Park the 2021 Lincoln Aviator next to a Land Rover Range Rover and you might start seeing double. A streak of blacked-out windows down the side contrasts the large doors, high wheel arches, and 20-plus-inch tires and rims. But would you guess that Lincoln’s idea of luxury isn’t nearly as costly as its English counterpart?
The Lincoln brand has long been known as the luxurious counterpart to Ford. Where the Expedition gave families a utilitarian three-row SUV for the masses, the Navigator served as sophisticated taxi-cabbing for those more fortunate than most. The 2021 Aviator continues that tradition, with plenty of flair, class, and value. It will even have Land Rover customers looking twice.
If a 2021 Aviator sparks your curiosity, keep reading. We’ll give you everything you need to know about this luxurious three-row family hauler. From safety ratings and fuel efficiency numbers to competitors and the critiques, this guide serves to better inform you about the 2021 Aviator. Whether or not you join the Lincoln family will (as always) be up to you.
With enough room to seat seven passengers, the 2021 Aviator is powered by one of two powerplants. The first is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine capable of 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, it’s also the base for the hybrid powerplant, which features an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. Together, the hybrid engines put out 494 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque.
Surprisingly, the 2021 Aviator is capable of towing up to 6,700 pounds when properly equipped. That number decreases to 5,600 pounds on similar hybrid models. Both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive are available, but the hybrid model is only available in AWD.
Below are the available colors on Lincoln’s 2021 Aviator.
- Infinite Black
- Flight Blue
- Iced Mocha
- Red Carpet
- Ocean Blue Drive
- Pristine White
- Silver Radiance
- Ceramic Pearl
- Asher Gray
- Burgundy Velvet
Available Trimlines and Pricing
Lincoln offers the following trim levels on the 2021 Aviator. Being a luxury SUV, its fairly well equipped even at the lowest trim level. Of course, that fact is also reflected in the starting price.
Starting at $51,100, the base Aviator includes LED headlights, a triple-zone climate control, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment, along with Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Keyless entry and remote start complement the power liftgate and powered front seats.
Larger, 20-inch wheels aren’t the only upgrade on this trim level. You’ll also receive a quad-zone climate control, leather-enhanced seating, a panoramic sunroof, and a 14-speaker Revel sound system. This model starts at $56,940.
This trim level distinguishes itself via the hybrid powertrain. Most of the same options you can get on the Reserve trim are available on the hybrid Grand Touring trim as well. The hybrid engine upgrade boosts the starting cost up to $68,900.
Soft-close doors and 22-inch rims on this trim level will have you feeling like a king/queen. The 28-spekaer Revel Ultima 3D sound system should delight your ears as much as the Chalet, Destination, or Flight design themes please the eye. The Black Label Aviator will run you at least $78,695.
Grand Touring Black Label
The same sound system found on the Black Label can be found on this trim level, along with 21-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel, and Air Glide suspension. Of course, this version also comes with the 3.0L hybrid engine that the regular Grand Touring model comes with. This top trim will cost around $87,800, at minimum.
Lincoln includes a number of safety features on the 2021 Aviator. Standard features include a rearview camera, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and front and rear parking sensors. Safety features available for purchase include lane centering assist, adaptive cruise control, reverse automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, parallel and perpendicular park assist, evasive steering assist, a heads-up display, and adaptive headlights. A surround-view parking system assists in avoiding parking lot mishaps.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet rated the 2021 Aviator. The model did receive 5 out of 5 stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Kelley Blue Book reports the 2021 Lincoln Aviator achieves 18 city and 26 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG) when purchased in rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive, non-hybrid models achieve just under that mark, with 17 city and 24 highway MPG. Hybrid models are able to achieve a combined 23 MPG on just gas alone, and 56 MPGe combined when the hybrid engine is engaged.
As we mentioned, the 2021 Aviator competes with the Land Rover Range Rover — at least, in some ways. The highest trim of the 2021 Aviator slips in just under $90,000, which puts it into the territory of a base Land Rover Range Rover. At the same time, the Aviator competes with German luxury brands, such as the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7. The Volvo XC90 and Cadillac XT6 line up for the showdown as well, accompanied by the popular (and equally boxy) Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade.
The 2021 Aviator, thus, is “priced competitively against its European rivals, though alternatives from Acura and Infiniti are more affordable,” according to Edmunds. However, Motor Trend thinks the price point is “justified; the brand built a great luxury SUV that’s well worth consideration.”
Kelley Blue Book noted the model looks “understated and classy.” But there’s also plenty of value within. “Wood, metal, and leather trim is contrasted by the big infotainment and gauge cluster displays,” quips Motor Trend. Every effort is made to give the driver and passengers a feeling of comfort and ease.
That said, there are a few instances where the dream of luxury falls a bit short. U.S. News found the seats narrow and the vehicle “less agile than some rivals.” Edmunds expressed concern about the visibility ahead of and behind the 2021 Lincoln Aviator, which could possibly be mitigated by the surround-view camera system. Motor Trend complained about the “awkward door release button.” The amount of effort it takes the engine to move this luxurious hulk didn’t escape the folks at KBB, either. Turbo lag is never a good thing when you want to go fast — and look good while you fly by.
The Last Word
There’s certainly a lot to like about the 2021 Aviator. From the plush interior accoutrements to the stylish curb appeal, this SUV sits above the rest with an air of sophistication. Lincoln’s even seen fit to include a hybrid powertrain as well. Test drive a 2021 Aviator at your local Lincoln dealership today and see for yourself just how different luxury feels when you’re in a Lincoln.