Tech & Science I drove a $70,000 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring to see if this suave SUV could serve up some plug-in hybrid power — here's the verdict

23:25  12 december  2019
23:25  12 december  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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The 2020 Lincoln Aviator will carry the clan from the wilderness to the mall in grand style. But for extra power and efficiency, the Grand Touring is This plug - in hybrid can run on electricity alone and launch like a rocket. Tom Voelk travels to Yountville, CA to check out this fast luxurious hybrid .

Think of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring —the plug - in hybrid Aviator —as an alternative to high-performance SUVs . I 'm traveling at high speeds on a winding road in the nearly 500 hp Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring listening to Luciano Pavarotti through the 28-speaker Revel Ultima audio

a car parked on the side of a building: A great SUV. A great SUV.
  • The 2020 LincolnAviator Grand Touring is a midsize, plug-in hybrid SUV.
  • The Aviator can offer about 20 miles of all-electric range, but what the hybrid system really does is punch up the performance of the turbocharged V6, bringing its output to nearly 500 horsepower with gobs of torque on offer.
  • The styling uses Lincoln's "Quiet Flight" attitude, evoking sleek aviation motifs.
  • I genuinely enjoyed the Lincoln Aviator - it's a great, three-row option in the crowded SUV segment.
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Lincoln has been steadily reinventing itself since about 2013, and now the brand - Ford's luxury marque - is flush with stylish new SUVs.

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Gallery: 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring : First Drive . 41 Photos. It’ s also important to note that this luxury SUV is quite powerful. There is a price for this combination of efficiency, luxury, and performance. The Aviator Grand Touring starts at ,800, and it can exceed , 000 with all the

Our review of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring , the plug - in hybrid and range-topping version of the new three-row luxury crossover. That said, the regular Aviator is so solid and effortlessly powerful in its own right that it' s a little hard to see many folks ponying up all that extra cash for a

I recently tested the 2020 Lincoln Aviator in Los Angeles. My SUV was an Aviator GT, the plug-in hybrid version of the midsize hauler.

The experience was richly enjoyable. And I was made especially happy when I stomped the throttle, not something you can say about all that many SUVs.

Read on to find out why ...

I picked up my Lincoln Aviator tester near Los Angeles International airport. It was an all-new, 2020 Aviator GT hybrid. The SUV starts a little north of $US50,000, but my well-equipped version, although officially not for sale, probably tipped the cost scales at more than $US70,000.

a black car parked on the side of a building

Because I was in LA for the annual auto show, a rite of autumn, I had the chance to test the cargo capacity of this three-row hauler right away. With the third row deployed, there was a goodly amount of space for my luggage.

a piece of luggage sitting on top of a car

During several days of testing, I squired the Aviator around LA. In Venice, we stopped at Frank Gehry's famous "Binoculars Building," with the iconic Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen sculpture outside.

a car parked on the side of a building: A great SUV. A great SUV.

The Aviator is an extremely nice-looking midsize SUV, embodying what Lincoln calls its "quiet flight" brand philosophy, which combines seafaring and airborne motifs.

a car parked in a parking lot

The Aviator's "Magnetic Grey Metallic" paint job added a stately aspect to the sort of vaguely steampunk aesthetic.

a car parked on the side of a building

The Aviator nameplate, rendered in a distinctive blue colour and a sans serif typeface, add to the Jazz Age vibe.

  I drove a $70,000 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring to see if this suave SUV could serve up some plug-in hybrid power — here's the verdict

This isn't a small SUV, to be sure, but with dashing character lines and a sloping roof, it comes off as almost sleek.

a car parked in front of a building

Meanwhile, the front fascia means business.

a car parked on the side of a road

The grille is "Dark Smoke Chrome," and it's lovely. The Lincoln badge is proud and prominent. Under the hood is a 3.0-litre V6, mated to a smooth 10-speed automatic transmission.

a car parked in a parking lot

The LED headlights are encased in angled pods.

a car parked in a parking lot

Even from the rear, the Aviator presents a sharp appearance — and that's the toughest trick for an SUV to pull off.

a car parked on the side of a road

Lincoln is in the midst of a robust revival. The Aviator is among the latest in a new lineup of SUVs.

  I drove a $70,000 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring to see if this suave SUV could serve up some plug-in hybrid power — here's the verdict

My tester came with premium 21-inch machined aluminium wheels. They're gorgeous, but ... I'd go aftermarket and get 22s.

a car parked on the side of a road

We live in the golden age of mega-sunroofs — or in this case, "panoramic vista roofs."

Matthew DeBord wearing sunglasses driving a car

Lincoln's seats are something else. Covered in "Sandstone" for my Aviator, they're 12-way-adjustable up front, and heated and cooled.

a close up of a person wearing a suit and tie

Second-row legroom is quite good for a midsize SUV.

a car parked on the side of a vehicle

The Aviator's rear seats also have their own climate and infotainment controls.

a black car

The third row, while snug, is actually rather luxurious.

a close up of a car

My tester's multifunction steering wheel was leather-wrapped and two-tone.

a close up of a car

THIS IS A GOOD IDEA! Put the voice-interface button right on the wheel.

a close up of a car

The climate controls are straightforward, and the piano-key shifter sits right above.

a black microwave oven sitting on top of a car

The wood-grain trim is beautiful, and the drive-selector is easy to find.

a black and silver phone

The infotainment system runs on a reasonably large central touchscreen and uses Lincoln/Ford's SYNC 3 setup. It does everything well, from Bluetooth device pairing to GPS navigation.

a computer sitting on top of a car

The wood trim is subtle, in keeping with Lincoln's whisper-rather-than-shout values.

a view of a car

Drive modes are artfully indicated with animations, sort of like performance GIFs.

a black car

They really are attractive, soothing, and they fit nicely into the zen-like cluster design that Lincoln has created.

a screen shot of a car

The drive modes are "Normal," "Conserve," "Excite," "Slippery" and "Deep Conditions." In LA, I used four of the five. I guess if I'd driven on the beach I could have used "Deep Conditions."

a flat screen tv sitting on top of a car

Yes, I even used "Slippery," as my visit coincided with a typical one-day LA downpour.

a screen shot of a car

What's this? A Lincoln Aviator you can plug in?

a car parked in a parking lot

Yep, the Aviator GT is a plug-in hybrid, with a 75-kilowatt-hour battery that adds about 20 miles of all-electric range.

a close up of a motorcycle

Luckily, the parking structure I like to use in downtown LA has ChargePoint locations, and I have an account.

a black car on display

I re-juiced the Aviator twice, and each time it took about six hours to go from zero to full.

a car parked on the side of a building

So what's the verdict on the 2020 Lincoln Aviator?

a person wearing sunglasses taking a selfie in a car

LA was not the greatest place to test the Aviator's all-wheel-drive system, and I had no passengers during the few days I spent behind the wheel.

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The 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring SUV has more torque than many competitors plus allows 2020 Aviator plug - in hybrid SUV is quantum leap for Lincoln . The 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. You do not need a Facebook

Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring hybrid model shown. In-home consultation and test- drive . With a mobile showroom that comes to you, an in-dealership studio Also, some dealers may choose not to participate in X Plan pricing. Contact your local dealer to determine their

But LA was a dandy place to test the abundant interior comfort and the glorious, 14-speaker Revel audio system while sitting in traffic on the 405, the 10, the 110, the 105 and assorted surface streets.

I was also able to tap into the combined 494 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque produced by the Aviators potent powerplant and ... WHOA-LY SCHMOKES!!!

This thing really goes! On electric power alone, the Aviator has some tasty pep, but when this SUV is in Excite mode and you put the hammer down, it wants to pop a wheelie as you merge with City of Angels traffic. It's like there is a Mustang GT V8 under the hood.

Nothing else I've driven in the segment feels quite the same. The Aviator is supposed to be suave, but it's kinda wild. I hope the new Aston Martin DBX SUV can manage this stunt.

My tester was crammed with driver-alert and -assist features, but I was having so much fun driving the Aviator myself that I barely used them. They worked fine. (For the record, LA is a difficult area in which to use these systems anyway, given the mix of congested freeway driving and sprawling surface-street navigation.)

The bottom line is that the Lincoln Aviator looks great, drives great, has great tech, is great for passengers and cargo, and even gives you something in the ballpark of 20 mpg in combined city/highway, which isn't bad. The hybrid system is great at boosting the V6 into V8 territory, even if 20 miles of EV range isn't all that useful in real life.

The word, then, is great to describe the Lincoln Aviator. There's nothing to complain about, and quite a few things to unabashedly praise.

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