Driving Impressions

Driving Impressions  - 2003 Lincoln Navigator Review - Reviews - Lincoln Navigator

Lincoln has made some significant improvements in the Navigators driving experience, just asFord has moved ahead with the 2003 Expedition, which is a close relative to Lincolns SUV. The Navigators ride is pleasantly satisfying overall, and the suspension responds quickly to bumps without overreacting. This SUV does a fine job of keeping its tires on the pavement.

The 2003 Navigators handling is unquestionably more refined than its predecessors, but a short run with the previous model demonstrated on the highway, at least that it wasnt a bad vehicle at all. The revised model performs capably on twisting two-lane roads, but its still a tad unsure of itself at times. Its not seriously carlike in personality, which could be a good thing, because making an SUV too carlike might detract from its other virtues.

Although the automatic transmission reacts easily most of the time, multiple downshifts when the gas pedal is pushed hard can be jarring. The Navigators braking is linear and effective.

One Navigators engine proved to be noisier than expected even during moderate acceleration but two other test models driven later in the day were pleasantly quiet. A clapping sound was noticeable when rolling over pavement separators.

The Navigator is still a big SUV, but even on narrow roads, it doesnt feel horribly bulky. Construction quality appears to be excellent, with no rough edges or other evident defects. The automatic-extending running boards are handy and wide enough to be useful, but their surfaces are a little slick. Electroluminescent gauges are helpful, but some drivers may want them on the brightest setting for the best visibility. The seats are excellent; the passenger seat, in particular, felt almost form fitting, with just the right cushioning.

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