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2003 Lincoln Aviator

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2003 Lincoln Aviator Review

An ideal family vehicle that ensures comfort, generous space, and safety.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2003 Lincoln Aviator is the midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) cousin of the full-size Lincoln Navigator. It takes inspiration from the design lines of the Navigator, which is considered an icon its class. The Aviator is built to offer a different set of features and personality compared with its sibling midsize vehicles from its sister brands Ford and Mercury. According to Brian Kelley, who was the top executive of Lincoln Mercury during the vehicle's launch, it is a distinct Lincoln SUV. The name of the vehicle also coincided with the centennial commemoration of the first flight of the Wright Brothers in North Carolina. The engineers assure consumers that the ride will be very addictive. Among the most important goals during the design and production process were to isolate the cabin from excessive vibration and noise. The steering system alone had several parameters to meet for varying operations during low, medium, and high speed runs.

The Range

Body Style: midsize SUV
Engine: 4.6-liter V-8
Transmission: five-speed automatic
Models: Luxury, Premium

What's New

The 2003 Lincoln Aviator implements improvements to address the flaws of its older siblings such as shortcomings with their designs, the cloned interior from the Expedition's, the very cramped third row seat, and numb steering.


The designers of the 2003 Lincoln Aviator made sure that it mimics the looks of the rest of the Lincoln vehicle lineup. It wanted consumers to know it is a Lincoln when they see one on the road. The styling of the Aviator is, in front, dominated by the large distinct grille that the brand has been known for, as well as the clear-lens headlamp. Fog lamps are embedded on the fascia of the front bumper. This ride rolls on 17-inch alloy rims, and also features rack-and-pinion steering, and an independent suspension system. It also has a ""hood presenter,"" which pops out when the inside latch is pulled open; this helps open the hood without having to look for the other release lever. Instead of using a uni-body architecture, it utilizes a body-on-frame build that gives occupants an extra layer between them and the road. A lot of chassis parts were especially designed to prevent vibration and noise in the cabin. The windshield of the Aviator is 6.2 millimeters thick, which also helps in blocking out the noise. It has a wheelbase of 113.7 inches, length of 193.3 inches, and a height of 70.9 inches. The Premium model adds options like High-Intensity-Discharge (HID) headlight, power moonroof, and machined-aluminum rims.


The 2003 Ford Thunderbird can be setup to accommodate six or seven occupants. It can sit six people when twin bucket seats are used for the second row, and it can fit seven individuals when a 40/20/40 split bench is installed. If buyers need more space, the second row of seats can be folded forward. The third row has some extra space because of the lower floor. The lower floor is due to the design of the rear suspension. The third row can also be folded. Fold the second and third row of seats and you can increase the cargo capacity of the Aviator to 77 cubic feet. The interior is dominated by premium leather, smooth nickel finish, and burl walnut. The controls are black during daytime but illuminates at night. The designers also installed an analog clock on the dashboard. Both the Luxury and Premium models have power front seats, dual-zone air-conditioning, stereo system with CD, adjustable accelerator and brake pedal as standard. It also makes use of the keypad-installed outside the door of the driver and can give easy access to the vehicle for those who have the right code. The Premium model has cooled and heated seats. There is also an option for a navigation and entertainment system for the rear seats as options.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Ford Thunderbird's V-8 engine with 4.6-liter displacement produces 302 horsepower and a torque of 300 lb-ft. The powerful 32-valve engine is linked to a five-speed automatic gearbox. It has a towing capacity of 7300 pounds that tops its segment. The drive system will be offered as two-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and torque-on-demand.


Aside from the front airbags and the anti-lock brakes, the 2003 Lincoln Aviator comes with the Safety Canopy developed by Ford that protects passengers during rollovers and violent side-impact accidents. The safety system of the vehicle also triggers the deployment of the extended airbags when there's a high possibility of a rollover, and these make sure that the occupants will not be ejected. It is also equipped with Rear Park Assist technology that gives feedback to the driver when the vehicle is backing up.

EPA Fuel Economy

Lincoln Aviator: 13/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Passenger room
  • Safety features

You Won't Like

  • Fuel consumption

Sum Up

An ideal family vehicle that ensures comfort, generous space, and safety.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Lincoln Blackwood

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