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2019 Lincoln Nautilus Review

The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus replaces the departed Lincoln MKX and debuts in the top half of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. This is a comfortable cruising SUV with a well-built cabin, but it lacks the all-around excellence of some competitors.

Pros & Cons

  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Attractive, quiet interior
  • Comfortable ride
  • Above-average gas mileage
  • Unimpressive handling
  • Undersized infotainment screen

Is the Lincoln Nautilus a Good SUV?

Yes, the Lincoln Nautilus is a good SUV. It rides smoothly, gets good fuel economy, and offers plenty of features in a quiet, handsome cabin. The most notable drawback to the Nautilus is its lack of athleticism relative to most luxury midsize SUVs. In this highly competitive class, the Nautilus is a good vehicle, but several of its rivals are great ones.

Should I Buy the Lincoln Nautilus?

This Lincoln costs less than many of its classmates, making it one of the most attractive models in the segment from a budget standpoint. However, it lives down to that price tag by not quite matching rivals in terms of all-around quality. This Lincoln is a fine choice, but you can probably find something you like better if you're willing to spend a bit more. You might also consider a nonluxury option like the Ford Edge.

Compare the Nautilus and Edge »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lincoln Nautilus?

The Nautilus makes its debut for the 2019 model year, replacing the Lincoln MKX. The new Lincoln carries over on the same platform, as the Nautilus is more like a refreshed MKX than a brand 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. Prior to getting replaced, the MKX saw no major changes since its 2016 redesign.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used vehicle, so you may want to check out our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 Lincoln MKX. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017 and 2018 MKX and 2019 Nautilus »

We Did the Research for You: 21 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Lincoln Nautilus Cost?

The Nautilus starts a little above $40,000, which is one of the lowest base prices among luxury midsize SUVs. The top Nautilus trim, the Black Label, starts at just under $57,000. That's still a below-average price for a top trim in this class, and it's far less than what you'd pay for some rivals' top trims.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer.

Lincoln Nautilus Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lincoln Nautilus or Cadillac XT5?

The Cadillac XT5 comes with a V6 that's more powerful than the Nautilus' base engine but weaker than the Lincoln's optional V6. Both luxury midsize SUVs deliver a comfortable ride and have cozy interiors, 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.

Which Is Better: Lincoln Nautilus or Ford Edge?

The Ford Edge doesn't have the upscale feel of the Nautilus, but it also costs about $10,000 less. It offers similar engines and gets better fuel economy than its Lincoln cousin. The Lincoln has a more robust features list, but the Edge provides a bit more passenger space. Overall, the Nautilus is a better SUV, but the Edge may be a better buy if you have a smaller budget.

Compare the Nautilus, XT5, and Edge »

Nautilus Interior

How Many People Does the Nautilus Seat?

This Lincoln SUV seats five. Both rows of seats offer enough room for adults, and even the base trim's seats are comfortable and supportive. The fully upgraded seats feel amazing.

Nautilus and Car Seats

For installing child car seats, the Nautilus has two full sets of LATCH connectors on the rear outboard seats. The rear-middle seat comes with a tether anchor and can borrow a lower anchor from the side seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this setup the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. It's relatively easy to use, but some tether anchors can be confused for other hardware, and one of the lower anchors is set too deep in the seat.

Nautilus Interior Quality

While the outgoing MKX sometimes felt like a rebranded Ford, the all-new Nautilus feels like a luxury SUV. It's quiet, comfortable interior boasts plenty of premium materials, particularly in higher trims.

Nautilus Cargo Space

With its rear seats up, this Lincoln gives you just over 37 cubic feet of space. Folding the back seat down will get you just under 69 cubic feet. These totals don’t stand out in the class, but they're respectable, with plenty of room for the family's luggage or some large items.

Nautilus Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Nautilus comes with the SYNC 3 infotainment system, which includes an 8-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.

SYNC 3 rates as one of the best infotainment systems in the class. It comes with multiple connectivity features, an easy-to-use touch screen, and redundant physical controls. The system is intuitive, though a number of rivals have larger touch screens.

Read more about interior »

Nautilus Performance

Nautilus Engine: Hit the Turbo Button

This Lincoln crossover gives you a choice between the base 250-horsepower turbo-four and a 335-horsepower twin-turbo V6. Both engines have enough power to move this SUV in most driving situations, but the V6 provides the best acceleration. A smooth-shifting eight-speed transmission comes with each engine.

Nautilus Gas Mileage: Pretty Good

The Nautilus gets better fuel economy estimates than many class rivals, earning 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Compared to the Cadillac XT5, you'll save about $100 per year on fuel costs by driving the Nautilus.

Nautilus Ride and Handling: Steady as She Goes

The Nautilus delivers a composed, cushioned ride, regardless of wheel size or road condition. It doesn't handle poorly, but it has a vague steering feel and lacks the athleticism of many other luxury midsize SUVs.

Nautilus Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Nautilus can tow up to 3,500 pounds. That's enough to pull a small trailer, but some class rivals can tow considerably heavier loads.

Read more about performance »

Nautilus Reliability

Is the Lincoln Nautilus Reliable?

The 2019 Nautilus does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Lincoln Nautilus Warranty

The Lincoln Nautilus comes with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Nautilus Safety

Nautilus Crash Test Results

The 2019 Nautilus received a five-out-of-five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, earning five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the highest rating of Good in six crash tests, the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention, and the lowest rating of Poor for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead.

Nautilus Safety Features

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. Some of these features are part of Lincoln's Co-Pilot360 suite of safety technology.

Available features include a 360-degree camera, front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

Read more about safety »

Which Lincoln Nautilus Model Is Right for Me?

The all-new Nautilus comes in four trims: base, Select, Reserve, and Black Label. The base trim comes well-equipped, and many buyers will be just fine with it. However, it's also the only trim that doesn't offer the V6 engine.

It's worth considering the Select and Reserve trims whether or not you want the V6. The Select offers some comfort and convenience features that the base trim doesn’t, and the Reserve lets you add driver assistance features that you won’t find in lower trims. Avoid the Black Label trim; it's significantly more costly than the lower trims, and it doesn't offer much more in the way of features.

Lincoln Nautilus

The base Nautilus carries a starting price of $40,340. It comes with a 250-horsepower turbo-four engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Standard features include heated front seats, a hands-free power liftgate, Lincoln's Co-Pilot360 suite of active safety technology, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports.

You can add all-wheel drive for $2,495 and a rear-seat entertainment system for $1,995. This is the only trim not available with the twin-turbo V6 engine.

Lincoln Nautilus Select

The Nautilus Select starts at $44,545. In addition to the base trim's features, the Select comes with leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, and navigation.

You can upgrade to the 335-horsepower twin-turbo V6 for $2,070 and add all-wheel drive for $2,495 (all-wheel-drive Select models also get an adaptive suspension). Other options include a rear-seat entertainment system for $1,995, a panoramic sunroof for $1,700, a 13-speaker Revel audio system for $1,175, and the Climate package ($785), which adds heated rear seats and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Lincoln Nautilus Reserve

The Nautilus Reserve has a starting price of $48,875. It comes with an adaptive suspension, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, a 13-speaker Revel audio system, and HD Radio.

In addition to the options available in lower trims, the Reserve offers the Driver Assistance package ($1,590) and the Technology package ($1,720). The Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control and evasive steering assist, while the Technology package adds a 360-degree camera, front parking sensors, and parallel and perpendicular park assist. You can also add 22-way power-adjustable multicontour massaging front seats for $1,500.

Lincoln Nautilus Black Label

The Nautilus Black Label starts at $56,895. It comes with Venetian leather upholstery, a 19-speaker Revel audio system, and several styling touches and other accessories not available in other Nautilus trims. Any features available in lower trims are offered in the Black Label.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer.

See 2019 Lincoln Nautilus specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus looks different than the MKX that it replaces in the automaker's lineup, but it doesn't feel all that different inside. This is a quality vehicle that offers a lot to like, which is why it finishes in the middle of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. However, it’s not as exciting to drive as some rivals.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "In Lincoln's view of luxury, customer coddling augments a cosseting driving experience. While the Nautilus is not as grandiose as the Continental or the Navigator, this mainstream model burnishes its credentials as a quiet, comfy crossover." -- Car and Driver
  • "Looking closely, this 'all-new' model feels more like the sum of many small improvements; a refresh rather than a reinvention. From the powertrain to the cabin tech and interior design, this still feels like an MKX with a new name. That's fine because, at the macro level, the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is overall a better, more luxurious vehicle than the MKX it replaces and a much better fit, both stylistically and in terms of content, with current stable of Lincoln vehicles." -- CNET
  • "Lincoln's goals seem to be different from many of its competitors, as it doesn't seem focused on becoming most '-est' of any category – not the fastest, wildest, biggest, cheapest or technologically advanced-est. Instead, the company is betting on comfort and lifestyle. It's hoping that leasing or buying a Lincoln can make you feel safe and supported from the moment the lights wink at you in the driveway to the day the concierge picks up your car for service and drops off a loaner. Combine that with a vehicle that is comfortable and fashionable, and this Nautilus might be the boat for you." -- Edmunds
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2019 Lincoln Nautilus

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