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2021 Ford Explorer vs Lincoln Aviator

2021 Ford Explorer vs Lincoln Aviator

2021 Explorer vs Aviator - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Some vehicles go above and beyond to exceed the expectations of consumers. These are the models to consider in a new vehicle purchase. In the SUV market, the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator are two such choices. Going above and beyond to create a sense of luxury that is seldom matched by competitors, these two SUVs also invest time and effort into perfect passenger comfort features. Incorporating enough room for all your family and friends to join in on the ride, the Ford Explorer and the Lincoln Aviator think more is merrier. Throw in ample cargo space, and you have the perfect equation for a good time.

These two SUVs come from varied manufacturers with Ford stemming from a traditional auto brand and Lincoln representing a more luxurious brand. Their stature and commitment to buyers is much alike, but their starting costs are vastly different. In fact, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator is much steeper in cost than the 2021 Ford Explorer from its entry-level model. The difference between these SUVs only intensifies from there. Variations in engines, towing capacity, and interior amenities begin to build upon one another until you have two models that are oppositional in virtually every manner. Yet, each buyer must choose which SUV is the best for them, and this means comparing the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator down to the very last detail.

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The Powertrain

The way in which these two SUV models address horsepower production is strikingly different. While the 2021 Ford Explorer is focused on brute strength, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator sets its sights on a more refined driving experience. These differences are evident in the powertrain options each model encompasses. Kicking things off with three gasoline engine options, the 2021 Ford Explorer offers a traditional take on power production. Yet, in addition to a 2.3-liter four-cylinder, 365-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6, and 400-horsepower V-6, the Ford Explorer also introduces a hybrid powertrain for its 2021 model year. This hybrid setup relies on the pairing of a 3.3-liter V6 engine with an electric motor for a total production of 318 horsepower.

Also taking power production seriously, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator has plenty of options to choose from under the hood. A standard 3.0-liter V-6 leads the way, while a V-8 model offers a bit of variation for buyers who opt for this upgrade. Doing its part to promote sustainability, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator also offers a plug-in hybrid configuration. In this layout, the Aviator incorporates a V-6 engine and a 100-horspower motor paired with a 13.6 kWh battery. This hybrid setup can generate a whopping 464 horsepower, which is completely unexpected but much appreciated. A 10-speed automatic transmission accompanies all Lincoln Aviator models, which is perfect for easy shifting and carefree cruising.

A top reason for selecting a full-size SUV is to gain access to a vehicle with towing capabilities that are worthwhile. Despite their upscale appearance, both the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator perform well when they are called upon. The 2021 Ford Explorer can haul up to 5,600 pounds, which falls a bit short of our expectations for this model. Excelling in this area, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator surpasses our predictions and can tow up to 7,600 pounds. Luxurious and powerful, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator truly is the total package.

Not much is expected of the fuel economy of a full-size SUV model. These vehicle types place much energy into propelling themselves down the road while loaded down with cargo and accommodating multiple passengers. Yet, they need to be conscious enough to function as a daily driver for those who need them to, as well. Depending upon its powertrain, the best fuel economy of the 2021 Ford Explorer is 29 highway mpg in its rear-wheel drive hybrid setup. In comparison, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator averages just 26 highway mpg in its rear-wheel drive gasoline engine configuration. Though there is room for improvement in this arena, both full-size SUVs meet our predictions for fuel efficiency standards.


As with every other aspect, the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator vary greatly in their ride quality strengths. Where the Ford Explorer excels in agreeable handling and ride composure, the Lincoln Aviator relies upon adaptive dampers to smooth out ride imperfections. The sheer power and the stiff steering of the 2021 Ford Explorer provide this model with an athletic feel. Yet, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator places more emphasis on comfort and convenience in its enhancement integration. This highlights one of the main points of contention between the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator. The personality of each model is evident in the type of ride it has to offer buyers.

Extra room in the cabin and in the rear is a serious expectation buyers have for full-size SUV models. After all, additional space is one of the main reasons these models are selected in the first place. The 2021 Ford Explorer offers easy accessibility to the third row by just the touch of a button on the second row. As the second row seats slide away, space for up to 31 carry-on suitcases opens with both rows of seats stowed away. With the rear seat up, just four suitcases fit comfortably in the rear. In comparison, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator boasts second-row captain's chairs, which makes access to the rear easily attainable. Yet, the third row seat is rather cramped and only comfortable for small children. When the seats are folded, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator offers 10 cubic feet less space than its Ford Explorer rival.

Both the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator were built with the driver in mind, but each model offers its own take on what this means. For the Ford Explorer, this is represented by the incorporation of traditional interior elements, upgraded entertainment technology, and quality materials. Yet, the 2021 Ford Explorer is not so high-class that it is intimidating to use as a daily driver. On the other hand, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator is so upscale that it may not be a good option for daily use for some families. Its rather luxurious qualities and intense focus on comfort provide a level of class that most buyers are not used to. However, you will not find another model that is more passenger-centered than the Lincoln Aviator.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.


Safety is always a concern for larger vehicles that can transport multiple passengers and heavy loads. The ability to remain aware of surroundings and react quickly to potential hazardous can be improved by the inherent safety features each of these models encompasses. The 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator both landed five-stay safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is attributable to their integration of standard safety amenities. However, the 2021 Ford Explorer missed out on being named as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS for its subpar front crash test results. The 2021 Lincoln Aviator missed out on this award for the same reason.

Yet, that is not to say that each of these models does not offer substantial safety features that work to the advantage of the buyer. In fact, both are renowned for their wide array of standard safety amenity integration. Comparatively, the Ford Explorer has more to offer in driver assistive safety features than the Lincoln Aviator. Both offer forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist as standard. Yet, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator branches out and offers a few safety enhancements as available upgrades, whereas the same features are standard for the Ford Explorer. The specific attributes we speak of are adaptive cruise control and parking assistance.

Which Has the Best Value?

How do you even begin to determine which vehicle has the best value between two selections? To begin with, the overall cost of each must be taken into consideration. While this is not the ultimate determination of the vehicle with the better value, it should be considered when comparing trim level features and the cost of ownership, among many other things. The 2021 Lincoln Aviator costs substantially more than the 2021 Ford Explorer. Yet, this does not prevent it from being named as the best value. Let us look at what else it has to offer.

The 2021 Lincoln Aviator offers one more trim level than the 2021 Ford Explorer. While the Explorer boasts four models to choose from, the Lincoln Aviator puts out five choices to consider. The names of these trims certainly seem classier for the Aviator than they do for the Explorer, too. While the Ford Explorer creates different personas for each of its models, the Lincoln Aviator uses this as an opportunity for each to build upon the underlying trim. Therefore, there is more variation in the 2021 Ford Explorer models, yet there is more cohesion between the trims of the 2021 Lincoln Aviator.

Based on this information, if we had to choose which full-size SUV encompassed the best value between these two, we would go with the 2021 Ford Explorer. Paying for extra attributes is not a deal breaker but paying more for a vehicle with features like a lower-priced model makes us think twice about opting for the 2021 Lincoln Aviator.

Which is Better?

There are times when each of these SUV models would appeal to a different type of customer. In cases like these, the better option would differ for every customer. This is what makes comparing two SUV models so intriguing. What works for one family simply will not work for another, and what is appealing to one entrepreneur may not be a preference for another. Every facet and accent incorporated into the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator must be taken into consideration when selecting the SUV that will best fit into your current lifestyle.

For this reason, the 2021 Ford Explorer is a better option for buyers in search of a more economical model with all the bells and whistles. This model certainly is not cheap but compared to the 2021 Lincoln Aviator it is much more attainable. The Ford Explorer is also more family-friendly in that it incorporates more durable interior materials and comfortable seating all the way to the third row. It ensures passengers in every seat experience the same level of comfort and convenience throughout its cabin.

However, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator is an exceptional rival. It meets the Ford Explorer every step of the way and adds to the features this model has already set forth. One should note, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator has a noticeably higher price tag, which is something to consider. A model like this is expected to be outfitted with only the best, and for the most part, this is true for the Lincoln Aviator. Yet, the high price of the Lincoln Aviator is a downfall of this model. Few can afford the price tag that accompanies this SUV. For this reason, the 2021 Ford Explorer is commonly seen as the better selection for consumers.

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