The Lincoln Aviator is a three-row SUV that slots beneath the Lincoln Navigator. The all-new 2020 Aviator shares the same rear-wheel-drive architecture as the completely redesigned Ford Explorer, which SUVs.com also had the chance to recently test drive. But, the Aviator feels more like a scaled-down Navigator than it does a rebadged Explorer. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Explorer, but the Aviator is definitely more luxe!
There’s a lot to love about the 2020 Aviator! First, it has two powerful powertrain options including a hybrid. Plus, it’s a highly capable and safe vehicle with Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 as standard. It also has sleek exterior and interior styling. The interior is loaded with technology and there’s lots of unique touches throughout. Plus, the options you can tack on to your all-new Aviator are very impressive!
As for the trim levels, there’s Standard, Reserve, Black Label, Grand Touring, and Black Label Grand Touring. SUVs.com test drove an Aviator Reserve.
The 2020 Aviator is up against some stiff competition in the luxury midsize three-row SUV segment. Competitor vehicles include the BMW X7, Audi Q7, Volvo XC60, Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and even fully loaded versions of the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade.
Continue reading below for more about the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator!
There’s plenty to highlight about the all-new Lincoln Aviator’s exterior. Lincoln says the SUV’s design was inspired by the boundless allure of flight.
“The connotations of flight are intrinsic in the strong front and tapering rear of the vehicle, creating a distinct aerofoil analogy,” writes Lincoln in a press release.
Overall, the Aviator looks incredibly sleek and modern. Low profile aluminum roof rails and full LED headlamps come standard. You can upgrade to the adaptive LED pixel headlights if you’d like, which apply a number of technologies to appropriately place light both on and off the road.
The Reserve trim that SUVs.com test drove tacks on LED fog lights and 20” ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels. There’s also a 22” wheel option!
No matter which Aviator trim you opt for, the SUV’s grille is stunning! A large Lincoln Star logo is centrally located on a field of repeating chrome Lincoln logo-like shapes on the Standard and Reserve trims. The Grand Touring series makes the most of both negative and positive space with those shapes in a satin finish. The Black Label grille, meanwhile, is the flashiest of the bunch with its high-gloss black and chrome accents that beckon the eye. It tightly packs the raised Lincoln Star-like logo shapes.
Since the Grand Touring and Black Label Grand Touring models feature the hybrid powertrain, the main Lincoln star logo on their grilles features a special Spirit Blue color in its four quadrants. It helps signify that it’s a hybrid, which is a neat touch!
Another standout feature of the Lincoln Aviator’s exterior? The “Lincoln Embrace!” As part of the approach feature sequence, the SUV’s door handle pockets softly glow while a Lincoln logo welcome mat is projected from the sideview mirror, illuminating the ground below. The standard feature helps give the Aviator a much more luxe feel. There’s also Lincoln Signature Lighting to go with it. A dazzling array of welcome lighting in the front, rear, and interior warmly greets you. Plus, models that are equipped with the available Air Glide Suspension system will actually lower themselves as you approach to help make getting in easier!
You can use your smartphone as a key to access your vehicle, by the way, thanks to Lincoln’s available Phone As A Key technology.
While a power liftgate comes standard on the base Aviator, the Reserve trim SUVs.com test drove features an improved hands-free power liftgate.
Just like with the exterior, there’s lots to love about the all-new Lincoln Aviator’s interior! Depending on which trim and seating configuration you opt for, you can fit either six or seven passengers. The captain’s chairs in the middle of the Aviator Reserve that SUVs.com test drove are quite comfortable. The split PowerFold third row of the Aviator is also not as cramped as some other midsize three-row SUVs, but for long trips is probably still best fit for kids. It can easily fold flat with the push of button for storing extra cargo.
As for the front seats, how about 30-way-adjustable heated and ventilated Perfect Position seats with thigh extenders? Those are available! You can also opt for the massaging function of Active Motion to help melt your stress away.
As for the Aviator’s standard interior features, there’s the SYNC 3 infotainment system with a large 10.1” touchscreen. There’s also 4 USB ports and 4G LTE WiFi hotspot capability. The vehicle welcomes you with its lighting system upon arrival and it also plays a number of different chimes. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra actually created those musical alerts, which is a cool feature! The Lincoln Premium Audio System with 10 speakers including a subwoofer also comes standard.
The Reserve trim that SUVs.com test drove features an improved 14-speaker Revel Audio System. But, there’s an even more impressive setup from Revel that you could opt for! It has 28 speakers and provides a true 3D sound experience.
Other standard features that come with the Reserve trim include ambient lighting, premium leather enhanced micro perforated seats, a 360-degree camera, and Voice-Activated Navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link.
There’s also lots of ultra luxe features that come on the highest level trims that you could opt for! For example, a sophisticated head-up display, soft close doors, and a Panoramic Vista Roof with power sunshade. You could also opt to have a full rear console for the passengers in the back. It has shade controls for the panoramic roof and also two more USB ports.
As for cargo space, there’s 41.8 cubic feet of it behind the second row and 77.7 cubic feet when both rows are down.
There are two powerful powertrain options with the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator. There’s a gasoline option and also a plug-in hybrid.
The first three trim levels, Standard, Reserve, and Black Label, feature the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s paired to a new 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard on the base two trims, and all-wheel drive optional.
In the all-wheel drive configuration, the gasoline Aviator only gets 17 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined. So, those figures aren’t that great, although not terribly far off from competitors in the three-row midsize SUV segment. It’s also important to keep in mind that the Aviator makes significantly more power than many of its rivals! Fuel economy figures are also, of course, better with the plug-in hybrid Aviator and you also get an all-electric driving range of 21 miles with it!
The Grand Touring and Grand Touring Black Label trims combine the twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 with an all-new Lincoln electric powertrain. The combination of gas and electric systems creates an impressive 494 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque! All-wheel drive comes standard. The hybrid vehicle can be easily charged at home or elsewhere. What’s great is that you have the ability to operate it in Pure EV mode for a quiet all-electric drive. There’s also Preserve EV to save stored energy for later use. Standard drive modes that are also featured on all other trims, meanwhile, include Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery, and Deep Conditions.
There are several available suspension systems, including Adaptive Suspension and Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview. There’s also the Air Glide Suspension system, which Lincoln says offers the highest level of refinement by replacing traditional coil springs with guided air springs, enabling several preset ride heights for increased comfort and capability. What’s cool is that the Air Glide Suspension system also works to lower the vehicle when you approach, adding yet another unique aspect to Lincoln’s trademark embrace!
Every Aviator trim comes standard with Lincoln Co-Pilot 360. It combines pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection with cross-traffic alert, a lane-keeping system, a rear backup camera, and auto high-beam headlamps. Of course, you can upgrade to have even more advanced safety systems and many of those additional systems come standard on higher trims.
While the base 2020 Lincoln Aviator Standard trim in the rear-wheel drive configuration starts at $51,500, the price can quickly climb from there. All-wheel drive, extra options, and packages add to the cost. If you want the fully loaded hybrid option, the Black Label Grand Touring, you’ll have to shell out closer to $90,000!
There’s a lot to like about the all-new Aviator, including its new rear-wheel-drive platform. It has great styling that reminds you of the larger Navigator and its interior is spacious. While the third row is going to be best fit for kids on those longer trips, the interior is lovely. SUVs.com also likes the large touchscreen in the Aviator, and the two powerful powertrain options. We gave the 2020 Lincoln Aviator an SUVs.com deal score of 82 out of 100. Let us know what you think by commenting on our YouTube video review!