The specs and reviews are telling a different story about the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator than what is happening behind the scenes. There, owners are having a variety of problems. And Ford is trucking brand new Aviators from where they are assembled in Chicago, to another plant for fixing in Flat Rock, Michigan. Plus, Ford has issued two recalls on them along with sister Ford Explorer, built on the same line.
Recently, it seems that problems have been vastly reduced. Now, the Aviator can start living up to the reputation reviewers have anointed it with as a luxurious SUV with plenty of power, handling, and opulence in a sea of ten-year-old SUVs.
Some of the Aviator features are a little crazy
What’s so good about the Lincoln Aviator? Just the options alone. Like 30-way massaging seats and 28-speaker audio that adds the digitally compressed details that are lost. It sounds like a joke but it’s not. Or how about the camera mounted up front scanning for potholes then automatically adjusting the suspension dampers to mask the encounter. Ride quality is being refined almost inch-by-inch.
The twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 cranks out 400 hp backed by a 10-speed automatic. For an extra 100 hp, there’s a plug-in hybrid version. Using the same V6 Lincoln adds a 100 hp electric motor combined with a 13.6-kWh battery. On battery-power alone, you can travel 18 miles in the Pure EV mode. Some reviews say the electric mode can’t handle the Aviator’s weight making it slow during acceleration. We’d leave it for a bit of extra power during takeoff or in an emergency in Pure EV.
Lincoln did a good job of distinguishing 2020 Aviator from Explorer
One of the things helping to separate the Aviator and sister Explorer is the unique body panels and also the interior. As has been Ford’s habit in the past, especially with the now-defunct Mercury line, it would share as many body panels as it could get away with. Most of the time it didn’t. So, your premium-priced Mercury looked merely like a tarted-up Ford, which it kind of was.
The commonalities between the Aviator and Explorer are mostly under the skin, but that’s enough for most buyers. They can bask in the Lincoln aura with reputations untarnished. No need to feel they share the common man’s lesser Ford standing.
Interiors stand out from previous Lincoln SUVs
Interior options include two-different center consoles, and also captains chairs in the second row. Third-row seating is tight but can be folded up to add extra storage. There are 18 cubic feet of storage area with all of the seats positioned upright. That’s more than with the Cadillac XT6 or BMW X7.
For the infotainment center, a 10-inch touchscreen includes features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus satellite radio and a Wifi hotspot. Optional technology includes a Bluetooth download that lets you unlock the doors and start the Aviator with your phone.
Lincoln’s optional Co-Pilot360 Plus combines adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and self-parking functions with standard forward-collision warning, automated emergency brakes, automatic high-beam headlights, and a rearview camera. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, and lane-centering are all a part of the safety technology in the Aviator.
The $89,000 Aviator “Grand Touring Black Label” package
The Aviator is available in five different packages; the standard Aviator, Reserve, Grand Touring, Black Label, and Grand Touring Black Label with a list price of $89,000. All-wheel-drive is available at extra cost. Fuel economy figures are 18 mpg City and 24 mpg Highway. Those figures are not as good as its nearest all-wheel-drive competitors.
Overall the all-new Aviator is getting high marks in styling, engineering, and quality. Let’s just hope the initial assembly problems are finally behind it.