Here Are the Best and Worst Lincoln Aviator Model Years to Avoid

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you ready to hit the road in a luxurious and reliable midsize SUV? Before you get behind the wheel of a Lincoln Aviator, it’s important to know which years to avoid.

While this vehicle has a reputation for excellence, there are certain model years that have caused headaches for many owners.

But don’t worry, the Auto Renting Tutors team of researchers are here to help you steer clear of the problem years and save yourself from potential expenses down the road.

So, let’s dive into which Lincoln Aviator model years to avoid and which ones to consider for a smooth ride.

Lincoln Aviator years to avoid

Lincoln Aviator Worst Years

According to CarComplaints, the Aviator has had its fair share of issues over the years. Here are the worst Lincoln Aviator years and the problems associated with each:

2003 Lincoln Aviator

The 2003 Lincoln Aviator is one of the worst years to avoid. It had the most number of complaints, with most of them related to powertrain problems.

It also suffered from a large number of body and paint problems. If you’re considering a 2003 Aviator, be aware that you may encounter issues with the transmission, engine, and drivetrain.

2020 Lincoln Aviator

Surprisingly, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator is another year to avoid. Despite being a newer model, it had the worst possible overall reliability metric, according to Ford Authority.

The most common complaints were related to the engine, transmission, and electrical system. If you’re considering a 2020 Aviator, be sure to have it thoroughly inspected before making a purchase.

2021 Lincoln Aviator

The 2021 Lincoln Aviator is another year to avoid, with similar complaints to the 2020 model. According to Consumer Reports, the most common issues were related to the engine, transmission, and fuel system.

If you’re considering a 2021 Aviator, be sure to check for any signs of engine problems or transmission issues.

Other Years

While the 2003, 2020, and 2021 Aviators are the worst years to avoid, that doesn’t mean that other years are problem-free.

Other years have had complaints related to engine problems, transmission issues, and rust or corrosion. If you’re considering a used Aviator, be sure to do your research and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before making a purchase.

Lincoln Aviator Model Years

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the first and second generations of the Lincoln Aviator and highlight the years you should steer clear of.

First Generation

The first generation of the Lincoln Aviator was produced from 2003 to 2005. While this luxury SUV was a popular choice for many, there were some issues that plagued certain model years.

Here are the years to avoid:

  • 2003: This was the first year of production for the Lincoln Aviator, and it had the most reported problems. Many owners experienced issues with the transmission, engine, and suspension.
  • 2004: While not as problematic as the 2003 model year, the 2004 Lincoln Aviator still had its fair share of issues. Owners reported problems with the brakes, transmission, and electrical system.
  • 2005: The final year of production for the first generation Lincoln Aviator, the 2005 model year had fewer reported problems than the previous two years. However, owners still reported issues with the transmission and electrical system.

Second Generation

The second generation of the Lincoln Aviator was introduced in 2020 and is still in production today. While this generation is generally more reliable than the first, there are still some years to avoid:

  • 2020: The first year of production for the second generation Lincoln Aviator, the 2020 model had some reported problems with the electrical system and powertrain.
  • 2021: The 2021 Lincoln Aviator had fewer reported problems than the 2020 model year. However, some owners still experienced issues with the electrical system and powertrain.
  • 2022: The most recent model year for the Lincoln Aviator, the 2022 model has had very few reported problems. However, it’s still too early to tell if there will be any long-term issues with this model.

We averred tat the second generation is generally more reliable, it’s still a good idea to steer clear of the 2020 and 2021 model years if possible.

RELATED:  A close rival model is the Lincoln Nautilus SUV. Go here to see complete issues reported about Lincoln Nautilus models – some are same as Aviator.

Lincoln Aviator Engine and Transmission

When it comes to the Lincoln Aviator, the engine and transmission are two of the most critical components to consider. Here’s what you need to know about them:

Engine

The Lincoln Aviator comes with two engine options – a V8 and an Ecoboost engine. While both engines are powerful, the Ecoboost engine is more fuel-efficient and provides better performance.

The V8 engine is a bit of a gas guzzler, so if you’re looking for a more fuel-efficient option, the Ecoboost is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for raw power, the V8 is the better choice.

Transmission

The Lincoln Aviator comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission that provides smooth and seamless shifts. It’s a great transmission that works well with both engine options.

However, some owners have reported issues with the transmission, specifically with shifting and hesitation. Make sure to test drive it thoroughly to ensure that the transmission is working correctly.

Fuel System

The fuel system is an essential component of any vehicle, and the Lincoln Aviator is no exception. The fuel system is responsible for delivering fuel to the engine, and if it’s not working correctly, you’ll experience poor performance and fuel economy.

Make sure to keep your Lincoln Aviator’s fuel system clean and well-maintained to avoid any issues.

Spark Plugs

The spark plugs are responsible for igniting the fuel in the engine, and if they’re not working correctly, you’ll experience poor performance and fuel economy.

Make sure to replace your Lincoln Aviator’s spark plugs regularly to ensure that the engine is running at its best.

Overall, the Lincoln Aviator is a great vehicle with a powerful engine and a smooth transmission.

Lincoln Aviator Suspension and Brakes

One area to pay attention to is the suspension and braking system. Here’s what you need to know:

Suspension

The Lincoln Aviator’s suspension system is designed to provide a smooth and comfortable ride. However, some models have had issues with their suspension, which can lead to a bumpy ride and even safety concerns.

Specifically, the air suspension system has been known to fail, causing the vehicle to sag or lean to one side. This can make it difficult to control the vehicle and can even cause accidents.

Look for any signs of sagging or leaning, and take the vehicle for a test drive to see how it handles on the road.

Brakes

The Lincoln Aviator’s braking system is designed to provide reliable stopping power. However, some models have had issues with their brakes, which can lead to safety concerns.

Specifically, some owners have reported that the brakes feel spongy or unresponsive, which can make it difficult to stop the vehicle quickly.

It’s important to check the brakes carefully. Look for any signs of wear or damage, and take the vehicle for a test drive to see how it handles in different driving conditions.

To ensure the safety of your vehicle, do keep up with regular maintenance and inspections. This includes having your suspension and braking system checked by a qualified mechanic on a regular basis.

Lincoln Aviator Safety and Recalls

You should be aware of potential safety concerns and recalls when considering which year to purchase.

Safety Features

The Lincoln Aviator offers a range of safety features to ensure the protection of its passengers. Some of these features include:

  • Side airbags: These airbags are designed to protect passengers in the event of a side-impact collision. They are located in the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • Visibility: The Lincoln Aviator has a range of visibility features, including a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and automatic high beams. These features help drivers to see their surroundings more clearly and avoid accidents.

Recalls

Over the years, there have been several recalls issued for the Lincoln Aviator. It’s important to be aware of these recalls and ensure that any necessary repairs have been made before purchasing a used vehicle.

Some of the most significant recalls include:

  • 2020-2023 Explorer, Lincoln Aviator, and 2020-2022 Lincoln Corsair vehicles equipped with a 360-degree camera: The video output may fail, which could result in the loss of a rearview image while backing up. This could increase the risk of a crash.
  • 2020-2021 Lincoln Aviator vehicles: The image processing module may be unable to provide video feed to the display, which could result in the loss of a rearview image while backing up. This could increase the risk of a crash.
  • 2023 Lincoln Aviator vehicles: An audible warning chime that does not properly alert of an unbelted seat belt can increase the risk of injury during a crash.

Please, note that these recalls have been addressed by the manufacturer, and any necessary repairs should have been made.

But ensure to double check the vehicle’s history and ensure that all recalls have been addressed before purchasing a used Lincoln Aviator.

Lincoln Aviator Interior and Comfort

The interior of the Lincoln Aviator is designed to provide you with a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. Let’s take a closer look at the seats and comfort features of the Lincoln Aviator.

Seats

The Lincoln Aviator comes with three rows of seats, which can accommodate up to seven passengers. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and they are covered in high-quality materials.

The front seats are heated and ventilated, which means that you can adjust the temperature to your liking.

The second-row seats are also comfortable, and they can slide and recline to provide more legroom and comfort for your passengers.

The third-row seats are suitable for children or smaller adults, and they can be folded down to provide more cargo space.

Comfort

The Lincoln Aviator is designed to provide you with a smooth and comfortable ride. The suspension system is tuned to absorb bumps and road imperfections, which means that you can enjoy a comfortable ride even on rough roads.

The cabin is also well-insulated, which means that you can enjoy a quiet ride even at high speeds. It also comes with several comfort features that can enhance your driving experience.

For example, the tri-zone automatic climate control system allows you to adjust the temperature in three different zones, which means that you and your passengers can enjoy a comfortable temperature regardless of where you are sitting.

The panoramic sunroof provides plenty of natural light and fresh air, which can make your driving experience even more enjoyable.

In terms of driving dynamics, the Lincoln Aviator provides a smooth and responsive driving experience.

The steering is precise, and the brakes are strong and responsive. The available adaptive suspension system can adjust the suspension settings based on your driving style and road conditions, which means that you can enjoy a comfortable and engaging driving experience.

Lincoln Aviator Reliability and Ownership

Dependability

According to J.D. Power, the Lincoln Aviator has a good reliability rating. This means that you can expect the Aviator to be a reliable vehicle for you.

Ownership

When it comes to ownership, the Lincoln Aviator offers a comfortable and luxurious experience. The interior is spacious and comfortable, and the ride is smooth and quiet.

This SUV is a larger vehicle, so it may not be the best choice if you frequently navigate tight city streets or have a small garage.

Though relatively easy to care for routine maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and any issues should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.

Lincoln Aviator Rivals and Comparison

Here’s how the Lincoln Aviator stacks up against some of its top rivals:

BMW X7

The BMW X7 offers a more powerful engine than the Lincoln Aviator, but it comes at a higher price point. The X7 also has a larger cargo capacity and a more spacious third row.

However, the Lincoln Aviator has a more modern interior design and a smoother ride quality. Here are the model years to avoid foe BMW X7!

Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 offers a more fuel-efficient engine than the Lincoln Aviator, but it has less cargo space and a smaller third row. The Q7 also has a higher starting price than the Lincoln Aviator.

However, it offers a more engaging driving experience and more advanced technology features. Discover which Auid Q7 with most reported complaint!

Infiniti QX-60

The Infiniti QX-60 is a more affordable option than the Lincoln Aviator, but it has a less powerful engine and a less luxurious interior.

The QX-60 also has a smaller cargo capacity and less advanced safety features. However, it does offer a more comfortable and spacious third row.

Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator is a larger SUV than the Lincoln Aviator, with more cargo space and a more powerful engine.

However, it comes at a higher price point and has a less fuel-efficient engine. The Navigator also has a less modern interior design and a less advanced infotainment system. Discover which used Navigator SUV models experiencing reliability issues!

Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 offers a more fuel-efficient engine than the Lincoln Aviator, but it has less cargo space and a smaller third row.

The XC90 also has a higher starting price than the Lincoln Aviator. However, it offers a more luxurious interior and more advanced safety features.

Overall, the Lincoln Aviator offers a good balance of luxury, performance, and value compared to its rivals.

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