The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus Defies the Odds to Make This Consumer Reports List

When it comes to two and three-row midsize SUVs, there are many available in today’s market. But how many are truly satisfying for their owners? Which new midsize SUVs would owners buy again? Would you believe us if we told you that the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is one of these SUVs? We’re going to tell you how.

The most satisfying midsize SUVs in 2021

Recently, consumer site Consumer Reports published a list of the most satisfying midsize two-row and three-row SUVs for 2021. Each year, they ask their members how happy they are with their vehicles. They ask members if they had it to do all over again if they would still buy their vehicles on their Annual Auto Survey.

Using consumer feedback, CR ranked the top five midsize SUVs based on their owner satisfaction rating. The CR team explains that each SUV has its strong points and its weaknesses. Not all of them have earned a coveted CR recommendation.

The team also considers the safety features each SUV includes both standard and optional when making their assessment. The SUVs with the most standard features like blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking, and forward-collision alerts fared better. Each vehicle’s emissions were also factored in with the cleanest emissions earning a Green Choice designation from the consumer site. One vehicle that makes the list is the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus.

The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is a satisfying SUV

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Surprisingly, the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus made the list for the most satisfying two-row midsize SUVs. When you consider that it only earned an overall rating from Consumers Reports of 50 out of 100, and it has a poor reliability rating, you have to wonder why it’s even on the list.

You can get the latest Nautilus with either a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine or a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6. The standard transmission is an eight-speed automatic. With the V6, its acceleration is excellent.

The Nautilus offers a comfortable ride complete with nimble handling and a quiet interior. The upscale cabin got an update in 2021. There’s now a big 13.2-inch screen you can use to navigate the newest Sync 4 infotainment system which is easy to use. 

The Nautilus features blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and forward-collision warning standard which is a plus.

The CR team didn’t care for the push-button gear selector that they considered prissy and counterintuitive. Its below-average predicted reliability rating kept them from granting the SUV a CR recommendation.

Pros and cons of the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus

One of the nicer midsize luxury SUVs available today, the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus offers a comfy ride, an upscale vibe, and loads of the latest technology. It performed well on the CR road test and performed better than the popular Lexus RX 350 among others.

The driving experience in a Nautilus is a quality one. Its performance is athletic and composed with enough control and responsiveness to instill confidence. It might not be able to keep up with its German peers on winding country roads, but the drive will still impress you.

The suspension is firm enough for a composed ride, but it absorbs the blows from the road nicely. The opulence of the interior gets better with each Nautilus model with leather seats and quality chrome and wood accents. The big sunroof lets in the light.

The latest Nautilus has its issues though. The biggest is its below-average predicted reliability rating which is mostly centered around major and minor transmission issues, climate control, and electrical equipment. The driver’s leg space is cramped and negatively impacts the driving position.

The push-button gear selector that Lincoln has revived makes parking a hassle and the thick roof pillars reduce your rear visibility. The optional surround-view camera setup helps with that issue, but it costs extra.