The 2025 Lincoln Aviator: More Luxury for the Money

For the 2025 model, Lincoln has simplified the lineup: one 400 engine, 3 trims and luxuries at every level. What's unchanged? How this 3-row SUV makes us feel.

Me With The 2025 Lincoln Aviator
Me with the 2025 Lincoln Aviator. Photo: Scotty Reiss

All the Luxuries You Love? Now They’re (Mostly) Standard

There are certain cars in our lives we’ll never forget. The one that I drove to bury my mom, the Lincoln Aviator, resonates especially in my mind, and in my heart.

Not because my vision was blurry from the tears and grief, and the car’s safety systems let me know if I veered too close to the center line.

Or because I had enough seats for my family and room for flower arrangements and other assorted necessities in the cargo space.

I could have simply been grateful for all wheel drive when we walked out of the funeral home to discover a snowfall — no doubt, my mom having a last laugh; she hated show — that would make the streets slick.

But, it was the comfortable haven of the Lincoln Aviator that made a tough time less difficult.

Related: How Lincoln Created a Sanctuary of Luxury and Elegance in its New SUVs

The Front Cabin Of The 2025 Lincoln Aviator

The front cabin of the 2025 Lincoln Aviator. Photo: Scotty Reiss

We Loved Original Aviator; Would This One Disappoint?

That was 2020, a year most of us will never forget, for all the reasons. Thinking back just a few months earlier, in late 2019, the glory of seeing and driving the Aviator for the first time was still fresh: the luscious leather interior, the fantastic sound system, the clever interior design and innovative technology. We’d never seen anything like it and over the coming years, would see many of the Aviator’s features “inspired” in its competitors.

So as I headed to Detroit for a sneak peek the 2025 model, I had to wonder, with a little fear, what would be different? Would I have to adjust to new features and design? Would the Aviator’s strong stature be softened (which would make me sad; I really love its looks)?

The good news is, all the things we love have been preserved. Mostly the update extends to technology, a few interior details that could stand to be modified, and a simplified new lineup with more standard features that add more luxury to the Aviator at the base price.

The Aviator’s technology and how each edition is packaged is the biggest news for 2025.

Related: 2022 Lincoln Navigator Review: This Big Boy Will Wow You

The New Front Grille Of The 2025 Lincoln Aviator

The new front grille of the 2025 Lincoln Aviator. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Subtle New Details Define the 2025 Aviator

On the exterior, the front grille has been updated from the first model; it’s larger and has slim new headlights that are framed by daytime running lights. The new grille offsets the Lincoln badge in what may be its most demure look yet; back in the pre-Aviator day, the Lincoln logo was so large it almost dominated the front of all its cars and SUVs. Now, the logo is more like an anchor point that brings all the elements together.

Another notable design change is that the start button has moved; in prior models, the start button was behind the steering wheel on the dash, next to the multimedia touch screen. Now, it’s part of the “piano key” panel, where you’ll also find the park, drive, and reverse buttons. It’s a nice change.

Which leads to the most notable design: the new, large multimedia screen. By moving the start button, Lincoln was able to expand the size of the screen to incorporate new technology — which is actually the biggest change: it now has a 13” center screen with lots of new functions.

Related: You Have to See This to Believe It: The 2024 Lincoln Nautilus 

The Multimedia Touch Screen Grew To 13&Quot;

The multimedia touch screen grew to 13″. Photo: Scotty Reiss

“Hey Google” Adds a True Luxury Touch

The new multimedia screen incorporates the Google operating system, which Ford and Lincoln are moving to. Don’t be put off by this; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still part of the package. Additionally, Lincoln has added video games to the selections, as well as a suite of apps, though the car has to be in park in order to use the video games.

The Google system allows you to select your destination and see turn-by-turn directions in the head-up display, which is also now larger and features more information.

And, you can see it all on the driver display screen, which has also been updated.

The Panoramic Sunroof Is Now Standard In The 2025 Lincoln Aviator

The panoramic sunroof is now standard in the 2025 Lincoln Aviator. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Simplified Lineup, But One of Our Favorite Features is No More

Lincoln added more standard features but reduced the number of trims in the Aviator family. This means that every model comes with a V6 400 HP engine, but the hybrid is no longer an option; it’s been phased out (if you really want the hybrid, you may find a 2024 model on a dealer’s lot right now, though).

I have mixed feelings about the hybrid: A plug-in hybrid electric with about 21 miles of all-electric driving range, really, it was designed as a power boost with an additional 94 HP for a phenomenal power experience for those who really want it. But in a 6 or 7-passenger SUV? See the conundrum? Not many customers really wanted (or needed) that amount of power which, in the wrong hands, could toss rear seat passengers to car sickness in minutes flat.

The Start Button Is Now Part Of The Gear Selector Panel

The start button is now part of the gear selector panel. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The New Lineup is Simplified With Lots of Great Standard Features

For 2025 all models also come with an upgraded list of standard features. These include:

  • The new multimedia system with Google operating system
  • Blue Cruise hands-free highway driving (complimentary for 4 years, subscription after that)
  • Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 driver assist and safety features
  • 360-degree surround view camera
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heated and vented front seats
  • Wireless phone charging
  • Digital key (phone as key)
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Trailer tow package with up to 5,000 lbs. towing

And then, the lineup: The three editions are Premium, Reserve and Black Label.

Both Premium and Reserve are rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available for about $2,000. Black Label comes with AWD standard. All are available in Jet, which adds a black grille and gloss black details, including the roof rails, side mirror caps, and wheels. It’s particularly sharp against the white pearl color we saw. It looks so chic.

Buyers can add packages such as Co-Pilot 360 Plus with road sign recognition, more sensors, and features; there’s also a lighting package, massaging front seats, an enhanced suspension, more luxuries for rear seat passengers, captain chairs, and, of course, upgraded leather.

Me In The 3Rd Row Of The 2025 Lincoln Aviator

Me in the 3rd row of the 2025 Lincoln Aviator, Photo: Scotty Reiss

Are There Changes to the Rear Seats?

Not really, which is good news: Captain chairs are an option, and Lincoln offers two center-row consoles to go between them: One larger one that has illuminated cupholders and storage or a smaller one that is easy to step over, making the pass-through more accessible for 3rd-row passengers.

The 3rd row is on the small side, better suited for smaller people, though I fit just fine with the center row seat pushed forward slightly (I’m 5’8”).

For families who need space for 2 rear-facing kids’ car seats, the center-row bench is the way to go. With seats pushed all the way back, you should be able to fit two seats in the middle and passenger-side seats (if the car seats are slim enough). This will also leave the seat behind the driver available for slide-and-fold access to the 3rd row, and it’ll push forward a bit for 3rd-row passenger comfort.

For those only installing forward-facing seats, the outboard center seats push forward with the touch of a button on the center row seat shoulder. It’s quick and easy and gives you enough for an average-sized person to climb into the 3rd row. I did it, and it’s fine.

I will say, once there, the seats sit relatively close to the floor, making legroom a consideration, which is why I’d recommend smaller passengers taking a seat in the 3rd row. This is because the Aviator shares its platform with the Ford Explorer; these SUVs are large enough for daily use 3rd row, but just barely.

The Center Console Is Mostly Unchanged And Includes A Wireless Phone Charger Which Is A Standard Feature

The center console is mostly unchanged and includes a wireless phone charger, which is a standard feature. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What’s The Price of All These Luxury Upgrades?

That, too, is a consideration: You get a lot more for the money, but more money. The addition of Blue Cruise, the upgraded 400 HP engine, the new multimedia system, and other standard features adds between $5K and $8K to the price of the Aviator. When the 2025 Aviator hits dealers in mid-2024, pricing will look like this:

  • Premium: $58,495
  • Reserve: $67,495
  • Black Label $86,995

Lest you think prices simply went up, keep in mind that this is close to what most buyers were actually spending; Lincoln simply eliminated the models and trims that were less popular and standardized the features people were opting for.

The 2025 Lincoln Aviators Steering Wheel Keeps Many Things We Love Including A Press To Talk Button Under The Drivers Left Thumb

The 2025 Lincoln Aviator’s steering wheel keeps the things we love, including a press-to-talk button under the driver’s left thumb. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Essence of Luxury is Not Compromising

They’ve also standardized the idea of sanctuary. This is a quiet car with refined details, an elegant choice of interior colors and finishes, and conveniences at your fingertips that mean you can close the door on the outside world and pay attention to what matters most.

Sometimes, that’s singing along to Frozen with your kids; sometimes, that’s paying attention to a snowy road. Sometimes, it’s getting lost in the memory of your mom and knowing your car will keep you safe as you do.

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss