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AutomotiveAddicts

Finally spent time with new Aviator

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Finally had a chance to check out the Aviator in person at my dealership for a preview on a pre-production Reserve II. 

First off, it looks better in person. Though, I am not trying to say it doesn't look good in photos. For one, I am super happy that I was able to sit in it and make several seat adjustments. being 6-foot 3 I was almost concerned about the space. After spending a good 40 minutes with it and the Lincoln rep from Detroit I am happy to see that there is plenty room and I can even fit behind my front-seat adjustment in the 2nd row. I saw a couple videos of the second row and I became a bit concerned about the space but after checking it out in person there is plenty of room for tall individuals up front and in the second row (captains chairs). Moreover, the cargo room was decent. Not really large behind the 3rd row but more than I was expecting, and that's comparing it to a few other 3-row crossovers I've driven and reviewed. The headroom is plentiful unlike what some videos may tell you. Take my word, I adjusted the 30-way seats several times and had time to "play around" with all seat adjustments. 

one thing to note before I go on is that I have been an automotive journalist for over 15 years now mostly through my publication (automotiveaddicts.com). I have driven well over 1,000 cars and somewhat consider myself to be an expert. 

This is the first time I took a chance on ordering a vehicle without driving it. Pretty darn crazy and risky... I know.

Other takeaways from my visit with the Aviator is that the air suspension system continually makes adjustments even when the vehicle is stationary. With the vehicle power on (no engine running) the suspension system adjusted to keep the vehicle level when people got in the back and shut the door. Pneumatic door latches work flawlessly despite them sounding a bit clunky when opening the door. The interior was very well thought out and the new vehicle chimes are a nice touch. 

I asked about the start-stop system and its lack of a physical button to disable. The disable toggle on screen and be brought up by one button press on the dashboard and then a click of the touch screen. The system will revert back to being ON after a new key-start. Though, there is a method to disable it quickly by toggling the drive mode to Excite, which is a turn of the knob counterclockwise. <--- cheap way of disabling it quickly but the vehicle will then be in its "sport" / Excite mode. 

The tech was saying the latest version of the 3.0-liter TT V6 "probably puts out way more power than Ford claims" - I said I would not quote him on that but its just "speculation" haha. He said the Aviator also has the sport brakes of the Explorer ST but not the track brakes, which are only just a Pad change (different pad surface)... otherwise, the sport brakes option on the Explorer is what we get on the Aviator by default. 

As far as delivery date, there is a lot of conflicting info out there. Tech says several Aviators have been built but are just sitting awaiting "release" - However, there is a month delay that is being discussed for some reason. No mention as to the reason. Tech still says some of the early orders should arrive at dealers in July. So, take that with a grain of salt for now. My thought is they want them to go through the "review" cycle with top auto magazines first before they release them. Currently, TODAY, the new 2020 Explorer is being tested by auto journalists and their opinions of the vehicle are embargoed until next week. I think the Aviator tests will happen within weeks as well. 

The 22-inch wheels and tires actually look nice in person and fill up the wheel well. Again, another aspect that looks better in person than in photos. The engine is mounted very low and there are strut tower braces installed. The hood latch is now like BMWs with the two pulls and does not require you to hunt for a hood latch under the hood.. you just lift it up now and let the hood struts do their job. 

Only thing thus far I was disappointed with is the lower-lower door trim is hard plastic... but I was not able to confirm if it is that way in the production unit. This pre-production unit was a very very early one that has been sitting for a few months in California. Tech says there were several "improvements" made from this vehicle to the production units. So, take whatever you will from that. We shall see very soon. 

The switchgear in the Aviator is all different from the Explorer... at least all that you can "touch". I was impressed by the immersion of soft touch surfaces and a high-level of quality... mostly like the current Navigator. Though, there was something more cohesive about the Aviator over the Navigator as if the interior fits around passengers better. Should be able to get a better grasp on this when I drive it... hopefully in the next couple of weeks when the dealer is said to get in their first demo unit. I will be sure to report back. 

Overall, the Aviator looks to be a winner and offers much more over the Explorer - don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I've seen both in person now and there's plenty of "extra" substance to justify the Aviator's pricing, especially when you start to configure the competition with the same features. 

Lincoln has a winner here! Now, they need to hurry up and release the builds. 

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34 minutes ago, AutomotiveAddicts said:

Tech says several Aviators have been built but are just sitting awaiting "release" - However, there is a month delay that is being discussed for some reason. No mention as to the reason. Tech still says some of the early orders should arrive at dealers in July. So, take that with a grain of salt for now. My thought is they want them to go through the "review" cycle with top auto magazines first before they release them.

Standard Ford factory practice.   When they start a new model they keep building them until they go 5 straight days with no problems, then they start shipping new ones directly off the line and they go back and inspect/fix all the ones built previously.   This is known as the OK to Buy and it hasn't happened yet - that's why they're being held at the factory.   Only dealer stock orders are built prior to OK to Buy.  

You'd think an expert would know that.

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1 hour ago, AutomotiveAddicts said:

Only thing thus far I was disappointed with is the lower-lower door trim is hard plastic... but I was not able to confirm if it is that way in the production unit. This pre-production unit was a very very early one that has been sitting for a few months in California. Tech says there were several "improvements" made from this vehicle to the production units. So, take whatever you will from that. We shall see very soon.  

Thank you, Auto, great thorough review from your extended sit-in. Very encouraging!

Hard plastic in lower-lower door trim doesn't really bother me. You're not going to be touching it much with anything but your feet, and grime from your shoes cleans much better on hard plastic than on the tactile type.

Edited by Gurgeh

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1 hour ago, akirby said:

Standard Ford factory practice.   When they start a new model they keep building them until they go 5 straight days with no problems, then they start shipping new ones directly off the line and they go back and inspect/fix all the ones built previously.   This is known as the OK to Buy and it hasn't happened yet - that's why they're being held at the factory.   Only dealer stock orders are built prior to OK to Buy.  

You'd think an expert would know that.

"You'd think an expert would know that." ... geeesh. Not nice. But wow, look at you. You know "something" and you've shared it. Wow. You're going places. Thank you for that bit of information. 

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5 minutes ago, AutomotiveAddicts said:

"You'd think an expert would know that." ... geeesh. Not nice. But wow, look at you. You know "something" and you've shared it. Wow. You're going places. Thank you for that bit of information. 

He's referring to the tech, not you. Relax my man. 

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Just now, fuzzymoomoo said:

He's referring to the tech, not you. Relax my man. 

Oh no I was definitely referring to the person who declared himself to be an expert.

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Does anyone know if Pristine White is an all new color or just a new name for White Platinum? Also, I love that they didn’t put any amber in the headlights, I thought that was a requirement, it makes them look so much cleaner. 

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25 minutes ago, Bellanca said:

Does anyone know if Pristine White is an all new color or just a new name for White Platinum? Also, I love that they didn’t put any amber in the headlights, I thought that was a requirement, it makes them look so much cleaner. 

Don't know for sure but when they change a color name like that after a long run it's usually a slightly different paint.  You'd probably have to see them side by side to tell the difference though.

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Good thing is that the Pristine is still a metallic so that's fine with me.

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3 hours ago, EcoBoost said:

I'd say that's Silver Radiance..

*NVM, I thought you were replying to me in regard to asking about the Pristine White. 

Edited by Bellanca

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Did you have a chance to see if the third and second row fold flat?

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Just now, rothen said:

Did you have a chance to see if the third and second row fold flat or there is a little slope?

 

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On 6/11/2019 at 8:16 PM, AutomotiveAddicts said:

That's cool. Guess I've wasted my time here considering how moderators treat people. But it's okay. 

Coming from someone who isn't a moderator on here..  Calling yourself a "somewhat expert" and stating how you have driven over 1,000 cars and 15 years in the auto journal industry etc, one would think that they would know Standard Ford/Lincoln practice as this has been going on for...  well, as long as I can possibly remember (more then the 15 years you have been in Auto Journalism).

If one is going to try to prove/show/state their credentials, be sure that you know what you are talking about.  

Sorry, not sorry.

 

Although you have a decent review, there are a few things that I would disagree with.  Of course the Aviator is more luxurious and offers more than the Explorer has BUT the Explorer ST will outperform the Aviator in every other way except Luxury.  It will corner better, handle better, accelerator faster (we will see about braking better) etc.  The ST is tuned for performance.  I will agree with you that Lincoln has a real winner with the Aviator regardless.

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On 6/12/2019 at 8:47 AM, Bellanca said:

Does anyone know if Pristine White is an all new color or just a new name for White Platinum? Also, I love that they didn’t put any amber in the headlights, I thought that was a requirement, it makes them look so much cleaner. 

 

Pristine White is a different paint code so it is a different color.  White Platinum is more of a pearl color.  This Pristine White is truly White.  It reminds of of the Audi White..  It is truly bright and true.  Don't think you can get more white if that makes sense.

 

This is nowhere near White Platinum Tricoat.

 

 

Edited by blwnsmoke

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34 minutes ago, blwnsmoke said:

 BUT the Explorer ST will outperform the Aviator in every other way except Luxury.  It will corner better, handle better, accelerator faster (we will see about braking better) etc.  The ST is tuned for performance.  I will agree with you that Lincoln has a real winner with the Aviator regardless.

You think it will outperform the Aviator GT with the same engine and an extra 150 lb ft of electric torque?

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1 minute ago, akirby said:

You think it will outperform the Aviator GT with the same engine and an extra 150 lb ft of electric torque?

 

No way, the GT will kick its butt.  Was referring to the standard Aviator as he mentions .  A Build and Price on the GT requires the GT1 package to be similarly equipped as the ST which puts it at $78,000.  That's almost $20,000 more in price.  You can't compare the two.

 

My post was more referencing his quote of "I've seen both in person now and there's plenty of "extra" substance to justify the Aviator's pricing,"

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7 minutes ago, akirby said:

You think it will outperform the Aviator GT with the same engine and an extra 150 lb ft of electric torque?

Guaranteed the Aviator GT straight line performance will entirely shame the ST. I would put a crisp 100 bill on that one. Probably at least half second to 60. 

 

EDIT: I see you mean non GT

Edited by jcartwright99

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5 minutes ago, akirby said:

You think it will outperform the Aviator GT with the same engine and an extra 150 lb ft of electric torque?

Hey that was going to be my question.  Although I must confess I am looking at the GT for the better gas mileage, not the 0-60 times.

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I am going to say this now and it might sound ridiculous. This is just a guess but I think the GT will be the quickest Lincoln ever produced. The MKZ 3.0 is mighty quick and fast but I honestly think 10 speed, RWD bias, plus electric torque will take the cake. It has all the ingredients to to do it. Pissing contest for a 3 row SUV, totally! However, I think it going to blow people away that a Lincoln can do that.

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