With plenty of competition from other luxury utilities, Lincoln is going all out to get buyer attention.

Lincoln takes its utility vehicle to new heights

The Aviator’s seductive style, coddling comfort and big-numbers performance should help it make your short list

Ford Motor Co. has been retooling the Lincoln brand with new names and updated styling. With the 2020 Aviator, the brand is also introducing a completely new model.

In terms of ranking, the Aviator — a nameplate originally attached to a Ford-Explorer-based Lincoln sold from model years 2003 to 2005 — slots between the giant-size Navigator and the midsize Nautilus (née MKX). Despite being about 25 centimetres shorter than the Nav, the Aviator should for all intents and purposes be considered full size.

The newest tall Lincoln is built on the same rear-wheel-drive platform as the 2020 Ford Explorer. Although all-wheel-drive is standard in Canada, the powertrains are positioned longitudinally (front to back) and not sideways, as was the case with the Explorer’s previous front-wheel-drive architecture.

A regular springs-and-shocks suspension has been replaced with air springs with active (constantly adjusting) dampers. They work in combination with a camera that scans the road surface to assist the active suspension in smoothing out the ride.

The bodywork is decidedly elegant, from Lincoln’s signature grille (reminiscent of Jaguar’s, actually), on back to the slightly angled liftgate. Instead of squaring off the roofline as the designers did with the Navigator, the Aviator’s slopes downward toward the rear. That plus the slight creases around the fender openings contribute to the vehicle’s stately shape.

The extended-length rear doors should aid access of the two-place 50:50 split-folding (and power-folding) third-row seat.

There’s abundant space for seven passengers, or six if the available second-row bucket seats are ordered in place of the standard three-person bench. The individual seats can be separated, if ordered, by one of two different types of floor consoles.

The driver and front passenger have a clear view of the standard 10.1-inch or optional 12-3-inch information screen that sticks up from the dashboard.

The base Aviator is fitted with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V-6 that makes 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

For the plug-in hybrid model, an electric motor is connected to the transmission, bringing system output to 494 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque. When the batteries are fully charged, in electric mode, the expended range is up to 50 kilometres.

Fuel consumption is rated 13.7 l/100 km in the city and 9.7 on the highway. As of this writing, hybrid fuel consumption has not been announced.

Of the two available trim levels, the Aviator Reserve, which lists for $77,700 (including destination charges), comes with quad-zone climate control, heated 10-way power-adjustable front seats, forward and reverse sensors and 20-inch wheels.

The Reserve also gets heated and ventilated first and second-row leather seats, panoramic sunroof with power sunshade, voice-activated navigation, 14-speaker Revel-brand sound system, and a hands-free power liftgate.

Optional are 22-inch wheels, 30-way power front seats with massage (also heated and ventilated) and a 28-speaker sound package.

Opting for the hybrid will necessitate ordering the Grand Touring trim that rings in at $83,200. It gets the full-load treatment, including air suspension with a system that automatically lowers the vehicle when the driver approaches.

As well, the two dozen or so bells and buzzers that sound whenever a seat belt isn’t attached, a door is ajar, etc., have been replaced by musical alerts crafted by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. How’s that for class?

Drivers can also unlock the Aviator and even start it via a Phone As Key app. An exterior keypad can be used as a backup if your phone goes dead.

With plenty of competition from other luxury utilities, Lincoln is going all out to get buyer attention. The Aviator’s seductive style, coddling comfort and big-numbers performance should help it make your short list.

What you should know: 2020 Lincoln Aviator

Type: All-wheel-drive full-size utility vehicle

Engine (h.p.): 3.0-litre DOHC V-6, twin-turbocharged (400/494 with electric assist)

Transmission: Ten-speed automatic

Market position: As is the case with nearly every automaker, Lincoln is fortifying its tall-wagon lineup to fill every possible niche. The Aviator, which slots between the Nautilus and the Navigator, is but one example of this trend.

Points: Elegant upscale styling pulls out all the stops. • Spacious interior is appropriately well-dressed, but the information screen’s placement is jarring. • Twin-turbo V-6 pumps out plenty of power. The hybrid version does considerably better and should be more fuel-efficient. • Too bad the more expensive hybrid powertrain also requires the pricier upper trim level.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); emergency braking (std.); lane-departure intervention (std.); pedestrian detection (std.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) n.a.; Base price (incl. destination) $77,700

BY COMPARISON

Cadillac XT6

Base price: $63,000

New 2020 model will likely be the Aviator’s main rival among domestic brands.

Lexus RX 350L

Base price: $68,300

Seven-seat RX 350 model has style and space. Hybrid version is also available.

Volvo XC90

Base price: $61,800

Attractive base price, but top-end Inscription trim starts at nearly $75,000.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The screen popping out of the dash is the only distraction to an otherwise clean and elegant interior. Note the transmission is operated via a row of dash-mounted buttons. Photo: Lincoln

Before the Aviator, the only Lincoln utility with three rows of seats was the large and pricey Navigator. Photo: Lincoln

The Aviator shares its platform with the 2020 Ford Explorer, but each vehicle has its own powertrains. All-wheel-drive is standard in Canada. Photo: Lincoln

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read