Produced in 2002 and launched as a 2003 model, the Lincoln Aviator was a more affordable alternative to the luxury SUV Lincoln Navigator. The Aviator had similar style and interior with the Navigator, while its platform was based on the Ford Explorer. Manufactured at Ford’s Missouri-based St. Louis Assembly plant, production years were from 2002 to 2005.
2003: The Aviator as Navigator’s mini-me version
In its first year, the Aviator was equipped with a 4.6 L, 32-valve, V8 engine with 302 hp. It was available as an all-wheel or two-wheel drive, and trim levels were Luxury (base) and Premium. Just like its bigger brother, the Navigator, the Aviator featured a control panel equipped with brightly illuminated analog dials, a leather- and wood-trimmed center stack, and two seating configurations: a split-bench seat or captain’s chairs on the second row. Because of these optional seat assemblies, this mid-size SUV can accommodate six or seven passengers.
Standard features on both Luxury and Premium trims include leather seats, rear parking assist, and climate control (dual zone). Other standard features were painted alloy wheels, a trailer hitch (Class II), a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel, and heated mirrors with turn signals Exclusive features for the Premium trim were HID headlights, ventilated and heated seats, and a six-disc CD changer and radio.
A Kitty Hawk edition was also offered in 2003. This package exclusively includes distinctly styled trims for the interior and exterior, a tire pressure monitor, and alloy wheels made of chrome.
2004: From Premium to Ultimate
In 2004, the Premium trim was changed to Ultimate, although the exclusive and standard features were all the same. However, two new optional features were added in the line-up: a stability control system equipped with rollover sensors and a satellite radio.
2005: Ending with a bang
Even though production for the Lincoln Aviator ended in 2005, it definitely ended with a bang. A 2005 Aviator was available in only one but well-equipped trim. This could then be upgraded through various package options. It came equipped with a privacy glass, 17-inch alloy wheels, adjustable pedals, mirrors with turn signals, alloy-, wood-, and leather-trimmed interiors, and climate control (three-zone). Among the standard safety equipment were dusk-sensing head lights, traction control, and rear and front head airbags.
The following were the optional upgrade packages:
Elite – This included a sunroof, xenon headlights, chrome alloy wheels, a trailer towing system, and a DVD entertainment system for passengers at the back seats.
Luxury Enhancement Moonroof – This package included a sunroof, chrome alloy wheels, a roof rack, cooled and heated front seats, and a six-disc CD changer.
Luxury Enhancement RSES – Features for this package included a CD changer (in-dash), a roof rack, alloy wheels made of coated with chrome, and temperature-adjustable seats.
Jet Black – This package offered chrome alloy wheels, an exhaust system with chrome tips, a rear spoiler, and a black exterior in monochromatic hues.