Lincoln Aviator

The Lincoln Aviator was introduced in 2003 as an affordable midsize alternative to the Navigator, Lincoln’s popular full-size luxury SUV.

Like the Navigator, the Lincoln Aviator was a truck-based four-door sport utility vehicle. While the larger Navigator shared a chassis with the Ford Expedition, the Lincoln Aviator borrowed a build from the smaller Ford Explorer. Despite its smaller dimensions, the Aviator featured a 4.6-liter V-8 engine packing considerable punch with 302 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission came standard.

More on the Lincoln Aviator
Lincoln Aviator Origins

Inside, the Aviator shared an interior with the Navigator. Both SUVs featured a waterfall center stack trimmed in leather and wood, and a control panel with large brightly-lit analog dials. Three seat rows could accommodate either six or seven people, depending on whether a buyer chose second row captain’s chairs or a split-bench seat.

Early models were available in two trims, the Luxury and Premium, and with either two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration. The Luxury trim was later called the Ultimate. All models come standard with comforts and conveniences such as leather seating, dual-zone climate control, and rear parking assist. The Premium/Ultimate trim level added heated and ventilated seats and HID headlamps.

By 2005, Lincoln pared down its offerings to one trim level that could be combined with several luxury options packages. The Lincoln Aviator was phased out after 2005.

About the Lincoln Aviator

The Lincoln Aviator was best known as a family-friendly luxury SUV ideal for recreation. A muscular 4.6-liter V-8 powertrain and body-on-frame design helped the Aviator tow trailers and boats up to 7100 pounds with all-wheel drive models and 7300 pounds with the two-wheel drive version.

Three rows of seats could comfortably shuttle up to seven people, while high-end features such as leather upholstery, wood trim, and dual-zone climate control made for a plush ride. Compared to larger SUVs on the market, the Aviator’s midsize dimensions allowed for relatively easy maneuvering and parking.

Similarly equipped competitors in the midsize SUV class included the Mercedes Benz ML500 and BMW X5 4.4i.

Lincoln Aviator Features

Lincoln produced its last Aviator for the 2005 model year. The 2005 Lincoln Aviator was available in one well-equipped trim, which could be upgraded with a large variety of option packages. Power was provided by the same 4.6-liter V-8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission that debuted with the first Lincoln Aviator.

Standard features included a chrome grille, painted 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, an intermittent rear wiper, running boards, three-zone climate control, adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors, mirrors with turn signals, tilt-adjustable steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, and interior trim in leather, wood, and alloy. Safety equipment included four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, child seat anchors, front and rear head airbags, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, and dusk-sensing headlamps. A previously optional stability control system with a roll stability control feature was made standard in 2005.

Upgrading to the Elite Package added a navigation system, heated and ventilated front seats, a power sunroof, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, xenon headlights, a roof rack, chrome alloy wheels, and a trailer towing package. The Luxury Enhancement Moonroof Package included the sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, roof rack, chrome alloy wheels, and an in-dash six-disc CD changer. The Luxury Enhancement RSES Package provided the rear seat entertainment system, heated and cooled seats, roof rack, chrome alloy wheels, and in-dash CD changer.

A Jet Black Package updated the exterior with monochromatic black, a rear spoiler, chrome-tipped exhaust system, and chrome alloy wheels.

The 2005 Lincoln Aviator measured 193.3 inches in length, 71.9 inches in height, and 73.9 inches in width. Cargo capacity was 12.4 cubic feet. The Aviator’s fuel tank held 22.5 gallons, and EPA-estimated fuel economy was 11/17 mpg city/highway.

The 2005 Lincoln Aviator was available in nine exterior colors and two interior color schemes.

Lincoln Aviator Evolution

As with later versions, the 2003 Lincoln Aviator debuted with a 32-valve 4.6-liter V-8 engine capable of 302 horsepower. The midsize luxury SUV was available in either two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

2003 Lincoln Aviators came in two trim levels: a base Luxury and Premium trim. Standard features included leather upholstery, a third row seat, wood and leather trim, painted alloy wheels, heated power mirrors with turn signals, a tilt steering wheel trimmed in leather and wood, rear climate control, and a Class II trailer hitch.

Upgrading to the Premium trim added heated and ventilated front seats, a radio with six-disc CD changer, HID headlights, and machined alloy wheels. A navigation system was optional.

A Kitty Hawk edition package provided distinctive interior and exterior trim, chrome alloy wheels, and a tire pressure monitor. Individual options on both trims included a sunroof and rear seat DVD entertainment system.

In 2004, Lincoln changed the name of its Premium trim to the Ultimate, though the differences between the two trim levels did not change. Two new options debuted: satellite radio availability and a stability control system with rollover sensors.

Select a Lincoln Aviator Year

2005 Lincoln Aviator

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2005 Lincoln Aviator is Lincoln’s smaller SUV after five years of producing a single, larger sport utility vehicle.

2004 Lincoln Aviator

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2004 Lincoln Aviator classifies as a midsize luxury SUV which began production in 2002, filling the midsize luxury SUV slot for Lincoln before being replaced by the Lincoln MKX after 2005.

2003 Lincoln Aviator

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2003 Lincoln Aviator is the midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) cousin of the full-size Lincoln Navigator.