaint applies to pretty much all modern Ford products, but it felt especially cramped in this Navigator given its prodigious dimensions.
Stopping, turning, and accelerating are not much fun in this tank, but once you're up to speed it's a smooth cruiser. There's also lots of room for luggage and people and dragging a boat or camper behind you will have relatively little effect on the handling or personality of this luxury liner.
I'm a huge fan of the revised Sync/navigation system. The system may not be brand new, but the increased number of vehicles utilizing this interface means there is a very pleasant surprise inside most new Ford products. Using all aspects of the interface is a delight; the maps look great, directions are easy to input, and the controls for the seemingly-limitless audio options are very easy to navigate. Voice commands work well with Sync and having the list of commands display on the infotainment screen is very helpful. I suppose owners could easily memorize the commands, but if you own multiple vehicles that feature voice recognition systems, it's nice to have a refresher.
I ultimately prefer GM's Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade platform for luxury body-on-frame SUVs, but the Navigator has Sync and seats that fold flat to create a huge, easy to use loading area. Depending on your intended uses, those two things might be enough to tip the scales in the Lincoln's favor. Hopefully this beast will soon have the option of an EcoBoost or the 6.2-liter BOSS engine rumored for the Raptor. This 5.4-liter feels pretty weak and never sounds particularly graceful. With a better engine and brake upgrade, the Navigator would be much more convincing.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor