By on January 23, 2019

Image: Lincoln

Big base power and upscale skin? Check. Available hybrid powertrain for added punch and elevated virtuousness? Affirmative. A price scale that tops the $90k mark on the high end? Also correct.

Lincoln’s 2020 Aviator, which rolls onto the lots of jubilant dealers this summer, gives brand faithful and new recruits another midsize option in the hot luxury SUV segment. It also gives Lincoln an opportunity to energize flagging sales while growing the brand’s margins.

So, where does the Aviator start, price-wise, and what can you expect to get?

Well, expect to pay no less than $52,195 — that’s the cost, after destination, of a base, rear-drive Standard trim model. Powering that model is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 making 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic. Far from being bare bones, the base nets you 19-inch machined wheels, a 10-inch touchscreen, Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features, and heated front leather, among other niceties.

Interested in all-wheel drive on any non-hybrid trim? That’ll cost you an additional $2,500.

Next on the trim ladder is the Reserve, which stickers for $57,285 after destination. Moving into this class adds 20-inch wheels, 14-speaker Revel audio, quad-zone climate control, and a hands-free liftgate.

Image: Lincoln

Above that (way above…) is the Grand Touring, which carries an entry cost of $78,790 and piles up every creature comfort Lincoln can muster. The top-flight non-hybrid Aviator carries on its 22-inch wheels a 28-speaker audio system, 30-way seats, and a Vista Roof as transparent as a razor company’s motives. Choose your Black Label themes carefully, as they’re meant to say as much about you as the vehicle itself.

Interested in going green and adding 150 lb-ft to your life? The plug-in hybrid range starts with the Grand Touring, a vehicle stickering for $69,895 after destination. All-wheel drive comes standard in this rig, as does a hybrid system that combines the same TT 3.0L with a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor, boosting output to 450 hp and 600 lb-ft. Twenty-inch wheels should carry the Grand Touring roughly 35 miles without the need for gasoline. A Vista Roof is standard, and drivers can choose whether to keep their battery capacity in reserve until it’s needed.

Image: Ford

Buyers looking for the ultimate Aviator would best skip the Grand Touring in favor of the Black Label Grand Touring, a beast with a entry cost of $88,895. Three leather choices await you, as does a choice of Chalet, Destination, and Flight themes for the model’s interior. Adding the only two options — a tow package and ritzy-sounding Chroma Caviar Dark Grey paint — pushes the after-delivery price tag to $91,145. That’s just under $10k less than a top-flight Navigator Black Label L.

Lincoln should begin taking orders this spring, with the first Aviators reaching customers by summer.

[Images: Lincoln Motor Company]

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61 Comments on “2020 Lincoln Aviator: Brand’s Sort-of Savior Maxes Out About $10k Below Its Big Brother...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I love the Continental (really I do, make mine 2.7TT AWD mid-trim) but these prices for the Aviator are really the nails in the coffin. If Continental wasn’t already dead this will kill it.

    Other than enthusiasts will anyone really select the Continental over the Aviator at similar price points?

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      There’s probably not many Continental enthusiasts, other than those 80 people who bought the Coach Editions (I’m guessing mostly dealer principals). There COULD be Continental enthusiasts, but Lincoln would need to take it up a notch for the next generation. They need to stretch the regular model, then stretch it again for an L version. Take it to the $60-90k range and bling it out. Then come back behind it with a larger Zephyr in the 40-60k range. Lincolns shouldn’t be cheap or common, especially the sedans.

    • 0 avatar

      If Continental is RWD why not? Not everyone wants SUV.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Wow, about $10K more then I would have guessed

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Huh? Compare the equivalent Audi, Merc, or BMW – the Aviator is going to be real competition for them, especially for those looking for something a bit more “bespoke” in appearance than your run-of-the-mill X5 or Q7.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I don’t know about that. But it does look distinctive and like it belongs in that league, and would be one of the first American SUVs to do so in, well, ever.

        The first-generation (Sigma-based) SRX had the best chance of breaking into that world-class-SUV category. It had the right running gear, but it was hamstrung by a cheap interior. Currently, the Grand Cherokee punches above its weight and I’m sure it sways a good deal of people who would otherwise buy an X5 or GLE-Class (the latter of which it shares a platform with), but feels a bit out-of-place once you crest about $55k.

        Anyway, this Aviator looks promising and highly-competitive. I hope Ford is set up to deal with the increased demand, unlike when the ’18 Navigator and Expedition hit the market.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Don’t get me wrong it’s probably worth it, but the base price seems a bit high, but then again it’s a Lincoln so the “base” probably isn’t all that base. The Explorer should start in the upper $30’s, low $40’s

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I think Ford’s going for “less-expensive Range Rover” here, so as long as the details – the performance, and the interior quality, in particular – are there, they might be able to pull it off.

          Worth noting: the Navigator’s interior looks great, but the materials’ quality is nothing to write home about.

          • 0 avatar
            DEVILLE88

            Soooooooo, you’ve been in one? you’ve driven one? you own one?????

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Matter of fact, I have been in a Navigator. The styling is terrific, and the leather and wood look good, but a lot of the plastic panels look cheap for a car that pushes a hundred grand. I’m not the only person who’s made that observation.

            I haven’t driven a Navigator, which is why I didn’t comment on how it drives.

            I don’t own a Navigator, but if I could, I’d rather spend my money on something else. SUVs aren’t my thing.

            Hopefully that answers all your questions.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Are we talking Aviator or Navigator here?

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        That’s hilarious that you think the Lincoln brand will bring in BMW/Merc/Audi buyers. It won’t because Lincoln the brand is still in rehab mode. I’m not dogging the products – they’re nice looking inside and out – but the brand is still in rehab and the cheapness of the MKC/X/Nautilus still exist.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    There is a very short list of crossovers I’d own. This is one of them. Looks sensational. Good luck to Cadillac dealers trying to sell an XT6 against this (though the scuttlebutt I’ve seen would indicate the Caddy is the superior people-hauler).

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Caddy’s biggest problem (IMHO) is that the Acadia (same basic size) isn’t as much of a step down as the Explorer is compared to the Aviator. Caddy and GMC share the same powertrains (except the available 4-cyl on the GMC, which is like being the guy who buys a 4-cyl Highlander.)

      The Aviator starts with 400 HP while with the Explorer you’ve got to step up to ST trim (not that many Lincoln people are looking for the flash of an ST or the rough ride.)

      I’d say within 2 or 3 years there will be lots of XT6 available at your local Carmax selling for within spitting distance of the same year mileage Acadia.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        True, but then again, Cadillac intenders might not want to “step down” to a GMC. We’ll see.

        At this point, we don’t really know enough about the basic new Explorer to see how it would really stack up here. Based on the early specs, it’ll be the better driver, and the interior is fantastic, but we know enough about the vehicles the XT6 is based on to know that it’ll be a really good people hauler, and that *is* important to people who buy these.

        It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Frack me was there some kind of group raise I missed out on?

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I’m not an SUV kind of person, but the Aviator is one model I’m really, really interested in. As I mentioned above, the Aviator comes across as being a bit more special/unique/standout.

    I’d be even more interested if Lincoln offers a two-row variant down the road (3 rows in this size are a bit cramped, and we just don’t need it in our household).

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      I’m with you on the 2-row variant. It’s probably wishful thinking, but I’m hoping Ford puts that CD6 platform to good use and builds the next Nautilus on it (in RWD, of course).

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That seems like a great price point. I’m curious what you get for $52K. Something tells me the not-nearly-as-nice XT6 will also have a base price somewhere between $48,000 and $52,000, so this’ll do battle against that. At the same time, it’s nice enough to sit in X5/GLE/GLS/Q7/Range Rover Sport territory at the high end.

    I think things are certainly looking up for Lincoln.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    so if I want a pano roof I have to pay 78K ? maybe it is a stand alone option?? This looks nice but so does Lincolns sedan and it is not selling. I do not know if Lincoln has the badge appeal vs it’s competition and for many many folks that matters. It looks nice but I do not know if that will be enough to move the needle.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      It’ll absolutely move the needle. In a year you’ll find people in a Lincoln showroom who wouldn’t be caught dead in a current model. There will always be badge snobs who think a European badge is mandatory, but mark my words there will be converts as well. There’s just too much substance here to ignore.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      You’re citing sedan sales as some indicator of how this will sell? You do realize that sedan sales industry-wide are down, and luxury cars are no different, right? And secondly, you do realize how well the Navigator is doing, dont you?

  • avatar
    R Henry

    It says a lot about American culture that there is a large market for such an over-the-top bauble.

    • 0 avatar
      01 Deville

      As if $80-100k pickups weren’t enough.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        “As if $80-100k pickups weren’t enough”

        Yeah, cuz it makes sooo much more sense to spend it on a car you can only drive on sunny days and store it 6 months out of the year.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Unless you live in the ass of nowhere, you can drive a car year ’round. Maybe even if you do live in the ass of nowhere. The most famous country farm animal veterenarian of all time, James Herriott, was on call 365 days a year and drove a Mini. No all wheel drive, mudder tires, or body lift.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    How long until some upfitter offers a stretched “Coach” (suicide) rear door version?

  • avatar
    jack4x

    So the hybrid Grand Touring is $9000 less than the non hybrid version of the same trim???

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Wouldn’t it have made more sense to start the hybrid off………..

    ………………with the Reserve???

    Also, that nasty sound and smell you are experiencing is Cadillac pooping its pants. The XT6 supposedly will start around $50K. God bless

  • avatar
    ajla

    I can’t recall any time where Ford was kicking GM’s a$$ this badly.

    • 0 avatar
      01 Deville

      +1 and this not limited to aviator only.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed. If I had it down between the XT6 and this, there’s no way I’d buy the Caddy. Then again, I’m not your typical big-CUV buyer – I’m just going off looks, and I don’t need to haul lots of people or stuff. We don’t know much about how the Aviator will stack up in that department. The XT6, such as it is, may have 99 problems, but since it’s based on the Acadia/Enclave, it should be very good as a people hauler.

      It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. My bet is that the XT6 doesn’t bomb nearly as badly as we’re thinking it will.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “bomb”?

        Probably not. Only Jaguar and Fiat are weak enough to have a poor selling CUV at the moment.

        I’m expecting Aviator and XT6 sales volume will be fairly close to each other, but with the Lincoln having a much higher ATP and the Cadillac being the KMart special of the segment.

    • 0 avatar
      wooootles

      Is it like the time when the Continental DESTROYED Caddy XTS/CT6 sales? or when the Navigator ANNIHILATED ancient Escalade sales? Oh I forgot, those didn’t happen.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    This is another product from Lincoln that is superior to Cadillac following in the line of Navigator (current and last gen). In the case of the aviator it is also very good looking.

    One thing I feel would be hard to disagree with– people at Lincoln currently, appear to be more competent than those at Cadillac in managing the brand. Lincoln people are working with less money, weaker brand and started with arguably less desirable products, yet they managed to outbuzz CT6 with continental coach, navigator is clearly a better product than escalade and based on initial impressions aviator blows XT6 out of the water.

    I really am a fan of Cadillac but like many other GM fans and customers frustrated with GM not giving a phuck.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    One thing that helps this Aviator is that it’s a lot more differentiated from the new Explorer than the last Aviator was from the old RWD Explorer.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It gets expensive fast, but at $52k for the 400hp base model that seems cheap. Lincoln could have had a base motor, maybe the 2.7TT and been just fine. Then again, this is what Lincoln needs to do to get market attention, unlike the XT6 which will quickly need incentives to sell.

    • 0 avatar
      01 Deville

      I have a suspicion that ATP would be fairly high for these, as based on early looks this product does look capable of attracting “check all boxes” kind of clientele.

  • avatar

    Only bad thing I see is that the fully loaded, higher end models: Grand Touring, Black Label and Black Label Grand Touring will not be available until LATE summer, whereas Base and Reserve are available EARLY summer. This is bass ackwards as early adapters will usually buy the fully loaded models just to be “first” on the block to own one. Other than that, this thing is going to blow the XT6 right out of the water.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    You’d think the Hyundai entry in the near luxury/luxury SUV field would be priced accordingly. This is far too much money for a tarted up Explorer.

    You can spend the same amount of money and get actual luxury from a reputable luxury brand.

    Lincoln needs to recognize their position as a knock off “luxury” brand and price their appliances accordingly. this is $10k-$15k too high across the entire range.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    “You can spend the same amount of money and get actual luxury from a reputable luxury brand.”

    Example? And please provide the powertrain and list of standard equipment in your response.

    Oh, and “tarted up Explorer” isn’t the insult it once was. Among mainstream brands, only the ancient Durango remotely competes. And there are some damn good 3-row crossovers out there.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    Do you have to get the ride ruining bigger wheels with the upscale trim?
    That alone is a deal killer.
    Can one get it without the manndatroy 360 nannies.

    If there were a way to option this vehicle without a bunch or crap, but the nice stiuff you do want its something to consider. Otherwise its plain too expensive for a ford and carrying too many options a lot of us wouldnt want, or wouldnt pay for..

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    I have to admit Lincoln is hitting it out of the park lately!! the 51 grand price is perfect as it wont scare anyone away and it does look and (iimagine) feel like a true luxomobile. I’m a diehard Caddy fan……but this is Lincoln done right!!! Caddy should be paying attention.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I kinda-sorta watched MotorWeek that was new recently, and they were reviewing the X4 (the “coupe”). Its base price was the same as this, and that comes with a 4 cylinder and a far smaller interior.

    I dont see how this can not be a win for Lincoln. They completely skipped Acura and Cadillac, instead going straight for the top players. They seem to have built the vehicle to do it with.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I need my Continental on this platform.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I would enjoy owning a Continental, Aviator or Navigator, but I’m just not going to spend that kind of money one one. I got a come on email from the dealer where I bought my F150 and it was offering $19,000 off MSRP on select 2018 XLT Expeditions. I would be very interested in that, even in 2WD. Read the fine print, and to get that you have to BUY A SECOND VEHICLE, which you have to choose from a group of stock numbers. This is the same dealership that just built a new showroom and picked up Lincoln.

    I don’t really feel like playing dealership games right now.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Definitely a bargain if you compare it to Range Rover -$35K less and German luxury Audi Q8, BMW X7 and Mercedes GLE!

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    I really dislike the “iPad propped up on the dash” look that seems trendy now. Kind of reminds me of a stick on GPS unit I bought at Costco 15 years ago.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    I just LOVE the “iPad stuck on the dash” design. I’ve seen a few cars with that. Can’t they blend that into the dash instead of making it look like an afterthought?

  • avatar
    TheFirehawkGuy

    I checked out the configurator and see no option for a second row bench. No bench second row, no sale. I thought this was supposed to replace the MKT? I love my MKT and would need that second row bench to even consider replacing it with one of these.

    Oh well… There are dozens of us I bet. DOZENS!!!

    • 0 avatar
      DM335

      The configurator needs some work. Within the trim choices are some options about second row buckets with small console, second row bench or second row buckets with large console. I’m not sure that’s available with all models. At this point, the interior photos don’t change based on trim or color.


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