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The Car Connection Expert Review
- Basically a 7/8th-scale Navigator
- Large infotainment displays
- Optional plug-in hybrid
- Easily accommodates four adults
- Sumptuous Black Label cabin design and finish
- Loud V-6 engine
- Snug third row
- Grand Touring doesn’t offer enough electrified benefit
features & specs
The 2023 Lincoln Aviator may misfire in plug-in hybrid configuration, but Black Label versions boast sensational styling.
What kind of car is the 2023 Lincoln Aviator?
The Aviator takes its place between the compact Corsair crossover and big Navigator SUV in Lincoln’s lineup of luxury rides. It competes against three-row mid-size SUVs like the Kia Telluride and Audi Q7.
Is the 2023 Lincoln Aviator a good car?
The expensive Grand Touring model is a hard sell, but other Aviator versions in the lineup feature excellent safety credentials and posh interiors. It earns a TCC Rating of 7.0 on our scale of 10. (Read more about .)
What’s new for the 2023 Lincoln Aviator?
Last year’s edition saw some features reshuffled, and for 2023, Lincoln’s left the Aviator well enough alone.
The exterior is lovely, showing off sleek headlights and an illuminated star logo. Its presence is commanding yet elegant, without the gargantuan and borderline brutish proportions of the Navigator. The cabin is stylish and polished, pairing leather and wood, and showcasing a motif of rectangular elements that serve as an ode to Lincoln vehicles of the 1960s.
The Lincoln Aviator has more to offer in its cabin than its good looks. Front passengers enjoy seats with great support and they can be upgraded to 30-way power-adjustable units. The captain’s chairs in the second row offer up plenty of adult-sized space, though you won’t find quite as much leg room or sumptuousness in the third row. The cargo area can accommodate up to 77 cubic feet of gear.
The Aviator is a better vehicle in straightforward configurations. We’d skip the plug-in powertrain and the complicated adaptive suspension system. The base Aviator, with its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, is good for 400 hp and hits 60 mph in roughly seven seconds despite its hefty 4,774-pound curb weight. The 10-speed automatic transmission provides clean and unfussy shifts, shipping power to the rear wheels or, if you prefer, to all four. Ride quality is befitting of a luxury vehicle.
Though plug-in models have a higher net horsepower rating, the heavy batteries make the already-hefty Aviator tip the scales even further, compromising the transmission’s ability to shift quickly and smoothly. The upgraded air-spring suspension system turns the SUV’s poise into something that’s more like a pose; it loses its agility and composure at high speeds and tight corners.
Every Aviator comes standard with blind-spot monitors and automatic emergency braking. The NHTSA awards a five-star overall rating but hasn’t tested the plug-in hybrid model; the IIHS hasn’t tested the 2023 model, but calls the 2022 model a Top Safety Pick.
How much does the 2023 Lincoln Aviator cost?
The base Standard version starts at $54,535 and includes synthetic leather seating, a power tailgate, a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The Aviator Reserve is $59,700 and includes a Revel 14-speaker sound system, premium leather upholstery, and wireless device charging. We’d pass when it comes to the Grand Touring, the plug-in hybrid configuration, at $70,385. The Black Label starts at $81,920 with the base powertrain and $90,475 for the Grand Touring model.
Where is the 2023 Lincoln Aviator made?
2023 Lincoln Aviator
Lincoln scales down its signature look for the Aviator, and it works.
Is the Lincoln Aviator a good-looking car?
Yes. It even looks better than its sibling, the massive Navigator, and it has a more elegant cabin than the small, sleek Corsair. We award an 8, with the cabin earning two points and the exterior earning one.
The Aviator shares some of its underpinnings with Ford’s Explorer, but the swept-back, low-slung look distinguishes itself with luxury details, such as the bougie illuminated Lincoln badge that decorates the mesh grille. The roofline is a nod to a Range Rover, intentional or unintentional; the slender LED lights, the minimalist side panels, and the bold tailgate lettering all show that Lincoln is paying homage to Land Rover’s influential styling, even though the Aviator translates them into a cohesive look of its own.
It’s a similar story inside, where Lincoln blends modern shapes and hallmark styling elements. Rectangle shapes repeat throughout, calling up fresh appeal to the brand’s 1960s heyday. The seats’ shapes and wide swaths of graceful metallic trim contribute to the effect. The throwback look is balanced out by modern digital billboards mounted on the console and in front of the driver, framed in by wood and metal trim.
That design, finished in more upscale materials, is how Lincoln arrived at the Black Label. The Aviator ascends here, with Flight trim in a black and tan combination, Destination in red leather paired with wood, and Chalet trimmed in white leather and silvery wood.
2023 Lincoln Aviator
Hefty curb weight saps the Aviator’s prodigious power.
The 2023 Aviator maintains impressive composure on highway drives, but it’s less nimble on scenic roads. That’s in large part to its considerable weight, which dulls throttle and transmission response. It earns 6 here, due to its softly damped handling and ride.
How fast is the Lincoln Aviator?
The Aviator’s base powertrain is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 that churns out 400 hp and 415 pounds-ft of torque, paired to a 10-speed auto transmission. It’s burly enough to get the Aviator to the 60-mph mark in seven seconds or so. The transmission shifts quickly and cleanly, though the engine loudly protests the effort. Ranging in weight from 4,774 to 4,892 pounds, the Aviator’s bulk detracts from the potential for fun. Selectable drive modes range from comfy to more sporty, which can improve the Aviator’s efforts at an energetic response.
Is the Lincoln Aviator 4WD?
Rear-wheel drive is standard on some Aviators, though most feature a relatively simple all-wheel-drive setup that can divert power from back wheels to front if traction is needed. Maximum towing capacity is 6,700 pounds when the available towing package is equipped.
Is the Lincoln Aviator a hybrid?
It can be. The Grand Touring model adds a 75-kw motor and 13.6-kwh lithium-ion battery to the base powertrain, increasing output to 494 hp and an impressive-on-paper 630 lb-ft of torque. Though the 0-60 mph time drops to about six seconds, the Aviator’s weight increases to 5,673 pounds, cutting towing capacity by 1,100 pounds, down to a maximum of 5,600 pounds.
Yet, the Grand Touring has some merit. It offers up a silent, fully-electric driving range of 21 miles, which is a welcome relief from the otherwise noisy V-6 engine. The transmission is a downgrade, though, frequently clunking and misjudging shift points.
Regardless of powertrain, the Aviator gets a strut and multi-link suspension system. Overall, it rides well, particularly along sweeping curves. The hefty Aviator suffers in corners, though, where it can’t respond fast enough to harness its bulk and the bouncy ride; it’s an odd combination of too responsive, yet loosely sprung. Put the selector to comfort mode, adjust performance expectations, and you’re good to go.
2023 Lincoln Aviator
Comfort & Quality
Cargo room’s great—and it’s the least of the Aviator’s comforts.
Trim Lincoln’s Navigator to a somewhat manageable size to get an Aviator. It’s more likely to fit in your garage but still boasts sumptuous interior design and comfortable accommodations for five, with impressive cargo capacity to boot. We award a 9 on the TCC scale.
The Aviator measures in at a length of 199.3 inches riding on a 119.1-inch wheelbase. Front passengers get the best of it, with options for 12-way and 30-way power-adjustable seats. Don’t judge until you try them. They can be upfitted from synthetic to real leather and fitted with heat and cool functions.
The next row back fits a pair of captain’s chairs, though a bench is available to add one more seating spot, in most models. Unless you need that head count, stick with the captain’s chairs, which provide superior comfort. There’s plenty of head room beneath the glass roof, and 40.1 inches of legroom. The third row has a low, awkward bottom cushion and only 29.2 inches for legroom.
The cargo hold offers up 18.3 cubic feet of storage capacity, expanding to 41.8 cubic feet with the third row down and a maximum of 77.7 cubic feet with the second row out of the way.
We’re truly enamored of the Lincoln Aviator’s rich cabin. With leather and wood trim on all but base spec, this Aviator feels as glamorous as it looks, particularly in Black Label guise, though it loses a little of its shine from way back in the rear row.
2023 Lincoln Aviator
The Aviator moves up in crash safety.
How safe is the Lincoln Aviator?
The Aviator scores a 9 based on 2022 and 2023 crash tests, plus its list of safety tech. Aside from headlights, the IIHS awards “Good” scores; models with upgraded headlights are worthy of the Top Safety Pick rating. The NHTSA awards a five-star overall rating.
Lincoln includes automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, and blind-spot monitors. Most models can be upgraded with front parking sensors, as well as the automatic park assist system, which automates steering into a spot as the driver handles acceleration and braking.
New Lincoln Aviator for sale near
2023 Lincoln Aviator
Pick the Reserve for the best value, or the Black Label for beauty.
For 2023, the Aviator boasts superb sound systems and upscale interiors to its higher-grade models, though only Black Label buyers are entitled to complimentary scheduled maintenance along with the standard 4-year/50,000-mile warranty coverage. Extra points for standard features, options, and tech rack up a score of 8 here.
In base trim, the $54,535 Aviator includes synthetic leather, LED headlights, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, keyless start, power tailgate, and navigation. Leather upholstery, 30-way power and heated and cooled front seats, captain’s chairs in the second row, upgraded audio systems with 14 or 18 speakers, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Which Lincoln Aviator should I buy?
Take the $59,700 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’s available as a $70,385 Grand Touring plug-in hybrid model, too.
How much is a fully loaded 2023 Lincoln Aviator?
Lincoln’s Aviator Black Label is upwards of $81,920 with 22-inch wheels plus the choice of endearing interior themes— Destination, Flight, or Chalet—and throws in complimentary concierge maintenance. It’s also available as a Grand Touring plug-in hybrid.
2023 Lincoln Aviator
Grand Touring plug-ins offer better gas mileage.
Is the Lincoln Aviator good on gas?
Official fuel economy figures haven’t yet been released for the 2023 Aviator, but the 2022 ratings should carry over unchanged. The most popular Lincoln Aviator configuration, with rear-wheel drive and the non-hybrid powertrain, is EPA-rated for 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, 21 mpg combined. That earns a 2 on the TCC scale. With all-wheel drive, the Aviator is rated for 17/24/20 mpg.
The Grand Touring model, with its plug-in hybrid setup, checks in with 56 MPGe and 23 mpg combined, plus 21 miles of fully electric range. These figures are below average for a PHEV on the market today.
The Car Connection Consumer Review