Lincoln Refreshes 2025 Aviator, Drops PHEV

For the ’25 model year, Ford’s Lincoln refreshes the Aviator large CUV, which shares a platform, components and assembly plant with the Ford Explorer.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

February 5, 2024

4 Min Read
2025 Lincoln Aviator
The ’25 Aviator is both a stylish premium CUV as well as a solid player in the livery market.

ROYAL OAK, MI – Lincoln reveals the ’25 Aviator with midcycle updates including the surprising step to drop the model’s plug-in hybrid option just as the market for PHEVs appears to be warming up.

The Aviator large CUV shares a platform with the Ford Explorer – both built at Chicago Assembly – and the silhouettes of the two vehicles can certainly be confused, but the Aviator carries headlamps and grilles unique to Lincoln, as well as offering more premium Lincoln-only features and options to set it apart.

Connected tech features include the Lincoln Digital Experience, which enables drivers to access apps and services from Google and Amazon through a new integrated user interface, as well as with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Aviator recognizes each driver by key fob as they approach the vehicle, and automatically adjusts seating and displays their favorite apps and content.

The ’25 Aviator also comes with the BlueCruise hands-free highway driving system on this vehicle for the first time, with a free four-year subscription to the feature.

The Reserve and Black Label models can be ordered with the Jet appearance package that last year replaced much of the Aviator’s exterior chrome trim with black pieces and swaps the plastic lower cladding and wheel surrounds for body-colored bits. The PHEV was dropped because of a low take-rate of 14%.

The interior of the refreshed Aviator has been updated with enlarged screens – a 13.2-in. (33.5-cm) touchscreen over the center stack and a new 12.4-in. (31.5-cm) digital cluster screen. There is real wood trim, and designers have created an abstract pattern in different sections of the trim that is a bit puzzling, but hardly offensive. Owners will just have to get used to being asked, “What’s this about?” when their friends and family get in the CUV.

Aviator is coming off a down year when sales fell 29.2% year over year but is nonetheless a promising role player in the Lincoln lineup, attracting new clients to the brand at a conquest rate of nearly 70%, the highest in the Lincoln portfolio. In contrast, sales of the Lincoln Navigator large SUV were up 32.9% to 17,549 vehicles.

“With the new Aviator, technology takes an even larger role in helping create a relaxing, luxurious space that our clients have come to appreciate and expect from Lincoln. With advanced, connected features like the Lincoln Digital Experience and BlueCruise hands-free driving technology, we are creating a new, digital sanctuary on the road,” says Heidi Shaffer, director, Lincoln Connected Sanctuary.

The 3-row Aviator’s powertrain: a 3.0L 400-hp twin-turbo V-6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, producing 415 lb.-ft. (563 Nm) of torque. Towijng capacity is 5,000 lbs. [2268 Kgs].

Pricing for the updated Aviator is not expected to change much from the ’24 model, which starts at $53,340 and climbs to $79,225 for the Black Label trim.

Lincoln Brand

Lincoln remains Ford’s problem child in terms of volume and return-on-investment. The 102-year-old brand is Ford’s only remaining luxury marque, though the company certainly has Ford-branded vehicles transacting north of $50,000. It’s been some time since former CEO Alan Mulally jettisoned Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Aston Martin, a legacy of the 1990s when Ford believed (and rightly so) that Lincoln was ill-equipped to compete against better and more aspirational German and Asian luxury brands.

Lincoln globally sold a bit more than 158,000 units last year, including almost 82,000 in the U.S., per Wards Intelligence. Sales abroad primarily were in the Middle East, South Korea and China. Lincoln Navigator, as well as increasingly Aviator, are still popular livery cars both in the U.S. and in those markets.

Lincoln is undergoing a transition with dealers. In 2021, the marque had 685 U.S. dealers. The number dropped to 637 in 2022. By the end of 2023, Lincoln had just over 500 retail locations.

A year ago, Ford said about 60% of its Lincoln dealers had opted to sell electric vehicles, including an investment of up to $900,000 to sell and service them.

Lincoln’s China business may be more promising than in the U.S. In collaboration with its joint venture partner, Changan Ford, Lincoln builds vehicles domestically and is seeing sales climb.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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