The last year for this rear-wheel-drive, midsize luxury SUV, the 2005 Lincoln Aviator STD gets a new chrome grille surround and standard AdvanceTrac traction control with rollover protection and a stability system. Previously optional, these safety features combine with 4-wheel disc and ABS brakes, dual front, front-side, and side curtain airbags (for the first two rows), a tire monitor, automatic headlights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, foglights, backup sensors, and mirrors with turn signals for top ratings from the Insurance Institute. Xenon HID headlights can be added with the Ultimate package. A foot shorter than the identical Navigator, the 2005 Aviator STD also has three rows of seats. Captain's chairs in the first two rows come standard, separated by a utilitarian console. A third-row bench seats two. Replacing the second row with a three-person bench boosts passenger capacity to seven. Both rear rows fold nearly flat, and the second row flips up for third-row access. The cargo area, with independent liftgate and rear window and cargo tie-downs, expands from 12 to 77 cubic feet. A roof rack adds more storage versatility.
A 4.6-liter, 302-hp DOHC V8 sits under the hood, paired with a 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission. As is, it tows 3,500 pounds, but with an optional towing package, its capacity jumps to 7,300 pounds. The luxury in this SUV rests inside, with leather, wood, and satin nickel trimmings and white electroluminescent gauges. Heated leather seats, 6-way power front seats with driver's memory, power-adjustable pedals and steering wheel, and wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls for the CD player are standard. Other conveniences include intermittent front and rear wipers, front and rear climate control, a trip computer, remote entry, garage opener, security system, and heated mirrors. The Ultimate package adds a 6-CD changer, sunroof, DVD player, touchscreen navigation system, new seven-spoke 17-inch chrome wheels, and heated/cooled seats. Drivers are overall pleased with the creature comforts, handling, and V8 power in the 2005 Aviator STD, but would prefer better gas mileage and would trade more cargo room for the third row.