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The Lincoln Navigator is a popular full-size luxury SUV. The Navigator is considered an overall reliable vehicle and has been on the market since 1998. However, like most automobiles, some used Lincoln Navigator models are best avoided. For this Lincoln SUV, the worst models are mostly some of its earliest. 

Here are three of the worst-used Navigator models. 

The Navigator 1998 and honorable mentions

A black 1998 Lincoln Navigator
1998 Lincoln Navigator | Ford Motors/Newsmakers

The Navigator debuted for the 1998 model year, which makes it understandable why this one is best avoided. Though not an awful SUV, this model has some issues. For one, the vehicle tends to overheat due to a damaged repeller. Owners of the Lincoln Navigator 1998 have also stated that there is a need to have the steering wheel serviced regularly. 

Another reported issue associated with the first model is that air filters with oil-coated elements can’t be used. This simply makes getting an oil change more difficult. Lastly, the vehicle also experiences problems with the EGR system in high-dust areas. Reportedly, the dust causes the system to activate and could cause the engine to stall. 

In addition to the first model, the 1999 and 2000 editions of the Lincoln SUV are also pretty bad. The 1999 model has such issues as leaking oil from the head gaskets, transmission fluid problems, and coolant overheating without prior warning. Regarding the 2000 Lincoln Navigator, it originally had a defective fuel system as well as a lack of amber side reflectors. 

2003 model has issues

A black early model Lincoln Navigator
Lincoln Navigator | Ford Motors/Newsmakers

The 2003 Navigator Lincoln was the first model of the second generation of the SUV. This model has several concerns, ranging from annoyances to relatively expensive fixes. The biggest category of problems involves various electrical defects that make owning the vehicle a hassle.​​ The Lincoln Navigator 2003 also has quite a few transmission problems, which would be expensive fixes for anyone looking for a used Lincoln Navigator model. 

Though it perhaps wouldn’t be a problem on used Navigator models, the vehicle initially had some issues with the brake system. Less severe, but many owners of the Lincoln Navigator 2003 also complained of paint issues. Most people don’t repaint their vehicles, so it could be a concern for a used buyer. There were also a few complaints about the exhaust, but this is a rare problem with the model. 

2006 model is best avoided

The front of a Lincoln Navigator
Lincoln Navigator | Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The 2006 edition is another used Lincoln Navigator model that is perhaps best avoided. Though it has fewer overall issues, the major one it does have is pretty prominent. The most significant overall complaint is with air suspensions. According to RepairPal, owners have to turn off the suspension system before lifting the vehicle with air suspension. Failure to do so can cause some notable issues, such as airbags not inflating. 

Overall, the Lincoln Navigator is a pretty reliable vehicle. Typically, used Navigator models are relatively safe bets. However, no vehicle is perfect, and the earlier Lincoln SUV models are mostly best avoided. 

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