2020 Lincoln Aviator vs. 2020 Ford Explorer

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lincoln Aviator have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Ford Explorer doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

Both the Aviator and the Explorer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

The Aviator comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Explorer’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the Aviator 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Explorer. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Explorer ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

The Lincoln Aviator’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Explorer’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. and 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

The Aviator has more powerful engines than the Explorer:

Horsepower

Torque

Aviator 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

415 lbs.-ft.

Aviator 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid

494 HP

630 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid

318 HP

322 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Platinum 3.0 turbo V6

365 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Explorer ST 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

415 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lincoln Aviator uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Explorer ST requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Tires and Wheels

The Aviator’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Explorer’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Aviator has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Explorer. The Aviator’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the Explorer ST/Platinum.

Suspension and Handling

The Aviator offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Explorer’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Aviator has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Aviator’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Explorer doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

Passenger Space

The Aviator has .8 inches more front headroom and 1.1 inches more rear legroom than the Explorer.

Cargo Capacity

The Aviator’s cargo area provides more volume than the Explorer.

Aviator

Explorer

Behind Third Seat

18.3 cubic feet

18.2 cubic feet

Servicing Ease

The Aviator uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Explorer uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 54% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

The Aviator (except Base) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Explorer doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Aviator’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Explorer’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Aviator’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Explorer’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Optional air conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Aviator’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Explorer doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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