The all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator is the most compelling large midsize luxury from an American auto manufacturer in years.
If a carmaker can make it in this segment, they can pretty much make it anywhere, with the possible exception of full-size pickups. On that topic, Ford knows a thing or two about body-on-frame trucks as well as just about every other category of trucks. With this much experience, they should be able to create a world-beating and leading luxury SUV. The new 2020 Lincoln Aviator is this vehicle.
In fact, Ford and Lincoln have loaded so much of their best know-how into this SUV that, given the company’s SUV history, cannot, or should not fail. Despite the teething issue for both the Aviator and equally all-new 2020 Ford Explorer, the new 3-row Lincoln SUV impresses.
Does it impress sufficiently to justify its steep asking price and take up a spot in your garage?
Why you should buy a 2020 Lincoln Aviator:
- Not since the original Lincoln Navigator has Lincoln introduced such a looker of a truck. The Aviator is proportionally perfect, luxurious and rich looking.
- The basic powertrain is surprisingly powerful 400-horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.0-litre V6. The upcoming Grand Touring PHEV version will deliver 494-horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque.
- With the optional Air Glide suspension with standard adaptive dampers endow the Aviator with competent road holding manners and a plush ride.
- The level of on-board technologies and luxury features rivals the best of the best in the segment.
- The cabin’s ergonomics and layout are equally luxurious and extremely modern with a classic flare.
Why you should not buy a 2020 Lincoln Aviator:
- At $69,000, the Lincoln Aviator is not competitively priced. Equipment levels are on par or superior to equally priced competitors but with only a few options, pricing rises to $80,000 where the Germans rule.
- The Continental is a superb luxury sedan but no one wants one. With the exception of the Navigator, the other vehicles sit in their competitions shadow even though they, for the most part, can match them pound for pound.
- Although much of the interior is top notch, some materials are sub-par for a vehicle of this price.
- The EcoBoost V6, like most engines of its name, are more about boost than Eco. At about 12L/100km, the Aviator is one of the thirstier options in the segment.
- The “perfect position” 30-way adjustable front seats take forever to find a comfortable driving position. Once set, you’ll fiddle some more.
Making a clean call right now is difficult. Ford, and Jim Hackett, are currently being blasted for heavily botching the launch of both the 2020 Ford Explorer and the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Despite the early bugs, most pros agree that both products present themselves as some of the more promising SUVs from the Blue Oval in a while.
The fear we have is that the enormous quantity of technology crammed into the new Aviator, bugs are likely to be part of the ownership experience for a few years. Certainly, a BMW X5 or Audi Q7 may not be that much more reliable but somehow, issues with the German luxury SUVs is expected and therefore accepted.
Where Lincoln missed on an opportunity is in the pricing department. We understand that being too affordable cheapens the perceived value of a good but requesting amounts similar to that of established options like a Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, the Audi Q7, a Mercedes-Benz GLE or a Volvo XC90, is unwise and misguided. And then there’s the Mercedes-Benz GLS which comes into play in the Aviator’s higher price echelons.
The new 2020 Lincoln Aviator is a highly attractive proposition in the large 3-row midsize luxury SUV segment. Given that the vast majority of all of these vehicles are leased, a $0 down 3-year loan could be a viable way to get an Aviator. We’d chance an Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90 first, however.