Welcome to Depreciation Appreciation! Every month, your pals at autoTRADER.ca dig up an instance of how depreciation can make for an extraordinary used car deal.
This month, we’re looking at a much-loved, all-American luxury SUV that looks like a solid performer where owner satisfaction, reliability, and overall used-ute bang-for-the-buck is concerned. The machine in question is the 2007–2014 Lincoln Navigator – a posh-hauler that’s ready for your family, your boat, your camper and more, and all for highly reasonable used pricing.
Shop one out if you’re looking for capability, space, comfort, and luxury in spades, from a classy and handsome SUV built from the guts of a truck for maximum toughness.
Designed for drivers after generous towing capacity, sophistication, all-weather capability, and luxurious space to spare, Navigator went on to be a powerful contender in the premium SUV segment, after helping start the scene in the late nineties.
From 2007 to 2014, Navigator offered up a proven 5.4-litre V8 engine as standard, alongside four-wheel drive, over 100 cubic feet of storage space, and towing capacity of 9,000 lb. Standard and extended wheelbase models (designated as Navigator L), were available, depending on the year. Note that this generation of Navigator technically extends past 2014, but that here, we’ll focus on the more affordable 2007 to 2014 models, running the V8 engine that was replaced from 2015 by Ford’s EcoBoost V6.
Many owners gravitated towards the Navigator for its truck-based underpinnings, capability, and comfort, especially in an off-road setting. This one’s big and comfy, but it’s not afraid to work, possibly in rough terrain, as needed.
Feature content may include a potent THX audio system, power-adjustable pedals, full SYNC connectivity for your smartphone and media, automatic climate control, rear-seat entertainment provisions, climate-controlled memory seating, power-deployed running boards, and plenty more.
Owners rave about on-board materials and build quality, as well as ride comfort, though unsurprisingly, fuel mileage is reportedly heavy.
Approximate New Value
At launch in 2007, this generation of Navigator commanded a starting price of about $73,000 in standard-wheelbase configuration, and about $76,000 for the extended-wheelbase variant. Though pricing fluctuated over the years in response to changing standard equipment levels and trim grade revisions, most Navigators of this generation were roughly $75,000 before any options or packages.
Approximate Used Value
Ready to treat the fam-jam to a glamorous second-hand luxury hauler on the relative cheap? Navigator has you covered. Notably, a big selection of used Navigators has found favour with higher-mileage owners, with units pushing well past 300,000 kilometres being somewhat common in the used marketplace.
Lower-mileage copies, like this one, can be had from the mid-to-high $20,000 range, all day long – typically with under 120,000 kilometres on the dial. That’s a top-dog luxury utility vehicle with plenty of life left, for about a third of its original cost.
If you’re ok with a little more mileage, a unit like this, with 155,000 kilometres of use, can be had for well under $20,000.
Got $40,000 to spend? You’ll find units like this one, with under 80,000 kilometres.
If you’re a do-it-yourself type, or don’t mind a high-mileage vehicle, used Navigators like this one, with 194,000 kilometres, can be had for around $10,000, all day long.
Selection seems strongest from the low-to-mid-$20,000 range on few-year-old Navigators with reasonable mileage. Best of all, this machine is relatively affordable as a used luxury SUV buy, but also looks fairly solid in terms of reliability, too.
Test Drive Tips
Many commonly reported problems with the Navigator are simple to identify on a test drive, or during a pre-purchase inspection by a Ford or Lincoln mechanic.
Start by visiting a rough road and focussing your ears, and attention, beneath the vehicle, remembering that popping, banging, or clunking sounds typically indicate a suspension component or components that are worn out and in need of attention.
Check the steering-wheel audio controls, motorized seat adjustments, seat heating and ventilation functions, the power tailgate, the power-folding rear seats, the navigation system, and anything else that runs on electricity, for proper operation, several times.
Be sure to double-check that the power-adjustable pedals work properly. Ditto the deployable running boards, which should pop out from under the doors when they’re opened, if equipped. If they don’t, the solution could be as simple as a little squirt of WD40 on the door sensor – or perhaps something more expensive.
Confirm proper operation of the climate control system on all fan speeds and temperature settings, in both front and rear seating rows. Failure of the A/C system to adequately chill the cabin could be the result of a bad HVAC blend door, a leaky A/C line, or a clogged cabin air filter. If the climate control system isn’t working as expected, be sure to have a Ford technician check it over before you agree to purchase.
Engage and disengage each 4x4 mode as outlined in the owner’s manual, several times, on the course of your test drive. Any failure of the system to respond as expected or to engage the selected mode, any flashing lights, or any warning messages, perhaps reading “CHECK 4x4” in the instrument cluster, are good reasons to have a technician investigate further.
If the transmission seems to slip, buck, lurch, or fumble for the correct gear, a software reflash of its computer brain, or a fluid change, may be the solution – but be sure to have a technician confirm via a closer look, to avoid a model with pricier problems.
Finally, if the brakes feel soft or spongy, have them inspected before purchase. Worn-out pads may be a culprit, and some owners have reported air seepage into the brake system, which will require some attention sooner rather than later.
Navigator’s reasonable pricing and solid-looking reliability make this one a worthy choice for the used luxury ute shopper after a big, comfy and capable machine that’s family-ready, activity-ready, and that won’t break the bank.