Now available at Lincoln dealers nationwide is the new 2019 Lincoln Nautilus, a midsize, five-passenger luxury crossover that succeeds and improves on the similar MKX crossover it replaces.
The beautifully styled Nautilus starts at $40,340 (plus $995 freight) for the base front-wheel-drive Standard model with a 2.0-liter engine, and ranges as high as$61,600 for the Black Label model with all-wheel drive and a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6.
In between are the Select, starting at $44,545; Reserve, beginning at $48,875; and Black Label front-drive, starting at $56,895.
Our tester was the Black Label “Chalet theme” version with all-wheel-drive ($2,495 extra) and V-6 engine ($2,070), with the Rhapsody Blue exterior color and Cashmere Venetian leather interior. With no options, its total sticker price was $61,600 ($63,100 minus $1,500 incentives).
Nautilus features a new signature Lincoln grille, a choice of turbocharged gasoline engines, and a variety of new driver-assist and safety technologies, including one that’s becoming popular this year throughout the auto industry – a lane-centering feature.
But for fans of the MKX, the good news is that the Nautilus carries over much of its predecessor.
New and standard on all 2019 Nautilus models is the Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 system, which brings a suite of advanced driver-assist features previously available only as separate options, Lincoln says.
Engine choices include the new standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of torque, or the optional 2.7-liter Eco Boost turbo V-6 with 335 horsepower and 380 foot-pounds of torque, which was already offered in the 2018 MKX.
Either engine comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission with a pushbutton gearshift. The engines also include automatic stop-start, which saves fuel by shutting off the engine while the vehicle is stopped in traffic.
Other changes include interior and exterior updates, along with upgrades to the MKX’s already outstanding ride comfort and road handling. The Nautilus provides a smoother, more connected drive, and even more standard ownership services.
Adding to the luxury appeal of the Nautilus is the new Gala theme, which Lincoln says takes its cues from the world of haute couture at New York’s Met Gala. This is one of three available Black Label “themes,” which add nothing to the price. We had the Chalet theme on our tester; the third one is the Thoroughbred theme.
The Nautilus continues with the exterior design of the MKX, but there is a selection of new wheel designs to help consumers personalize their purchases. Among Nautilus features is Lincoln’s “embrace lighting,” which greets the approaching driver and passengers first from the outside, then from the cabin.
A spacious interior is designed for comfort and convenience, and serves as a sanctuary from the outside world, Lincoln says.
The MKX design is improved upon with new acoustic side glass designed to reduce wind noise for rear passengers. Other new technology helps reduce road noise, even at interstate highway speeds.
Nautilus has a spacious interior, with plenty of knee and legroom even for rear passengers. I sat in the back seat for a couple of short trips, and felt like I was riding in a luxury car-service vehicle.
Available Ultra Comfort front seats have 22-way power adjustments that include features such as lumbar massage, which Lincoln says was developed with input from orthopedic surgeons. It’s designed to reduce fatigue, especially on long trips.
Standard is a leather-wrapped steering wheel with hand stitching. Up front in our Black Label there were heated and cooled seats, and the rear seats were heated. Our driver’s seat had 22-way power adjustment.
For audiophiles, there are premium Revel audio systems available with either 13 or 19 speakers. Our Black Label model had the 19-speaker version. The center console included a concealed wireless charging pad for our smartphones.
There is a large center touch screen for the audio and navigation systems, and Lincoln’s SYNC 3 is standard, with both Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility. The instrument panel includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which is driver configurable.
Other new driver-assist technologies include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go. The lane-centering system uses a combination of radar and cameras to help keep the vehicle in position on the road.