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2022 Lincoln Aviator

The 2022 Lincoln Aviator is a luxurious and powerful three-row SUV. While related to the Ford Explorer, the Aviator offers up an elegant cabin, bold exterior styling, and plenty of safety and convenience tech for the money.

After being introduced for the 2019 model year, the Aviator mostly carries into 2022 unchanged. This model slots below the big Navigator, but it channels much of that flagship’s style and swagger into a more palatable – and garage-friendly – package.

A 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 powers base Aviators, while an optional hybrid adds power and heft while saving fuel The Grand Touring version even offers up 21 miles of electric driving, enough for fuel-free shorter round-trip commutes or errand-running.

The rear-wheel-drive non-hybrid Aviator earns EPA ratings of 18 mpg city, 26 highway, 21 combined, while those figures slip to 17/24/20 mpg with available all-wheel drive. The Grand Touring is rated at 56 MPGe and 23 mpg combined.

The IIHS rates the Aviator with “Good” scores across the board—except in headlights. The stock units still are “Marginal,” but the upgraded headlights offered on Reserve trims and higher are enough for a Top Safety Pick award. The NHTSA gives the SUV five stars overall. Standard fare includes standard automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and automatic high beams, while front parking sensors and automatic park assist are available.

Model Lineup

With a trim lineup that sounds more like levels of cigars or cabernets, the Aviator is offered in Standard, Reserve, Grand Touring, and Black Label variants.

Base Aviator Standard models cost $52,560, which buys 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 compatibility.

A handful of options include second-row captain’s chairs, real leather upholstery, 30-way power-adjustable front seats with both heating and cooling, a choice of 14- or 28-speaker Revel audio, and 20-inch wheels.

The $58,450 Aviator Reserve adds 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.

For just under $70,000, the Grand Touring pairs the hybrid powertrain with a similar feature set to the Reserve.

Topping the lineup is the Black Label, which for almost $80,000 gains 22-inch wheels and a choice of three interior themes with upgraded materials – Flight, Destination or Chalet – plus free concierge maintenance.

Exterior

Like a dialed-down Navigator with sleeker proportions, the Lincoln Aviator cuts an especially dashing profile. Its luxo-bits include smatterings of chrome trim, huge wheels that can be even bigger on the range-topping Black Label, and a light-up Lincoln badge in the middle of its mesh grille.

It’s daring without being over-the-top, and it’s the kind of SUV that’s guaranteed to elicit second glances.

Black Label versions add a smattering of extra brightwork plus divine 22-inch wheels, while the Grand Touring dials things back a bit for a slightly less-flashy appearance.

Interior

The Aviator channels Lincoln’s illustrious past – as in its 1960s mid-mod era. Rectangular shapes and wide bands of metallic trim manage to look both fresh and retro, and they integrate well with the enormous central touchscreen and digital instrument cluster.

Shop carefully as Lincoln offers a slew of interior hues – especially the Black Label. You’ll pay big bucks for it, but you’re rewarded by getting to select between black-and-tan Flight trim, a red leather and wood Destination look, or the white-leather Chalet, complete with silvery wood trim.

The Aviator is big outside and spacious inside, with fantastic front seats that can be upgraded with 30-way adjustability. Row two serves up plenty of leg room and a choice between captain’s chairs or a three-piece bench. The third row is best for kids but can handle adults for shorter stints.

Cargo-wise, look for its 18.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row to grow to 41.8 cubic feet with it folded and a maximum of 77.7 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 pumps out 415 lb-ft of torque via a 10-speed automatic to either the rear or all four wheels. It’s hearty enough to push the portly Aviator to 60 mph in about seven seconds. Hybrids are a little quicker but also a good bit heavier, something you’ll notice in corners.

While not exactly sporty, the Aviator handles long, sweeping curves with ease, and its suspension – even the standard setup – swallows big bumps in stride. The optional air springs and adaptive dampers quell shorter sidewalls well enough, though this big SUV is best left in comfort mode.

Properly equipped, the 2022 Aviator can lug up to 6,700 pounds.

Final Word

From its sensational cabin to its ample power, the 2022 Lincoln Aviator is a smart choice among upscale three-row SUVs.

 

–by Andrew Ganz, with driving impressions from The Car Connection

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