2004 Lincoln Aviator Review
Offering value in the prestige market.
The Lincoln Aviator was deliberately designed to look like a 9/10ths-scale Lincoln Navigator. Aviator is more than a foot shorter than the Navigator, 4 inches narrower, and about 6-1/2 inches lower. Aviator seats six or seven, depending on the seating configuration ordered, while the Navigator has room for eight.
Like the Navigator, the Aviator sports a generous application of chrome trim, from the grille to the roof rack to the rear license plate holder. Aviator wears the same chrome-framed waterfall grille as the Navigator, though it looks somewhat less imposing in the Aviator's smaller size. The Aviator comes with truck-like running boards, which are a necessity for short-legged passengers.
The Aviator shares its basic structure with the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer, both of which were re-engineered for 2002. The Aviator is more than just a re-badged Explorer, however. For starters, the Aviator is slightly longer and wider than the Explorer. It uses the Explorer's independent rear suspension, a design more common on luxury cars than trucks, to improve ride quality and allow room underneath for the third seat to fold flat into the floor. The Aviator's suspension has been specially tuned, and lightweight components have been substituted, for improved on-pavement ride.
The Lincoln Aviator's interior is stunning, and every bit as elegant as a luxury sedan's. The two-tone leather in cream (Light Parchment) and charcoal gray (Espresso) with American walnut burl wood trim is quite attractive. The interior also comes in a two-tone Medium and Dark Ash.
The most distinctive touch in the interior is the pewter-colored satin-nickel finish used on the center dashboard and shifter surround. Another distinguishing feature is a small panel that pulls down to hide the audio system. It is finished in the same satin-nickel color. You won't forget what you are driving when you close it, as its cover spells out Lincoln. The clock in the center of the dash, with delicate gold hands and numbers, resembles an expensive watch. This clock design is becoming a signature feature in Lincolns.
The 1961 Lincoln Continental was the inspiration for the Aviator's symmetrical instrument panel. Switches and controls, either rectangular toggles or rotary dials, are backlit with white LED lighting. The steering wheel trimmed in wood and leather includes controls for audio and climate. Every surface throughout the Aviator is attractive to the eye and inviting to the touch.
Aviator comes standard with three rows of seats. The front bucket seats are comfortable and supportive.
In the second row, Aviator buyers have a choice, for which there is no difference in price. They can select a three-way split bench that seats three, or bucket seats for two. The bucket seats come with a hefty center console nearly identical to the one between the front bucket seats. Either way, the second-row seats fold and tumble forward for access to the third row.
The third-row bench sits low and is most suitable for children. It folds flat into the floor manually. Aviator has a two-piece liftgate like the Explorer, with a flip-up window positioned at the height of a shopping cart for loading groceries without lifting the entire hatch.
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2004 Lincoln Aviator, click here: 2004 Lincoln Aviator.