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Mid-size - cuv (copycat award)
after their clientele. And since the switch back to a standard naming culture and with the release of the Continental sedan, Lincoln is back in the luxury game.
With a few past favorite names being brought back, it just seemed inevitable that the Aviator name would sit out. But unlike the Continental name, the Aviator doesn’t have a rich history to follow up on. All it has is a lost Explorer product line in need of a new counterpart. And just like before, that is where the Aviator will start from.
Utilizing the sub-assembly of the existing Explorer platform, the new Aviator has already been sent out on the right foot. As the Explorers platform has already been tested and balanced over the past decade. This in turn should better help the Aviator find a place among its luxury rivals. Even if its rivals don’t look as truck like as it does. Of course, this could be the models saving grace as it seems we are now moving away from sleek lines and back into the rugged truck like appeal for CUV’s.
Up front you will find yourself face to face with some oversized bubble lamps which would not be out of place in the 90’s. Sure, they flow with the front end beautifully, but really bubble lights. Time for Lincoln to wake up and see that the time of bubbles is slowly passing and that the Aviator should have something a bit better.
Directly in the center of the front you will again find the standard chrome grille that goes along with most Lincoln models these days. This is feature which could use some updating as it really doesn’t have that great of an appeal. Sure, the chrome accents are great, but really is spacing makes it look like it was designed with the rest of the front around it. Too bad the rest of the front-end flows with each other unlike the grille as it pokes out from the rest of the front. A bit of an inset and blending the lights into the end could have helped out here.
All around the front does function well and it does have a few good points. But an overuse of smooth flowing edges has made this front end seem a bit more feminine than masculine. A few hard lines could help add a bit more edge to the front and remove the bubble appeal of the 90’s. The 90’s were good, but they are over and done with and it is time to move on now.
As we move along the hood, we find ourselves running into the bottom of the roof rails. But wait those are supposed to be on the roof. Indeed, they are but Lincoln has utilized their lines in the A-pillar creating a slight break in the windshield. It is quite a noble act as the A-pillar has been darkened to give it the appearance that it is wrapped around the A-pillar, but indeed it is not. Seems Lincoln wants to go full bore with the floating roofline and make both the front and rear of the roof float. This could be something that catches on within the industry, or it could just be one of those lost fads that makes for a great future find.
Running down the edge of the hood line we find ourselves wondering why there is a large dark spot just under the belt line. Oh, wait that is supposed to be one of those fake engine exhaust ducts. Too bad its fake though and only serves the purpose of being placeholder. A well-designed nameplate placeholder though, as it has been made resemble an airplanes wing.
After you done gazing at that wing duct you will start to notice that the lower sill protection is made of the same cheap plastic. Something Lincoln could have done away with as this feature takes away from the luxury appeal of the side profile. Even the chrome window accents can’t help this one out.
This cheap lackluster approach to key features is present once again on the wheel well housings. Lincoln has done a wonderful job at blending the housings into the body flow, but have finished them off with cheap slapped on wall edging. Something we would be more likely to find in cheap apartments rather than on the side of a luxury product. Shame on Lincoln for not going with something a bit classier. Of course, this could be due to the bland flat styling of the ends of the wheel well housing. Instead of blending them in, Lincoln has flattened them out. Guess that must have been the day they realized they needed some hard edges. Too bad they utilized that feature in the wrong area.
As we move around the rear wheel housings, we find ourselves at the rear of this vehicle. And while there we take notice at how Lincoln has done away with any hard surfaces again. Of course, back here this is not a bad thing as most of the rear features work with each other without the use of any hard edges.
The flat surfaces of the wheel well housings now give way onto the rear bumper which has been properly integrated into the rear of the Aviator. Along with this Lincoln has added on a nicely fitted chrome accents which houses the rear reflectors. These of which have been properly designed to flow with the format of the rear. The truly odd thing about this feature is that it doesn’t properly flow with the side sill bumper guard. Which we already know is made of cheap gloss plastic. Had Lincoln spared a bit of expense and made that feature us of chrome, it would have blended beautifully with the rear accent.
The tail lights of the Aviator do blend into their surroundings properly due to some dark accents. And on the right exterior color this feature will blend right into its surroundings. But if you take a closer look at the layout of the lights, you will find that it looks as if there are two separate light fixtures. Sure, there isn’t a brake in the layout, but the accent just above the plate housing does give the appearance that the lights are of two worlds. Guess Lincoln forgot to dot this “I” since once you see it, you can’t un-see it.
Like the front end the D-pillar on the aviator has been made to give the appearance of a floating roof. Of course, that would be true had the rear window been better integrated into the design of the side windows. Without an accent line the D-pillar and rear window just seem to blend into their surroundings. A design flaw that takes away from the illusion of a floating room. Guess this is something that will have to be reworked for the mid-cycle refresh.
Given its lackluster history and a failed attempt to join the Edge family, the new Aviator seems to be off to a better start this time around. Of course, that could be because of its decade old underpinnings. But we think it may be due to its rough and rugged SUV inspired looks. Even if this looks has been borrowed from the Range Rover line.
As this new model is set out into the world with its copycat award, all we can say, is that it is a good start to something that could be so much more.
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