Review and Test Drive: 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve

2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve

By Jonathan Spira on 26 January 2020
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If the name Lincoln Aviator sounds familiar, that’s because it is: the first generation Lincoln Aviator was produced from 2003 through 2005 as a rebadged Mercury Mountaineer, itself being a rebadged Ford Explorer.  Perhaps the only Lincoln with a shorter shelf life was the Lincoln Blackwood pickup, which made its debut in 2002 and was discontinued in 2003.

But that’s all in the past.

While there was nothing to get excited about with the first Aviator, the second is cause for great celebration. For that matter, so was the arrival of a Magnetic Gray Aviator arrived at our offices on a crisp November day right before the start of the Thanksgiving holiday. Introduced at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the 2020 Aviator slots in above the new Corsair and Nautilus and below the marque’s Navigator.

The Aviator, which comes in petrol and plug-in hybrid variants, helps solidify Lincoln’s return to the pantheon of American luxury vehicles.  The imposing SUV has a clear familial resemblance to both the redesigned Navigator as well as the recently-revived Continental sedan, seats six or seven (across three rows), and comes with what is close to an unparalleled list of luxury features.

The result is understated, but the features and technology are not, as you shall soon find out.

Back in the day, when I was in high school secretly reading car magazines instead of the approved reading assignment, the battle for the best luxury sedan or coupe was a fairly big deal and the battle was always between Cadillac and Lincoln. One of the leading car magazines of the period would refer to the winner as “King of the Hill” and typically pitted a Cadillac Eldorado against a Lincoln Continental Mark VII or, later, Mark VIII.

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