- Big, useful third-row seat
- Classy design errs on this side of bling
- Six-speed automatic shifts smoothly
- Good handling, for what it is
- High-tech options top the class
- Underpowered for its class
- Engine can get a bit noisy
- Long body means poor rear visibility
Big, brash, and unabashedly American, the 2012 Lincoln Navigator L is one of the biggest SUVs you can buy--for better and for worse.
It's among the biggest passenger vehicles on the road--and if you're looking for cubic feet of space and of chrome, the 2012 Lincoln Navigator L has to be on the short list of SUVs.
With more than an extra foot (15 inches) of extra length, the Navigator L has a longer wheelbase and a bigger cargo bay than the already-large Navigator SUV. The stretch translates directly into a more roomy back seat, and to easier entry and exit for the third-row seat.
The size can be a benefit wherever the Navigator may fit, but if you live in suburbs or even a city where space is at a premium, the huge Navigator L should give you pause. It's more than 19 feet long in all, after all, and not every garage will pass muster, nor every parking garage, for that matter.
On the upside, the extra length doesn't change the Navigator's performance too much, and the long-wheelbase L may actually ride a little better than the plush Navigator. Either version clearly shows its truck roots, but the smooth-shifting automatic transmission makes the most of the smallish V-8 for performance that's not as dull and distant as you might reasonably expect.
From other angles, too, the stretched Navigator doesn't vary from the original's stylebook that much. The interior's identical, and the longer rear glass and doors are tough to pick out unless you're seeing them side by side. That said, the Navigator's nearing the end of its current generation, and though the look has aged well, we're wondering where Ford goes from here, now that big SUVs aren't an easy fit in the high-mpg future or in Lincoln's shift to smaller, more frugal vehicles.
The 2012 model year brings HD Radio and power running boards as standard equipment to the Navigator lineup, joining its standard SYNC, real-time traffic, rearview camera, parking sensors, and heated second-row seats.
For the complete take on the Navigator L, be sure to browse all the pages of our full review for the Lincoln Navigator.