2020 Lincoln Aviator

Type:

What’s new

  • All-new vehicle based on the Ford Explorer
  • Part of the second Aviator generation introduced for the 2020 model year

Pros & Cons

  • Upscale design inside and out
  • Powerful standard engine provides quick acceleration
  • Lots of advanced features
  • Available plug-in hybrid powertrain
  • Doesn't have an abundance of headroom
  • Overly soft handling saps driver confidence
  • Subpar forward and rear visibility
Other years
2020
Lincoln Aviator for Sale
MSRP Starting at
$51,100

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2020 Lincoln Aviator Review

It's been a while since Lincoln's three-row SUV has gone by the name Aviator. For more than a decade it's been the MK … something. Who can keep those letter-coded names straight? With the introduction of a fully redesigned Ford Explorer, however, Lincoln saw an opportunity to resurrect the catchier Aviator moniker.

Thankfully, the 2020 version has little in common with the short-lived Aviator of the early 2000s. It's once again based on the Explorer. But this time around, the 2020 Aviator sports a distinctive design both inside and out, impressive standard equipment and features unique to Lincoln. In fact, the new Aviator is more like a scaled-down Navigator than a rebadged Explorer, and that's a good thing.

The Aviator's plush interior and improved cabin noise management make it an excellent highway cruiser, while its robust turbocharged V6 provides plenty of power. There's even a plug-in hybrid model that makes more power and improves fuel economy while providing a bit of EV range.

On the downside, the Aviator's pricing is above average, especially when you're looking at an example with a lot of added options. It might be a little hard to justify when cross-shopping against established three-row luxury crossover SUV rivals such as the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. But overall we recommend giving the new Aviator a look if you want an appealing mix of versatility, power and features.

Notably, we picked the 2020 Lincoln Aviator as one of Edmunds' Best 3-Row SUVs for 2020.

Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

7.7 / 10
The Lincoln Aviator provides an upscale interior design, a comfortable ride quality and strong acceleration. Other midsize three-row luxury SUVs are more poised when going around turns, but overall we like how the Aviator offers shoppers something a little different.

How does it drive?

7.0
The Aviator is quick in a straight line. While there's a slight delay when you ask it for power, the Aviator really gets going after that. In Edmunds testing, our all-wheel-drive Aviator Black Label covered 0-60 mph in a quick 5.9 seconds.

Braking and handling are less exemplary. The brake pedal is overly soft and hard to modulate smoothly. The Aviator also feels big and wallowy when you're driving around turns and doesn't give you much confidence in its stability. Another problem is the transmission's clunky and slow transition between forward and reverse. All of these issues combine to make driving the Aviator less pleasing than we expected.

How comfortable is it?

8.5
The Aviator reminds us a bit of Lincoln models of old: It's big, heavy and cushy. Bumps are absorbed nicely, although there can be a bit of residual body motion. Wind and traffic noise is minimal, so you can have a quiet conversation in the cabin if you want.

The highly adjustable seats are quite comfortable once you've managed to dial them in. One notable demerit: The seat is a bit narrow, so you may feel the hard frame on your hips. As for the climate control system, it does a good job of regulating cabin temperature, though the seat heating and cooling are a bit weak.

How’s the interior?

7.5
The third row is pretty much a kids-only affair; there's just not much legroom back there. The second row is better and has a lot of legroom, but headroom is a bit limited if you have an Aviator with the optional sunroof. Up front, headroom can be tight for tall adults.

Visibility is another concern. The windshield and rear window are short, blocking some of your view of the road. There are also a lot of surfaces around the cabin that can cause distracting glare and reflections. As for the controls, they're generally easy to use, though the transmission shift buttons and the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel can require taking your eyes off the road to push.

How’s the tech?

7.5
The infotainment screen has large text and virtual buttons, making it friendly no matter your comfort level with technology. However, it's a less sophisticated system than some competitors and lacks some of the coolest new features. For device integration, the first two rows have plenty of options for plugging in devices. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, but using them locks you out of basic voice controls and creates annoyances with things such as adjusting vehicle settings or switching radio stations.

The Aviator's driver aids are quite good. The lane keeping and centering system works well and isn't overly noticeable, for instance. Adaptive cruise is smooth in heavy traffic, although it will brake aggressively if you set it to follow the vehicle ahead closely.

How’s the storage?

8.0
The Aviator has an edge over competitors for storage behind the third row. Space behind the second row is average, and many competitors offer more maximum cargo volume. Our Aviator test vehicle had the optional air suspension, which you can use to lower the ride height and make it easier to load cargo. If you want to tow, the Aviator offers a solid 6,700 pounds of max towing capacity. The strong V6 engine helps out too.

Inside the cabin, all three rows offer a handful of useful storage options, though the center console box is a bit shallow. Small-item storage isn't class-leading, but it is certainly sufficient. For family taxi duty, the Aviator's second-row seat is roomy enough to install even bulky rear-facing safety seats. The car seat anchors are easy to access.

How economical is it?

6.5
The EPA-estimated ratings of 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway) for AWD and 21 combined (18 city/26 highway) for RWD are acceptable for the class. But in our time with the Aviator, our best tank only returned 18 mpg, and our overall average was under 16 mpg.

Is it a good value?

7.5
Lincoln has come a long way in terms of design, content and quality. The Aviator looks and feels luxurious inside and out, with lots of thought put into making sure the first- and second-row passengers have a premium experience. The chrome and piano-black trims are a bit chintzy, but other than that the Aviator offers something special.

We do question the value of the Aviator at its highest trim level. Our loaded Black Label test vehicle felt distinctly overpriced at $84,000. If you can live with a less luxe interior, go with the more competitively priced Reserve.

Wildcard

8.0
The Aviator looks distinctive, which we like. At the same time, it reminds us a bit of Lincoln models of days gone by. This vehicle is best driven in a straight line since it lacks the poise and confidence of European competitors when the road gets twisty. Don't care? Then you'll just be pleased to see Lincoln staking out a distinctive luxury personality.

Which Aviator does Edmunds recommend?

The Aviator Reserve hits a good balance of features and price. It includes some features worthy of a luxury SUV such as quad-zone climate control, a 360-degree camera and a hands-free liftgate. There are a lot of packages to choose from, but we'd certainly start with the Reserve I package for its added driver aids and heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats.

Lincoln Aviator models

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is available in five trim levels: Standard, ReserveBlack Label, Grand Touring and Grand Touring Black Label. The first three trim levels come with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (400 horsepower, 415 lb-ft of torque) and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available as an optional upgrade except on the Black Label, which only comes with AWD. The Grand Touring and the Grand Touring Black Label use a plug-in hybrid powertrain based on the same V6. Power rises to 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque.

The standard Aviator is quite well-equipped, with a power liftgate, low-profile roof rails, full LED headlights and taillights, automatic high beams, power-folding mirrors with an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, rain-sensing wipers, puddle lamps, and proximity entry with push-button start.

Inside, you'll find 12-way power-adjustable front seats with heating, two-way lumbar support and seat memory, power tip-and-slide outboard sections of the second-row bench seat, simulated-leather upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt-and-telescoping adjustment. You also get a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, tri-zone climate control, and a 5.8-inch touchscreen in the second row for climate control options. Heated wipers, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats are optional.

On the tech front, the Aviator comes standard with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.1-inch infotainment screen running the latest version of Sync 3. You get satellite radio, navigation, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Aviator offers plenty of charging options, with one 110-volt outlet for the second row, two 12-volt outlets (with one in the cargo area), and USB and USB-C charging ports for the first and second rows.

Standard safety features include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera with a built-in washer.

The Reserve trim adds 20-inch wheels, a 360-degree camera view, a 14-speaker Revel stereo, ambient interior lighting, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, premium leather seats, quad-zone climate control, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with two-way lumbar, power tip-and-slide second-row captain's chairs, and a hands-free liftgate. With all-wheel drive or the optional 22-inch wheels, the Aviator Reserve is equipped with an adaptive suspension.

The Grand Touring comes with a panoramic sunroof, unique exterior accents, and the upgraded plug-in hybrid AWD powertrain.

There are several option packages available for the Aviator. The Class IV Trailer Tow package equips a Class IV hitch and wiring, four- and seven-pin connectors, a beefier 250-amp alternator, trailer sway control, and trailer coverage to the blind-spot monitoring system. The Elements Package Plus adds heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel and heated windshield wipers.

You can also add the Reserve I package, which includes the Elements Package Plus as well as a panoramic sunroof, active parking assist, adaptive cruise control, lane centering, evasive steering assist, and reverse braking assist. You can further upgrade Reserve I-equipped Aviators with the Luxury package, which adds 30-way power-adjustable and massaging front seats, rear door sunshades, a 28-speaker Revel stereo, and rear-seat audio controls.

A Reserve II package makes the Luxury package, Elements Package Plus and Tow package standard, and it adds 22-inch wheels, adaptive headlights and a light-up Lincoln emblem in the grille. This package can be upgraded with the Convenience package, which installs a head-up display, soft-close doors and wireless charging pad and lets you use your phone as a key. The Dynamic Handling package adds adaptive steering, an adaptive suspension with road preview (it reads the road surface ahead and adjusts the suspension before bumps and potholes), and an automatically lowering air suspension.

If you prefer a second-row bench seat to captain's chairs, one is available as an option with all Reserve packages.

The Aviator Black Label starts with the Reserve II equipment, but it tacks on the Convenience package and offers the Tow package and the Dynamic Handling package as options. The Black Label comes with unique 22-inch wheels and appearance cues, and it offers a selection of interior design upgrades with special color schemes. You also get access to Lincoln's Black Label services.

The Black Label Grand Touring steps down to 21-inch wheels and adds the Dynamic Handling package along with the plug-in hybrid AWD powertrain.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Lincoln Aviator.

5 star reviews: 67%
4 star reviews: 13%
3 star reviews: 8%
2 star reviews: 4%
1 star reviews: 8%
Average user rating: 4.3 stars based on 24 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

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  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • value
  • sound system
  • driving experience
  • technology
  • fuel efficiency
  • handling & steering
  • infotainment system
  • towing
  • wheels & tires
  • engine
  • safety
  • ride quality
  • acceleration
  • climate control
  • maintenance & parts
  • seats
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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, 2020 Aviator sets bar high for all Mid-Size SUVs!
FireMedic,
Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

I took delivery on my "customized ordered-out" 2020 Aviator in November 2019. I consider myself a very educated and conscientious vehicle shopper. I will also admit that I've been a very loyal GM customer, having purchased 13 New GM Cars/Suvs within our household over the past 30 years. First, my reason from turning away from GM was NOT because of any bad experiences with their products. Simply stated, I've become increasingly frustrated with GMs failure to seriously differentiate the production of the Chevrolet, GMC, Buick or Cadillac products! With the exception of some simple exterior cues, GM still insists on sharing one common parts-bin amongst all of its product divisions. From the powertrains to the dashboards, all GM divisions share way to many common parts/features and appear very "dated", to justify the significant difference in pricing that they command. I sincerely was searching for a vehicle to "WOW" me and absolutely stand-out from the crowd of Mid-Size Luxury SUVs. When shopping for a new Mid-Size SUV, I did compare the Cadillac XT6 to the Aviator. If anyone has already completed some simple research they already know that these two vehicles ARE NOT even close in comparison. I encourage you to read an unbiased review, printed in the Feb 2020 issue of Motor-Trend. GM demonstrates some serious neglects in the XT6 development. Mainly, they rushed it through to production without serious thought prior to production. Four serious issues that will keep the XT6 out of reach of the Lincoln Aviator are: 1-they simply stretched the XT5 about 10"; 2-it remains front-wheel drive, 3-it shares the same lackluster 'Naturally-Aspirated' 3.6L (310 HP) V-6 with so many other GM vehicles and 4-it does not offer a Hybrid variant powertrain. Simply "Google" any reviews/comparison reports and you will understand. In contrast, the ALL-NEW, 2020 Lincoln Aviator (with the exception of the chassis below) shares nothing in common with the comparable Ford Explorer which the consumer can identify. Lincoln did some serious homework and accomplished some serious engineering goals! Not only has Lincoln separated itself brilliantly from its Ford brethren, but it truly put a lot of distance between itself and the Cadillac XT6 as well as every other Foreign competitor in the same Class. The Aviator's size inside and out, as well as its Base Twin-Turbocharged 400 HP V-6 Engine are alone, enough to make it a much better value than the aforementioned threats. This vehicle was meticulously designed and is completely new for 2020. The exterior fit/finish are on-par with the finest imports. The interior quality, elegance and comfort puts such imports as Mercedes Benz AMG on notice. The Digital Instrumentation, Infotainment, Sound System and Safety Features are outstanding in its Class. More personally, I have just beyond 2000 miles on my Aviator which has already experienced some northern Wisconsin winter weather. I have yet to experience ANY mechanical or "tech' related issues. I am exceptionally pleased with its comfort, quietness and performance around the City, in the back Country as well as on the multi-lane Interstate Highway system. The engine and powertrain are amazing and function seamlessly. The rear wheel / all-wheel drive performs precise and confidently. All considered, the MSRP of my Aviator is just over $74K and I feel that it is a very good value and investment. I will report back after a full year of service to update my review. I have no fear that my impression will remain extremely positive with the all-new, 2020 Aviator. Shop wisely and be sure to research before you buy!

5 out of 5 stars, Most Luxurious 7 passenger ever!!!!!
Wisconsin,
Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

We have always been a fan of Lincoln but in 2016 there wasn't a Lincoln 7 passenger SUV available. In the past I have owned Cadillac, Lexus and Lincoln. Bought the 7 passenger 2016 GX 460 Luxury and really liked that vehicle and figured in 3 years later Lincoln would be out with the 2020 Lincoln Aviator......All I can say is "WOW".......absolutely the most luxurious SUV on the market besides the 8 passenger Navigator......I owned the Navigator and didn't need that big of SUV at this point in my life. I don't think Lincoln missed anything when this vehicle was designed.......I am proud be back driving from the Lincoln family....I purchased the reserve 202a with every option available and it is a sweet, awesome and beautiful ride!!!!

5 out of 5 stars, Well done vehicle - minor nitpicks
Scriptabit,
Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

The vehicle is quiet, smooth and surprisingly fast/agile for a vehicle it's size and price point. I bought a Reserve II w/ the convenience package and Dynamic handling package. The pixel adaptive headlights are awesome. The infotainment system is not as flashy as some competitors (ex: 2020 GLE / 2019 X5), but it is effective and simple to use. It is not loaded up with gimmicky features that are more shiny than helpful (looking at you BMW gesture controls). You also simply can't touch the audio quality of the Revel 28 speaker system in the same price range with the MB / BMW alternatives. I found if you priced out comparable features in the MB and BMW the Lincoln was significantly cheaper. Size wise it kind of hit a sweet spot for me as I wanted a little more cargo/passenger space than the X5, but didn't want a vehicle as big as the X7. Issues: Gas Mileage: I didn't buy the hybrid, but I expected better. I've driven 1000 miles of mixed City/Highway driving (roughly 50/50) and gotten nowhere near the EPA combined. Driving with a light foot I can get 16.8 mpg w/ 93 octane fuel. I will probably bring this to the dealer's attention soon in case it is a mechanical issue of some sort. I mean... I'm not driving uphill both ways to work. Bluetooth Audio Lag: Lincoln Sync 3.7 - connected via Bluetooth to a Samsung S8+ phone is showing noticeable (2 seconds+ audio lag). Did Lincoln not spring for apt-x low latency codecs in a vehicle of this class?. Connected via USB there is still a tiny bit of audio delay, but it is small enough that I'm willing to chalk it up to the digital music processing in the Revel audio system. 30-way perfect position seats: They are comfy, but Edmunds is right... it takes a lot of tweaking to match the seat to your build. They are downright uncomfortable for a big/tall guy until you spend significant time adjusting. Overall, I'm very happy with the vehicle and really couldn't bring myself to drop a star. I would give it a 4.7 out of 5. The Lincoln dealership staff were also very helpful and responsive.

5 out of 5 stars, American Luxury Vehicle
Lincoln Luxury Aviator ,
Black Label 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

We purchased our new 2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label and love it! Lincoln has created a luxury vehicle that literally has auto pilot in some sense. My wife and I are both pilots and this vehicle was named right! This vehicle has all the bells and whistles. The exterior design of the Aviator looks like the side of an aircraft and the turbine design wheels are pretty cool! The Aviator lowers itself out greet you when approaching to easier step into, and once you open the door all you can say is WOW! Lincoln nailed it, and the Black label with it’s luxury leather and suede head liner, and the inside of the vehicle really gives you the sense of an 1930’s-1940’s luxury airliner. Lincoln went as far as to design the leather interior on the steering wheel to look like that of an older style yoke in an airplane. While driving you will enjoy one of the quietest serene experiences, and a great relaxing massage; but if you get to relaxed you can always listen to your 28 speaker Revel sound system. This sound system is so clear and crisp, and the bass is awesome. The Revel sound system is so good that when you call from the car people can always hear me clearly on their end making it an enjoyable conservation, unlike other vehicles that don’t offer this great experience, because of low quality speakers. As for power, don’t worry about that as the Aviator has so much power that you usually can’t hold the gas all the way down as you’ll be over the speed limit too quickly, but don’t worry about knowing what the speed limit is as you drive the cameras on the Aviator will show you the current speed limit as its always scanning due to it’s Speed Limit Recognition feature. This is just some of the features, there are many more. Great job Lincoln!

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2020 Lincoln Aviator videos

2020 Lincoln Aviator First Look | LA Auto Show

2020 Lincoln Aviator First Look | LA Auto Show

CAMERON ROGERS: The Lincoln MKT was kind of an odd duck. It wanted to be an SUV, a minivan, a wagon. It's kind of hard to tell. But the Aviator, the MKT successor, has its foot firmly planted in the midsize crossover category. Lincoln gave us a sneak peek a few days before its official unveil at this year's LA Auto Show. We first saw the Aviator at this year's New York Auto Show, but that was technically a concept. We walked away impressed by the expressive exterior styling and high quality interior. Thankfully, the final production model retains those same strengths. Next to me is the Grand Touring model, differentiated by its unique grill, blue Lincoln badge in the front, and blue aviator script on the side. The standard engine on this car is a twin turbo V6 with 400 horsepower. But the one next to me is a plug-in hybrid with 450 horsepower and a stunning 600 pound-feet of torque. Step to the side and you'll see the swoopy profile popularized by other luxury SUV coupes, but importantly, without a reduction in headroom. The first thing I noticed when stepping into the Aviator was how impressive this interior is. Without qualifications, this is a true luxury grade interior. And somebody coming from a Mercedes, or an Audi, or a Land Rover is not going to be let down. I mean, you have this really cool 3D texture sort of brushed aluminum look trim extending from a dash. And down here in the center console, you have leather coverings all the way up here. The seat leather seems to be really nice and supple. There's nothing in here that screams this is anything but a luxury car. There are, however, a few things that we hope get sorted out before the Aviator makes it to full production. The seat sits up pretty high. At 6' 4", I'm fairly tall. And this seat is in its lowest position. And my head seems very close to the headliner. The low roofline makes me feel a little claustrophobic when I look out the front. And while I have plenty of room up here on the front, the second and third row were a little tight. I can usually sit behind myself with little to no discomfort in most midsize crossovers. But sitting behind myself in the Aviator was a little tight in leg room. I also tried getting into the third row, and there's really no way to do that gracefully. But the Aviator doesn't just do the luxury stuff. It also has all of today's bells and whistles that you would expect of a car in this price range, from a 28 speaker premium sound system to an adaptive air suspension that can read the road ahead of you and firm up or soften the dampers to make the ride a little bit better. It also has what Lincoln says is the largest head up display in the industry. Has Lincoln finally produced a worthy rival to segment heavyweights like the Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes Benz GLE, and Volvo XC90? We'll have to wait until summer of 2019, when the Aviator hits dealership lots to find out. Be sure to check out the rest of Edmunds LA Auto Show coverage in addition to the latest car news and reviews at edmunds.com/roadnoise.

Edmunds Reviews Editor Cameron Rogers gets a sneak preview of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator ahead of its official debut at this year's LA Auto Show. The Aviator is a new three-row crossover that promises a supremely comfortable ride, upscale cabin materials and advanced technology features. It's a little too soon to tell if this Lincoln is a true rival to the best luxury SUVs on the market, but our first impressions are positive.


Features & Specs

Reserve 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
Reserve 4dr SUV AWD
3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A
MSRP$58,700
MPG 17 city / 24 hwy
SeatingSeats 7
Transmission10-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower400 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all for sale
Reserve 4dr SUV features & specs
Reserve 4dr SUV
3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A
MSRP$56,190
MPG 18 city / 26 hwy
SeatingSeats 7
Transmission10-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower400 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all for sale
Black Label 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
Black Label 4dr SUV AWD
3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A
MSRP$77,695
MPG 17 city / 24 hwy
SeatingSeats 7
Transmission10-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower400 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all for sale
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD
3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A
MSRP$68,800
MPG N/A city / N/A hwy
SeatingSeats 7
Transmission10-speed shiftable automatic
HorsepowerN/A
See all for sale
See all 2020 Lincoln Aviator features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Aviator safety features:

Evasive Steering Assist
Steers the vehicle out of harm's way if an impending collision is detected and the driver does not take sufficient action.
Reverse Brake Assist
Applies the brakes when the car is reversing if sensors indicate that the car is about to collide with an obstacle behind it.
Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
Warns the driver of obstacles in the road ahead and applies the brakes automatically if the driver does not react quickly enough.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover14.7%

Lincoln Aviator vs. the competition

Lincoln Aviator vs. Lincoln Navigator

The Navigator — a full-size, body-on-frame luxury behemoth with massive towing capacity — is the Aviator's big brother. It's also currently our top-ranked full-size luxury SUV for its upscale and eye-catching interior, compliant ride and powerful engines. The Aviator should be more refined on the road thanks to its unibody construction, and it'll be cheaper and easier to park. But it doesn't have the Navigator's capability or presence.

Compare Lincoln Aviator & Lincoln Navigator features

Lincoln Aviator vs. Lincoln Nautilus

The Nautilus may have just gotten a new name, but under the skin it's a refreshed MKX. This two-row midsize SUV is a bit of a mixed bag, offering lots of space but lacking the refinement and style of competitors. The Aviator just has more to offer all around, although it is a bit pricier.

Compare Lincoln Aviator & Lincoln Nautilus features

Lincoln Aviator vs. Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 is, for the time being, our top-ranked three-row midsize luxury SUV. It scores high on performance and comfort, and it offers Audi's impressive technology features. But the Aviator comes with a more powerful standard engine and has a bit more space for passengers and cargo. We'll be interested to see how these two stack up once we can test them side by side.

Compare Lincoln Aviator & Audi Q7 features

Related Aviator Articles

2020 Lincoln Aviator First Drive

Reborn, Resurrected and Rebooted

Travis Langness by Travis Langness , Reviews EditorAugust 22nd, 2019

What is it?

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is a three-row SUV that fits in the Lincoln lineup just beneath the Navigator. It's rear-drive-based and shares its underpinnings with the new rear-drive Ford Explorer. It has three rows of seating and comes with a standard turbocharged V6 engine. There's also a new plug-in hybrid version available.

Why does it matter?

Lincoln has resurrected the Aviator nameplate, so it might seem like the brand's going for a nostalgic angle. But this three-row SUV is all-new. For Lincoln, it's proof that the company can offer more than just the truck-based Navigator and can appeal to buyers who value comfort more than towing capacity. 

What does it compete with?

Many three-row luxury SUVs have standard and hybrid variants, and the Aviator is no different. For the most part, the Aviator competes against the Acura MDX, the Volvo XC90, the Audi Q7 and the Land Rover Discovery. Like the Aviator, the Volvo and the Acura are available with hybrid powertrains. If you price it out to the max, however, the Aviator also competes well against the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the BMW X7.

How does it drive?

The base and midlevel models come with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that puts out 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. That's more than enough to get this big three-row moving. It accelerates smoothly from a stop and passes on the highway with ease. The standard Aviator is big, but it's also surprisingly swift around corners. Our test vehicle was equipped with an optional air suspension. So equipped, the Aviator moves from corner to corner with ease.

The topped-out Aviator Grand Touring comes as a plug-in hybrid. You get the same twin-turbo V6, but it's paired to an electric motor that increases power output to 494 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque. Unlike some other hybrids, the Aviator doesn't feel like it's tuned for fuel economy. Rather, this system is more for a burst of extra power at low speeds. It also fills in the gaps between shifts nicely. Placed in the EV-only mode, this powertrain provides about 18 miles of all-electric range before this big SUV switches over to normal hybrid mode.

The Aviator's steering has an excellent on-center feel, and it's well-weighted. Even with the higher-horsepower plug-in hybrid, you won't confuse the Aviator for a shouty AMG Mercedes or an M Sport BMW SUV, but it reacts to driver inputs well. The 10-speed automatic shifts quickly. And on the highway, things are impressively quiet. The only real noise comes from the tires at highway speeds.

What's the interior like?

The Aviator comes in a number of available trim levels, but even on the base and midlevel trims, it feels put together nicely. You'll find quality materials and crisp displays all around. In the cabin, there's lots of space to move around in the first and second rows. Even the third row can accommodate two adults, at least for a short trip. You also get an increasingly luxurious experience in the Aviator's Reserve and Grand Touring trims. They add options such as plush leather seating, 30-way-adjustable heated and ventilated seats, and even an available 28-speaker stereo.

For the driver, there are a lot of controls at the helm. The steering wheel is packed with redundant controls, but none of them seem like overkill. The track-skip and volume functions, for example, are all controlled by one directional knob, while the cruise control functions are all hidden and only light up on the steering wheel when you're ready to engage them. Then, there's a 10.1-inch touchscreen at the center of the dashboard that displays all the infotainment functions. It's crisp, clear and impressively large.

How practical is it?

The Aviator is big on the inside, which results in plenty of cargo capacity. Towing capacity is impressive for the class, especially since it's not a traditional body-on-frame SUV. Lincoln says you'll be able to tow up to 6,700 pounds with the standard powertrain, or 5,600 pounds with the plug-in hybrid. It's not for everyone, however. The Aviator is more expensive than several of its conventional rivals, so it shouldn't be considered a luxury bargain.

What else should I know?

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is excellent in a lot of ways, but it does have a few drawbacks. As mentioned previously, some conventional rivals from Acura and Volvo are less expensive to start. What's more, rivals from BMW, Mercedes and Audi have a seemingly higher build quality — our test vehicle had some squeaks and rattles that don't belong on such a plush SUV. Altogether though, the Aviator is an impressive entry into the luxury three-row class.

Edmunds says

Based on our initial impressions, the Aviator looks to be a first-class SUV that stands a serious chance of being one of Edmunds' top-ranked vehicles. Whether you go with the standard Aviator or the top-trim plug-in hybrid, there's a lot to like. Stay tuned for a full rating of the Aviator, and be sure to use Edmunds for all your car- and SUV-shopping needs.

FAQ

Is the Lincoln Aviator a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 Aviator both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.7 out of 10. You probably care about Lincoln Aviator fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Aviator gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg to 23 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Aviator has 18.3 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Lincoln Aviator. Learn more
What's new in the 2020 Lincoln Aviator?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator:

  • All-new vehicle based on the Ford Explorer
  • Part of the second Aviator generation introduced for the 2020 model year
Learn more
Is the Lincoln Aviator reliable?
To determine whether the Lincoln Aviator is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Aviator. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Aviator's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2020 Lincoln Aviator a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Lincoln Aviator is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 Aviator and gave it a 7.7 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 Aviator is a good car for you. Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2020 Lincoln Aviator?

The least-expensive 2020 Lincoln Aviator is the 2020 Lincoln Aviator 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $51,100.

Other versions include:

  • Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $58,700
  • Reserve 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $56,190
  • Black Label 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $77,695
  • Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A) which starts at $68,800
  • Black Label Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A) which starts at $87,800
  • 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $51,100
  • 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $53,600
Learn more
What are the different models of Lincoln Aviator?
If you're interested in the Lincoln Aviator, the next question is, which Aviator model is right for you? Aviator variants include Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), Reserve 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), Black Label 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), and Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A). For a full list of Aviator models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2020 Lincoln Aviator

2020 Lincoln Aviator Overview

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is offered in the following submodels: Aviator SUV, Aviator Hybrid. Available styles include Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), Reserve 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), Black Label 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A), Black Label Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A), 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), and 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A).

What do people think of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 Aviator 4.3 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 Aviator.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 Aviator featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2020 Lincoln Aviator?

2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A)

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $69,895. The average price paid for a new 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A) is trending $3,369 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,369 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $66,526.

The average savings for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A) is 4.8% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 10A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $59,795. The average price paid for a new 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $5,600 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $5,600 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $54,195.

The average savings for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is 9.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 18 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $57,285. The average price paid for a new 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $4,214 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,214 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $53,071.

The average savings for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is 7.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

Which 2020 Lincoln Aviators are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Lincoln Aviator for sale near. There are currently 132 new 2020 Aviators listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $52,195 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $7,252 on a used or CPO 2020 Aviator available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2020 Lincoln Aviators you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Lincoln Aviator for sale - 6 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $17,021.

Find a new Lincoln for sale - 10 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $22,898.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2020 Lincoln Aviator?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Lincoln lease specials