German-made luxury vehicles have for decades successfully used alphanumeric codes to name their models as opposed to using real names. Many luxury brands have also borrowed this strategy including Lincoln. However, Lincoln has realized that the naming strategy is unintuitive as well as unmemorable and has thus decided to replace it with a unique name for each of its luxury models. The MKX is the first model to get this new naming strategy and will henceforth be known as the Lincoln Nautilus starting with the 2019 model. The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus has also received a number of upgrades both inside and outside including a new, more stylish grille.
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Exterior
Despite the change of the name, the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is just a refresh of the outgoing MKX. In fact, other than the front fascia, everything else seems to have carried over unchanged. Talking of the front fascia, it sports a new grille whose design is borrowed from the new Continental, MKC and Navigator. The front fascia also has new headlights that look slimmer when compared to the units of the MKX. Overall, Lincoln has brought the Nautilus front fascia in line with other new Lincoln models. The aim is to create a signature front end that is easily recognizable as a Lincoln such as is the case with BMW’s “twin-kidney” or the “spindle” grille that announces a car as a Lexus.
Except for slight changes on the front doors, the flanks are unchanged. The model will ride on aluminum wheels and buyers will have 6 options to choose from. At the rear, the Nautilus has new taillights but everything else carries over from the MKX unchanged.
The cabin of the Nautilus is roughly similar to that of the MKX it has replaced. The only minor changes include a frameless rearview mirror and a wireless charging pad. The cabin is also quieter compared to that of the MKX more so for rear passengers. Five passengers fit in the cabin comfortably and still leave ample space for cargo (37.2 cubic feet when the rear seats are in position and 68.8 cubic feet when they are folded flat).
For a more premium treatment of the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus, Lincoln offers the medium-size crossover in three Black Label themes (Thoroughbred, Chalet and Gala). These themes add premium quality materials to the cabin and exclusive color schemes. That is not all; like the Lincoln MKC, the Black Label themes come with exclusive membership benefits such as annual car detailing, free car washes, dining experiences at select restaurants among other benefits.
Lincoln has also improved technologies of the model including the Sync 3 infotainment system that offers Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto Smartphone connectivity. The infotainment system has also been upgraded to be more intuitive, offer enhanced graphics as well as more functions. Safety has also been enhanced; forward collision warning system that integrates pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning featuring lane keep assist are standard for all models. Designers have also hooked the mid-size crossover with an evasive steering assist technology that helps the driver avoid crashing by stabilizing control when a driver swerves to evade hitting something. The vehicle also features a new lane-centering technology that helps keep the car in the middle of the lane it is traveling on.
Engine and performance
There are 2 engines on offer for the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0 L, 4-cylinder capable of delivering 245 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. It has replaced the previous 3.7 L, V-6. Although the 4-cylinder mill is less powerful than the V-6 it has replaced, it is more economical. The more powerful twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 carries over; the engine produces 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The two engines get an 8-speed automatic gearbox that powers the front wheels in standard form but buyers can choose AWD. Unlike in the outgoing MKX, AWD is available when only in demand to boost fuel economy.
Price and release date
Lincoln has revealed that the Nautilus will hit its dealerships in the summer but did not release official prices of the model. The current MKX has an MSRP of $39,960 while the range-topping Black Label trim attracts close to $60,000. Being only a facelift, the new Nautilus will be marginally expensive.