• New front grille
  • New headlamps
  • Revised front bumper
  • More chrome
  • New wheels
  • Updated taillights
  • Mildly revised dashboard
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Acoustic side glass
  • Wireless charging pad
  • New Black Label theme
  • Optional Ultra Comfort seats
  • New 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • 7-liter V-6 discontinued
  • 245-horsepower base model
  • 7-liter EcoBoost with 335 horsepower
  • New eight-speed transmission
  • Standard Auto Start-Stop function
  • Updated steering wheel
  • New driver assistance systems

Adds new face, four-cylinder engine, and 8-speed auto to the MKX

Introduced in 2006 as a replacement for the Aviator, the Lincoln MKX soldiered on for almost a decade until it was redesigned in 2015. After only two years on the market, the second-generation MKX received its mid-cycle facelift. Launched at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the midsize crossover was renamed the Nautilus, as part of the company’s new strategy that involves dropping alphanumeric badges. Alongside the new name, the crossover also gained an updated front fascia, now inline with most Lincoln vehicles, new technology, and a new engine under the hood.

Lincoln’s decision to rename the MKX isn’t surprising. The midsize is the firm’s best-selling SUV and a vehicle that attracts most new customers from other brands, with nearly 40 percent reportedly crossing over from Cadillac and Lexus. The Nautilus is supposed to build on the momentum of the MKX, which is on track to deliver its best sales year since 2007. But does it have what it takes to give the Cadillac XT5 a run for its money? Find out in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lincoln Nautilus.

  • 2019 Lincoln Nautilus
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    245
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8/10

Exterior

  • New front grille
  • New headlamps
  • Revised front bumper
  • More chrome
  • New wheels
  • Updated taillights
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Exterior
- image 747867
7-liter EcoBoost with 335 horsepower
The Lincoln Nautilus looks like a new vehicle up front, having ditched the MKX's split grille

The Lincoln Nautilus looks like a new vehicle up front, having ditched the MKX’s split grille for the new one-piece element we’ve already seen on the Continental, Navigator, and MKX. Unlike the old grille, which had horizontal slats, the new one boasts a honeycomb-like mesh and includes the Lincoln badge in the middle. It also has significantly more chrome, which gives the SUV a more upscale look. The headlamps are also new and seem to be based on the Continental’s. They now have a more conventional, almost rectangular shape, a new LED bar at the bottom, and five individual lights above. A pair of thin daytime running lights were added just above the bumper.

The bumper is also new, now sporting more chrome, revised fog lamps, and a revised grille. The shape of the engine hood was modified as well in order to fit the new grille and headlamp layout. The lid no longer runs into the grille, but opens up a couple of inches above, creating the illusion of thick body-colored frame, like on the Bentley Mulsanne.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus Exterior
- image 747871
The profile carries over with just a handful of changes

The profile carries over with just a handful of changes. The front fenders and doors now sport a chrome element with "Nautilus" lettering and Lincoln now offers a new wheel selection. It’s not much, but automakers rarely add more features on a mid-cycle update. The rear end is pretty much the same too. The taillights appear to have a slightly different LED cluster, while the thin red lights just above the bumper are now part of a stripe that stretches the entire width of the apron.

Needless to say, Lincoln uses the term "new" a bit too much for a facelift that doesn’t really go beyond a new grille and new headlamps.

Interior

  • Mildly revised dashboard
  • Updated steering wheel
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Acoustic side glass
  • Wireless charging pad
  • New Black Label theme
  • Optional Ultra Comfort seats
  • New driver assistance systems
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Interior
- image 747875
Mildly revised dashboard
Lincoln added acoustic side glass to reduce wind noise for rear passengers

Updates are of the same variety inside the cabin, with nothing major to report in terms of layout and design. The center stack has the same configuration, with just a few buttons added to the right side. The steering wheel appears to have changed a bit too, now sporting a flatter lower spoke and revised controls. The leather-wrapped, hand-stitched steering wheel and the digital, 12.3-inch instrument cluster are among the premium highlights inside the cabin.

Lincoln added acoustic side glass to reduce wind noise for rear passengers, as well as a concealed wireless charging pad as standard. The SYNC 3 infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Options include Ultra Comfort seats with 22-way adjustability, which have been developed with input from orthopedic surgeons for the utmost comfort during long trips. Customers can also choose between 13- and 19-speaker Revel audio systems. The heated and cooled seats are available on the Reserve model.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus Interior
- image 747911
New Black Label theme
The Black Label trim carries over from the MKX, but Lincoln added a new Gala theme

The Black Label trim carries over from the MKX, but Lincoln added a new Gala theme (joining the existing Chalet and Thoroughbred options). If you’re not familiar with the Black Label trim, it’s designed for customers looking for a more unique interior. It’s also the most expensive trim, sitting above the Reserve model.

The first theme, Chalet, adds Espresso and Alpine Venetian leather, and deep Silverwood trim, celebrating the "contrasting pleasures of pulse-pounding mountain slopes and the inherent comfort of an après-ski lodge." Thoroughbred evokes the "distinguished and elite lifestyle of horse racing" with rich Venetian leather, Chilean Maple wood, Alcantara accents, and Jet Black trim. Finally, the new Gala theme is inspired by "haute couture at New York’s Met Gala" and features Carmine leather complemented by Onyx leather, an Alcantara headliner, and Nouveax Armor aluminum accents.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus Interior
- image 749518
New driver assistance systems
The new lane-centering feature helps maintain the vehicle's position in its lane

More news comes from the driver assistance department, which now includes an all-new lane-centering feature that pairs with adaptive cruise control and stop-and-go to helps maintain the vehicle’s position in its lane. There’s also a new evasive steer assist which uses radar and cameras to analyze the gap between slower-moving or stationary vehicles on the road, helping the driver steer around obstacles. Additional driver-assist technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Information System, active park assist, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping aid, and an auto-hold feature, which relieves the driver from having to hold the brakes in stop-and-go traffic.

Drivetrain

  • New 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • 3.7-liter V-6 discontinued
  • 245-horsepower base model
  • 2.7-liter EcoBoost with 335 horsepower
  • New eight-speed transmission
  • Standard Auto Start-Stop function
2019 Lincoln Nautilus
- image 749514
The base 3.7-liter V-6 engine was replaced by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger

More significant changes happened under the hood, where the base 3.7-liter V-6 was replaced by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger. The new unit cranks out 245 horsepower, a 58-horsepower decrease compared to the outgoing V-6. However, the new engine is supposed to return significantly better fuel economy.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost rated at 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque carries over unchanged, so the Nautilus has an all-turbocharged engine lineup.

Lincoln changed the transmission too, replacing the six-speed automatic that was introduced in 2016 with an eight-speed autobox. Both engine options include the Auto Start-Stop function as standard.

Prices

2019 Lincoln Nautilus Exterior
- image 747880

The Lincoln Nautilus retails from $40,340, a minor increase compared to the outgoing MKX, which started from $39,035. Choose the Select over the base trim and the sticker jumps to $44,545. Replace the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with the 2.7-liter V-6 and pricing goes up to $46,615.

Next up is the Reserve model, which costs $48,875 with the four-banger and $50,945 with the V-6. Moving over to the range-topping Black Label trim, it fetches $56,895 with the four-cylinder and $58,965 with the V-6.

All of the above prices are for front-wheel drive configurations. AWD models cost a tad more, starting with a base SUV priced from $42,835. The AWD Select fetches $47,040, the Reserve starts from $51,370, while the Black Label comes in at $59,390 with the four-cylinder engine. The V-6-powered Black Label retails from $61,460.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus 2.0L I-4 FWD $40,340
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Select 2.0L I-4 FWD $44,545
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Select 2.7L V6 FWD $46,615
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Reserve 2.0L I-4 FWD $48,875
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Reserve 2.7L V6 FWD $50,945
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label 2.0L I-4 FWD $56,895
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label 2.7L V6 FWD $58,965
2019 Lincoln Nautilus 2.0L I-4 AWD $42,835
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Select 2.0L I-4 AWD $47,040
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Select 2.7L V6 AWD $49,110
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Reserve 2.0L I-4 AWD $51,370
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Reserve 2.7L V6 AWD $53,440
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label 2.0L I-4 AWD $59,390
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label 2.7L V6 AWD $61,460

Competition

Cadillac XT5

2017 Cadillac XT5 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 745088

Introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the SRX, the XT5 is the first Cadillac crossover to carry the company’s new nomenclature for SUVs. The midsize is built on the same C1XX platform as the GMC Acadia and borrows styling cues from the company’s CTS and CT6 sedans. The XT5 is arguably one of the most luxurious vehicles in its niche and boasts Cadillac’s latest technology, including a streaming video rear-view mirror and the Electronic Precision Shift. Luxury features include leather, Alcantara, and woodgrain inserts. Unlike the Nautilus, the XT5 has analog gauges on each side of the digital instrument cluster. Only one engine is available in the United States, a 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. In China, the XT5 also benefits from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger. The V-6 mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission and is equipped with an automatic stop-start system. All-wheel-drive is optional. Pricing start from $40,390, but the range-topping Platinum trim costs $63,890 before options.

Read our full story of the 2018 Cadillac XT5.

Conclusion

2019 Lincoln Nautilus Exterior
- image 747869

The midsize SUV may have gained a new name, but the Nautilus is nothing more than just a mid-cycle facelift to the MKX. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I think Lincoln should have waited for the next-generation model to introduce the new nameplate. Renaming the facelifted MKX is just another sign that Lincoln is desperate to regain its former glory and become a solid competitor for the Cadillac. Needless to say, the Nautilus brings a few cool features to the MKX, but I’m afraid the midsize SUV is not yet ready to give the Cadillac XT5 a run for its money.

  • Leave it
    • * Just a moderate facelift with a new name
    • * Still a long way off from competing with Cadillac

References

Lincoln MKX

2016 Lincoln MKX High Resolution Exterior
- image 610801

Read our full review on the 2016 Lincoln MKX.

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide
- image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

Press release

New Lincoln Nautilus debuts with Lincoln-first technology that inspires driver confidence, like all-new lane-centering feature that helps subtly maintain the vehicle’s position in its lane
Nautilus is designed to build on the momentum of Lincoln’s best-selling midsize luxury SUV by offering enhanced features for a smoother, more connected drive, and even more standard ownership services
Catering to the desire of luxury clients for personalized vehicles, Gala, an opulent new Lincoln Black Label theme, debuts on Lincoln Nautilus, taking its cues from the world of haute couture at New York’s Met Gala

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2017 – The Lincoln Motor Company introduces the new Lincoln Nautilus, a midsize luxury SUV delivering a powerful turbocharged engine range and a suite of advanced technologies designed to give drivers greater confidence on the road.

Nautilus – the successor to Lincoln MKX – joins the recently unveiled 2019 MKC, the elegant Continental, the all-new Navigator, and the stylish MKZ for a lineup of vehicles instantly recognizable as Lincoln.

“With the introduction of Nautilus, Lincoln has a strong, distinctive portfolio with a common and recognizable identity,” said Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra. “We’re excited to add Nautilus to our Lincoln family of luxury SUVs, along with a new name that better reflects the ideas and attitudes of our clients.”

Lincoln’s midsize SUV continues to attract new clients to the brand, with a conquest rate of nearly 40 percent. New clients are crossing over to Lincoln from Cadillac, Lexus and more. Sales continue to be strong, and the vehicle is on track to deliver its best sales year since its introduction in 2007. Tasteful design, exceptional craftsmanship and room for up to five passengers make it a popular choice for clients in the market for a luxury crossover vehicle.

Personalized elegance
The distinctive design of Lincoln Nautilus aligns with the rest of the Lincoln family, presenting a strong, bold signature grille. The midsize utility vehicle maintains its unique, sleek shape, offering a harmonious aesthetic and aerodynamic efficiency. A new wheel selection allows clients to order a Lincoln Nautilus to suit their personal style.

Upon approach, Lincoln Nautilus welcomes clients with Lincoln embrace lighting, first from the outside, then from the cabin. The new cabin is thoughtfully designed, providing a spacious, modern interior that keeps the focus on comfort and serves as a sanctuary from the outside world. Acoustic side glass is added to reduce wind noise for rear passengers, and advanced engineering solutions decrease noise from the road.

Available Ultra Comfort seats can be adjusted up to 22 ways for personalized comfort, providing lumbar massage designed to reduce fatigue. Developed with input from orthopedic surgeons, this feature is especially beneficial on long trips or while waiting in traffic. Heated and cooled seats are available on the Reserve model. Available 13-speaker and 19-speaker Revel® audio systems offer the ultimate sound experience to add to the soothing environment.

Sleek form, effortless function

A sleek console serves to open up the cabin, while the sophisticated push-button gear shift integrates seamlessly with classic knobs and buttons. A concealed wireless charging pad allows compatible smartphones to stay connected, and puts an end to the hassle of tangled cords. A large center touch screen serves as the portal to standard SYNC® 3 with both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility, enabling clients to manage audio, phone, navigation and more either from that point or steering wheel-mounted controls.

The leather-wrapped, hand-stitched steering wheel is mounted ahead of a 12.3-inch fully configurable digital instrument cluster that displays easy-to-read driver information crisply and clearly.

Confidence assured

New for 2019 is a suite of Lincoln-first driver-assist technologies designed to inspire confidence and make each journey enjoyable.

“The technology in this vehicle is thoughtful and purposeful,” said Galhotra. “We focused on bringing in innovative features to make each drive effortless for our clients.”

A suite of new technologies for Lincoln Nautilus includes a lane-centering feature that pairs with adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality to help subtly maintain the vehicle’s position in its lane using a combination of radar and cameras. Also debuting is evasive steer assist, which uses radar and cameras to analyze the gap between slower-moving and stationary vehicles on the road ahead to lessen the risk of a rear-end collision. If the risk is high and there is insufficient space to avoid a collision by braking, the system helps the driver steer around the vehicle.

Additional driver-assist technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Information System, active park assist, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping aid and an auto-hold feature, which relieves the driver from having to hold the brakes in stop-and-go traffic.

Two turbocharged options

Lincoln Nautilus moves to an all turbocharged engine lineup for 2019, offering a powerful 2.7-liter engine that delivers an estimated 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is delivered courtesy of three technologies – turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing.

A standard estimated 245-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is efficient and smooth in operation. Both engines include standard Auto Start-Stop capability, plus an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Lincoln Black Label

For clients seeking a unique personalized experience, Lincoln Black Label is available for the new Nautilus. Lincoln Black Label not only provides premium materials in specially curated designer themes, but also offers a host of membership privileges. These include annual vehicle detailing, anytime carwashes, and access to a select list of restaurants where noted chefs will provide an at-your-service dining experience.

The three Lincoln Black Label themes for the new Nautilus are Chalet, Thoroughbred and all-new Gala:

Chalet, new for Lincoln Nautilus, evokes the contrasting pleasures of pulse-pounding mountain slopes and the inherent comfort of an après-ski lodge. With Espresso and Alpine Venetian leathers and deep Silverwood appliqués, each touch is designed to awaken the senses
Thoroughbred celebrates the distinguished and elite lifestyle of horse racing, offering a reflection of traditional American history. Rich Venetian leathers capture the spirit of the equestrian life, while Chilean Maple wood, Alcantara® accents and Jet Black trim carry the excitement throughout
Gala, inspired by haute couture at New York’s Met Gala, features seats draped in a deeply hued and elegant Carmine leather complemented by Onyx leather and an Alcantara headliner. Handsome Nouveax Armor aluminum accents bring a lightness to the cabin, with a luster magnified by the available panoramic roof

Effortless ownership

Lincoln continues to increase its focus on service offerings that provide an effortless ownership experience, like standard Pickup and Delivery for the new Nautilus. Lincoln is the only luxury automaker to provide Pickup and Delivery as a standard service for all its vehicles to save clients time and effort.

Additionally, starting Jan. 1, 2018, new Lincoln owners will receive a six-month complimentary CLEAR membership, allowing them to speed through security at participating airports and major arenas nationwide. Lincoln Black Label members will receive a 12-month complimentary membership.

Ease of ownership is also enabled through the Lincoln Way™ app. Lincoln Way allows clients to start, lock, unlock and locate their new Nautilus, as well as schedule remote starts to enable the vehicle to heat or cool to comfortable levels. Owners can use the app to monitor fuel levels, and check tire pressures and battery status. Lincoln Way also allows clients to make monthly vehicle payments or pay for parking.

The new 2019 Lincoln Nautilus will be available at Lincoln dealers this summer.

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