2022 Lincoln Aviator

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
November 1, 2021

Buying tip

Lincoln’s 30-way power front seats and 28-speaker Revel audio sound like too much; sample them and you might agree with us—they’re just enough.

features & specs

Black Label AWD
Black Label Grand Touring AWD
Grand Touring AWD
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
MPG
Coming Soon
MPG
Coming Soon
MSRP
$79,350
MSRP
$87,905
MSRP
$68,360

The 2022 Lincoln Aviator misfires in plug-in spec, but Black Labels wear sensational looks.

What kind of car is the 2022 Lincoln Aviator?

The Aviator slots between the big Navigator and compact Corsair in Lincoln’s luxury-SUV family. It’s a rival for other three-row SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and Kia Telluride. 

Is the 2022 Lincoln Aviator a good car?

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We’re not sold on the pricey Grand Touring, but most Aviators have lush interiors and excellent safety. We give it a TCC Rating of 7.3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Lincoln Aviator?

Only a few features have been moved around.

The Aviator has a lovely exterior with sleek headlights, a light-up star logo, and a commanding presence that isn’t quite as gargantuan as the Navigator. It’s no brute, and one look inside confirms its elegant take on the sport-utility screed. Polished and stylish, the cabin pairs wood and leather with lots of rectangular details to write a love letter to the Lincoln of the 1960s.

The Aviator fares better in less complicated versions without plug-in power and without complex adaptive suspension technology. Stick with the base 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6; it’s still hefty at 4,774 lb, but can accelerate to 60 mph in about seven seconds. Power ships to the rear or all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic with clean, unfussy shifts, and the ride quality hits the luxury-vehicle mark. Plug-ins have more net horsepower, but heavy batteries add even more weight and shift quality suffers markedly. With the available air-spring suspension, the Aviator’s poise on interstates becomes more of a pose; tight corners and higher speeds render it bouncy and chip away at its otherwise calm, collected ride.

The cabin’s a visual snack, but the Aviator doesn’t rely on good looks alone. The front seats have fabulous support, especially when they’re fitted with 30-way power adjustment. Row two’s captain’s chairs spread out space for adults like a smorgasbord, but the third row skimps on the richness and the leg room. The cargo hold can haul up to 77 cubic feet of luggage.

Automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors come with each Aviator. The IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick, and the NHTSA awards five stars overall.

How much does the 2022 Lincoln Aviator cost?

It’s $52,560 for the base version and its synthetic leather upholstery, power tailgate, and 10.1-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Spend $58,450 for the Aviator Reserve and its 14-speaker Revel sound, premium leather, and wireless smartphone charging, but we’d pass on the $69,455 Grand Touring plug-in hybrid version. A decadent Black Label costs more than $80,000.

Where is the 2022 Lincoln Aviator made?

In Chicago.

8

2022 Lincoln Aviator

Styling

Lincoln scales down its signature look for the Aviator, and it works.

Is the Lincoln Aviator a good-looking car?

It’s the better-looking sibling to the big Navigator, with a more suave interior than the sleek, small Corsair. It’s an 8 for us, with two extra points for its cabin and one extra for its exterior.

Though it shares some underpinnings with the Ford Explorer, the Aviator’s low-slung, swept-back look pins on luxury details to distinguish itself—like the bougie light-up Lincoln logo that studs its mesh grille. We’d compare the roofline to the Range Rover, if it weren’t already obvious; from the slim LED lighting to the uncluttered sideview, all the way to the 120-point lettering on its tailgate, the Aviator’s learned all the Land Rover styling lessons and translated them into something its own.

The interior does something similar, in blending hallmark styling cues with modern shapes. The repetition of rectangles calls up fresh throwback appeal to Lincoln’s 1960s heyday, as does the shape of the seats and the wide bands of metallic trim. To balance out that, Lincoln erects high-tech digital billboards in front of the driver and on the console, framed by the cabin’s ample wood and metallic trim. 

Take that design eye and finish it in finer materials, and you have the Black Label edition. Here’s where the Aviator truly takes off, with black-and-tan Flight trim, a red leather and wood Destination look, or a white-leather Chalet fantasy, complete with silvery wood trim.

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6

2022 Lincoln Aviator

Performance

Hefty curb weight saps the Aviator’s prodigious power.

Though it’s composed on freeway drives, the 2022 Aviator’s less than nimble on country roads. It weighs a lot, and that dulls its responses. It’s a 6 here, thanks to a softly damped ride.

How fast is the Lincoln Aviator?

The standard 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 twists out 415 lb-ft of torque through a 10-speed automatic. It’s strong enough to push the Aviator to 60 mph in about seven seconds; it shifts cleanly and without fuss, but the engine moans when it’s worked. At 4,774 lb in base spec, or 4,892 lb with all-wheel drive, the Aviator’s substantial heft cuts into the fun. Drive modes can change its mood from comfortable to sporty; the latter does a better impression of energetic responses.

Is the Lincoln Aviator 4WD?

Some Aviators have rear-wheel drive, but most have a straightforward all-wheel-drive system that splits power from the rear to the front wheels when traction suffers. The Aviator can tow up to 6,700 lb, too, with an available tow package.

Is the Lincoln Aviator a hybrid?

The Aviator Grand Touring mates its engine with a 75-kw electric motor and a 13.6-kwh lithium-ion battery pack to generate 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque, which drops 0-60 mph times to around six seconds. The problem: Weight balloons to 5,673 lb, which cuts towing down to 5,600 lb.

There are reasons to choose the Grand Touring: it has an EV-only driving mode that grants 21 miles of silent city driving, a good thing for an otherwise noisy powertrain. It has a less adept transmission, though; it misjudges shift points and torque inputs, and clunks frequently.

Both the plug-in and non-hybrid Aviator sport a strut and multi-link suspension. Many versions fit air springs, adaptive damping, and adaptive steering to mixed results. It rides very well (even on the base setup), and it’s superb at long, sweeping curves and highway road smoothing. But in sport mode, in tight corners, the bulky Aviator can’t respond quickly enough to tame its bounding ride. It’s at once too responsive and too loosely sprung. Leave it in comfort mode, dial expectations to a luxury mindset, and it works as intended.

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9

2022 Lincoln Aviator

Comfort & Quality

Cargo room’s great—and it’s the least of the Aviator’s comforts.

Shave the Navigator down to a more manageable size and you have the Aviator. It’s garage-friendly, with sumptuous interiors and space for five in great comfort, with big cargo room to boot. It’s a 9 here.

At 199.3 inches long, with a 119.1-inch wheelbase, the Aviator works hard to please front-row passengers with 12- or even 30-way power seats. Who needs that much? Sit in them, then judge. Covered in synthetic leather in base spec, they can be upgraded to leather, heating, and cooling. 

In row two the Aviator fits twin captain’s chairs, with a bench seat available in most versions. The former work better for its mission, from the square-back style that links to Lincoln’s past, to their superior comfort. Tall people fit under the panoramic glass roof with ease, and leg room of 40.1 inches lets them spread out too.

Five big people fit fine, but any more than that will be a squeeze. The third-row seat has just 29.2 inches of leg room and a low bottom cushion as well. 

With 18.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row the Aviator already works harder than most large sedans. Fold down the rearmost seats and it offers up 41.8 cubic feet; with just two passengers in front, it can tote 77.7 cubic feet of stuff, once it’s loaded on a high cargo floor.

We’re still enamored of the Aviator’s richly fitted interior. Covered in leather and wood on all but the base model, the Aviator looks and feels glamorous, especially in Black Label trim, though the engine’s dull roar and hard plastics are easier to spot in the third row.

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9

2022 Lincoln Aviator

Safety

The Aviator moves up in crash safety.

How safe is the Lincoln Aviator?

With running updates last year and fresh crash tests, the Aviator earns a 9 here.

The IIHS now gives it “Good” scores across the board—except in headlights. The stock units still are “Marginal,” but the upgraded headlights offered on Reserve trims and higher help the Aviator earn a Top Safety Pick award. The NHTSA gives the SUV five stars overall. 

The Aviator has standard automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and automatic high beams. Options for most models include front parking sensors, and automatic park assist, which takes over steering to guide the SUV into a parking spot while the driver maintains control over the gas and brake.

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2022 Lincoln Aviator

Features

Pick the Reserve for the best value, or the Black Label for beauty.

The 2022 Aviator brings comely interiors and superb audio to its better versions, but its 4-year/50,000-mile warranty includes free service only in Black Label spec. It’s an 8 here, with points for standard equipment, options, and infotainment.

The base $52,560 Aviator comes with synthetic leather upholstery, LED headlights, 10-way power front seats, a power tailgate, keyless start, navigation, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Options include second-row captain’s chairs, leather upholstery, 30-way power-adjustable front seats with heating and cooling, sensational 14- or 28-speaker Revel audio, and 20-inch wheels.

Which Lincoln Aviator should I buy?

Take the $58,450 Aviator Reserve, which gets standard 20-inch wheels, 14-speaker Revel sound, a surround-view camera system, premium leather, wireless smartphone charging, a head-up display, and a panoramic sunroof. It can be ordered as a $69,455 Grand Touring plug-in hybrid, too.

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Lincoln Aviator?

The Aviator Black Label costs more than $80,000 and gains 22-inch wheels and a choice of lovely interior themes—Flight, Destination or Chalet—plus free concierge maintenance. 

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2022 Lincoln Aviator

Fuel Economy

Grand Touring plug-ins offer better gas mileage.

Is the Lincoln Aviator good on gas?

In its most popular versions, the rear-wheel-drive non-hybrid Aviator earns EPA ratings of 18 mpg city, 26 highway, 21 combined. That’s good for a 4 here. The SUV’s pegged at 17/24/20 mpg with all-wheel drive.

The plug-in hybrid Grand Touring checks in at 56 MPGe, 23 mpg combined, and 21 miles of electric driving, which is on the low side even for the latest crop of PHEV utility vehicles.

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$51,465
MSRP based on Standard RWD
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7.3
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety 9
Features 8
Fuel Economy 4
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2022 Lincoln Aviator Pricing Insights

  • 2022 Aviator selection looks good; 2021s sold out
  • Lease: From $636/mo
  • Rebates: No cash offers yet
  • Finance: From 0.9% APR
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