I recently reviewed the new 6th generation 2020 Ford Explorer, one of Ford’s best-selling vehicles, the Explorer was launched with the more luxurious Lincoln Aviator. The Lincoln Aviator shares its platform with the Explorer and is back in production, it was first offered between 2003 and 2005. Unlike the first-generation Aviator, which was basically a rebadged Explorer with a few “luxury” touches, the Aviator is a very different car from its Ford cousin.
2020 Lincoln Aviator Canadian Prices
In Canada the 2020 Lincoln Aviator is only offered in two trims, the Reserve and Grand Touring. The Grand Touring trim can also be equipped with an “electrified powertrain”. However, in the USA, the Aviator comes in five trims: Standard, Reserve, Grand Touring, Black Label, and Black Label Grand Touring. The Grand Touring is also offered with a hybrid powertrain. I’m not sure why Lincoln is not offering as many trims in Canada, it might have something to do with our smaller market size?
The Lincoln Aviator Reserve has a starting price of $69,000 and the Grand Touring and Hybrid starts at $81,000. However, Lincoln currently has “Employee Pricing”, with price adjustments of up to $6,000. But who knows how long these offers will last.
Our review 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve had a sticker price of $86,585. This price included $2,100 for destination and delivery, $9,000 for Equipment group 202A, $2,000 for Convenience-Pack, $3,500 for Dynamic Handling Package, $735 for Full Rear Console, and a few additional small items. This price does not include any current incentives.
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is offered with a twin-turbo V6 engine, producing 400 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 415 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. The hybrid Aviator adds a “Nano Electric Motor” to the V6, for a combined output of 494 HP at 5,500 rpm and 630 lb.-ft of torque at 2,250 rpms. All trims of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator come with AWD and 10-speed automatic transmissions.
The non-hybrid engine is rated at 13.7/9.7/11.9 Liters/100 kilometers in city/highway/combined driving. The hybrid engine is rated at 4.2 Le/100 km. I averaged about 14.5 L/100 km in pure city driving, which is close to the claimed number and an improvement on the 4-cylinder engine equipped Ford Explorer. In my Explorer review, I had said I bet I could get better mileage on a V6 than that engine.
Driving the 2020 Lincoln Aviator
As you approach your Lincoln Aviator, it recognizes the keyfob and lights up the way for you. As you get near it, the suspension lowers to let you in without having to climb up any higher than need be, with the “Dynamic Lower Entry”. As you approach the rear of the Aviator and open the hands free-free power liftgate, the rear of the car lowers even further, making loading and unloading easy. However, after turning off the ignition, the suspension doesn’t lower with a dynamic lower exit type of thing. I would’ve like to have this feature to compliment the entry feature.
When I recently drove the 2020 Ford Explorer, I complained about the 4-cylinder engine, which felt small for such a large vehicle. The Aviator doesn’t mess around with 4-cylinder engines, thankfully. The twin-turbo V6 has more than enough power to motivate this large SUV. The engine delivers power smoothly and the transmission works well with the V6. The gears shifts are quick enough for an SUV and the transmission always seems to be in the right gear depending on the condition.
The Aviator, like other Lincoln vehicles, comes with driving modes with special names. Names like “Excite” for what would normally be called Sport and “Conserve” for Eco. Other modes include Normal, Snow and Wet. Unlike the Range Rover full-size or Sport, the Aviator doesn’t come with true off-road modes, which makes sense, as it’s not very common for people to take these types of vehicles off roading. Most of the other luxury vehicles in this segment don’t offer true off-road capabilities either.
By default, the Aviator starts in Normal mode, which does a great job in the city and on the highway. The Excite mode does make things a bit exciting, with sharper throttle response, heavier steering feel, firmer suspension, and gears are held longer. I mostly drove in Normal mode, which did the job perfectly well.
The styling on the 2020 Lincoln Aviator is very sharp looking, it’s a head turner and a few neighbors approached me and said how good looking it was. Unlike the old Aviator, the new Aviator doesn’t look like just another Explorer, which is a good-looking vehicle in my opinion. The Aviator keeps the familiar fascia seen on other Lincoln SUV/CUVs, and has sharp LED taillights. The side profile is similar to the explorer but with unique door handles. Unlike normal door handles that you pull on, the ones on the Aviator don’t move, instead they have a button on the inside which is what opens the door.
Locking the door is also not done in the normal way of pressing on a select part of the door handle. Instead, there’s a small lock icon, that’s lit, on the B-pillar that you swipe your finger across to lock the door. While this may seem cool at first, I got pretty annoyed with it, as I had to swipe my fingers across it many times, on some occasions, to lock it. I would’ve preferred a normal door locking mechanism. Of course, you can also use the remote to lock it, but who wants to take the remote out of their pocket nowadays.
2020 Lincoln Aviator Interior
One of the most impressive things about the new breed of Lincoln vehicles is their interior. The 2020 Aviator doesn’t disappoint, like the rest of new Lincoln vehicles, the Aviator’s interior is luxurious and elegant. If you’re familiar with the Navigator and Corsair, then you’ll feel right at home in the Aviator. The interiors look almost identical between the three vehicles, with more or less space depending on which of the two vehicles you’re comparing it to.
At the center of the interior is the 10.1” touchscreen, which is responsive and has crystal clear graphics. Below the infotainment screen are a pair of vents and small buttons for the cameras and parking assist. Below this section is the “piano key” horizontal gear selector buttons. Below is a small section for the radio, including a knob for volume and tuning. Below that is another separate section for the climate control. The horizontal part of the center console has a compartment for phones and other small items next to the compartment for cup holders. This area also features the driving mode selector knob and the emergency brake button.
The controls for all the interior functions are easy to use and take no time to get used to. I like the fact that there are separate buttons for things like the climate control and radio. However, I did find it annoying to turn off the climate fan, you have to go to the menu on the touchscreen and then press the virtual “button”. A small button could’ve easily been inserted into the climate control button section. My other annoyance was the “brake hold” button, or the lack of it, it’s also hidden in the menu on the infotainment section. Both of these issues might seem small, but they annoyed me a lot; unless I was blind and didn’t see the buttons, but I’m pretty sure the physical buttons don’t exist.
The interior is luxurious, with high quality materials and excellent fit and finish. Buyers can choose between different colors and material finishes, depending on the trim and options. The interior is quiet, but not as quiet as I had expected/hoped for, not quite at the Range Rover level yet. On the other hand, the interior is very comfortable with the Perfect Position 30-way power-adjustable seats. The seats are heated and cooled in the front and second row. The second-row seats are also comfortable and would be great on long drives. The third-row seats are where you want to put children, for full-sized adults they would get uncomfortable on longer drives.
To be taken seriously in the luxury car market, you not only need to have high quality materials, great fit and finish, and good looks but also the latest tech, safety, and convenience features. The 2020 Lincoln Aviator can be equipped with all the features we’ve come to expect from the European and Japanese luxury automakers. Below is a comprehensive list of what features can be equipped on the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator.
- Auto Hold
- Lane Keeping System
- Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS)
- Post Impact Braking
- Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview
- Air Glide Suspension with Dynamic Lower Entry
- Adaptive Steering
- Evasive Steering Assist
- Reverse Brake Assist
- Blind Spot Detection with Cross-Traffic Alert
- Quad-zone electronic automatic temperature controls
- Heated steering wheel
- 10.1-inch LCD Touchscreen Centre Stack Display
- Intelligent Access with push-button start
- Rain-Sensing windshield wipers with De-Icer
- Power tilt/telescopic steering column with memory feature
- Remote Start System
- Panoramic Vista Roof with power sunshade
- Active Noise Control
- Forward Sensing System
- Reverse Sensing System
- Phone As A Key
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Jam Assist includes Lane Centering, Stop-and-Go and Speed Sign Recognition
- Active Park Assist Plus
- 360-Degree Camera
- Wireless charging pad
- Head-Up Display
- Soft Close Doors
- Manual Rear-Door Sun-Shades
- Two Smart Charging USB ports
- Lincoln Connect 4G LTE embedded Modem with Wi-Fi hotspot capability
- Revel Ultima 3D Audio System with 28 speakers and HD Radio™ Technology
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio
- SYNC 3
- Voice-Activated Navigation
- Heated and ventilated front and second-row seats
- Perfect Position front seats with 30-way power adjustability
- Power door windows with one-touch Up/Down feature and Global Open/Close
- Acoustic-laminated first- and second-row glass
- Full LED headlamps with autolamp feature
- Auto High Beam Headlamps
- LED Fog Lamps
- Hands-free power liftgate
- Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking includes Dynamic Brake Support, Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Detection
- Rear view camera
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Final Thoughts on the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve
I think Lincoln has done a great job of creating a product that’s stylish, luxurious, spacious, and pretty fun, for an SUV, to drive. The 2nd generation Lincoln Aviator is a great American alternative to the European offerings, and is a vehicle you should definitely check out if you’re in the market for a mid-size/large luxury SUV. For more information check out lincolncanada.com.