We drove the Lincoln Aviator Reserve a couple of years ago and without a doubt it was our all-time favourite SUV – maybe even best vehicle ever! A couple of years have passed and quite by accident we got the keys to the 2022 version. This would be a good time to confirm our viewpoint or change it… Will we still love it and rave about it or will it be a one of those “it was terrific at the time, but now, not so much.” Let’s find out….
What Is It?
- Large SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) – based on the same platform as the Explorer, but so very different they might as well be from different manufacturers
- Standard engine is a Twin-Turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine with 400-horsepower / 415 lb.-ft. of torque
- Ten-Speed Automatic Transmission w/SelectShift (paddle shift)
- Intelligent AWD
- Lincoln Co-Pilot + Co-Pilot360 1.5 (see below)
- 3-Row seating (2 + 2+ 2) with 2nd row captain’s chairs, 3rd row bench for 2
- Test vehicle is the very appealing Burgundy Velvet colour.
- Two available models: Reserve and Grand Touring. Grand Touring gets the same engine but adds a battery-powered electric motor and produces 494 hp (+ 94) and 630 lb-ft torque (+ 215) (combined)!
How Does It Look?
- From the side at a glance it looks very much like a Range Rover Sport and numerous people did a second look and walk around it to see what it was
- The size is just a little bit bigger than I would choose for an SUV, but it never felt too big or bulky
- There’s just enough chrome on the vehicle to give it a classy look without being tacky
- We were in Toronto for the Gumball3000 launch and were surrounded by supercars, Rolls Royce’s etc, but we got lots of people eye-balling the Aviator and quite a few commented on the colour. The valet guys at the Four Seasons were really enamoured with it!
- Test vehicle came with the all-new Jet Package that has body-coloured exterior bits and black trim
Related: 2020 Lincoln Aviator
What’s It Like Inside?
- It’s gorgeous – just oozes class!
- The two-tone interior colour is called Sandstone
- The accent wood “Espresso Ash Swirl” looks very nice
- Approach Detection works great- as you approach the Aviator the lights come on and the side mirrors project the Lincoln badge on the ground, the door handles glow. If you opt for the Air Glide Suspension (on the test vehicle), the Aviator lowers up to 2” (50.8mm) for easy entry
- I liked the steering wheel, but didn’t love it, probably because I’m more familiar with the Ford wheel. The voice control button on the thumb rest is very clever, but numerous times I accidently hit it
- Pressing the cruise control button and they illuminate. However, you use the buttons on the back of the steering wheel – it actually took me a few minutes to figure out they weren’t touch controls on the face of the steering wheel.
- The Heated and Ventilated front seats are 28-way power adjustable and are phenomenal – by far the best seats I’ve ever encountered to date.
- Driver’s seat, steering wheel and mirror memory for three different settings
- Easy entry /exit feature where the steering wheel retracts and the seat moves back is a nice bonus
- The interior is very quiet and hushed interior – probably in-part thanks to the “Active Noise Control” but depending on the pavement, it was a little noisier than expected
- The Head-Up Display (HUD) is great – once you’ve used it you rely on it so much you really can’t live without it. It’s included as part of the optional Convenience Package.
- 1-inch LCD Touchscreen Centre Stack Display (See below for more info on all the tech features)
- Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System – I hated it in the 3D mode someone had set it to. After changing it, it was actually a lot better – especially when driving in downtown Toronto. The actual navigation was kind of hit and miss. We had to take a trip to Downsview and we drove through residential streets and city streets, which was a bit weird. On the return trip it was straight forward – only a couple of turns on a couple of major streets!!
- Quad-zone electronic automatic temperature controls
- The Revel Audio System with 13 speakers + subwoofer, a 12-channel amplifier and QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology comes standard and the sound is incredible – there’s even speakers in the ceiling!
- There’s an optional Revel Ultima System has 3D sound and 28 speakers
- First- and Second-row Seats are Bridge of Weir Deepsoft leather-trimmed
- Second-row captain’s Chairs are also heated and ventilated
- Second-Row Rear Seat Command & Control (+ $735) – includes Rear Moonroof Shade Controls
- Second-Row mini console with a huge storage compartment
- Dual-Captain Chairs with Power Tip-and-Slide release for access to the Third-row seats – just push a button, and the second-row captain’s seat moves forward allowing easy access to the third row. As an adult it was a little tricky getting in and out, but once back there there’s a ton of knee, foot and leg room
- Third-row has a 50/50 PowerFold Split-bench seat – the headrests fall forward and the seats fold or return by the simple push of a button
- Cargo space is 18.3 cu.ft. (300 L) 41.8 (685 L) behind row two and 77.7 (1,273 L) behind row one
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- It’s plenty quick when you want it to be, yet sedate when you are light with the throttle
- Drive Modes – choose from Normal, Excite (aka sport mode), Conserve, Slippery and Deep (snow and mud)
- Switching to Excite mode (Sport), didn’t produce as much drama as was expecting – yes, the throttle was more responsive, but the steering and suspension didn’t feel like it changed at all
- Steering input is very good – plenty of nice feedback at just the right weight
- Parking in tight quarters was a breeze – the sensor system take a lot of faith that it will work and stop you from scraping the front or rear corner on a wall/car, but wouldn’t ya know it – it works fantastic!! Eye-balling it from the driver’s seat you think – NO way am I going to make it, but trust it – and all will be well
- It feels well planted and agile when you need it to be
- Brakes are superb
- Auto Start-Stop
- Maximum Towing Capacity – 3,040 kg (6,700 lbs) with Class II Trailer Tow Package (included)
By The Numbers…
Horsepower: 400 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 415 @ 2,750 rpm
Top Speed: 233 km/h / 145 mph (estimate)
0-60 mph (sec): 6.0
What Does It Cost? For up-to-date pricing visit: LincolnCanada or lincoln
The 2022 Lincoln Aviator Reserve base price: $72,600
As Tested: $89,895
Included Options – $14,800:
201A – $8,000 – Luxury Package; Lincoln Co-Pilot360 1.5 Package; HUD; Phone As A Key.
Burgundy Velvet – $900.
Dynamic Handling Package – $3,500 – Adaptive Steering; Adaptive Suspension; Air Glide Suspension with Dynamic Lower Entry.
Illumination Package – $2,400 (comes Standard on 301A) – Adaptive Pixel LED Headlamps: Lincoln Dynamic Signature Lighting; LED Daytime Running Lamps (sequential fade on/off); Speed Dependent Lighting; LED Fog Lamps; Lincoln Lit Star in Grille.
Jet Package (Available on Reserve 201A) – $3,500 – 22″ Black Aluminum Wheels; Black Exterior Elements – Grille Insert, Plinth and Surround, Fender/Door Badging, Mirror Skull Caps, Front/Rear Door Spears, Glass Surrounds and Roof Rails; Body-Colour Exterior Elements – Lower Front and Rear Fascia, Door Cladding, and Wheel Lips.
Luxury Package (Included) – Perfect Position Seating (30-Way) with Active Motion®, Power Thigh Extender and Head Restraints; Rear Door Sunshades; Revel® Ultima 3D Audio System (featuring QuantumLogic 3D Surround technology) with 28 Speakers and Rear Seat Flow-Through Console
- Rated at (L/100 km): City – 13.7/ Highway – 9.7
- Note: Grand Touring is rated at only 4.2 L/100kms Highway & City
- We did a LOT of driving downtown Toronto during our test week – with 5 adults aboard. Although we didn’t actually go very far, we spend hours in the endless mind-numbing stop-and-go traffic. Only a masochist would want to live in Toronto’s downtown area! We averaged a not-so-great 16.9-17.9 L/100kms. Once we actually got free of traffic and got onto reasonably highway-type roads the economy improved to 11.5-12.0 L/100kms, but that only lasted for a kilometre or so. I actually saw 10.9 L/100 km for one trip with only 2 of us in the Aviator
- The best overall trip was in Conserve Mode and I got 10.8 L/100 kms on the highway
- At more than $2.02/litre (regular) as I write this, it cost me $115 to fill the tank from ¼ to full. Add 15¢ litre if you want more performance and use premium ($130 to fill)
- I’d spend a little more and get the Grand Touring version that adds a battery-powered electric motor (hybrid) and produces 494 hp / 630 lb-ft torque (+ 94 hp / + 215 torque) and is rated at and incredible 4.2 L/100 kms. The gas you save would more than make up for any increased cost in the vehicle
• Basic: 4 years/80,000 km
• Powertrain: 6 years/110,000 km
• Roadside Assistance + Travel Planning
Acura MDX, Audi Q9, BMW X7, Infiniti QX80, Lexus LX, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
• The Good: EVERYTHING about this SUV is perfect
• The Bad: I’m struggling to find anything bad… let’s say the navigation wasn’t up to other Ford/Lincoln products
• The Ugly: I still can’t afford one – seriously
What’s The Verdict?
So… 2 years after driving the last Aviator – are we still enamoured with it? Should we still be telling EVERYONE that’s in the market for this type of SUV – GET this?!! Yes – it’s still our favourite large SUV and the one we’d buy tomorrow if we could afford it. Nothing has changed – it’s damn close to the best vehicle we’ve ever driven. For a vehicle that is competing directly with the Range Rover Sport ($130,000+) in luxury and size – it’s a downright bargain… however, at more than $2/litre as I write this, it cost me $115 to fill the tank from ¼ to full. I’d spend a little more and get the Grand Touring version that adds a battery-powered electric motor (hybrid) and is rated at an incredible 4.2 L/100 kms. The gas you save would more than make up for any increased cost in the vehicle
SAFETY – Lincoln Co-Pilot360 1.5 Plus comes Standard on 201A and 301A
- Forward/Side/Rear Parking Sensors
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control:
– Lane Centering Assist
– Speed Sign Recognition
- Active Park Assist 2.0
- Evasive Steering Assist
- Reverse Brake Assist
Copyright © 2023 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text / Images: Iain Shankland