View Local Inventory
Save

2020 Lincoln Aviator

2020 Lincoln Aviator

Change year or vehicle
$51,100 — $87,800 MSRP
17
Photos
SUV
6-7 Seats
20-21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 5 trims

We’re looking for the best deals on a Lincoln near you…

Are you looking for more listings?

Change location

Please enter a valid 5-digit ZIP code.

Search Again

— OR —

Sign up for listing notifications

Sign Up

2020 Lincoln Aviator Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

We finally got a chance to drive the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator and Aviator Grand Touring, the latter Lincoln’s first plug-in hybrid, through the winding roads of Northern California. Watch our video to learn more.

By Mike Hanley

The winding country roads around Yountville, Calif., are some of the most scenic I’ve ever driven, with one postcard-perfect vineyard after another, as well as pine hillside forests and the occasional lake dotting the landscape. That’s unsurprising, as the town sits in the heart of California wine country. But what was surprising was how the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator, a luxury SUV, hustled up and down mountain switchbacks that seemed tailored for performance cars and sport bikes.

Related: Auto Show Face-Off: 2020 Cadillac XT6 Vs. 2020 Lincoln Aviator

The Aviator’s handling chops were a pleasant surprise, but the three-row mid-size SUV still exudes luxury in high-end Black Label trim thanks to an elegant, richly appointed interior. At Lincoln’s invitation, we traveled to Northern California to drive gas-powered and plug-in hybrid versions of the Aviator for the first time. (Per our ethics policy, Cars.com pays for its own airfare and lodging at such automaker-sponsored events.) Related to the recently redesigned Ford Explorer (Lincoln is Ford’s luxury division), the Aviator is arriving at dealerships now.

Entertaining to Drive

It’s not one single thing that makes the Aviator a confident backroad carver, but rather a combination of systems — drivetrain, steering, suspension — tuned well and working together.

It starts with the SUV’s standard 400-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission. The Aviator builds speed ...

The winding country roads around Yountville, Calif., are some of the most scenic I’ve ever driven, with one postcard-perfect vineyard after another, as well as pine hillside forests and the occasional lake dotting the landscape. That’s unsurprising, as the town sits in the heart of California wine country. But what was surprising was how the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator, a luxury SUV, hustled up and down mountain switchbacks that seemed tailored for performance cars and sport bikes.

Related: Auto Show Face-Off: 2020 Cadillac XT6 Vs. 2020 Lincoln Aviator

The Aviator’s handling chops were a pleasant surprise, but the three-row mid-size SUV still exudes luxury in high-end Black Label trim thanks to an elegant, richly appointed interior. At Lincoln’s invitation, we traveled to Northern California to drive gas-powered and plug-in hybrid versions of the Aviator for the first time. (Per our ethics policy, Cars.com pays for its own airfare and lodging at such automaker-sponsored events.) Related to the recently redesigned Ford Explorer (Lincoln is Ford’s luxury division), the Aviator is arriving at dealerships now.

Entertaining to Drive

It’s not one single thing that makes the Aviator a confident backroad carver, but rather a combination of systems — drivetrain, steering, suspension — tuned well and working together.

It starts with the SUV’s standard 400-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission. The Aviator builds speed quickly, and the automatic makes the most of the engine’s considerable power: Shifts are smooth and refined, and the transmission always seemed to be in the right gear for the driving situation.

The Aviator comes standard with fixed shock absorbers and coil springs, but our test car had the optional Dynamic Handling Package that includes adaptive shocks and air springs, plus adaptive steering. The SUV also has five standard drive modes — Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions — and Excite, the performance-oriented mode, proved especially useful on our drive route.

In Normal, the suspension is tuned for comfort. There’s a fair amount of rebound over rises and dips in the road, as well as noticeable body roll in corners. The experience changes completely in Excite; body roll largely disappears as the Aviator hunkers and confidently charges up twisty mountain roads. The whole experience is grin-inducing, which is not the norm in this class.

The drivetrain gets better in Excite, too, as accelerator responsiveness increases. The steering is precise and weighty, but it lacks road feel.

Black Label trim levels come with 22-inch wheels and tires that give the SUV a great look, but they seem to counteract one of the typical advantages of an adaptive air suspension: pillowy ride comfort. The 22-inch wheels and low-profile tires give an underlying firmness to the suspension’s forgiving nature; you feel cracks and rough patches in the pavement. Smaller wheels with higher-sidewall tires — a combination that tends to improve ride comfort — are also available, but the Aviator’s air suspension comes exclusively with the 22s.

A Luxurious Yet Confining Interior

The Aviator competes with mid-size luxury SUVs like the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, both of which offer impressive cabin quality. Apart from the Aviator’s door-mounted power seat controls, which look a bit out of place finished in black plastic, the Black Label’s interior is richly finished in soft-touch surfaces and peppered with high-tech features, like a digital instrument panel, widescreen head-up display and 10.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system.

Our test vehicle had 30-way power-adjustable front seats that are part of the available Luxury Package. The seats include power-adjustable side bolsters, thigh support, upper backrest angle and head restraint position, to name a few. The seats are supportive, but their narrow design hurts overall comfort; even with their many adjustments, it took me a while to find an acceptable driving position. I’ve been more comfortable in seats with far fewer adjustments, proving once again that more isn’t always better.

Like the front bucket seats, the available second-row captain’s chairs are also on the small side. The chairs slide and recline, but they don’t offer much thigh support, which compromises comfort.

The Aviator’s two-person third-row seat is even less accommodating for adults. Headroom is decent but legroom is limited, and you sit with your knees uncomfortably elevated. Taller adults could fit back there in a pinch, but it’s really designed for smaller passengers.

Advanced Safety Tech

The Aviator comes standard with important active safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert and lane keep assist. The available Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus Package adds adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, lane-centering steering, speed-limit sign recognition, rear automatic braking and a self-parking feature.

The adaptive cruise and lane-centering systems work well, making highway driving less taxing by managing vehicle speed and the Aviator’s position between lane markings. You must remain attentive, however, as the system is quick to alert you if it doesn’t detect a hand on the steering wheel. (Thus far, just Cadillac and BMW offer hands-free driving.)

In the Market

The 2020 Aviator starts at $52,195, including a $1,095 destination charge, for a base rear-wheel-drive model. Our well-equipped Black Label model was $83,540, which is around what high-end versions of the Q7 and XC90 cost.

From a performance and luxury standpoint, the Black Label Aviator holds its own against those two competitors. First- and second-row seat comfort, however, are its biggest negatives, so be sure to pay extra attention to both if you take the Lincoln for a test drive.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

3.5
69 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.1)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(3.2)
Value For The Money
(3.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(2.0)

Very disappointed with our new 2020l Aviator

by Dkahnjob from West Hills, CA on September 18, 2020

We have had the car for 2 months and it has been in the shop for 35 days. Seats are uncomfortable, too narrow and not enough foam. The adjusting mechanism broke and took a month to fix, Air suspension... Read full review

(5.0)

Redemption.

by VernonL from Trenton, Michigan on September 17, 2020

I leased a 2020 Aviator in June. The vehicle developed an electronic issue that kept making the alarm go off. This went on for a month and a half. The vehicle needed a new module, it took roughly two ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator currently has 4 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Lincoln

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    unlimited months / unlimited distance

Latest 2020 Aviator Stories

Change Year or Vehicle

0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Aviator received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Latch or Latch system

Infant seat

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

Rear-facing convertible

* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

What's your location?

To find the best deals near you, please enter your ZIP code.

Get your new car price quote

Select the car you want

*MSRP and Invoice prices displayed are for educational purposes only, do not reflect the actual selling price of a particular vehicle, and do not include applicable gas taxes or destination charges.