2007 Lincoln Navigator Photo
Quick Take
Slideshow: Handsome styling, longer L edition, truly unique interior. Large SUVs now a mixed bag of... Read more »
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   Handsome styling, longer L edition, truly unique interior.

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  Large SUVs now a mixed bag of social image and pocketbook angst.

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   Escalade's all over it in power, prestige, X factors.

Ford created the big, blingy SUV niche back in the late 1990s with the original Navigator. Then it sat back and watched its halftime lead evaporate. The Cadillac Escalade came along and thoroughly ate its lunch with the hip-hopping, sports-playing, coutoure-wearing crowd — and a phenomenon was born.   

The ’Slade is so popular it has a nickname. The Navigator? It once was so white-hot that, on the strength of Navigator sales alone, Lincoln actually surpassed Cadillac in overall sales for the first time in decades. Remember 1998? But no more. While the Escalade got better with every edition, the Navigator stood more or less still. A 2003 redesign didn’t make it any more distinct — and neither did a cheaper Aviator sibling that looked nearly identical. And sales fell.


So now, in the same year a really fine new Escalade has come to bear, Ford is trying to put some polish back in the Navigator’s profile. But we predict the Escalade will still rule this niche — for some very powerful reasons.


Back in the ring

For 2007, Lincoln hopes it can recover the prestige (and market share) its full-size luxury SUV once held, or at least get back into the running. And in many ways it’s a big step up from the last version.

Reviewed by Eric Peters
Editor, The Car Connection
$8,980 - $23,990

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