As the replacement for the departed Lincoln MKX, the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is a comfortable cruising SUV with a well-built cabin, and a user-friendly infotainment system.
For these reasons and a whole lot more, in the highly competitive class, this luxury midsize SUV with five seats is a very good choice. It also boasts above-average gas mileage with 19-21 mpg in the city and 25-27 highway.
Add to that the fact that the Lincoln Nautilus costs less than many of its classmates, and you have one of the most attractive models in the segment from a budget standpoint.
The 2019 model carries over on the same platform, so honestly, the Nautilus is more like a refreshed MKX than a new model. It gets a new turbo-four base engine (instead of the MKX’s base V6) and several new standard features, including a Wi-Fi hot spot, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.
The Nautilus starts a little above $40,000, which is one of the lowest base prices among luxury midsize SUVs. The vehicle I was tapped to review was the top Nautilus trim, the Black Label, which starts at just under $57,000. That’s still a below-average price for a top trim in this class, and it is far less than what you’d pay for some rivals’ top trims — but the Nautilus comes with more cargo space, as well as more standard driver assistance features that help give it a higher safety score. The Lincoln is the better pick.
So let’s go inside. Both rows of seats in the Nautilus offer enough room for adults, and even the base trim’s seats are comfortable and supportive. The fully upgraded seats I had in the Black Label felt amazing.
Quality-wise, while the outgoing MKX sometimes felt like a rebranded Ford, the all-new Nautilus is all luxury. It’s quiet, comfortable interior boasts plenty of premium materials, particularly in the higher trims.
The Nautilus comes with the SYNC 3 infotainment system, which includes an eight-inch touch screen, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, a 13- or 19-speaker Revel audio system, wireless device charging, and navigation.
In terms of performance, my Black Label Lincoln came with a 335-horsepower twin-turbo V6, which provided the best acceleration. Also, the Nautilus delivers a composed, cushioned ride, regardless of wheel size or road condition.
Towing capacity is good, too. When properly equipped, the Nautilus can tow up to 3,500 pounds. That’s enough to pull a small trailer, although some class rivals can tow considerably heavier loads.
Standard driver assistance features include automatic high beams, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. Available features include a 360-degree camera, front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.
The all-new Nautilus comes in four trims: base, Select, Reserve, and Black Label.
It is worth considering the higher trims, like the Black Label because they let you add driver assistance features that you won’t find in lower trims. The Black Label also comes with Venetian leather upholstery, a 19-speaker Revel audio system, and several styling touches and other accessories not available in other Nautilus trims.
From the powertrain to the cabin tech and interior design, compared with the MKX, the all-new 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is overall better, more comfortable, and more luxurious.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.