The 2009 Lincoln Navigator can’t compete with the Cadillac Escalade in terms of horsepower, but the big SUV does possess competent handling.
When it comes to driving the big "Gator," it's easy to see that Lincoln knows what it's doing. The four-wheel independent suspension provides a smooth ride, but there's a fair amount of roll in corners. Ultimately, the handling is secure, but this isn't a truck that likes hustling. AutoWeek says, "steering response and overall body control make the big ute a surprisingly agile handler." According to Cars.com, "the ride was pleasant on most surfaces, but nothing spectacular"; in any event, the Lincoln Navigator 2009's "sheer size and weight tame most surface imperfections," reports ConsumerGuide.
Cars.com says that while the Lincoln Navigator "has the looks part down...the 300-horsepower V-8 engine seems woefully lacking in the power department, especially at takeoff." Edmunds warns the 2009 Lincoln Navigator "still lacks the standout performance expected of today's luxury SUVs, as its 5.4-liter V-8 feels a bit breathless next to the V-8s in the Escalade, Infiniti QX56 and Mercedes-Benz GL450," and ConsumerGuide agrees that it "is not as muscular as rival Cadillac Escalade."
The 2009 Navigator compensates for its gutless engine with an excellent transmission. Cars.com says this "six-speed automatic is the sole transmission, and the Navigator can tow up to 8,950 pounds when properly equipped."
Rear- and four-wheel-drive versions are available. The Navigator's maximum tow rating is a very impressive 9,100 pounds. Fuel economy, though, is no strong suit. ConsumerGuide reports that their test Lincoln Navigator "returned just 12.5 mpg, low even for this class." This source notes that 2009 Lincoln Navigator "4WD models are too heavy to be rated in the EPA fuel economy program."