Home » The 2025 Lincoln Aviator Looks Annoyed That It’s Still Missing Its Plug-In Hybrid Option

The 2025 Lincoln Aviator Looks Annoyed That It’s Still Missing Its Plug-In Hybrid Option

Preproduction Vehicle Shown. Available Summer 2024.
ADVERTISEMENT

For the past few years, the Lincoln Aviator has been a decent, if left-field choice in the popular and profitable three-row luxury crossover segment. Sure, it had some teething issues, but it stumbled its way into becoming a grand, opulent, stiff upper-lipped alternative to the frequently leering, occasionally minimalist competition. However, it’s now in the middle of its model cycle, and the resulting facelift comes with a change in visual attitude. The 2025 Lincoln Aviator looks annoyed, but why?

The first thing you’ll notice about Lincoln’s refreshed Explorer-based crossover is that it’s pulling the same squinting face you pull when someone tries some Mickey Mouse behavior. The outgoing Aviator  has a fairly neutral expression, but this new one adopts a full-on glare. From the bigger grille to the daytime running light pulled into angular headlamp assemblies, this thing has an attitude, possibly due to its knowledge that it deserves the powertrain that used to be offered in the Aviator up until 2023.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I’m talking about the plug-in hybrid, which was offered in Grand Touring trim, with a three-liter twin-turbocharged V6, a 13.6 kWh lithium ion battery, and an electric motor combining to offer a 630 lb.-ft. tidal wave of buttery-smooth torque, or dividing to offer 21 miles of all-electric range. I tested one several years ago and loved it.

Lincoln Aviator 3qtr 2024 2025

Sure, it had its flaws. Occasionally you’d get a low-speed clunk from the transmission when coming to a stop, but otherwise, the plug-in hybrid Aviator made sense as a three-row sailboat for the open highway that wouldn’t be caught at every gas station around town. For 2024, Lincoln took away the plug-in hybrid option and still hasn’t added it back for 2025 according to the spec sheet Lincoln sent us. Bummer! (Maybe it’ll come back as a mid 2025? I can only dream!).

ADVERTISEMENT

2025 Lincoln Aviator

So, other than a bit of styling, what’s actually new on the 2025 Lincoln Aviator? Well, the interior does get a noticeable tech upgrade. The infotainment touchscreen climbs to 13.2 inches in size and displays a new operating system, dubbed Lincoln Digital Experience. A new 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster complements the infotainment and should offer deeper blacks than the outgoing digital cluster. There’s now a Bluetooth-connected keyboard for browsing the web while parked, and Lincoln claims that the refreshed Aviator will soon be able to take video conference calls. As you probably expected, it also gets a 5G modem to support all of this connectivity stuff, so expect continued support for quite some time. After all, 3G support in America lasted the better part of 20 years.

2025 Lincoln Aviator

As is usual in a mid-cycle refresh, Lincoln is relying partially on re-jigged packages and new colors to do some lifting, with different trim levels benefitting from different choices. The ritzy Black Label model gets Cenote Green (Get it? C-note?) and Whisper Blue Metallic as new exterior colors and an all-black interior theme called Invitation. As for the Reserve trim, it gets interior choices of black, light grey, Harvest Bronze (reminds me a bit of old fixtures), and brown. The bigger deal is the Jet Package, which is just Lincoln’s terminology for dark wheels and trim.

ADVERTISEMENT

2025 Lincoln Aviator Black Label

Oh, and of course Lincoln has upped the standard feature content on the new Aviator. Every single one of them will get a panoramic moonroof, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, adaptive suspension, towing equipment, and four years of hands-free BlueCruise Level 2 advanced driver assistance.

2025 Lincoln Aviator

While we yearn for the return of the plug-in hybrid, the refreshed 2025 Lincoln Aviator looks pretty good. The outgoing car felt special and maximalist in a minimalist world, and we have no doubts the new one will continue this trend. Tick the boxes for top-spec audio and 30-way seats, set the cruise control to 75 mph, and channel your inner Matthew McConaughey. This three-row family hauler seems alright, alright, alright.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Photo credits: Lincoln)

Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.

Relatedbar

ADVERTISEMENT

Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
43 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bassracerx
Bassracerx
25 days ago

that is upsetting about the PHEV i assumed Lincoln would keep the PHEV option since they are sold in such few numbers anyway and Ford could funnel wealthy people who wanted the hybrid explorer to an aviator instead. Hopefully ford can increase their hybrid production capacity soon!

Root
Root
25 days ago

I really appreciate that you mentioned the 5G network being around for a while. I would love to have automakers describe their plans to make these increasingly-connected vehicles be future-proof w.r.t. changes in cellular tech. When the 3G shutdown happened two years ago, the automakers all pretended to be surprised (I assume they were pretending) and tried to blame the mobile network operators (as happened with my 2016 BMW).

With just a tiny bit of forethought, I’m sure the cellular modems could be designed to be upgradeable to future cellular standards. Given the long development time and model cycles, this scenario will almost certainly play out again in 10-15 years when the 4G networks are turned off, except a LOT more vehicles will be impacted and the impacts (lost functionality) will be far more noticeable. I believe many of the cars being sold today will still be on the road when 4G networks shut down, and then what happens to all of their connected features?

I think journalists and maybe even regulators should be thinking about this issue and holding automakers to account for how they engineer telematics systems to operate over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
25 days ago
Reply to  Root

It’s doable but the price to make it cost efficient for the manufacturers is so astronomical that nobody would spend thousands to upgrade the modem in their old car. Also considering the average BMW owner leases or flips their cars very frequently it doesn’t matter. Automakers give zero shits about the second or third owner of their cars.

Root
Root
24 days ago
Reply to  Bassracerx

Maybe you have information I don’t, but I have a hard time believing the cost would be that high. Something simple like making the cellular modem be a replaceable module that connects to the car via some standard interface (USB)? And your point about bmw not giving a shit about 2nd or 3rd owners is EXACTLY why I think journalists and perhaps even regulators should be asking the automakers about this issue.

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
23 days ago
Reply to  Root

you are focusing on the hardware aspect i am talking about on the backend system to get the hardware working. Someone has to provision the new IP address/ ESIM to the old car there is no way to automate something like that right now. My argument was the labor for the provisioning is expensive. The sunset of 3g tech did bork some cars but at the end of the day so few cars of that era even had that technology. There is no talks about a phase out of 4g until at least 2030 and 5g will probably be 2050. Technology just rapidly expanded in the late 2000’s to early 2010s. Connected cars were an ultra premium feature back then and the cost of being on the bleeding edge of technology is how quickly your tech will be out of date.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
25 days ago

The Aviator annoys me because it’s always so close to perfection but never quite gets there. If it was a little less busy – a little more 90s German – it would be sublime

And, almost all customers for it want the PHEV and Ford won’t even let the dealers get there hands on them when they were available

Greensoul
Greensoul
25 days ago

It looks annoyed because it didn’t lose that tacky fake vent on its front fenders and doors with this refresh.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
25 days ago
Reply to  Greensoul

And the front view gained “prison tears tattoo” vents under the headlights. Gross.

Bullshit vents are bullshit.

Greensoul
Greensoul
25 days ago

Rumor has it you’ll gain 5mph top end speed with every tacked on fake vent. Enough prison tattoo vents in the front and your good for 215mph. Tattoo vents are worth 15mph each BTW. Hood stripes add another 10mph just so you know

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
25 days ago

I’m not a family man so I really have no use for a big 3 row SUV, but I was driving a rental grand wagoneer the other day and boy howdy did I at least “get” why people love huge SUVs. But man they ALL need to be PHEVs, these things are big enough that you can put in those batteries and no one will notice and the perfect suburban family car would be one that gets 50/60 electric miles and have the gas engine for the road trip.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
25 days ago

You get it.

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
25 days ago

Not to be that guy but Cenote Green refers to a Cenote (seh-no-tay) which is essentially a lagoon in a cave and usually reflects green

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
25 days ago

I often find it fun to look at those pictures of faces under extreme g-forces.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
25 days ago

Thank you for including before/after photos.

2024 looks better; a lot better. The ’25 is somehow giving me Mustang Mach-e vibes. At least the grille.

Chronometric
Chronometric
25 days ago

I wondered who spends enough time in these things to need full 5G entertainment options or care if the screen has “deeper blacks”. Then I see the vehicle size and prices and realize that maybe they are positioning these as second (or first) homes.

AlterId
AlterId
25 days ago

Isn’t Ford winding down the Corscape plug-ins as well, to reallocate battery supplies? Although, since they’re cutting EV production for North America, where will those batteries go? Europe? They don’t even need cars there. Everything’s close together and well-planned and within five minutes’ walk of at least one high-speed rail stop. My shrunken, ill-informed, xenophobic soul shudders.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
25 days ago
Reply to  AlterId

The Corsair PHEV, which uses the same battery pack, has indeed been dropped too. That battery pack is also used by the Escape and Kuga PHEV which are doing very well so I’m pretty sure they want the batteries for those.The Corsair’s basic E-CVT is also shared with those and the standard Hybrid versions of them and the Maverick, all again with strong demand.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
25 days ago
Reply to  AlterId

The Escape/Kuga was the best selling PHEV in Europe I heard, though I’m not sure swhere exactly.

VanGuy
VanGuy
25 days ago

“Lincoln Digital Experience”? All I would care about (if I was ever in the market for a Lincoln, which I am decidedly not unless someone tells me that certain 2+ decade old models are hidden gems or something…) is whether it’s Android Auto/Carplay compatible.

Timmy
Timmy
25 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Yes. It’s actually a new Android based operating system entirely.

VanGuy
VanGuy
25 days ago
Reply to  Timmy

Okay, credit where credit is due, then.

J Hyman
J Hyman
25 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Sounded to me like there might be a proctologist involved.

MDMK
MDMK
25 days ago

Given Ford’s recent history of botched product launches plus the relatively low reliability scores of PHEV’s according to Consumer Reports, perhaps Ford is right in delaying the PHEV version of anything it makes going forward until it learns how to build vehicles correctly from the start.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
25 days ago
Reply to  MDMK

The PHEV version has been available since the launch. The reason it and the standard Hybrid Explorer have been dropped is to free up the components for the F-150 Hybrid which they are struggling to meet demand for.

Studdley
Studdley
25 days ago

Wonder where they mounted the foghorn…

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
25 days ago

The pre-facelift looks better. It had a grille, this just has a gaping…hole.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
25 days ago
Reply to  Tim Cougar

The extended DRL’s are just asking for little hands to be placed on them

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
25 days ago

Micky Mouse gloves. And they need to shake or bounce like the belly is laughing.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
25 days ago
Reply to  Tim Cougar

Overall I like the 2025 better, but you’re right about the grill. Maybe make the new grill out of the same material as the old one?

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
25 days ago

outside of people that get a ford employee discount, or super old people – who the hell is buying this thing?

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
25 days ago

Probably people who don’t buy a Volvo XC90 because it’s “Chinese”

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
25 days ago

I’ve cross shopped them in the past – They are very very comfortable, drive well, and the interiors look and feel much more upscale in person than in pictures. They really are a big step up from the explorer, but they are 10K too expensive and I hate the new grille fangs.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
21 days ago

Folks wanting a RWD-based luxury crossover and don’t want a European. Your choices are this and the Mazda CX-90.

If I were to be in the market for another three-row crossover (currently have an XC90, it’s good) those two are actually at the top of my shopping list, along with another Volvo. However life circumstances have changed, so I would only want a 2-row, which limits the RWD-based options even further (for now).

The Lincoln interior is such a great place to be, the modern definition for American Luxury, especially with the Perfect Position seats (sooooo good!). It has a nice dramatic look to it (though I generally prefer the original exterior to the 2025 version, but the Cenote Green on the new model hides a lot of sins).

Last edited 21 days ago by Box Rocket
Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
25 days ago

No, what it needs is an InTech badged 5.0 and the 10-speed internals from the GM version. What should then happen is a new Continental EV based on the 2002 concept.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
25 days ago

Correct! That 10 speed works great in GM products but is allegedly a nightmare in most Fords. I drove a Camaro SS with it and thought that it was stellar for an auto. It shifted fast, had a nice sound/mechanical feel to it, and never hesitated to kick down and allow me to return to monke.

If I were to buy a Camaro I’d legitimately have a hard time choosing between it and the Tremec. They’re both pretty great. But when I drove a Mustang with Ford’s 10 speed it just seemed uncertain. It spent a lot of time gear hunting and was easy to confuse.

Last edited 25 days ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
25 days ago

You left out the fact that it now starts at almost $60,000, which is absolutely staggering. Who the fuck is out there paying 60 large or more for a gussied up Explorer?!?! Out of all the ways to spend your money in the world that’s certainly one of them. I’m assuming they probably put money on the hoods of these that makes slightly more reasonable but outside of the 60+ age demographic who is out there buying Lincolns?

Anyway, no hybrid no care. The fact that Ford and GM offer nothing but thirsty V6s and V8s in their family haulers is going to come back to bite them. People want to electrification in these vehicles now. The “it’s a hauler, you’ll just accept the shit fuel economy” attitude is dated as hell. It’s not the 90s anymore.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago

You’ll buy it and you’ll like it!

Its the American auto industry way!

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
25 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

What are you gonna do?! Be a COMMIE and buy a damn FOREIGN CAR?!?!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago

Depends. Does buying a Mexican built Ford or a Honda built in Ohio count?

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
25 days ago

“MICKEY: Santa is not a Commie. He just forgot how his good friend stuck his neck out for him to get him a good job like this. Didn’t he Santa!”

Alec Rosenbaum
Alec Rosenbaum
25 days ago

I guess the lack of a hybrid option is linked to the fact pointed out a few days back that the 2025 Explorer hybrid is only available to fleets.

Hybrids are where the meat of the electrification market is now. I wonder what’s going on at Ford with these decisions.

Last edited 25 days ago by Alec Rosenbaum
Scoutdude
Scoutdude
25 days ago
Reply to  Alec Rosenbaum

Ford is struggling to meet F-150 Hybrid demand and it uses the same basic components as the Explorer and Aviator, so they were dropped to up F-150 availability.

Alec Rosenbaum
Alec Rosenbaum
25 days ago

Cenote Green (Get it? C-note?)

Could be a purposeful double entendre. A cenote is an underground chamber, cave, or sinkhole which contains water. They are often found in tropical climates and thus have much vegetation.

43
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x