2019 Lincoln Nautilus Preview
- Lincoln’s midsize 5-passenger crossover gets a new name as a part of a mid-life makeover
- New standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- New driver assistance and collision avoidance technologies debut
- New Black Label themes include Chalet and Gala
- Additional benefits enhance the Lincoln ownership experience
- On sale starting in spring of 2018
Lincoln likes to do things en masse. Shift names to an alphanumeric convention? Let’s change all of them, Lincoln says, except one. Like the looks of a specific model? Let’s adopt the design for all of them, Lincoln says, except one. Now, Lincoln is switching back to traditional names for its vehicles, except for one car (MKZ) and one SUV (MKC).
That’s right. The MKX, the midsize 5-passenger crossover that has been gunning for the Lexus RX for more than a decade, will heretofore be known as the Nautilus. At the same time, it gets the new corporate face, a new standard engine, and some new technologies to help set the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus apart from its forebear.
Lincoln is also introducing some new perks of ownership, namely a free 6-month CLEAR membership that hastens you through security lines at arenas and airports that participate in the program. Buy a Nautilus in Black Label trim, and that membership is good for a year.
If you’re a fan of the front end of the Continental, the 2018 Navigator, and the 2019 MKC, you’ll like the looks of the Nautilus. Wearing all new sheetmetal from the windshield pillars forward, the family resemblance is unmistakable.
From the windshield on back, little has changed. The flanks remain the same aside from the new Nautilus-emblazoned front door trim plates, while the rear end gets a minor nip and tuck along with new taillamps. Lincoln will provide six aluminum wheel options, five of which are new.
Few changes are in store for the Nautilus’s interior compared to last year’s MKX, aside from a new wireless device charging pad and a frameless rearview mirror. Rear passengers also benefit from added measures to quiet the SUV’s cabin.
Interior dimensions remain the same, too. The Nautilus is roomy for four people, and five fit with little effort. Cargo space measures 37.2 cubic feet with the rear seats in use, and 68.8 cu.-ft. when the rear seats are folded down, figures that fall on the smaller side for midsize crossovers.
Lincoln will offer the Nautilus in opulent Black Label décor themes called Chalet, Thoroughbred and Gala. They not only furnish the interior with higher quality materials and a designer color scheme, but also include membership benefits such as an exclusive buying experience, free car washes, an annual vehicle detailing, unique at-your-service dining opportunities, and more.
Under the Hood
A new 245-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard for the 2019 Nautilus, replacing the formerly standard 3.7-liter V6. Those wishing for more spirited acceleration will be interested in the upgrade powerplant option, a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine returning from the MKX that makes 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque.
Both engines are matched to a new 8-speed automatic transmission powering the SUV’s front wheels. An all-wheel-drive system is optional, and for 2019 is decouples the rear axle from the driveline when it is not in use in order to maximize fuel economy.
Available safety technology includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane departure warning with lane keeping assist. A new lane centering system works to keep the Nautilus in the middle of your lane, while a new evasive steering assist system can help to avoid a crash by maintaining control when the driver swerves to avoid hitting an object.
The new Lincoln Nautilus offers a wireless charging pad for your smartphone, as well as Lincoln’s Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection. The infotainment system boasts intuitive operation, modern graphics, and a range of features and functions.