If you’re wondering where the Lincoln MKX went, don’t worry – it’s still an important part of the 2019 Lincoln vehicle lineup. It’s just that Lincoln has decided to give the new version a new name, so the 2019 Lincoln MKX is now called the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus.
In addition to renaming this crossover SUV, Lincoln also improved the areas of the MKX most in need while keeping all the best bits. If you’re in the market for a five-passenger midsize luxury SUV, here’s what you can expect from the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus.
If you liked the MKX, you’ll love the way the Nautilus looks. They’re all basically the same vehicle, but the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is a noticeable improvement on the MKX.
The front and rear fascias are now more handsome, and perhaps also a little more premium than they were on last year’s MKX. What’s impossible to ignore are the similarities between some new styling elements of the Nautilus and the Continental and the Navigator. For example, the headlights on the Nautilus are almost identical to those on the Continental. But it has to be said they look even better here than on the Continental.
One thing buyers may or may not like is the overall profile, which hasn’t really changed. The Nautilus is a high-riding crossover SUV, but it looks more like a tall wagon than a traditional SUV.
Engines and Performance
There are just two engine choices in the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus lineup, but the two offered are excellent. Gone are the days of a token naturally aspirated V-6 nobody really wanted, and instead we now have two superb turbocharged units.
The standard unit is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo that develops 250 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. The truth is these are Ford EcoBoost powerplants, and they’re excellent.
That standard turbo-four is going to be more than adequate for plenty of buyers because it’s smooth, powerful and quiet. However, the optional engine is a notable step up from the standard unit, and a big one at that. The more powerful engine is the much-admired 2.7-liter V-6 twin-turbo, and this one puts a sensational 335 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque at the Lincoln’s disposal. Both engines come standard front-wheel-drive and mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, but all-wheel-drive is an option for both units.
Interior Comfort, Luxury and Quality
Regardless of how you perceive Lincoln as a brand, the 2019 Nautilus is a luxury model. That means the interior has to be a noticeable cut above mass-market models, and it is. The Nautilus is a decent size for a midsize, and there’s plenty of room for up to five people to travel in comfort.
The Lincoln is head and shoulders above its competition. Base and Select trim levels come standard with 10-way power adjustable heated front seats. Reserve and Black Label models up the luxury ante even further to 22-way heated and cooled seats.
Every version of the Nautilus comes standard with advanced features like blind-spot monitors, active lane control, forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking. The optional Co-Pilot360 package adds more, such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and steering assist in evasive maneuvers.
The Nautilus only fell short of getting Top Safety Pick status from the IIHS because of its headlights. It did get top marks in crash testing and for its standard safety kit.
Features and Equipment
There are four trim levels in the 2019 Nautilus family: the Nautilus, Nautilus Select, Nautilus Reserve and the Black Label. Most buyers will be perfectly happy with the standard list of features and equipment in the first two trim levels, and it’s hard to find fault with the Reserve and Black Label versions.
Base models get 10-way power heated front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, a ten-speaker AM/FM/CD player, Sync 3 infotainment with Bluetooth audio streaming and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a full set of power features. Entry models also come standard with automatic climate control, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Nautilus Select models add things like a navigation system and perforated leather upholstery, and it’s the first model where that fabulous twin-turbo V-6 is an optional upgrade. With the Black Label, you’re into the realms of 21-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, premium leather upholstery, a premium 19-speaker Revel audio system, and opulent, color-coordinated style themes with names like Chalet and Thoroughbred.
The Last Word
It’s hard to think of many reasons not to give the new 2019 Lincoln Nautilus serious consideration. This is a model that looks good, has fabulous standard and available powerplants, and is brimming with luxury features. Perhaps the only issue of contention here is buyers’ perception of the standing of the Lincoln brand in the luxury market. If the brand isn’t an issue for you, the Nautilus is a very serious contender in its segment and well worth checking out.