2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid. Refined Luxury

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid: Overview

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid

Lincoln has now a model portfolio consisting of SUVs only. Add the midsize Aviator which is based on Ford Explorer is a product that deserves a closer look. it is smaller than the range-topping Navigator but still very spacious with a high level of luxury and refinement. Last year we tested the non-hybrid Aviator and had very good impressions. for the 2021 model year the Aviator has minor changes but this time we opted for the plug-in hybrid model.

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid: Engine And Powertrain

The Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring has a 400 horsepower, 3.0Litre twin-turbo V-6 engine under the hood. The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission delivering high power and smooth driving. On top of this, our tester had a 100-hp electric motor with a 13.6-kWh battery. The combined power is an impressive 494 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque, at least on paper. This relatively small battery allows a pure electric range of less than 40 kilometres. Depending on the drive mode you choose, you can “save” the all-electric range, for instance for city driving which makes more sense. If you accelerate more smoothly, the electric motor helps with boosting, but the gas engine kicks in not after long.

The 400 horsepower, 3.0Litre twin-turbo V-6 engine is complemented by a 100 horsepower electric motor with a 13.6-kWh battery. The combined power is an impressive 494 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid: Interior

The moment you enter the vehicle, you are surrounded by luxury. The Aviator is entirely different from its Ford cousin inside and out.

The Aviator is a true luxury vehicle with materials and craftsmanship comparable to its European rivals

The 2021 Aviator is available in six- or seven-seat configurations. In the front, the optional so-called “Perfect Position” seats offer 30-way adjustability and massaging function. However, we still think that if it would be a better option the use conventional “one-piece” seats instead of the current, two-tier design. Our tester with the second-row captain’s chairs had the bigger center console between those seats, and access to the third row was possible only from the outer sides of second-row seats. As it is mostly the case in this class, the third row does not offer much space especially for adults, not at all in longer drives. With 18 cubic feet of storage space, The Aviator has a good amount of cargo volume. If you’re willing to go more high-tech and 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.

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid

Second-row captain chairs are very comfortable and the big, centre console adds more comfort to the ride

With a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch touchscreen, satellite radio (with three-month prepaid subscription), a Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability as standard features, the Aviator is well equipped to satisfy highly-connected luxury drivers and passengers. The single-screen configuration and “actual” buttons for climate controls are easy to use and non-distractive.

Maximum cargo volume of 77.7 cubic feet behind the first row, up to 41.8 cubic feet behind the second row and up to 18.3 cubic feet behind the third row

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid: Driving Impressions

Lincoln Aviator is a great car for long-range drives in particular. With my guests from Germany, I drove from Toronto to Kingston and back on the same day. With perfect sound isolation, impressive acceleration and smooth cruising,  it makes you feel the difference between a luxury car and none. After driving more than 500 kilometres on a single day I did not feel exhausted at all. The seats are very comfortable.

P275/45R21 tires are optional. The wheels with turbine shape are beautifully integrated into the aviation-inspired design

 

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid: About Electric Driving and More

My experience

The version of Lincoln Aviator we tested was a plug-in hybrid. Having said that I can confirm that FoMoCo, the parent company did not use its full capacity while bringing this model to the market. The purely electric range is only about 40 kilometres. This may be somewhat sufficient for daily short-range urban driving but not more. the bigger problem is with charging. Even with a fast-charging station, you need more than three hours for a full charge. I picked up the vehicle almost fully charged from Media Fleet in Mississauga. It took me less than half a day to use the all-electric range. On the next day, I attempted to charge the vehicle at a public charging station at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto. The service provider was the US-based ChargePoint and I already had an account with them. However, I couldn’t log in to my account and created a new account to solve the problem quickly. Unfortunately, ChargePoint was not able to send me the link for password verification. I contacted them by phone but I could not reach a consultant so I gave up and drove away using “ICE”. Two days later I tried to fast-charge the vehicle at the same location. I parked the Aviator at the electric vehicle charging section of Yorkdale Shopping Mall. Luckily, this time I was also able to reach a ChargePoint consultant by phone. Despite all the efforts and good intentions of the lady ChargePoint could not locate my new account and could not connect me with my old account either. The consultant told me that I have a $5 credit on my old account. But she still could not activate my account and instead manually released the charging station so that I could start charging. After all these exhausting and nerve-cracking conversations I did not have much time and could charge the vehicle for only 15 minutes and about for kilometres and it did not make much sense.

The green zone is not so green when you have so much trouble charging

Lessons

In my opinion, the big lesson to be learned from this experience is that you never ever rely solely on public charging stations when you have even a plug-in hybrid. The infrastructure will still be a major problem at least in the next 4-5 years and you should invest in a fast-charging station at home. In the case of Lincoln, somebody who can effort a vehicle with a price tag of shy of $100,000, can easily effort a home charging station too.

And I’m confident that Ford Will significantly raise the bar in terms of range and charging time. This is especially true for the upcoming and vitally important F150 lightning.

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid: Pricing and Equipment

For pricing and equipment of our tester, see the window sticker below:

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Hybrid: Conclusion

I will be very straightforward: After a series of mismanagement with a portfolio of luxury brands from Jaguar to Volvo and Lincoln, Ford is doing the right thing. Under the leadership of Allan Mullaly, Ford first rebuilt the Ford brand first in earlier years of the last decade. Then came Lincoln as the only remaining luxury brand of FoMoCo.

And finally, Lincoln, as we know it today, had a strong and uncomplicated portfolio of four SUV models based on the architecture of the corresponding Ford models but sufficiently differentiated. A consistent effort to promote this iconic brand combined with VIP customer service is bearing fruits.

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Tourer Hybrid is a good alternative to European luxury SUVs.

 

For our earlier test drive with the Lincoln Aviator please read at:

https://www.autoandroad.com/2020/08/2020-lincoln-aviator-reserve-awd/

For more information, please visit: http://www.lincolncanada.com