2020 Lincoln Aviator: Automotive Review

Aviator Lincoln 2020
2020 Lincoln Aviator: Automotive Review
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About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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This is a 6/7 seat sport utility first introduced in 2003 as a mid-sized luxury SUV. It lasted only a couple of years before it was rebadged. Reintroduced in 2020 as a mid-sized luxury crossover SUV, the Aviator platform is based on the Ford Explorer and is assembled in Chicago. In the Lincoln line-up, it fits between the Nautilus and Navigator.

There are two models available this year, the “Reserve” and the “Grand Touring” ($80,500). The Reserve sports a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 and the Grand Touring, a 3.0L hybrid engine. Otherwise they are basically the same vehicle with the Grand Touring equipped with a couple more luxury packages as standard equipment.

The Reserve engine comes standard with start/stop technology and produces 400 hp and 415 lb-ft. of torque. This is matched with their 10-speed automatic transmission and AWD. From an overall ride comfort and handling perspective, the Aviator is quite good. I had the opportunity to test this Reserve in city as well as highway driving conditions, with and without passengers.

My test vehicle exhibited a tendency to stumble/hesitate through the first two gears when in “normal” drive mode – not serious, but more of an annoyance. Cruising on the highway is a joy in this Aviator. Excellent sight lines for the driver, controls in logical locations, and very comfortable seating. I also installed a child seat in the second row for my 5-year old grandson who gave the view from there a thumbs up.

The size of this SUV makes it reasonably easy to maneuver into the local shopping parking spots. I kept the third-row seats folded down to better accommodate grocery and other shopping. Most owners of the Reserve would probably do the same and only rarely use that third row for actual passengers.

The Aviator has all of the necessary safety and comfort features as well as luxury in the base model. However, we are more and more getting used to the many non-required but highly desirable comfort as well as driver assist features.

For the Aviator line-up, these optional features come at a cost. The base price of the Reserve is $69,000. Standard equipment includes leather trimmed front row heated and ventilated seats, the panoramic roof as well as power sunshade, the Revel audio system and Lincoln’s co-Pilot driver assist features.

My test vehicle came with their “Red Carpet” paint ($850) and the “Convenience” package ($2,000) for heads-up display, soft touch doors, wireless charge pad and remote start from your phone. It also included the luxury, co-pilot plus, and the illumination package as well as the Class IV trailer tow package – all for an additional $9,000.

An additional $3,500 provided the dynamic handling package and $735 for the rear console. The total price of the Aviator Reserve increased from the base price of $69,000 to $87,435 before taxes.

Things to consider

The Lincoln Aviator is a comfortable and luxurious SUV with a pleasant and distinctive look. From my perspective, not many will be sold at the base price because you will want the features only available as options.

This size of SUV will appeal to those looking for style, luxury, comfort and a little more interior space than some competitors. If you are truly in the market for a five to seven-seater, I would consider the Navigator to give you that extra bit of room in the third row.

Find more automotive reviews and insights in OakvilleNews.org or follow me R.G. Beltzner on Twitter @redy2rol.







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