Trucks & SUVs

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label Is Basically the Ford Explorer but Good

It is no secret that the Lincoln Aviator and the Ford Explorer share a similar platform. But when considering the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label Grand Touring, their shared platform is where the similarities end. Lincoln, Ford’s most luxurious line of automobiles, has lagged behind Cadillac in market share in the SUV segment as the Escalade has grown in popularity.

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label Grand Touring is aimed directly at winning back a share of the luxury SUV market.

Lincoln Aviator Black Label Grand Touring first impression

Elegant lines highlighted by tactfully placed chrome accents are the first thing that catches the eye upon inspection of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label Grand Touring. Looking to the interior of the Aviator Black Label reveals some shiny bits of plastic, but most prominently there are polished metal accents and soft, inviting materials reminiscent of a hand-crafted airplane cockpit with top-notch fit and finish.

The Sync 3 infotainment screen is prominently displayed in the top center of the dash allowing easy access by the front-seat passenger and driver alike.

Surprisingly powerful

Given that the visual provided by the exterior and interior is all luxury, it is a bit surprising how much power is available from the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine in combination with a permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor.

With the battery fully charged, drivers have 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque available to propel the Aviator via the 10-speed automatic transmission and hybrid transmission duo. Without the battery supplying power to the AC motor, the V6 makes 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque on its own. The additional torque is the most notable feature of the AC motor from the driver’s seat.

About the battery

Under normal driving conditions, the Lincoln Aviator Black Label Grand Touring is capable of traveling up to 23 miles and/or up to 80 mph on a fully charged battery. A Level 2 charger is required to fully recharge the battery, but it is possible to gain battery charge while driving under gasoline power. However, charging the battery while driving is a slow process as only one mile of battery power is gained during 20 minutes of driving.

Driving in Excite mode

RELATED: Will Luxury SUV Buyers Give the Lincoln Aviator Another Chance?

The available horsepower combined with the active suspension makes the Lincoln Aviator easy to adjust to any driving style, but Excite mode (otherwise known as Sport mode) stiffens the suspension and makes the vehicle more responsive to driver input.

Excite mode makes the rather large SUV feel much smaller and rather sporty without feeling like it’s overcompensating for some imagined deficit and still maintaining its luxury status.

But how much does the Lincoln Aviator Black Label cost?

The Lincoln Aviator Black Label Grand Touring trim level is not to be confused with some economical entry-level base trim and no one is going to think otherwise. Adding up the value inherent in the features already mentioned plus additional features such as heated, cooled, and massaging seats, soft-close doors, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and standard driver-assisted parking technology with 360-degree parking cameras. 

Billy Rehbock from MotorTrend tested the base level 2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label with a sticker price of $88,895. In the MotorTrend article, Billy points out that a similarly equipped Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription built and priced on Volvo’s website returns a price of over $91,000. 

In the published review, Billy states that the combination of power, performance, cutting edge technology, and premium quality materials combine to offer a luxurious package to rival anything in its class. Overall, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label Grand Touring meets or exceeds any expectations derived from its premium luxury price.