With some sadness, I traded my 2011 Navigator L for a 2017 Toyota Tundra 1894 Edition 4X4 two weeks ago. How does Toyota’s essentially top of the line truck compare to Lincoln’s SUV? A lot better than you might think.
The one shortcoming I wasn’t going to get on any replacement vehicle was the ability to have 8 feet of cargo space. All SUVs, for various reasons, were ruled out, and the pickup trucks that met my option criteria all come with only a 5.5′ bed, so that was a known limitation going into this situation. I can, if necessary, get ten cat carriers in the back seat of the pick up, and eight carriers fit more than comfortably in the bed of the truck without stacking. Stacking is an option.
An open pick up bed is not useful for me, so I have ordered a BedRug (to protect the bed surface and insulate it), a BedSlide (to make the bed easier to load and unload, whether it’s cats, groceries, or other things), a Leer cap (to protect the bed from the elements). The cap will have a removable front picture window. My intent is to create a seal between the cap and the truck cab, allowing me to remove the picture window and open the lovely full back window of the truck to allow air from the cab of the truck to heat or cool the bed — I’m not sure how effective this will be as the truck has four massive front vents and only two small vents in the back seat area. We’ll see. The cats don’t ride with me often, but it’s a concern. I also ordered something called a Leer Locker, which is a slide out option on the ceiling of the cap which allows me to stow the numerous items you need to haul around with you in an out of the way yet still accessible place.
One major selling point of the Toyota was the sliding back window that opens the full width of the cab. The little pass-through windows other manufacturers offer are uninspiring. I like this very much.
In my website shopping, I thought I’d wanted a Platinum package, but once I saw one, I knew it wasn’t what I wanted, and I was impressed with the 1794 package. I liked the balance of wood and leather-look appointments in the cab. This compared favorably to my Lincoln.
One annoying point from Lincoln in both the pickups and the Navigators was the poor design of the trailer hitch mechanism. To hook up the trailer safety chains and plug in the wiring, we had to get on the ground and reach under the truck to do everything. One thing we’ve noticed with the Toyota is both these operations can be performed while standing behind the truck. No more crawling on the ground or standing on your head to hook up a trailer. It’s as if Toyota’s engineers may have hooked up a trailer. Something we sincerely doubt Lincoln’s engineers have ever done.
One thing that impressed my husband was the weather map. On the Lincolns, this was a clunky, nearly useless integration with a low-resolution pixelated map. The weather map on the Toyota was high resolution, speedy to load, and impressive. He’s annoyed that local weather is only available for the nearest large community. I’m not impressed with that aspect either.
The Lincoln had better road noise and engine noise dampening. I anticipated this would be a slight downgrade in the Toyota. It’s something we think we can get used to, but it was one area Lincoln did very well.
The Toyota has good grab handles at every seating position except for the driver. I used the drive side grab handle on the Lincoln a lot for entering and exiting the vehicle, and I do miss it on the Toyota. For passengers, they have two grab handle points to choose from, and that is an improvement.
I will miss my automatic intermittent wipers from the Lincoln, but I don’t anticipate having any trouble adapting to having to turn my wipers on again. I frequently had to “kickstart” the automatic ones myself anyway.
In an observation that I don’t think matters either way — the Lincoln’s radio antenna was integrated into the passenger side way back window. On the Toyota, I have the traditional flag-type antenna.
I got a 4X4 this time, but I was going to get that no matter what vehicle I chose. This truck comes with the blind side/cross-traffic alert feature, which I think I will appreciate. It also has an integrated brake controller, which is becoming an industry standard for pickup trucks.
The Lincoln’s seats were very comfortable. The Toyota’s seats are comfortable, but after a day of driving around Temple, I’m not sure how comfortable they will be on a road trip. The driver side seat does have lumbar and thigh support adjustments. I can also raise the seat to increase thigh support, but it also has the added effect of reducing head room, so I have to decide what’s more important to me.
The radio doesn’t come with an integrated 20G hard drive like the Lincoln did, but it reads and plays music nicely off a USB memory stick, so I’m happy with that. I have a single CD player, AM, FM, HD radio, and XM radio. The Lincoln had a Sirius radio, and we weren’t thrilled with it’s offerings. I don’t think XM is much different, but I’ll have to seeduring the three month included trial. We have discovered we like the traffic feature but don’t care for or need the radio capability.
Some things that are included that I haven’t mentioned but are common to both vehicles is the beefing up of various components for the tow package. The back up camera is excellent as are the front and rear proximity sonar sensors. The Dual Zone Climate Control is something we’ve come to expect and like.
The truck came with chrome oval step tube running boards. We had those removed for partial credit and replaced with AMP Powered running boards. So much easier for stepping in and out of the vehicle with powered running boards. Lincoln spoiled us for those, and with us getting older, this is a worthwhile change.
I loved my Lincoln Navigator L. I miss my Lincoln Navigator L. It hurt to see it on the used car website when I looked it up (but they have 41 pictures of it, and they make it look like the great vehicle it is). But I also knew it was the right time to trade it and move on. I’m pleased with my choice. I don’t think I’ll regret it.