2021 Lincoln Aviator Review: Expected Changes, Performance, Interior, MPG, and Rivals.

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John Bedrow 

Automotive Journalist

July 13, 2020  at 7:04 AM

Still fresh on the cards, changes expected are very minimal for the upcoming 2021 Lincoln Aviator. Not a bad thing at all since, the Aviator would continue to delight us with its massive power, impressive handling, comfort and opulence alongside efficiency and attainable price-tag.

Gone are the days, for Lincoln has decided to bring the Aviator back from extinction. Though, not shying away from the shadows of the Ford Explorer. The 2021 Lincoln Aviator still promises to deliver the same old exquisite luxury, that it once set the standards for. Born from the luxury division of Ford, the 2021 Aviator can be called the plusher avatar of the Ford Explorer.  However, this time around its bolder, bigger, powerful and energetic as well. After being discontinued in 2005, the second-gen Lincoln Aviator re-surfaced with a dip into the most extravagant pools for sure. 

Right from the gleaming exteriors, to the equally utilitarian cabin soaked in luxury. It is equally impressive on the move as well with its perfectly-tuned contours. The new Aviator is a masterpiece in itself. The 2021 Lincoln Aviator definitely features a better built and design compared to the Ford. Perhaps, one of the best things about the second-gen Aviator has to be its aggressive pricing. With a tag of just over $50k, the Aviator locks horns with the likes of the esteemed Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and the newbie Cadillac XT6.  Been there for a year now almost, the second-gen Aviator is now set to enter its 2021 model. However, still fresh as a daisy, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator would most likely be a carry-over model. Armed with details of the existing model and doing speculations, we take a quick look here at the 2021 Lincoln Aviator.

What's New?

  • No significant changes for 2021

2021 Lincoln Aviator Expected Price and Release Date

Lincoln has not yet announced the official launch date for the Aviator’s launch as well as the expected prices. However,  going by Lincoln’s recent strategies, we do assume that the 2021 Lincoln Continental could go on sale somewhere in the second half of 2020. However, coming as a new model-year, we do expect a slight bump in the prices for sure. Expect the 2021 Lincoln Aviator range to start around $52,000. 

What would the 2021 Lincoln Aviator pack under its hood?

The 2021 Aviator will most likely carry around its familiar [powertrain seen in the 2020 model. Yes, we are talking about the same 3.0-liter turbo V6 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission for a combined output of 400 hp and 415 ft-lbs of torque. The Touring models combine the turbo V6 with an electric motor for a combined output of 494 hp.

Irrespective of the powertrain, the second-gen Aviator is a beast on the streets. There is ample power in the lower range as well as mid range and the Aviator flies past everything on the roads like a champ. The 10-speed automatic transmission too is a gem of a piece. It shifts very smoothly and is almost instantaneous in serving the power to the wheels. 

Models 

2021 Lincoln Aviator (Expected)

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Volvo XC90

2020 Cadillac XT6

MSRP

$52,000

$54,800

$48,350

$53,690

Engine

3.0-liter turbo V6

2.0-liter turbo inline-4

2.0-liter turbo inline-4

3.6-liter V6

Drivetrain

RWD

AWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

10-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

400 @ 5500

248 @ 5000

250 @ 5500

310 @ 6700

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

415 @ 3000

273 @ 1600

258 @ 1500

271 @ 5000

0-60 MPH (sec)

5.4

7.1

7.5

6.9

Quarter-mile (sec)

13.7

15.6

14.5

14.8

No surprise, the Aviator has the most powerful standard engine amongst its rivals and that too comes with an attainable price. With its enormous power, the Aviator is also the quickest among the segment despite its heavyweight. A 2020 Lincoln Aviator aces from 0-60 mph in just 5.7-seconds which is no less than a feat for a 7-seater midsize SUV that weighs over 4700 lbs. 

How Well Does the 2021 Lincoln Aviator Handle?

On the move, the Aviator truly impresses with its dynamic character. It can be soft as a feather on demand and can also roar with fury at the very next moment. Ride quality is soft and supple and so is the handling. The good ride quality is the virtue of everything working in sheer tandem with each other. Right from the suspension to the transmission system, to the steering wheel. Even tires work a long way to provide a comfortable ride. The 2021 Lincoln Aviator stands tall in the luxury segment and doesn’t disappoint at all. 

The piano gear shifters make things really easy with the horizontally laid out gear switches. The driver can easily control gears with the assistance of shift paddles. It ensures a smooth driving experience and going over obstacles and bumps can be done with the utmost ease. Unfortunately, the adequate responsiveness of the steering wheel may be problematic.

Underneath, the strut and multi-link suspension that comes with the Dynamic Handling package enhances the vehicle's spring stiffness. Additionally, there’s also Adaptive Control of the Steering Wheel, Air Spring height adjustments, Adaptive Dampers, and a Road-Sensing camera for a safer driving experience. So, how should the Lincoln Aviator feel driving? Well, it feels exactly how a luxury 7-seater should.

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Lincon Aviator deliver?

The 2021 Aviator should possess decent fuel economy figures as well. Long-distance travel should be cheaper and less straining. On a serious note, the 2020 Aviator had city, highway, mileage of 18 and 26 mpg. With a fuel tank of 20.2 gallons, it had a combined range of  424 miles and that is not utterly disappointing. Further up the trim, the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring gets an electric motor that helps generate more but also cut off fuel consumption.

Models 

2021 Lincoln Aviator (Expected)

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Volvo XC90

2020 Cadillac XT6

MPG (City)

18

19

21

18

MPG (Highway)

26

25

30

25

MPG (Combined)

21

21

25

20

fuel Capacity (Gallons)

20.2

22.5

18.8

19.0

Range (City, highway, combined, in miles)

363/525/424

NA/NA/472

394/564/470

342/475/380

The 2021 Aviator has city mileage similar to the 2020 Cadillac XT6 and a combined mileage identical to the Q7. The vehicle's city and highway mileage might be lower than the Q7 and XC90, but it seems fair enough considering the overall package which the Aviator binds in. Even with a bonkers 400 hp engine, the Aviator’s economy keeps up surprisingly well with its rivals. Well, that's what a precise and efficient transmission along with enhanced weight-distribution could do to you. 

What changes to expect from the interior of the 2021 Lincoln Aviator?

Because the 2021 Lincoln Aviator is mostly going to be a carry-over model, it should still offer the familiar ambience seen in the cabin of its 2020 model. However, that's only a good thing. That's exactly how premium and comfortable, the second-gen Aviator feels on the inside. Right from the waterfall style dashboard to the top-class materials around the cabin, the Aviator seems to be the best in the luxury business.  And how can one not surrender to the pristine craftsmanship of piano black, wood and metal accents on the dashboard, center-console and door-panels? 

The cabin feels very spacious as well with good outward visibility along with seats that seem to house all the luxuries of the world. Not only does the perforated leather upholstery feel rich and extravagant, but you can also grab a Lincoln Aviator with up to 30-way power-adjustable front seats. The higher models even get captain chairs in the second row with independent adjustability. No wonder, whatever be the seat configuration, the seats offer optimum comfort at both the benches. Thanks to their ergonomic contours and a plethora of adjustability.

Models 

2021 Lincoln Aviator (Expected)

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Volvo XC90

2020 Cadillac XT6

Seating Capacity

7

7

7

7

First Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

40.3/61.5/43.0

39.9/59.5/41.7

38.9/57.7/40.9

39.8/58.3/41.2

Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.7/61.3/39.0

38.8/58.5/38.

38.5/56.5/37.0

39.1/57.4/39.1

Third Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

36.9/54.0/29.2

N/A

N/A

N/A

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

18.3

14.8

15.8

12.6

Pitch it against rivals and the Aviator continues its supremacy. The spacious cabin offers tons of space at the first and second-row seats as well. In fact, the Aviator has the best in class, first row headroom and legroom as well as second row headroom. Even tits second-row headroom falls short only to the Cadillac XT6. However, the third-row might be cramped for adults. But that is also the case with its rivals. 

The Aviator’s dominance doesn’t end with space in front of the seats. Even behind its third row, the Aviator houses the best in class cargo capacity of 18.5 cu-ft. Kudos to Lincoln! That's one nicely packed machine. Thankfully, with no probable changes, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator shall continue its class-dominance. Some of the interior highlights of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator are mentioned below for reference.

Interior Features:

  • Up to four-zone climate control.
  • Heated steering wheel.
  • Electric powered tilt and telescopic steering wheel.
  • Available soft-touch premium leather upholstery.
  • Up to 30-way power-adjustable front seats.
  • Heated, cooled, and ventilated optional rear seats.
  • Electrochromatic inside rearview mirror
  • Interior air filtration

What About the Infotainment System of the 2021 Lincoln Aviator?

The 2021 Aviator shall continue to feature a 10.1-inch touchscreen with a Sync 3 system that connects to both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. SiriusXM AM, FM, & satellite radio are also standard offerings on all Aviator trims. A 10-speaker audio system fairly complements the entertaining ambient feeling of the car, and to top it off there’s also WiFi hotspots and USB ports.

2021 Lincoln Aviator Infotainment

The Reserve trim features Voice Commands, a Navigation System, Revel 14-speaker system, and SiriusXM HD radio & Traffic. The Black Labels comes with added features like 28-speakers Revel Ultima audio system and a wireless charging pad. No matter what the trim, the Aviator offers you ample connectivity to get into your mood. The infotainment system itself is crisp with good graphics and is energetic in its responses compared to those in its rivals. Some of the highlights of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator’s infotainment system are listed below:

Infotainment Features:

  • 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment
  • 28-speaker Revel premium audio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • WiFi hotspot
  • Navigation
  • SiriusXM HD satellite radio

Exterior changes to expect from the 2021 Lincoln Aviator 

The Aviator’s gleaming sheet metal has been an instant hit in the market for its upscale appearance. The Lincoln Aviator might look like a baby Navigator because of its familiar face,  but move to the side and the distinction appears. Beautifully slotting in between the Lincoln family the Aviator is more expensive than the Nautilus but cheaper than the ultra-luxurious Navigator. The 2021 Aviator hits that mid sweet spot in Lincoln line up that promises to deliver the best of both worlds.

With notable exterior highlights like 19-inch aluminum wheels, chrome upper grille, LED front and rear lights, and dual exhaust pipes, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator is a looker from every angle. Speaking of weight, this is the heaviest vehicle in its segment and the widest too with the highest of ground clearance of all. A Navigator-like front face along with craftily sculpted shoulder-lines running all the way to the back from the front only helps it with an aggressive yet elegant appearance.

Models

2021 Lincoln Aviator (Expecter)

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Volvo XC90

2020 Cadillac XT6

Curb weight (lbs)

4764

4729 

4394

4441

Length (in)

199.3

199.6

194.9

198.5 

Width (in)

79.6

77.5

79.1

77.3

Height (in)

69.8

68.5

69.9

69.9

Ground clearance (in)

NA

9.6

9.4

6.7

Wheelbase (in)

119.1

117.9

117.5

112.7

But what doesn’t reflect as evidently in the above numbers is the number of add-on features on the outside. These features not only make the Lincoln Aviator and attractive package but a proper value for money deal. Lincoln has the perfect suite of exterior options to the club with the Aviator. Bells and whistles apart, the Aviator is certainly one distinct thing in its class. Unlike the traditional family-hauling stance of its rivals, the Aviator has the right blend of humbleness, aggression and style put together. Thankfully, its exterior attire shall remain similar even in 2021. Some of the exterior highlights of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator are mentioned below for reference.

Exterior highlights:

  • LED Headlamps with daytime running lights
  • Heated turn signal mirrors
  • Auto delay off headlamps
  • Hands-free entry
  • Up to 22-inch alloy wheels
  • Chrome upper grille
  • LED taillights
  • Dual exhaust pipes.

Will the 2021 Lincoln Aviator be worth it?

The Lincoln Aviator is not the pinnacle of luxury in the Lincoln lineup. If you are looking for an outright luxury 7-seater but the navigator is too big for you the Aviator is the machine built for you. It's powerful, energetic, comfortable and loaded with all the luxuries that you could seek at this price. Most importantly it also has a very balanced diet along with a competitive price tag.  

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