2020 Lincoln Aviator vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE

2020 Lincoln Aviator
2020 Lincoln Aviator
$51,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
$54,750MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Lincoln Aviator
$51,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
$54,750MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator is 8.2 out of 10, while the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE scores 8.0 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator is the recommended choice for its higher overall rating, luxurious interior, and powerful hybrid option.

Overview

MSRP

$51,100

MSRP

$54,750

Average price

$37,947

Average price

$51,073

Listings

492

Listings

1226
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.2 out of 10

Expert reviews

8.0 out of 10
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Comfortable
  • Multiple powertrain options
Cons
  • Poor ergonomic design
  • Cramped third row
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Premium interior materials
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Uninspired styling
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Underwhelming base engine

2020 Lincoln Aviator Reviews Summary

The heyday for Lincoln was more than a half-century ago. Those postwar years of prosperity and optimism were the perfect time for cars like the Continental and others. They delivered comfort and luxury, wrapped in midcentury modern styling. Even as recently as the 1990s, Lincoln was still a popular brand, riding the SUV craze with its Navigator.

But after the turn of the century, Lincoln lost its ability to create new designs and looked inward and backward. Sure, retro-themed cars like the redesigned Mustang, PT Cruiser, and Chevy HHR had turned some heads, but none of those came from luxury brands. The BMWs and Mercedes of the world were all looking forward and pushing the envelope for contemporary automotive design. Meanwhile, Lincoln offered the MKX, which was based on the Ford Edge and featured ’66 Continental styling. Neat in a vacuum, but off-base compared to the modern luxury market.

This experimental phase with various retro looks coincided with the move to the MK-# alphabet-soup naming convention and big improvements in the Ford lineup, where top-end trims of the Fusion overlapped with an entry-level trim of the MKZ. The combination left Lincoln a confusing, anonymous afterthought in the modern luxury game.

But Lincoln is finally ready to change all that. It has a new cohesive design language, its focus is once again on luxury, and the three-letter naming convention that never meant anything to anyone other than Lincoln marketers is gone. The brand led with the 2017 Continental and 2018 Navigator, which are each impressive in their own right. But the company's lineup is growing and now includes the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Named after a luxury variant of the 2002-2005 Ford Explorer, this new Aviator is also based on the contemporary Explorer platform, but it's a luxury vehicle in its own right.

Much of the success of the Lincoln brand may hinge on this midsize, 3-row luxury SUV, so you need to consider its competition, such as the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX60, and all-new Cadillac XT6. Read on to learn if Lincoln’s take on luxury will stand out in a crowded competitive field.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Reviews Summary

Redesigned for 2020, the GLE-Class is the second-most-popular Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. It's a midsize luxury SUV in every traditional sense, but because Mercedes has way too much time and money to develop cars, the newest GLE has comfort and technology that border on ridiculous. The GLE Coupe models are brand-new for 2021 and among the strangest vehicles on the planet. Among the eight variants of this big Benz, at least one might fit your lifestyle, if not your budget.
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

3.0L 400 hp V6

Engine

2.0L 255 hp I4

Drive Train

RWD

Drive Train

RWD

Seating Capacity

7

Seating Capacity

7

Horsepower

Horsepower

255 hp @ 5800 rpm

MPG City

18

MPG City

19

MPG Highway

26

MPG Highway

26
2020 Lincoln Aviator
2020 Lincoln Aviator
$51,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
$54,750MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Lincoln Aviator
$51,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
$54,750MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator is 8.2 out of 10, while the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE scores 8.0 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator is the recommended choice for its higher overall rating, luxurious interior, and powerful hybrid option.

Overview
MSRP
$51,100
$54,750
Average price
$37,947
$51,073
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.5
4.5
Expert reviews

8.2 out of 10

Read full review

8.0 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Comfortable
  • Multiple powertrain options
Cons
  • Poor ergonomic design
  • Cramped third row
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Premium interior materials
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Uninspired styling
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Underwhelming base engine
Summary

The heyday for Lincoln was more than a half-century ago. Those postwar years of prosperity and optimism were the perfect time for cars like the Continental and others. They delivered comfort and luxury, wrapped in midcentury modern styling. Even as recently as the 1990s, Lincoln was still a popular brand, riding the SUV craze with its Navigator.

But after the turn of the century, Lincoln lost its ability to create new designs and looked inward and backward. Sure, retro-themed cars like the redesigned Mustang, PT Cruiser, and Chevy HHR had turned some heads, but none of those came from luxury brands. The BMWs and Mercedes of the world were all looking forward and pushing the envelope for contemporary automotive design. Meanwhile, Lincoln offered the MKX, which was based on the Ford Edge and featured ’66 Continental styling. Neat in a vacuum, but off-base compared to the modern luxury market.

This experimental phase with various retro looks coincided with the move to the MK-# alphabet-soup naming convention and big improvements in the Ford lineup, where top-end trims of the Fusion overlapped with an entry-level trim of the MKZ. The combination left Lincoln a confusing, anonymous afterthought in the modern luxury game.

But Lincoln is finally ready to change all that. It has a new cohesive design language, its focus is once again on luxury, and the three-letter naming convention that never meant anything to anyone other than Lincoln marketers is gone. The brand led with the 2017 Continental and 2018 Navigator, which are each impressive in their own right. But the company's lineup is growing and now includes the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Named after a luxury variant of the 2002-2005 Ford Explorer, this new Aviator is also based on the contemporary Explorer platform, but it's a luxury vehicle in its own right.

Much of the success of the Lincoln brand may hinge on this midsize, 3-row luxury SUV, so you need to consider its competition, such as the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX60, and all-new Cadillac XT6. Read on to learn if Lincoln’s take on luxury will stand out in a crowded competitive field.

Redesigned for 2020, the GLE-Class is the second-most-popular Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. It's a midsize luxury SUV in every traditional sense, but because Mercedes has way too much time and money to develop cars, the newest GLE has comfort and technology that border on ridiculous. The GLE Coupe models are brand-new for 2021 and among the strangest vehicles on the planet. Among the eight variants of this big Benz, at least one might fit your lifestyle, if not your budget.
Video
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
3.0L 400 hp V6
2.0L 255 hp I4
Drive Train
RWD
RWD
Seating Capacity
7
7
Horsepower
255 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG City
18
19
MPG Highway
26
26
Look and feel
2020 Lincoln Aviator
9/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
6/10
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator slotted below the Navigator and above the compact MKC and its replacement, the Lincoln Corsair. Lincoln's return to using real vehicle names signaled a departure from the old alphabet-soup naming convention, indicating a move away from copying imports. The Aviator featured a unified design across Lincoln's lineup, with handsome headlights and an upright chrome grille. Its tapered roofline and low, wide beltline gave it an elongated, almost boat-like appearance. Inside, the Aviator's cabin boasted a flowing design with soft-touch materials and selective use of brightwork. The seats were both elegant and sturdy, and the shifter buttons had a piano-key design. The front seats were incredibly comfortable, using plush leather throughout, even in areas where it wasn't necessary, showcasing Lincoln's commitment to luxury. The Aviator also had unique touches like a massive panoramic moonroof and warning jingles recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE, while not the most striking in appearance, had a much-improved interior. The GLE Coupe, which was tested, received a full redesign for 2021, making it more streamlined and cohesive. The interior was a masterpiece in quality, layout, colors, and textures, with a red and black interior that was both loud and palatial. The twin arching grab handles on the center console, outlined with LED lighting, were a standout feature. The GLE's interior materials, including wood, metal, leather, suede, and plastic, were delightful to touch and operate, except for the flimsy gear selector and turn signal stalks. The GLE exuded a sense of pampering, but it required a high level of options to feel truly luxurious.
Performance
2020 Lincoln Aviator
8/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
10/10
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator came standard with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, producing 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. The Grand Touring trim combined this engine with a 100-hp electric motor, resulting in a net 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. Both powertrains used a 10-speed automatic transmission, with the base V6 offering rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), while the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) was AWD only. Both versions could achieve 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds. The Grand Touring's hybrid setup provided hushed, confident acceleration and smoothed out the driving experience. The Aviator's steering was light, and its brakes were cushioned in their feedback. The Aviator's driving dynamics focused on soft refinement, similar to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV. Fuel economy for the RWD Aviator was 18 mpg city, 26 highway, 21 combined, while the AWD version achieved 17, 24, 20. The PHEV had a combined 23 mpg, with a 21-mile electric-only range and a 56 miles-per-gallon equivalent combined rating. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE excelled as a multi-purpose airship with complex suspension and engine setups. The base GLE 350 used a coil-sprung setup, while the GLE 450 featured self-leveling air springs with adaptive dampers. The AMG Ride Control+ and E-Active Body Control offered advanced features like anti-roll bars with electrohydraulic motors and the ability to lean into turns. The AMG GLE 53 Coupe had an electric supercharger for instant throttle response. Every GLE except the base GLE 350 was a hybrid, with an electric motor-generator providing up to 21 additional horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The GLE 350 had 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, while the GLE 450 had 362 hp and 369 lb-ft. The AMG GLE 53 had 429 hp and 384 lb-ft, the GLE 580 had 483 hp and 516 lb-ft, and the GLE 63 S had 603 hp and 627 lb-ft. The GLE's driving experience was exceptional, with the ability to tow up to 7700 pounds. Fuel economy varied, with the GLE 450 achieving 21/26/23 mpg, while the AMG GLE 53 Coupe averaged 16 mpg.
Form and function
2020 Lincoln Aviator
7/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
7/10
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator, with its three rows, competed with the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX60, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Land Rover Discovery, and Cadillac XT6. The optional second-row captain's chairs were fantastic, while the power-closing third row was adequate for adults but best suited for kids on longer trips. Dropping the second and third rows provided 77 cubic feet of cargo space, comparable to the Cadillac XT6. The Aviator's seats and door handles were somewhat confusing, with a complicated seat-control system and an unconventional door-release function. The manual door release worked only for the driver's door, raising concerns about accessibility in emergencies. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE offered roomy two-row seating, with an optional third row for seven-passenger capacity. The second-row seats had power controls for recline, fore-aft, and headrest adjustments. The Coupe version seated five, with limited middle-seat comfort. Cargo capacity was 34 cubic feet behind the second row and 75 cubic feet with all rows folded, while the Coupe had 23 and 61 cubic feet, respectively. The sloping roofline and slimmer windows made the space feel smaller, and the rear doors' narrow openings were obstructed by large rear tires. The new MBUX infotainment system improved usability, with seat controls on the doors and rocker switches on the center console. The system required setup before driving but was less complicated than the previous GLE.
Technology
2020 Lincoln Aviator
9/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
10/10
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator featured the Sync 3 infotainment system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen. The landscape layout provided a better interface for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compared to the Ford Explorer's portrait layout. The Aviator also had a fully digital instrument panel and a massive head-up display, offering a minimalist and unobtrusive readout. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE's main 12-inch display was a touchscreen with Interior Assistant, capable of reading hand gestures. The system could be controlled via touchpad or thumbpad, with a simplified interface and search bars for easier navigation. The AMG models had a Track Pace app for virtual pit crew functions and GPS lap timing. The GLE featured numerous comfort and convenience options, including seat kinetics, perfume canisters, Energizing Comfort, heated armrests, and automatic bolsters. The head-up display and instrument panel were highly customizable, with sharp and crisp displays. The ambient lighting had 64 colors, and the navigation system used the front camera feed for enhanced directions. The GLE also had a natural voice assistant and semi-automated functionality for lane changes and curve slowing.
Safety
2020 Lincoln Aviator
9/10
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
10/10
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator came with standard safety features, including front and side-impact airbags, traction control, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The Lincoln Co-Pilot360 suite included forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Other safety tech included blind-spot monitoring and a head-up display. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE earned the Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its performance in six crash tests, headlights, and standard forward emergency braking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had not rated the GLE. Standard safety features included blind-spot monitoring and a driver attention monitor. Optional features included adaptive cruise, lane-keeping, evasive steering assist, front cross-traffic braking, and semi-automated control. The GLE also had Pre-Safe Sound and Pre-Safe Impulse Side for enhanced protection in a crash.
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