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2020 Lincoln Aviator

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$51,100 — $87,800 MSRP
17
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SUV
6-7 Seats
20-21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

There's a lot to like about the 2020 Lincoln Aviator but we were most impressed with its stunning interior features. Watch the video to find out more.

By Brian Normile

Competes with: Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, Volvo XC90, punching up at BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE

Looks like: The “production preview” Aviator we saw earlier this year at the 2018 New York auto show; a Ford Explorer after one of those entire-life makeover shows

Drivetrain: 400-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 good for 400 pounds-feet of torque; Grand Touring plug-in hybrid combining electrification with the V-6 for a claimed 450 hp and 600 pounds-feet of total system output; 10-speed automatic transmission

Hits dealerships: 2019

After a debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show that earned its production preview our Best in Show accolade, the Lincoln Aviator returns in full production guise for the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show as a 2020 model. We praised the luxury of the production preview, and it certainly looks like that will carry over into the actual Aviator that will be available for sale sometime in the new year.

Related: More 2018 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The Aviator is a three-row SUV that Lincoln hopes will build on the Navigator’s success to help rebuild the brand and establish it as a true player among luxury vehicle manufacturers. To that end, like the Navigator, the Aviator will offer special ultra-luxe Black Label versions that boast premium interior materials and additional ownership benefits.

Exterior

The exterior looks mostly unchanged from the production preview version, although the side mirrors are a slightly new ...

Competes with: Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, Volvo XC90, punching up at BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE

Looks like: The “production preview” Aviator we saw earlier this year at the 2018 New York auto show; a Ford Explorer after one of those entire-life makeover shows

Drivetrain: 400-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 good for 400 pounds-feet of torque; Grand Touring plug-in hybrid combining electrification with the V-6 for a claimed 450 hp and 600 pounds-feet of total system output; 10-speed automatic transmission

Hits dealerships: 2019

After a debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show that earned its production preview our Best in Show accolade, the Lincoln Aviator returns in full production guise for the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show as a 2020 model. We praised the luxury of the production preview, and it certainly looks like that will carry over into the actual Aviator that will be available for sale sometime in the new year.

Related: More 2018 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The Aviator is a three-row SUV that Lincoln hopes will build on the Navigator’s success to help rebuild the brand and establish it as a true player among luxury vehicle manufacturers. To that end, like the Navigator, the Aviator will offer special ultra-luxe Black Label versions that boast premium interior materials and additional ownership benefits.

Exterior

The exterior looks mostly unchanged from the production preview version, although the side mirrors are a slightly new shape. Even the turbine-inspired wheels are still there. The plug-in hybrid Grand Touring version of the Aviator will have a small door on the left front quarter providing access to its charging port. It also gets a different set of wheels than non-hybrid versions.

Interior

Interior materials still look first-rate, and the layout still appears to be a smaller version of the Navigator’s — both good things. The 12.3-inch configurable gauge display and 10-inch multimedia screen are still present, as is the Lincoln-signature button-based gear selector in the center console above the audio and climate controls.

The Aviator will also offer a feature that allows owners to use their smartphones as a key, a feature that can be activated via the Lincoln Way app. The classic exterior keypad can be used for entry in case of a dead or missing phone, and a separate code can be entered in the multimedia system to start the car in that instance. Lincoln says the feature can also be turned off easily if a phone is lost or stolen to prevent a stranger from gaining access to the car.

The Aviator will also have a delightful set of symphonic alert chimes courtesy of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Related: Lincoln Aviator Rises to the Occasion With Elevated Style, High Tech

Under the Hood

Unlike the production preview, we finally have powertrain details for the Aviator. All versions of the Aviator will receive a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 producing 400 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque, which will send power through a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Aviator Grand Touring has a plug-in hybrid system added to that V-6 in what is not a simple fuel-saving maneuver. Touting the instant torque electric motors provide, Lincoln expects this system to make somewhere in the region of 450 hp and a whopping 600 pounds-feet of torque. While the Aviator is equipped with an adaptive suspension, the name Grand Touring should clue you in that that enhanced performance is not for the track. The battery pack is located under the occupant floor, which preserves cargo space; Lincoln even managed to keep the Grand Touring’s fuel tank capacity at 19 gallons.

Gas-only Aviators will have five driving modes: Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions. The plug-in hybrid gets two extra modes, called Pure EV and Preserve EV, that are fairly self-explanatory — Pure EV is electric-only and Preserve EV reduces usage. The Excite mode in the Grand Touring has also been tweaked to account for the added electric power.

Safety

Lincoln has updated its standard suite of safety features for the Aviator — what was once Lincoln Co-Pilot360 is now Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus. It features Traffic Jam Assist, which uses adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-centering steering and traffic sign recognition to guide the vehicle with minimal driver input. Evasive Steer Assist provides automatic steering input to help avoid an imminent collision if braking is not enough. Reverse Brake Assist will automatically apply the brakes if the rear sensors and camera detect something while backing up. Finally, Active Park Assist can take over all the steering, braking, shifting and acceleration while parking in a perpendicular or parallel parking space.

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

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator currently has 0 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

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

Latest 2020 Aviator Stories

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

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

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