Aviator Reserve takes off with a modern Lincoln swagger

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For 2020, Lincoln has revived its Aviator moniker from the early 2000s, but this stylish, mid-sized luxury SUV is a totally new design for Lincoln and based on the Ford Explorer platform. That said, it oozes interior luxury and has a modern Lincoln swagger.

My test vehicle, a 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve AWD, was powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 turbo engine (400 horsepower, 415 pound-feet of torque) with a 10-speed, shiftable automatic transmission. Drivers can expect quick acceleration, swift cornering and a smooth, incredibly quiet ride. Rear wheel drive is standard, but my test vehicle featured all-wheel drive with an adaptive suspension.

Lincoln offers five Aviator trim levels. The mid-level Lincoln Aviator Reserve trim level ($56,190 base price) delivers more bells and whistles than the entry-level Lincoln Aviator Standard trim ($51,100 base price) but isn’t as pricey as the Black Label trim ($77,695).


For 2020, Lincoln offers its first plug-in hybrid Lincoln Aviator in Grand Touring ($68,800) and Grand Touring Black Label ($87,800) trims; the plug-in hybrid has the same V6 paired to an electric motor (494 horsepower, 630 pound-feet of torque).

Among Standard trim level features are LED headlights and taillights, a power liftgate, automatic high beams, rain sensing wipers and power-folding mirrors with an auto-dimming, driver-side mirror.

My Reserve trim vehicle offered such standard features as ambient interior lighting, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, premium leather seats, a 14-speaker Revel audio system, quad-zone climate control, 20-inch wheel, 360-degree camera view and much more.

From a technology perspective, I liked this SUV’s standard 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and crisp, clear 10.1-inch infotainment screen, running Synch 3 and with satellite radio, WiFi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and navigation.

To elevate the Reserve trim’s luxury experience, splurge for the robust Reserve II package ($11,625), which I experienced. It adds such perks as Lincoln’s luxury, tow and Elements packages, plus 22-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, a light-up Lincoln emblem in the grill and 30-way power front seats. Yes, I said “30” so it’s easy to personalize the comfort.

The Lincoln Aviator has three rows of seating, and the second row can be configured with captain’s chairs for two, or alternatively, bench seating for three. In the latter configuration, the vehicle seats up to seven, including two in the third row of seats.

Safety-wise, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator gets the top rating – 5 overall – from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Among standard safety features are lane keeping assist and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. This vehicle is a decent workhorse too with good cargo and towing capabilities (6,700 pounds for the standard powertrain).

Also appealing is the Lincoln Aviator’s exterior design, which creates a streamlined feel with intentional horizontal lines and a sloping roof. For a new three-row, mid-sized luxury SUV, it’s powerful, versatile and nicely put together.

EPA Mileage for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve AWD is rated up to 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.


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