Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
The Lincoln Aviator has returned in 2020 and hit the scene in a major way. It has an elegant look that tosses it into the conversation with other luxury SUV’s. Upon first sight, I couldn’t wait to get some seat time and see what all the hype was about. What a week it is going to be cruising the town in the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve.
The Lincoln Aviator is a mid-size luxury SUV. Once known as the Mercury Mountaineer, the Lincoln Aviator first hit the scene in 2003 but only stayed until 2005. The Aviator was one of the shortest-produced vehicles ever sold by Lincoln. In 2007 Lincoln released the MKX and then the MKT in 2009. The Aviator is bigger than the Nautilus but smaller than the Navigator. The Lincoln Aviator is assembled at Chicago Assembly in Chicago, Illinois alongside the Explorer and the Ford Police Interceptor Utility.
The Lincoln Aviator’s exterior is an attention grabber upon first look. Dressed in Silver Radiance Metallic paint the rectangular grille is definitely the new face of Lincoln. The sloping roofline looks nice and doesn’t take away too much cargo space. The Aviator sits on 22-inch wheels wrapped in relatively low-profile 275/40 R22 tires. The dual exhaust system with chrome tips, adaptive pixel LED headlights, LED fog lamps and illuminated Lincoln Star are all attractive features. The E-latch door handles on the Aviator make it virtually effortless to open the doors with a simple touch of a button. The Lincoln logo projectors are a great touch as well.
The Aviator’s interior is just as stylishly crafted as the exterior. The cabin has a high-quality feel with soft-touch surfaces throughout. The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is a three-row premium SUV. Up front, the Perfect Position seats offer 30-way adjustability and massaging capability. The available second-row buckets are comfortable with plenty of support. These seats are also heated and ventilated. The third row is only suitable for small children on trips. Adults relegated to the back of the Aviator will feel the crunch. Using the third row there’s less room for cargo. At 18 cubic feet, the Lincoln offers more storage space its’ competitors.
The Aviator steps it up a notch in the infotainment department. It comes equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard on the Lincoln Aviator. The Revel Ultima 3D audio system has 28 speakers and it rivals some studios that I have been in.
The drive is pleasurable as well. The 400-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 AWD engine is among the most powerful standard engines in the mid-size luxury SUV segment. It works with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth cruising and aggressive acceleration. The acceleration of the Aviator was surprising being that is has nearly 4,900-pounds of curb weight. The Aviator is fun to drive in each of the drive settings. Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions. Excite was the one that caught my attention the most. The air suspension was good for providing a smooth and flowing ride. The handling was tight as well. I was able to hug corners with ease.
Lincoln has stepped up and put some nice safety and driver-assistance features in the Aviator. The Aviator’s standard Co-Pilot360 system of driver-assistance technologies includes forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high-beams, and a rearview camera. The optional Co-Pilot360 Plus adds adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and a self-parking system that will steer the vehicle into both parallel and perpendicular spots. This adaptive cruise control is pretty cool because the intelligent cruise-control feature dynamically alters the vehicle’s velocity as speed limits change. There is also a tolerance setting that allows you to pick how much faster or slower than the posted limit the vehicle will go.
It doesn’t stop there because more safety features on the Aviator include standard forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, standard blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance, available lane-centering assist, adaptive cruise control, and automated parking assistance. The Aviator also features a forward-facing camera that reads the road ahead. This safety feature can detect surface imperfections anywhere between two and eight inches high and compensates accordingly so the vehicle just glides along. What an innovative feature.
The Convenience Package was a great added touch. It includes soft-close doors, wireless device charging, a head-up display and Lincoln’s new Phone as a Key system. This system enables you to enter, start, drive and lock your Aviator with only a smartphone. The phone uses Bluetooth to communicate with the vehicle. If your handset is lost, stolen or its battery dies, backup passcodes can be entered to gain access to the vehicle and start it. How cool is that feature.
Lincoln did well in the warranty and maintenance coverage department. Powertrain coverage extends beyond its four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, the Aviator offers a better warranty than most of its competitors. Lincoln has a Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles, Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles and Complimentary maintenance that is covered for 4 years or 50,000 miles on the Black Label models only.
The model Lincoln Aviator that I tested was the Reserve AWD coming in at $76, 310. If you are looking for a bargain vehicle, this is not it but it provides all the luxury most buyers need and want without breaking the bank. The pricing is on par with its’ rivals. The Aviator is highly competitive class, going up against the Audi Q7, Cadillac XT6, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, Volvo XC90 and the BMW X7. The Aviator is upscale with a unique exterior and interior. It is comfortable, quiet and smooth, and will help lead the Lincoln lineup to new heights. Please enjoy the photo gallery.