The 2022 Lincoln Aviator is a midsize three-row luxury SUV that slots between the full-size Navigator and the two-row Nautilus. The seven-seat Aviator made its return in 2020 after an absence of several years, with an all-new design, powertrains, in-car tech, and advanced driver aids.
It quickly became one of our favorite vehicles in the segment. It has a look and feels you won’t find anywhere else in the class. The cabin is comfortable and extremely well-appointed, with lots of premium touches that make it stand out in a competitive class. We also like the powerful turbocharged engine and the available plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Lincoln has cut the price of the Aviator slightly for the 2022 model year, and a new Appearance package is now available on the base model that adds a panoramic sunroof and 20-inch wheels.
The Reserve model’s optional driver-assistance package now includes front, rear, and side parking sensors and has been renamed Co-Pilot360 1.5 Plus. Two new colors are available: Gilded Green and Bronze Smoke. A new Jet package is offered and replaces the Aviator’s exterior chrome elements with glossy black ones.
The 2022 Lincoln Aviator‘s 400-hp twin-turbo V-6 is among the most powerful standard engines in the mid-size luxury SUV segment. The refined 3.0-liter V-6 works with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission to deliver both serene cruising and authoritative acceleration.
In place of a more powerful V-8 engine as an option, Lincoln offers a plug-in hybrid model that’s known as the Aviator Grand Touring. Using the same V-6 and 10-speed transmission as the standard Aviator, the Grand Touring adds a 100-hp electric motor and a 13.6-kWh battery.
The two propulsion sources combine for 494 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque, but the refinement isn’t quite up to snuff, with occasional thunks when the driveline reengages the gas engine.
The battery allows the plug-in Aviator to cover about 18 miles in the Pure EV driving mode without using the gas engine, but the 100-hp motor is slow to accelerate the Aviator’s heft without help from the engine. Most buyers will use one of the alternative drive modes, which relies heavily on the V-6.
ENERGY AND REAL-WORLD MPG
The EPA rates the rear-wheel-drive 2022 Lincoln Aviator at 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway; the all-wheel-drive model delivers 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. Those numbers place the Aviator’s fuel economy just slightly behind that of all-wheel-drive competitors such as the X5, the XC90, and the Audi Q7.
A rear-wheel-drive nonhybrid Aviator managed a paltry 22 mpg on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route; the plug-in-hybrid all-wheel-drive Grand Touring model managed 25 mpg in the same test but managed to deliver only 15 of its estimated 21 miles of electric range before firing up its gasoline engine.
For more information about the 2022 Lincoln Aviator’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
INTERIOR CONVENIENCE AND BOOTH
The 2022 Lincoln Aviator is available in six- or seven-seat configurations. Buyers who opt for second-row captain’s chairs will have a choice of two different center consoles between those seats, one of which allows for easier pass-through to the third row.
On trips longer than a few minutes, the back row is suitable only for small children, but that compromise means there’s more room for cargo with all seats in their upright position. The 2022 Lincoln Aviator offers 18 cubic feet of storage space, more than the BMW X5 and Cadillac XT6 provide.
Upfront, the optional Perfect Position seats offer 30-way adjustability and massaging capability. If you’re willing to spend extra for it, a camera behind the windshield scans the road for potholes and other imperfections and sends instructions to the adaptive dampers in order to improve ride quality.
IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS
A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are all standards on the Lincoln Aviator.
Compared with other manufacturers that use rotary controllers or multiple touchscreens, Lincoln’s single-screen configuration and traditional climate controls are easy to learn and use.
On higher trims, a smartphone’s Bluetooth signal can be used to unlock and start the 2022 Lincoln Aviator in place of the key. The top-end Revel Ultima 3D audio system has 28 speakers (including some in the headliner).
PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS
The 2022 Lincoln Aviator’s standard Co-Pilot360 system of driver-assistance technologies include forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high-beams, and a rearview camera.
The optional Co-Pilot360 1.5 Plus adds adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and a self-parking system that will steer the vehicle into both parallel and perpendicular spots.
2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label AWD
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 6- or 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$81,790 (base price $52,195)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6, 400 hp, 415 lb-ft
10-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 119.1 in
Length: 199.3 in
Width: 79.6 in
Height: 69.6 in
Passenger volume: 148-151 cu ft
Cargo volume: 18 cu ft
Curb weight (C/D est): 4900-5700 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 6.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.6 sec @ 98 mph
Top speed: 145 mph (C/D est)
Braking, 70–0 mph: 174 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.82*
C/D observed fuel economy: 17 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 20–22/17–19/24–27 mpg