The Lincoln Aviator was a short lived attempt by Ford Motor Company to take another bite out of the luxury SUV market. Assembled in Hazelwood, Missouri in the United States, the Aviator entered the market for the 2003 model year and was discontinued in 2005.
Very similiar to its cousin the Lincoln Navigator, the Aviator was classed as a midsize port utility vehicle and was built on Ford Motor Company’s U platform. It was considered a four door SUV with front compartment engine and featured both rear wheel and four wheel drive.
The Aviator’s life span was quite short and this explains the single engine ever offered with the SUV. It was a 4.6 Liter DOHC Modular V8 engine coupled with a five speed automatic transmission.
Many of the Aviators problem’s seem to be related to the fact that Ford had already filled the market with other SUV’s. Though a nice automobile to be sure, the main problem the Aviator had was that it had no way of standing out from the crowd unless you consider the price. The base unit started at a little over $39,000 and ranged to $42,000 for the all wheel drive version. It was very similiar ain looks to the Ford Explorer, so much so that consumers had troubled differentiating between the two if they were not told in advance which one was which. Another problem it faced was it’s similar pricing to the larger and already well liked Ford Expedition.
With so many similiar types on the market already and sales sagging heavily, Ford made an abrupt decision to end production of the Lincoln Aviator in August of 2005. Though Ford had planned to bring the Aviator back sometime in 2007 with significant body style changes, those plans were eventually scraped as well. Instead Ford made the decision to bring in a new mid size crossover SUV, the Lincoln MKX.