The Lincoln Aviator is powered by a 3.0L V6 engine fed by twin-turbochargers, making 400 horsepower. Power is sent to the wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission with an optional all-wheel drive system. Buyers opting for the Grand Touring trim will also get a hybrid version of this drivetrain with an additional 50 or so horsepower, though that version should make around 200 lb-ft of torque more than the non-hybrid. Either way, the Aviator isn't lacking in power, with strong acceleration relative to most of its competition.
The Aviator comes in three basic trims, along with a Black Label Special Edition (which is only available at participating Lincoln Black Label Dealers). The base trim is simply called Standard and comes with a long list of included features such as 19-inch machine finished aluminum wheels, a hands-free liftgate, power-adjustable heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, full LED headlamps, tri-zone climate control, SiriusXM satellite radio, a 10.1-inch LCD touchscreen, a 10-speaker sound system, rain sensing wipers, a remote starter and heated front seats. Safety features included on the base model include a pre-collision system with automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, blind spot detection and cross traffic alert, a lane keeping assist system and a rearview camera.
The Reserve trim includes 20-inch wheels, LED foglamps, better interior ambient lighting, 4-zone climate control, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, a 360-degree camera, a voice activated navigation system linked to the infotainment, a Revel 14-speaker sound system and nicer leather seats with more adjustability.
The Grand Touring Trim adds the hybrid drivetrain along with an adaptive steering system and regenerative braking. Other features on the Grand Touring include unique 20-inch wheels, a darker grille, a panoramic roof with a power sunshade and active noise cancellation for the cabin.
The top of the line Black Label comes in either hybrid or non-hybrid forms, though either version of the Black Label includes 22-inch wheels, Savanna Leather seating surfaces, heated and ventilated first and second row seats, a heated steering wheel, heated windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control with stop and go capabilities, a parking assist system, wireless phone charging, a heads up display, soft close doors, a rear sunshade and a Revel 28-speaker sound system.
Pay attention. We're witnessing the rebirth of an automotive brand. After decades without a path or purpose, Lincoln is poised to make a comeback, with the new Aviator three-row utility vehicle taking it to heights unimagined just a few years ago.
In the recent past, if you thought of Lincoln -- assuming you spent any time at all contemplating Ford's luxury division -- things like airport shuttles, podiatrist appointments and Lawrence Welk reruns likely came to mind. It was a brand that appealed to fleet customers, geriatric drivers and just about nobody else.
But what a difference some time and a little attention can make. Lincoln's latest crop of vehicles is nicely differentiated from rivals, provides a unique luxury experience and brings real substance to the market. The Aviator is a perfect example of Lincoln's new direction.
The Good The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is quiet inside, goes down the road smoothly, is unexpectedly fleet and comes with a spacious, high-quality interior.
The Bad It's by no means sloppy, but this Lincoln is still is a boulevard-cruiser, not a canyon-carver. Also, the steering and transmission tuning could be improved, plus it's not necessarily a value.
The Bottom Line Lincoln's reborn Aviator is a compelling and, more importantly, competitive offering in the three-row, luxury-SUV segment.
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