2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label Interior Driveway Test

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It seems safe to say that Lincoln has finally managed to brush of its “fancy Ford” reputation. Nothing illustrates this better than Black Label, Lincoln’s range-topping trim level that elevates its various models’ style, status and, of course, price. We recently found ourselves with a 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring (the plug-in hybrid) in Black Label trim, and decided it was time for a deeper look at what this trim gives you in Lincoln’s three-row crossover.

In case you’re new to Black Label, you’ll need to know that Lincoln organizes the options into “themes.” For the Aviator, you have the choice of Flight (tan and black), Destination (a deep red featured in our Black Label Interior Tour video), and the Chalet (brown and cream) theme fitted to our test car. Here’s how Lincoln describes it: “Chalet offers Espresso and Alpine Savannah leathers and deep Silverwood appliqués, with touches designed to awaken the senses.”

The colors and trims used are supposed to remind of long weekends in the Swiss Alps. It’s all a bit colorful and over the top, but Black Label is supposed to be exactly that. Despite being festooned with modern tech and features, the Aviator is remarkably old world in styling. Lincoln isn’t trying to be a sporty American BMW like Cadillac has. Instead, Lincoln created its own identity and brand of American luxury, differentiating itself from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus and others in doing so.

Lincoln put together an interior layout that makes sense and doesn’t alienate older, less tech-inclined buyers (you know, the demographic who not only typically buy Lincolns, but high-priced luxury cars in general). Sure, there’s a big 10-inch touchscreen perched above the air vents, but there are also physical buttons for all your climate controls and audio controls. You can adjust these systems through the screen, as well, but we think easy and safe toggles like these still deserve a place in cars. They’re especially welcome when surrounded by expensive-feeling trim and backed by the pretty Silverwood. 

We’re less fond of the button gear shifter, but at least it’s not confusing and is something anybody could learn to live with. It also does a decent job of staying out of the way and leaving more space for storage. Lincoln gives you plenty of that in this crossover, too. A couple premium pull doors in the center console open to reveal USB ports, cupholders and a place to slot your phone. Pop open the padded and comfy armrest, and you’ll find a wireless phone charger and plenty of room for miscellaneous items. Hidden under the leather-covered bridge is another sneaky storage bin. This one is covered in grippy rubber that’s been pressed into the shape of Lincoln logos. It’s a nice touch in an interior full of thoughtful additions. 

Springing for the Black Label gets you all of the supple leather, pretty stitching, piping and miles of premium trim you can see in the photos, but it also makes sure

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2020 Volvo XC90 Inscription Interior Driveway Test

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We tend to love Volvo interiors. They’re beautiful, simple, inviting and a relaxing place to spend time in. Designers needed to get it right, too, because Volvo has applied the same styling and design language to every vehicle in its lineup.

We’re focusing on the flagship today: the 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription. Since our tester is the Inscription trim, that means it’s the most luxurious version of the bunch (Momentum and R-Line are the two others). Some highlights include perforated Nappa leather seats, a “tailored dashboard,” Gray Ash Wood trim inlays and the Orrefors crystal shift knob. 

Our car had the Charcoal interior scheme to play along nicely with the trim. The contrast between the light wood trim and gray stitching with the black leather is pleasing to the eye. Volvo uses a gratuitous but not overwhelming amount of piano black trim to bring some shine to the interior. It’s nice to see and touch on the buttons, but gets dirty quickly around the flat gear lever area where dust tends to collect.

Much of the dash is left blank in a nod to minimalism. We’re left with a large nine-inch touchscreen oriented vertically in the center, just like every other Volvo on sale today. This is flanked by the center air vents. There’s little to no styling going on with the vents, which seems like a missed opportunity. Regardless, we dig the layered and nicely-stitched dash that comes with the Inscription model. Also nestled into the dash is this crossover’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. It’s basic in its visuals, but plenty effective at conveying important car information. We like the more vibrant and customizable clusters from Mercedes-Benz and Audi a lot, but this one gets the job done and it isn’t distracting in the least bit.

Volvo has your back when it comes to comfort. Our tester has the Luxury Package, so it’s equipped with massaging front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. Additionally, Volvo finishes the headliner in Nubuck, and the grab handles and visors get leather. Unlike everybody else, Volvo allows you to choose between three levels of heat for the steering wheel. It’s noticeable to our hands, and is great when you want to add a little heat into your fingers without being scalded. As for the massage, it’s backrest only. We wish it was back and bottom, but at least the programs available for your back are soothing. The seats themselves are comfortable over long distances, maintaining both support and comfort. You won’t want to pull too many Gs with their small bolsters, though.

The XC90’s utility is a bit of a mixed bag. You can stuff a ton of people into it, but it’s lacking in nooks to store items in the front. If you don’t have any drinks, you’re golden. However, all the central storage area is dominated by a couple cupholders, so you’re stuck using the side pockets for anything else. At least

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