At last month’s LA Auto Show, Lincoln unveiled the all-new Aviator SAV— another high end, luxury utility vehicle in a family of already glamorous and stylish rides. And when you see it, you certainly see elements of classic Lincoln styling as well as touches from the best Ford vehicles and Range Rover charisma as inspiration. It’s a helluva beautiful truck. But this article isn’t about that Sport Activity Vehicle— this is about the smaller yet perfectly athletic sibling, the new Nautilus. It’s a plush SAV that works well, day and night.
Formerly know as the MKX, the Nautilus is a refreshed version of the successful mid-size crossover and it does not disappoint for its price. Starting at $50,4500 for the Select models, the Nautilus offers a standard 2.0L turbocharged I-4 engine that delivers a fuel economy of 12.0 L/100km city, 9.6 L/100km hwy, achieving 10.7 L/100km combined. With a secondary option, a 2.7L V6 twin-turbocharged engine producing 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft of torque, fuel numbers come in at 12.6 L/100km city, 9.2 L/100km hwy, 11.0 L/100km combined. With varying horsepower, you can choose the engine that best suits your performance needs. Personally, I am a 300hp fanatic and the Nautilus’s engine options are completely desirable. If you want to go all in for luxury and utility, the Reserve trim starts at $55,350.
At first sight, you're easily attracted to this model because of its balance in: stance, chromatic features, lighting details, and sporty-looking wheels. Since the late 2000s, Lincoln has been turning heads with style and design treatments that are hard to ignore. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It's nice to see an American automaker that’s getting it right without obviously copying Japanese, Korean and German designs. Lincoln's cosmetics are there own which certainly afford a presence without borrowing someone else’s shine.
What you see on the outside is just the right invitation to explore the interior, and it does not disappoint. You’re granted quality materials, intuitive technology, and a satisfying driving experience. I’m sure that this feature will become standard as time goes by-- I love the LED greeting lights as you approach the vehicle, in the vain of welcome mats. Such a nice touch to the experience of getting into the cabin. Once you’re seated in the cockpit, 22-way power seats add to the desire of customization and a comfortable driving experience. In my tested, I drove for about three hours straight and didn’t feel any discomfort. I spoiled myself with the seat massage option. And of course to go with the luxurious seating options, a panoramic Vista Roof that allows the sun, blue sky and the mountains of beautiful British Columbia, to float right in.
Something you may or may not be aware of that is that Lincoln uses one of the best audio systems on the market, Revel by Harman who've been known for producing home audio systems for the last two decades. The sound of music in the Nautilus, as well as in all Lincoln models at this point, is immersive with acoustic clarity. Everything from the trim to the door handle placement was considered and designed from the ground up to ensure sonic perfection, especially in a day and age where music is streamed and compressed offer a reduced delivering of date and information. Within the Nautilus models, you can expect a 12-Channel Class D Amplifier paired with 13 speakers and 10 dual voice coil subwoofer. Not only is this vehicle’s sound system impeccable for any road trip, but it’s also the perfect playback studio for any audiophile. I’ve tested music to use in content videos in Lincoln vehicles. And love hearing the amazing caliber and quality. Lincoln vehicle acoustics are perfect.
En route to Tofino from Nainamo (while in British Columbia), the Nautilus was a trooper with power and handling. I knew what I was getting under the hood and it did not disappoint as the drive consisted of multiple turns and semi-steep hill angles that tested performance. The Nautilus I had on hand was equipped with a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine with 8-speed automatic transmission. This Select tester engine outputs 250 horsepower mated with an all-wheel-drive powertrain. While there are the Driver Support settings of Normal, Comfort and Sport, I didn’t feel the need to modify the mode from Normal. I'm a fan of Adaptive Cruise Control and having experienced it before with other Lincoln models, I didn’t throw it on for this trip. And why would you when the drive is too adventurous to miss. However, as a fan of lane keeping assistance features, I did throw on Lincoln’s Lane Centering System which keeps the vehicle between road markings and alerts you with vibrations to the steering wheel, if you're off track. An overall satisfaction is easily delivered by the Nautilus as it offers no more and no less— it has just the right balance of power for mountainous road trips and luxury for everyday moves.