The world is being overrun by crossover utility vehicles (CUVs), and there’s not much that we can do about it. Sales of traditional sedans have plummeted as Americans quickly embrace larger, more versatile, and more expensive crossovers. Lincoln is definitely embracing this trend, and has pulled the wraps off the impeccably-detailed 2020 Aviator.
The new mid-size Aviator is a dead ringer for the concept that was first revealed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January and has lost absolutely nothing in the transition to production. Up front is a not-so-large version of Lincoln’s new grille design along with LED headlights and fog lights. There is tasteful chrome trim around the windows and lower door and out back are full-length taillights and quad exhausts. Overall, the Aviator looks like a 7/8 scale Lincoln Navigator, but to our eyes, it’s far better proportioned and detailed than that full-size behemoth.
On the inside, the “Baby Navigator” theme continues with a 12.3-inch customizable LCD instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and another LCD that sits above the central air vents. For those that love high-tech goodies, Lincoln’s Phone As A Key technology is on full display here, allowing you to unlock/lock the doors, open/close the rear liftgate, and start the vehicle without a traditional key — everything is controlled using your smartphone. Vehicle preferences can also be recalled using the Lincoln My Way app, and you can even “loan” your Aviator to friends of family by sending them a digital “key”.
The Aviator uses Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview that scans the road ahead for potholes and other road irregularities and makes the appropriate suspension adjustments to ensure that that there is minimal impact felt inside the cabin. You’ll also find Lincoln Co-Pilot360 tech onboard, which provides a suite of autonomous and safety-related controls including Traffic Jam Assist, Evasive Steer Assist, Reverse Brake Assist, and Active Park Assist.
When it comes to performance, the Aviator doesn’t disappoint. It comes with a Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that that pumps out a healthy 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. That engine is backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission.
However, for those that crave even more power (along with buttery-smooth silent propulsion) there will also be a range-topping plug-in hybrid model. The same 3.0-liter V6 is employed, but it is augmented by electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack to generate 450 horsepower and a staggering 600 lb-ft of torque. Although Lincoln isn’t providing any details on fuel economy or EV range at this time, we’d guesstimate that the plug-in Aviator should be able to travel at least 20 miles on battery power alone.
Pricing and availability have not yet been announced for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator.