In recent decades, few Lincolns have been known for excellence. The company has largely settled for making marginally nicer Fords at marginally higher prices. That’s not a bad niche to occupy — for example, recent Lincolns like the MKZ sedan and Nautilus crossover provide comfortable interiors, rich leather, lots of features, and a quiet ride for less money than sportier, more opulent Mercedes-Benz or BMW competitors — but this approach did little for the brand’s prestige.
Now, Lincoln is undergoing a renaissance. New Lincolns do still borrow from Fords mechanically. But starting with the redesigned 2018 Navigator, the brand’s models have been packing a greater visual punch, differentiating themselves from their Ford cousins and from the competition. One of the latest beneficiaries is the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator, a luxury version of the Ford Explorer that Lincoln had last sold in 2005.
The new Aviator stands comfortably apart from the Explorer, sharing its family-friendly seven-seat layout and its new rear-wheel-drive-based platform, but with a unique and eye-catching exterior and interior design. From its striking looks to its standard 400-horsepower engine to a host of thoughtfully executed details, this isn’t a Lincoln that aims for being merely “acceptable” or “pretty good.” Some buyers might wish for sportier handling, a few details could be improved, and our test car’s $76,310 MSRP feels steep. But when you stay closer to the $51,100 base price, the new Aviator is a head-turning combination of performance, seven-passenger seating, and stunning design.
2020 Lincoln Aviator - Driven
The Aviator name was revived back in 2019 as a replacement for the Lincoln MKT. Ever since, we’ve been dying to get our hands on one to see just how well it actually represents Lincoln as a brand and if it can actually handle the stiff competition in the premium SUV segment. Well, our requests were finally answered and a Lincoln Aviator showed up at TopSpeed HQ with full tank of gas and the paperwork that said we could drive it for a week. And, drive it we did.
Any negative preconceptions we had about the Lincoln brand or the Aviator in general were axed the second we stepped inside. The cabin, for the most part, feels highly premium and the layout was very spacious. We didn’t have the hybrid model, so all our power came from the 3.0-liter V-6 that was good for 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque, two figures that proved themselves to be more than enough for a vehicle this caliber.
We were equally impressed with the amount of available cargo room (up to 77.t cubic-feet with all the seats folder flat, and the technology inside felt really upscale compared to what we expected based on previous experience with Lincoln models. Our model started out at $51,100, but our tester was fitted with a couple of options that made it a little more expensive. We’re busy putting together an in-depth buyer’s guide for this very vehicle, so until then check out the full, high-resolution photo gallery that we’ve added to the slider above or the body of the page below.
2020 Lincoln Aviator
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is a midsize luxury SUV unveiled in 2019 as a replacement for the aging Lincoln MKT. First introduced for the 2003 model year, the Lincoln Aviator was initially offered as a luxury sport utility vehicle for the mid-size segment. After failing to meet sales expectations, Lincoln axed the nameplate in 2005 after just a few years in production. Now, however, as nationwide SUV sales continue onwards into the stratosphere, the Aviator makes its triumphant second-generation return for the 2020 model year, slotting in between the Nautilus and the standard wheelbase Navigator in Lincoln’s lineup. The latest model offers elegant styling, a top-notch interior layout, oodles of comfort, the latest tech, and a super torquey hybrid engine option.
Update 8/17/2019: We’ve updated this review with information about the Lincoln Aviator’s hybrid drivetrain and new pricing information. Check out everything in our review below!
The Lincoln Aviator is the midsize luxury sport utility vehicle with the most flexible seating and roomiest cabin.Aviator offers best-in-class front-seat headroom and legroom and a choice of bucket or bench seats in the second row, something no other midsize luxury SUV offers. The available front heated-and-cooled seats are also a class-exclusive.
The Lincoln Aviator is a midsize luxury sport utility vehicle with distinctive design and athletic performance, along with the most flexible seating, roomiest cabin and best towing capability in its class. Changes have been made to update the Aviator for 2004.