Ace of Base: 2020 Lincoln Aviator Standard

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2020 lincoln aviator standard

Today’s post is not meant to convince you that any particular crossover ranks super high on my personal Top Forty. Indeed, I would prefer if the Lincoln Motor Company was still cranking out Town Cars and Versailles (ok, maybe not the Versailles) than a myriad of tall wagons. However, market conditions rule the roost and here we are.

Longtime readers (thanks, both of you) know my unreasonable Stockholm Syndrome relationship with the Lincoln brand. This helps explain today’s choice, but you know what also helps its selection? That’s right — this platform’s return to rear-drive architecture.

The entry-level Aviator starts at $51,100, which is not a wholly unreasonable sum when one considers that customers can opt a Honda Pilot Elite to near fifty grand. That machine sends power to all four corners, however, while the Lincoln is a rear-drive-only affair at these prices. Under the hood of this (and all) Aviators is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that’s good for 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Grand Touring hybrid models append plug-in hybrid technology to this drivetrain, cranking the wick to an astonishing 450 horses and 600 lb-ft of torque. From a luxury crossover.

You see why we were all disappointed with Cadillac’s new V-badged sedans.

Your author’s jaundiced eyes do think that Lincoln’s current design language works quite well, translating here into a handsome tall wagon. A chrome upper grille mesh plays well with those LED peepers and the taillights are of the Lincolnblende variety — without evoking the cross-eyed nature of the old MKT’s rump. Those are 19-inch wheels, by the way. Most paint shades are extra cost, sadly, save for the greyscale and this natty Blue Diamond.

Lincoln knows how to do an interior again, with infotainment that informs and seats that coddle. The Aviator is a three-row rig, able to be configured in six- or seven-passenger arrangements. Charging an extra $1,000 for heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel is annoying, especially when one can get these features as standard on Hyundais which cost about half the price. And mark me down as a fan of the push-button Piano Key gear selector. Yes, I know I’m in the minority.

Said infotainment spans 10.1 inches across the centre stack in this Standard model, boasting all the features you’d expect in this class. Tri-zone climate controls mean both front seat occupants and rear seat munchkins are kept happy. YouTube the Lincoln Symphonic Chimes, while you’re at it – some say it’s a bridge-too-far-gimmick, but I think it’s a neat ambient feature.

Hey, at least they’re trying. With its powertrain, styling, and amenities, I do believe that — for the first time in ages — this particular segment of Lincoln sure seems to be a lot more than just a fancy Ford.

[Images: Lincoln]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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2 of 28 comments
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers.