New Explorer-based crossover. Lincoln hasn’t touched the Aviator name since 2006, but it returns in a familiar way this year. The all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator, like its previous iteration, is based on the all-new Ford Explorer.
Unlike previous Lincoln models, though, the Aviator will follow the brand’s new path of putting a massive luxury wedge between its models and the Ford models they're based upon.
Refined cabin with comfort for miles. The Lincoln Aviator shows that the Navigator isn’t the only comfortable family hauler the brand can build. The Aviator features a posh cabin with loads of room in the first and second row. The third row lacks a little in roominess, but the sliding second row can help boost the leg room a bit.
Up front, the seats aren't only well-padded and great on the backside, but they also have 30-way power adjustments, allowing you to find the perfect position. On the flip-side, though, having 30 ways to adjust the seat for minimal gains in comfort may be too much for some buyers.
Checks every tech box. The Lincoln Aviator plays in a class with the big dogs from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, so it must be on its A game, and this is exactly what it brings in terms of technology. It all starts with the ability to lock and unlock the doors via a smartphone app and continues inside with massive touchscreens for climate control and other basic functions.
Other tech marvels include an available wide-screen head-up display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone charging, and an available 28-speaker Revel audio system that surrounds you in concert-quality sound.
Safety tech plays a big role in the Aviator with standard Lincoln Co-Pilot360, which includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-centering technology, traffic-sign recognition with automatic speed adjustments, evasive steering, reverse automatic emergency braking, and semi-automatic parking. Other standard safety goodies include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, a rearview camera with washer, and automatic high-beams.
Most powerful Lincoln ever. The Aviator plays hardball with its competition with a standard 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that cranks out 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. This will put it at a distinct advantage against the Audi Q7, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, whose standard engines produce just 248 hp, 335 hp, and 255 hp, respectively.
Lincoln didn’t stop with its wildly powerful base engine as it also added a Grand Touring Hybrid model that uses a plug-in hybrid system paired with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 to produce the most powerful Lincoln model ever at 450 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque.
Final thoughts. Lincoln moved up in the world with the new Navigator and Continental, and it’s primed to shatter its own mold with the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator. This mid-size three-row crossover is a legit competitor against German metal like the Audi Q7 and BMW X5, but can it overcome the branding issues it suffered in years past? Only time will tell.
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