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Both the Aviator and Ascent have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Aviator has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Ascent’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The Aviator has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Ascent doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The Aviator Reserve/Grand Touring/Black Label has a standard 360-Degree Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Ascent only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
The Aviator’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Ascent doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Aviator and the Ascent have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.
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 Ascent’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 Subaru covers the Ascent. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Ascent ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
There are over 35 percent more Lincoln dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Aviator’s warranty.
The Lincoln Aviator’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Ascent’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
The Aviator has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Ascent doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Aviator has a standard -amp alternator (250-amp - Aviator optional). The Ascent’s 190-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.
The Aviator’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 140 more horsepower (400 vs. 260) and 138 lbs.-ft. more torque (415 vs. 277) than the Ascent’s 2.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Aviator’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 234 more horsepower (494 vs. 260) and 353 lbs.-ft. more torque (630 vs. 277) than the Ascent’s 2.4 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the Aviator Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Ascent doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Aviator’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Ascent doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The Aviator’s standard fuel tank has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Ascent (20.2 vs. 19.3 gallons).
The Aviator has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Ascent doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better traction, the Aviator has larger tires than the Ascent (255/55R19 vs. 245/60R18).
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 Ascent’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Aviator has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Ascent. The Aviator’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Ascent Limited/Touring.
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 Ascent’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 Ascent doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
The Aviator offers optional vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Ascent doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Aviator’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the Ascent (119.1 inches vs. 113.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Aviator is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Ascent.
The front grille of the Aviator uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Ascent doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Aviator Grand Touring/Black Label uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Ascent doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Aviator has .2 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear hip room, 1 inch more rear shoulder room and .6 inches more third row headroom than the Ascent.
The Aviator’s cargo area provides more volume than the Ascent.
Behind Third Seat
18.3 cubic feet
17.8 cubic feet
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Aviator’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Ascent doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Aviator’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Ascent doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Aviator uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Ascent 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 Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 36% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.
The Aviator’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Ascent doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
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 Ascent doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the Aviator and the Ascent have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Aviator is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Ascent prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
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 Ascent’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the Aviator the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Ascent can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
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 Ascent’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Aviator’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Ascent Premium/Limited/Touring.
The Aviator has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Ascent offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
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 Ascent doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Lincoln Aviator (except Base) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Ascent doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Aviator (except Base)’s optional Active Park Assist Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Ascent doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Aviator is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Ascent doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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