The 2020 Lincoln Aviator has gotten good reviews for luxury, technology, and safety features. While this three-row SUV is based on the Ford Explorer’s architecture, it is decidedly more high-end. The 2020 Aviator is the first year of the new second-generation Aviator, following a 15-year gap.
Although it has more space for cargo than for third-row passengers, it provides a great experience in the front row, with available options for 30-way massaging seats and a 28-speaker audio system. Edmunds says it has an “upscale design inside and out” along with “lots of advanced features.” But do those features include Android Auto?
Android Auto, which has been available since 2015, provides a safe and hands-free way to use your phone through your vehicle’s infotainment system. The software is developed by Google and has a similar function to Apple CarPlay. The system lets drivers use either the touchscreen or use Google Assistant to control the system by voice.
After saying “Hey, Google,” you can ask a question or make a request. The Assistant can find a location, play a song or podcast, or check the weather. It will also help the driver make phone calls and answer messages verbally with speech-to-text capabilities.
The touchscreen displays icons in a similar way to those on the phone. Android Auto works well with a variety of apps, including Google Maps, Waze, Pandora, Spotify, and Skype. Having navigation apps means the vehicle doesn’t need to include its own native navigation software, although some trim levels of the Aviator do include navigation. Google is working to add Android Auto control over climate control, radio stations, and driving modes, but those capabilities aren’t available yet.
Most phones should be connected to the vehicle with a USB cable for Android Auto to fully function; however, some phones and vehicles can support wireless Android Auto. The software works with phones that run Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher and have the Android Auto app. Wireless connections work best with Android phones running Oreo OS. Any phone with Android 10 already has Android Auto built in and doesn’t need a separate app.
2020 Lincoln Aviator infotainment systems
Included standard on the Aviator is a 10.1-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. The Aviator also has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to 10 devices. The Luxury Package option adds an entertainment system for the rear seats along with two pairs of wireless headphones.
According to Car and Driver, the infotainment system is easy to use, and the single touchscreen is paired with traditional knobs for climate controls. Edmunds likes the Aviator’s large text size and virtual buttons but says its infotainment system doesn’t have as many features as in some vehicles. It’s easy to plug in devices in the first and second rows of seats; however, using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay prevents the use of basic voice controls and makes it more difficult to change certain vehicle settings or radio stations.
On higher trims, a smartphone’s Bluetooth signal along with the Lincoln Way app can unlock and start the Aviator, and the key can be left at home. You can also connect to Amazon Alexa by using the Lincoln+Alexa app.
More Aviator tech
The Aviator also has cool tech in addition to the infotainment system and provides what Car and Driver calls a “laundry list of tech features.” The tech extends to the engine. The standard engine is a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission, but the Aviator Grand Touring offers a plug-in hybrid. Along with the standard engine, it also has a 100-hp electric motor and a 13.6-kWh battery.
Another available option is a camera located behind the windshield that improves the ride quality by providing information to the adaptive dampers about upcoming potholes and road issues. The experience is further improved by an optional Revel Ultima 3D audio system, which has 28 speakers to provide a high-end audio experience.
The Aviator comes standard with the Co-Pilot360 system, which provides multiple driver-assistance technologies. Included are forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high-beams, and a rearview camera. Co-Pilot360 Plus is optional and includes adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and automated parking assistance for parallel and perpendicular spots. Other available features include a Heads Up display and a 360-degree camera system.