How Long Do Lincoln Navigators Last? (12 Important Facts)

The Lincoln Navigator is a premium fullsize SUV that made its debut back in ’98.

It shares the same platform as the Ford Expedition although it is far more luxurious and offers a long list of standard features.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at the Navigator’s average lifespan.

Here is the short answer to how long the Lincoln Navigator lasts:

The Lincoln Navigator is a robust SUV that can last over 200,000 miles when properly maintained and driven sensibly. Based on driving 15,000 miles per year, you can expect the Lincoln Navigator to last at least 13 years before requiring uneconomical or expensive repairs.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Lincoln Navigator?

The Lincoln Navigator might not share the same high-reliability ratings as some of its Japanese rivals but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get plenty of life from it.

Are 200,000 miles projection is fairly conservative, and the truth is most owners look to replace their vehicle around this milestone as repair costs start to compound and that’s usually a good sign that it’s time for an upgrade.

We did some digging on used car websites Car Gurus and AutoTrader and found a handful of Navigators hovering around the 300,000-mile mark which goes to show these SUVs can really go the distance.

The main problems you may encounter won’t generally lie with the drivetrain – the engine used in the Navigator is very similar to the ones used across various Ford models and have been tried and tested.

The issues will generally be tech-related, these vehicles are loaded with the latest fancy features and these things have a tendency to develop faults as the vehicle ages.

Ultimately though, the amount of miles your Lincoln lasts is really dependent on you, the owner.

Sure these vehicles are designed to tow boats, trailers and everything in between but pushing the engine beyond its limits or driving aggressively will cause wear and tear to accumulate much quicker.

Keeping up to date with servicing and making sure it’s kept clean from salt, dirt and other corrosive elements can add thousands of available miles to the clock.

Do Lincoln Navigator Rust Easily?

The Lincoln Navigator comes with a good standard of rust protection as standard from the factory, however it is not as rust resilient as some of its German rivals such as BMW and Audi.

Rust is much more of an issue on the older models, think pre-2010.

Lincoln is a subsidiary of Ford and they do have their share of rust problems but this is to be expected somewhat, no vehicle is immune from rust.

If you’re located in a region that salts the roads in the winter rust will be much more of an issue, but you can combat this with regular car washes, just make sure you get the underside of the truck.

Some common rust spots to watch out for on the Navigator are:

  • Frame (front end)
  • Radiator support

If you live in a drier state, rusting won’t be much cause for concern however if you’re by the coast make sure you give your Navigator a good hose down to remove the salt buildup from the salty sea air.

What is High Mileage for a Lincoln Navigator?

A Lincoln Navigator with over 100,000 miles is considered high mileage. These SUVs can go on to last much longer however, at 100,000 miles you can expect to incur some repair costs and it will likely have developed some wear and tear both inside and out.

Purchasing a high mileage Lincoln Navigator won’t necessarily lead to a sour outcome, in fact it could be a great investment.

What’s important is the condition of the vehicle and how well its been looked after.

A well-kept Navigator with over 100,000 miles will be a better option than one with 50,000 miles that hasn’t been properly maintained or was left sitting unused on a driveway for long periods.

If you’re buying a used Lincoln Navigator, consider the following:

  1. Maintenance history. Check that the truck was properly serviced and the owner can provide proof of this.
  2. Check for rust. Rust is a problem that will spread. Some dishonest salespeople cover up the rust with a bit of paint or some stickers. It’s always a good idea to look under the car.
  3. Number of previous owners. As a general rule, less is better. More owners usually equate to more wear-and-tear. If one family owned it and drove the full mileage and serviced the car, then you can almost guarantee they took good care of it throughout their ownership.
  4. Examine the interior. The condition of the interior tells the story of how well the car was maintained and cared for. Does the steering wheel, pedals, or shifter look suspiciously new? If so, there’s a good chance that the car was heavily used, and those parts were just replaced before sale.
  5. Check the car’s VIN and get a full history report. Was it a taxi or rental car? Recalls? How many owners? Real mileage? Stolen? Any accidents? If you’re buying a used Lincoln, always check the VIN.

How Long Does the Lincoln Navigator Last Compared to Similar SUVs?

In this section, we’ll look at some of the Lincoln Navigator’s closest competitors and see how they stack up in terms of durability.

Lincoln Navigator vs. Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is a full-size three-row SUV that shares many similarities with the Navigator.

The Ford Expedition can last over 200,000 miles or 13+ years, equal to what is expected of the Lincoln Navigator. 

Lincoln NavigatorFord Expedition
RepairPal Reliability Rating2.5/5.0 3.0/5.0
RepairPal Reliability Ranking 5th / 19
Luxury Fullsize SUVs
7th / 14
Fullsize SUVs
Average Annual Repair Cost $1,089$861
Kelley Blue Book Reliability Score3.8/5.04.2/5.0

The Lincoln Navigator is essentially a much more luxurious version of the Ford Expedition.

Both trucks will last a similar amount of time as they have very similar drivetrains however you can expect to pay more for the added features and premium touches of the Navigator.

Lincoln Navigator vs. Lexus GX 460

The Lexus GX 460 seats 6 or 7 and is a popular contender in the fullsize luxury SUV segment.

The Lexus GX 460can last 250,000 – 300,000 miles or 17 – 20 years, greater than what is expected of the Lincoln Navigator.

Lincoln NavigatorLexus GX 460
RepairPal Reliability Rating2.5/5.0 3.5/5.0
RepairPal Reliability Ranking 5th / 19
Luxury Fullsize SUVs
5th / 14Luxury Midsize SUVs
Average Annual Repair Cost $1,089$770
Kelley Blue Book Reliability Score3.8/5.04.7/5.0

As the luxury division of Toyota, it should come as no surprise that the Lexus GX is expected to last a long time.

If you need to chauffeur more passengers then the Lincoln is the better choice as it offers more seating.

Lincoln Navigator vs. Audi Q7

The Q7 is the most substantial SUV in Audi’s lineup.

The Audi Q7 can last 150,000 – 200,000 miles or 10 – 13 years, less than what is expected of the Lincoln Navigator. 

Lincoln NavigatorAudi Q7
RepairPal Reliability Rating2.5/5.0 2.5/5.0
RepairPal Reliability Ranking 5th / 19
Luxury Fullsize SUVs
8th / 19Luxury Fullsize SUVs
Average Annual Repair Cost $1,089$1,185
Kelley Blue Book Reliability Score3.8/5.04.5/5.0

Choosing between a Q7 and the Navigator will really come down to personal preference as both models have their own unique style.

Keep in mind though that the Q7 offers less seating though with space for 7 people vs the Navigators available 8.

If you are torn between the two the best thing to do is take both for a test drive.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Does the Audi Q7 Last?

Comparison Chart

Lincoln NavigatorFord ExpeditionLexus GX 460Audi Q7
Annual Repair Cost$1,089$861$770$1,185
Reliability Rating2.5/5.03.0/5.03.5/5.02.5/5.0
KBB Consumer Rating3.8/5.04.2/5.04.7/5.04.5/5.0
Lifespan (miles)200k200k250k – 300k150k – 200k

Is the Lincoln Navigator Reliable?

The Lincoln Navigator isn’t best known for reliability and has received mixed reviews from the major automotive websites based on customer feedback. However, it is by no means the least reliable SUV in the segment, in fact, Repair Pal ranks it 5th out of 19 luxury fullsize SUVs

It’s safe to say the older Navigator models were far more problematic than the newer ones.

In recent years it has received far fewer complaints and most issues aren’t related to the drivetrain, so by mixed reliability don’t assume this means breaking down all the time.

Most problems will be tech-related; one owner shared that their information screen reboots while driving:

This is a serious problem as it can happen anytime while driving. The screen automatically shuts down and then reboots. I have an appointment to see the dealer in a few weeks as they were unable to provide a loaner car.

These types of complaints can be annoying hence why you’ll get lots of angry reviews about them but you’ll get similar problems on most vehicles loaded with tech and these should be easily rectified by the dealer.

The Lincoln Navigator received the following reliability reviews: 

  • Repair Pal gave the Navigator a 2.5/5.0 which is average and is ranked 5th in the segment out of 19 luxury fullsize SUVs.
  • Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the Lincoln Navigator an above-average reliability rating of 3.8/5.0.
  • J.D. Power was not able to provide the Lincoln Navigator with a reliability rating due to insufficient data.

Reliability Compared to Other Luxury SUVs

ModelReliability 
Infiniti QX803.5 / 5.0
Infiniti QX603.5 / 5.0
Lincoln MKS3.0 / 5.0
Infiniti JX353.0 / 5.0
Lincoln Navigator2.5 / 5.0
Cadillac Escalade2.5 / 5.0
Lincoln MKT2.5 / 5.0
Audi Q72.5 / 5.0
Cadillac Escalade EXT2.5 / 5.0
Land Rover Range Rover Sport2.5 / 5.0
Mercedez-Benz R3502.5 / 5.0
Infiniti QX56 2.5 / 5.0
BMW X52.0 / 5.0
Cadillac Escalade ESV2.0 / 5.0
Land Rover Range Rover2.0 / 5.0
BMW X62.0 / 5.0
Mercedes-Benz GL4501.5 / 5.0
Mercedes-Benz GL3501.0 / 5.0
Mercedes-Benz GL5501.0 / 5.0
Avg. Luxury Fullsize SUV2.5

The Best and Worst Years for the Lincoln Navigator

We’ve done some digging to find the best and worst model years for the Lincoln Navigator.

Worst Model Year

The worst model years for the Lincoln Navigator are from 1998 – 2004, in more recent years 2014, 2015 and 2016 have had a few problems too although not as significant as the early years.

According to data from CarProblem Zoo, the early models of the Navigator were notorious for tire problems, in particular, blowouts whilst driving and also the tires separating from the vehicle.

Owners also complained about a variety of suspension problems.

Newer models have improved greatly though and the number of complaints has tapered off notably as Lincoln have ironed out the kinks.

Models from 2014 – 2016 have had some issues though, ranging from the A/C not working to problems with the heater although it would be a bit of a stretch to call them the worst years.

Best Model Year

The best model years for the Lincoln Navigator are from 2017 onwards. These models have received the least number of complaints and benefit from the latest developments in tech and safety.

Our top pick would have to be the 2022 model, whilst its too early to say whether its reliable what we do know is it will have some nice updates.

This includes revamped interior choices and several new features including a hands-free highway driver-assistance system.

Model Year and Number of Complaints

Here is the total number of complaints and problems for every Lincoln Navigator model year from the CarComplaints and Car Problem Zoo databases:

Model YearCar Complaints
No. of Complaints
Car Problem Zoo
No. of Problems
2022NANA
2021NA1
202003
2019411
2018714
201707
201666
2015411
2014117
2013010
2012212
201139
2010119
2009110
2008635
20071155
20062084
2005567
20049117
200315174
2002548
20017112
20001139
19993155
1998NA237

What About Recalls for These Models?

The Lincoln Navigator has had a total of 24 recall campaigns since 1998.

You can check if your Lincoln Navigator has been subjected to a recall campaign by entering your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on Lincoln’s recall page on their website.

It is important to note that recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge for the consumer.

Here is the total number of recall campaigns for every model year of the Lincoln Navigator:

  • 2022 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2021 Lincoln Navigator: 1
  • 2020 Lincoln Navigator: 2
  • 2019 Lincoln Navigator: 2
  • 2018 Lincoln Navigator: 4
  • 2017 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2016 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2015 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2014 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2013 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2012 Lincoln Navigator: 3
  • 2011 Lincoln Navigator: 0 
  • 2010 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2009 Lincoln Navigator: 1
  • 2008 Lincoln Navigator: 2
  • 2007 Lincoln Navigator: 2
  • 2006 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2005 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2004 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2003 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2002 Lincoln Navigator: 0
  • 2001 Lincoln Navigator: 3
  • 2000 Lincoln Navigator: 2
  • 1999 Lincoln Navigator: 1
  • 1998 Lincoln Navigator: 1

Lincoln Navigator Model Year List

First Generation (1998-2002)

  • 1998 Lincoln Navigator
  • 1999 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2000 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2001 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2002 Lincoln Navigator

Second Generation (2003-2006)

  • 2003 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2004 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2005 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2006 Lincoln Navigator

Third Generation (2007-2017)

  • 2007 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2008 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2009 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2010 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2011 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2012 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2013 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2014 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2015 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2016 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2017 Lincoln Navigator

Fourth Generation (2018-Present)

  • 2018 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2019 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2020 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2021 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2022 Lincoln Navigator

Are Lincoln Navigator Expensive to Maintain?

The Lincoln Navigator will have inflated maintenance costs due to the nature of it being a luxury fullsize SUV. However compared to other vehicles in its class it is relatively affordable.

According to RepairPal: A Lincoln Navigator will cost an average of $1,089 per year in repairs and maintenance. This is slightly lower than the average of $1,127 for luxury fullsize SUVs although significantly greater than the average for all vehicles across different segments, which is estimated at $652

ModelAvg. Annual 
Repair Cost
Frequency of
Unscheduled
Repairs (per year)
Probability of Severe
Repairs
Infiniti QX80$7180.78%
Infiniti QX60$6390.910%
Lincoln MKS$8860.615%
Infiniti JX35$8371.211%
Lincoln Navigator$1,0890.418%
Cadillac Escalade$1,0070.320%
Lincoln MKT$9960.619%
Audi Q7$1,1850.913%
Cadillac Escalade EXT$9400.621%
Land Rover Range Rover Sport$1,1790.716%
Mercedez-Benz R350$1,1530.618%
Infiniti QX56 $8070.824%
BMW X5$1,1660.817%
Cadillac Escalade ESV$1,1270.522%
Land Rover Range Rover$1,2580.619%
BMW X6$1,2061.021%
Mercedes-Benz GL450$1,2931.220%
Mercedes-Benz GL350$1,3081.322%
Mercedes-Benz GL550$1,2951.523%
Avg. Luxury Fullsize SUV$1,1270.719%

How Long Do the Brakes Pads Last?

Lincoln Navigator brake pads will typically last between 30,000 and 40,000 miles. This can vary widely and depends mostly on your style of driving, road conditions and traffic conditions.

  • You can expect your brakes to wear out sooner if you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Riding the brakes and hauling heavy loads can shorten their useful life
  • Full and complete stops from a high speed are the #1 cause of premature brake pad wear.

How Long Do the Tires Last?

The Lincoln Navigator’s stock tires usually last around 30,000 to 50,000 miles or 2 to 3 years. However, they can wear out much sooner. This depends on various factors, such as driving habits, climate, tire brand and road conditions.

  • Rotate tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
  • Check your tire pressure every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.
  • Have a mechanic or tire shop check your wheel alignment every 6 months.

How Long Do Lincoln Navigator Engines Last?

The Lincoln Navigator engine should last well over 200,000 miles providing it’s regularly maintained.

Regular oil changes and air filter changes will help keep things running smoothly.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Infiniti Q50 Last?

How Long Do Lincoln Navigator Batteries Last?

The Lincoln Navigator battery should last between 3 – 5 years. A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on many factors such as climate, driving habits, and battery type, among many others.

  1. Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your car can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
  2. Limit short rides: Quick car rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
  3. Storage: Keep your Lincoln Navigator stored indoors to protect it from extreme temperature changes.
  4. Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.

How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?

Lincoln recommends changing conventional spark plugs every 30,000 – 40,000 miles although higher-cost platinum-tipped ones will last much longer, somewhere in the region of 100,000 miles.

Your spark plugs should be inspected when you take your truck in for a tune-up.

Signs of a fouled spark plug include:

  • Reduced gas mileage
  • Lack of acceleration
  • Rough idling
  • Hard starts
  • Engine misfires

What About Insurance Costs?

The average cost of full comprehensive coverage for a Lincoln Navigator is $1,818 per year or around $152 per month. 

Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best potential deal for your Lincoln Navigator.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Lincoln Navigator

  1. Don’t overload your Navigator, for most models this will be around 8,400 lbs although you should always check the owners manual.
  2. Stay up to date with routine maintenance, whilst your truck is within its warranty period its advised to have it serviced by a Lincoln dealership.
  3. Keep it clean, a dirty Lincoln will deteriorate much sooner than a clean one, it will also help keep rust at bay.
  4. Sore in a garage if you have one. This will protect it from the elements and save the paintwork from bird droppings.
  5. Check fluid levels regularly this includes engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid.

Resources

  1. https://repairpal.com/reliability/lincoln/navigator
  2. https://www.lincoln.com/support/recalls/
  3. https://www.kbb.com/lincoln/navigator/ 
  4. https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2022/lincoln/navigator 
  5. https://www.carcomplaints.com/Lincoln/Navigator/ 
  6. https://www.carproblemzoo.com/lincoln/navigator/ 
  7. https://www.cars.com/research/lincoln-navigator/recalls/ 
  8. https://insuraviz.com/vehicles/lincoln/lincoln-navigator-insurance/