The Nautilus is Lincoln's new name for the SUV previously known as the MKX. Based on the Ford Edge, the Nautilus is one of the more pleasant models among luxury midsized SUVs.
With responsive handling, comfortable ride, effortless acceleration, a plush interior, and a suite of standard advanced technology, it's a formidable competitor that tends to fly under the radar. With such an impressive road-test score, the Nautilus outguns a few popular luxury midsized SUVs, including the Lexus RX 350.
The Nautilus comes with either a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine or a 2.7-liter 335-hp V6 turbo. It doesn't take more than a quarter mile to realize this isn't your grandmother's Lincoln. The 2.7-liter pulls strongly and effortlessly.
Note that when we tested the MKX with the six-speed automatic, overall fuel economy came in at 18 mpg. With the new eight-speed automatic, the Nautilus should see a one to two mpg bump.
When it comes to carving up corners, the Nautilus proved lively and composed, with a taut and connected feel that inspires confidence. This Lincoln has no problems holding its own with lusty German competitors on a mountain road. Even when driven with extra gusto, the Nautilus was reassuring.
Ride comfort has an underlying firmness but feels composed, planted, and steady. Bumps and ruts are nicely muted and the cabin stays quiet and tranquil.
Lincoln has been spiffing up its interiors, and most Nautilus trims have a swanky, high-society, hunt-club atmosphere with leather seats and rich wood and chrome trim pieces. A large sunroof brightens up the interior. However, the driver's left footwell is cramped, compromising the driving position.
Large doors provide easy access, and there's a spacious rear seat, and plenty of room for stuff. A power liftgate and power-folding rear seats help with loading cargo.
The Nautilus features the intuitive Sync 3 touch-screen infotainment system, which has simple on-screen logic. As for other controls, we're not crazy about the what-is-old-is-new-again push-button gear selector which makes parking maneuvers a nuisance.
Thick roof pillars take a toll on rearward visibility, but the optional surround-view rear camera system helps immensely.
The Nautilus' price is close to the established luxury SUVs from the German brands and the Lexus RX. But let's face it: Those brand names have more cachet than Lincoln. Nonetheless, consider the Nautilus to be a legitimate alternative with actual talent and substance.