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Lincoln Aviator



  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Crappy FLM launch quality? Sounds like they are being extra cautious with the Expedition. Maybe they are doing the same with the Aviator.

    As a side note I have a 95 Explorer that I actually like, so I am not a Ford basher. But you have to admit that their launch quality has been pretty bad lately.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    It sounds like someone is taking the Aviator's name just a little too literally! ;-)

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Hah. I get it.

    I had to think about it for a second though. :)
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    I agree...the recent Ford launches have been terrible. Not bad products, just bugs that are a PIA...

    I think it's a little more than a quality hold, but I'm not concerned yet. Better to be safe than to screw up this major launch for Lincoln.

    BTW: Rumor has it the price range will start in the low 40K's and fully loaded in the high 40K's.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I can actually sympathize with Ford. I am the engineering manager for a medical device manufacturer. It is always the 1% of the details that you don't think of that come back and bite you in the butt. One vendor screw up can derail the timeline on a whole project. I can also relate to the internal struggles of launch schedule vs. letting the engineers work out the bugs.

    I think Ford is a good example of all of the ill will that can be created by getting a product out there too early. I contend that you can test all you want, but until you build the volume of product that is involved in launching a product, there is always a chance that you may have missed something.

    I would much rather see Ford delay something to make sure they get it right.

    Off my soap box.
  • jerry2281jerry2281 Posts: 97
    According to Aviator factory employees, JOB 1 is scheduled for July 22. Your should see one at your dealer by early to mid-August. FINALLY!
  • I visited the Concours D'Elegance in Greenwich Connecticut this past saturday morning, which is a very high end mostly classic & antique car show. A number of manufacturers apparently think that this is a good crowd to try sell their new products. As a result, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Cadillac, Lincoln, among others all brought their latest & even upcoming products. Lincoln brought the new Navigator, the new show Lincoln Continental (4 door) that has made the auto show rounds, a new Lincoln Mark ? coupe (gorgeous), and an Aviator. Personally, I'm not that enamored by the Aviator since I feel that it's essentially a gussied-up Explorer, with a bigger engine. I did sit in it and was impressed by the interior far more than the exterior. The interior is somewhat similar to the new interior of the Navigator. The dimensions and overall look to the vehicle is too similar to the Explorer/Mountaineer to really come across as a truly different vehicle. One of the PR people there was tying to convince me that the Aviator is unlike the Explorer because it is more closely related to the Mercury Marauder????? I quickly recovered from that experience & went on to examine the the new Navigator, which truly impressed me on the interior, but left me cold on the exterior...........
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    The Aviator has the same engine as the Mercury Marauder...perhaps this was his connection.
  • haironghairong Posts: 153

    The dimensions and overall look to the vehicle is too similar to
    the Explorer/Mountaineer to really come across as a truly
    different vehicle.
    That was my original thought as well. However, I have since come to terms that the Aviator has more difference to Exp. than RX300 to Highlander and MDX to Pilot (besides the conservative exterior), let alone the GM triplets. There were/are not any problems for Toyota/Honda/GM to sell those clones, there shouldn't be any problem for Ford. As long as the price is right, and the quality holds up to Lincoln standard, the Aviator will be a winner.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    I was invited to a focus group test drive today for the Aviator. We compared it to the Acura MDX and BMW X5 4.4i. Drove each for about 25 minutes and answered tons of questions about what we liked and didn't like.

    The interior, especially the center stack and console, are great. Power is great. Steering and handling are about the best I've experienced for a truck based SUV. The MDX was smoother and more comfortable and the X5 was a better pure handler but the Aviator had the best compromise of power, handling and smoothness. I prefer the walnut over the Zebrano wood. Window switches are on the console and seat adjustments are on the door. I liked the layout once I got used to it. Easier to get in and out of the 3rd row seat than the MDX. And a bit more room once you were there. The electro-luminescent gauges took some getting used to - they look cool but were hard to read at first due to the layout.

    The BMW was too expensive and small with no 3rd row seat. Ride wasn't as comfortable. But man does it handle! Didn't have any more power than the Aviator but I drove a 4.6i yesterday and it has more power - and the price tag to go along with it.

    The Acura was smoother and more comfortable but not nearly as sporty or distinctive.

    I highly recommend taking a test drive once they arrive if you're at all interested. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
  • jerry2281jerry2281 Posts: 97
    A fellow member of the Lincoln LS Owner's Club, AKIRBY, was invited to a comparison test of the Aviator, MDX and BMW X5. Following is a summary of his comments: Test date: 6/9/02. Spent 30 minutes driving each around Braselton, GA, Acura was most car-like as expected. Smooth, nice interior, comfortable but difficult entry into 3rd seat. Power was only adequate. Definitely not a sporty type.

    BMW had best handling, but rougher over broken pavement. Did not like interior. Power was good, but not as good as X5 4.6i driven previous day. Less interior space and no 3rd seat. Very sporty but most expensive and smallest of the three.

    Aviator had black exterior with grey wood trim and cream interior. Center dash was brushed nickel and very nice Shifter and console has very luxureous feel. Nice panel covering the DVD Navigation system. Instruments were very high tech and easy to see.

    Power was great. Rode more like a truck compared to other two, but still better than most SUVs. Precise steering and wood steering wheel.

    Wasn't crazy about the wheels, dash, except center stack and would prefer a tighter suspension. MSRP was $43K. I would pick Aviator over other two. BMW is too small and expensive and don't like styling. Acura MDX is too conservative and costs almost as much as the Aviator.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Wow - that sounds just like my post #131!

    Wait - that was my post.

    That's ok - both posts had slightly different info. I should have done one and cut and pasted it anyway.
  • jerry2281jerry2281 Posts: 97
    I was interrupted when composing my summary of your post. When I finally posted, you had posted a few minutes before. I didn't know. Honest!

    Anyway, thanks for the post.
  • bennewmanbennewman Posts: 12
    To those of you who have now test driven the Aviator, was there any word on gas mileage? Also, is the navigation system DVD based or CD based?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    IIRC the mileage on the AWD version that I drove was listed as 14/18 but I'm not 100% sure. There weren't any window stickers. RWD version should be 15/19 or so.

    The nav is DVD but I don't think it will be available right away.
  • bill_lbill_l Posts: 38
    It seems the 3rd row seat is not split. What's
    wrong with the split seating? Anyone has ideas
    if Lincoln will offer the option of a 3rd row
    split seating.
  • jerry2281jerry2281 Posts: 97
    I understand that Aviator will have 2+2+2 seating either standard or optional. I assume each of the second and third row seats can each be folded down independently.
  • johnnylincjohnnylinc Posts: 308
    The Av has standard bucket seats in the second row that fold flat; optional second-row seating is a 40/20/40 split bench. The third row is a two-passenger bench that folds flat & stows in the floor. There's no mention in the product guide of the 3rd row being split, so it most likely isn't.

    Incidentally, the front buckets are both heated AND cooled, like those available on the Navigator, and they're standard in the Av. Neat feature, IMO.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    The 3rd row is NOT split - it's one piece. It's not that wide to begin with so I don't think you would gain very much by folding only one side. The Acura MDX did have a split 3rd row and to me it seemed like more of a hassle to have to fold both independently since 98% of the time you would want both folded anyway.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    BTW - the 2nd row console is CAVERNOUS. The top folds forward effectively doubling the size of the console. Absolutely dwarfed the Acura and BMW in that department.
  • jerry2281jerry2281 Posts: 97
    Apparently, the 2003 Aviator was to go into production in July, but production has been delayed to September 22 due to several engineering problems discovered prior to Job 1. Problems with braking system, front suspension "shimmy", and 4.6 V-8 overheating.

    If Lincoln has to delay introduction to get things right, then I applaud them. I believe the Aviator could win the TOYA against the other mid-size luxury SUV's with it's most powerful engine in it's class, but it must have a trouble-free launch. The VW Tourage and Porsche Cayenne will raise the bar in this segment and build quality is extremely important in the MBZ, BMW, VW and Porsche Black Forest.

    Good luck to the Lincoln engineers who are working hard to deliver a great, new marque in the SUV field.

    BTW, when will the 4.6 be available in the Lincon LS (hint, hint)?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Not sure about the 4.6 for the LS but the 5.0 version pumping out 400 hp is due out in 2004 or so the rumour goes. Naturally aspirated, too.

    I agree that Ford is doing the right thing delaying the launch if there are technical problems. But they need to start finding and fixing them before they announce the date. People still associate a production delay or early recall with poor quality (I don't but some do). I call it good quality control and testing.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    The latest on the Aviator arrival is Aug. Our first unit has a build date of week 3 of july.

    I am very pleased to hear the positive comments on the Aviator....When I drove it I was very much impressed and had the thought that this is going to be a big winner for Lincoln...But I am biased.

    If Lincoln gives us a good lease program from the get-go we have a winner.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    I agree. The only downside I could see was that although it's one of the best riding truck based SUV's I've driven, you can still feel the truck chassis on rough pavement or terrain. That's a plus for off-roading but let's face it - 98% of these will never see anything but pavement. The Acura and BMW soaked up the bumps a little better (as expected). The extra towing capacity should also help differentiate it. It will probably steal some Explorer Limited or top end Mountaineer sales. I would probably spring for the difference if I were buying one. And folks who want a Navigator but just can't afford it.

    It's a baby navigator with all the bells and whistles but it's quicker and more nimble and a lot less $$$.
  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96

    is the build start date of july and the dealer arrival of august still the projection?
    There seems to be conflicting posts

    Also, does anyone think the gps navigation will be available from the beginning of the launch?
    any word on the vivid red color?

  • haironghairong Posts: 153
    Yes, Yes and don't know. Both RES DVD and AdvancedTrac were late availability at the initial announcement. But if the September launch is true, I don't know if they can make it.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    We still have an ETA of job 1 towards the end of July with a dealership ETA of Aug.....I will keep everyone updated about any changes I hear about.

  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96
    Thanks for keeping us posted.
  • jondjond Posts: 43
    My local dealer just got two Aviators. No pricing yet, these are probably for display at an upcoming event here. Drove one the other day. Nice SUV, but is an SUV. Better ride than most, but you can still feel that it is a truck frame. Looks like a baby Navigator. Based on the fact that the dealer has a couple, I would think they are not delayed.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    That was my impression exactly - it's still a truck underneath. One of the best riding and handling truck chassis but a truck nonetheless. Of course that's a positive if you actually need to go off-road.

    What did you think about the satin nickel center stack and console?
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