The Lincoln line is now comprised entirely of SUVs, including the Aviator.
The Lincoln Aviator is a sight to behold, the fourth and most recent utility vehicle in Ford’s luxury brand fold. That fact alone is an important statement as Lincoln is no longer dominated by the large cars that once defined this marque — Town Car, Continental, and the Mark Series. Instead, a suite of high-profile vehicles is setting a new course for Lincoln, including the brand’s first-ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
Lincoln Aviator Splendor
Lincoln dropped a styling bomb with the release of the all-new 2018 Navigator, then quickly followed with three more SUVs, including the 2020 Aviator. Bold front fascias, crisp lines, and elegant lighting along with chrome touches help this new breed of Lincolns take on the BMWs and Mercedes-Benzs which currently dominate the segment.
Although it is the upscale cousin of the Ford Explorer, Lincoln’s Aviator wears the tux to the Ford’s casual suit. The Lincoln Aviator seems more sport wagon than SUV, with its sloping roofline and sharply falling front end. Special touches on higher-end trims, including a light-up logo and massive 22-inch wheels showcase this vehicle.
Inside, the cabin offers room for six or seven across three rows. Leather, wood trim, and metal touches impart sophistication. Double-stitching across the leather-wrapped dashboard, thick control buttons and switches, and cosseting quilt-leather seats set the top trims apart.
One delightful feature for the front passengers is available massaging, which supplies fingertip or body rolling contact on demand. Set your personal controls on the touch-screen interface and enjoy 10-minutes sessions with your invisible masseuse.
Activate the heating and ventilating controls and you’ll be loathed to surrender your seat.
Tech & Safety Features
Lincoln technology is second to none, with special features setting the Aviator apart from the pack. As you approach this SUV, the exterior lights flicker on and the vehicle lowers itself slightly to improve ease of access.
Connect with the Aviator with your compatible smartphone and you can activate ignition and drive off without a key.
The touch-screen interface is a marked improvement over previous designs as it offers a clear screen along with touch and swipe control. Other tech features include 4G LTE Wi-Fi, satellite radio, and navigation.
The audio packages range from a 10-speaker system to a 28-speaker Revel ensemble with concert-hall-like sound.
On the safety front, the Lincoln Co-Pilot360 suite includes blind-spot monitoring, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, and a head-up display. Evasive steering assist and reverse park assist are also available.
On the Road
The Lincoln Aviator packs a lot of power into its small engine. In fact, its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine throws down 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque for one of the most powerful engines the brand has ever offered. A 10-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear or all four wheels. You’ll average about 20 mpg between fuel station visits.
From step-off acceleration to passing power, the Lincoln’s engine demonstrates its competence. It’s loud at times under full throttle, while the available four-quad-tip exhaust system sends out a reassuring boom. On the straightaways, the Aviator is magnificent. On curvy roads, it stays planted, especially when equipped with the Dynamic Handling Package. This SUV also tows, by pulling up to 6,700 pounds.
Also available is a plug-in hybrid model which offers a significant boost in power, all-electric range, and improved efficiency. It’s the first-of-a-kind model for Lincoln, one we’ll review separately.
The 2022 Lincoln Aviator starts at $51,465, plus $1,095 for the destination charge. But our Black Label Grand Touring test model had $40,000 in trim and package upgrades. That extra cost includes a host of concierge services such as premium maintenance, pickup and delivery, and exclusive offers. Most buyers, however, will gravitate to the Reserve trim. With all-wheel drive, this one is a relative bargain at $60,000, but that’s before adding packages.
See Also — Luxury Maker: 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV
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