When you’re paying extra for a luxury SUV, you’ll likely want to make sure you get your money’s worth when it comes to safety features. There’s one luxury brand that particularly stands out in this area: Lincoln. In fact, two Lincoln SUVs — the Aviator and the Nautilus — both made it onto CarFax’s list of 10 Safest Luxury SUVs of 2020.
How CarFax evaluates the safest SUVs
When choosing the safest SUVs, CarFax takes a number of factors into consideration. The first is the vehicle’s crash test ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS. In addition to having good ratings here, the vehicle must also have advanced driver assistance systems available. Other key required features are Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and all-wheel drive.
These are fairly stringent requirements. In fact, Lincoln is the only brand that manages to appear on the list twice — an impressive feat that should definitely put this brand on the radar of anyone looking for a luxury SUV that prioritizes safety.
What stands out about the Lincoln Aviator
The Lincoln Aviator is fourth on the list, with a rating of 5/5 from the NHTSA. It has a starting price of $51,100, although this is bumped up to $55,340 when the key safety features are added.
The Aviator comes standard with Lincoln’s safety suite, Co-Pilot360. It also features the brand’s MyKey driver monitoring tech. Features include blind spot monitoring, driver drowsiness monitoring, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic alert. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay both come standard, but all-wheel drive is optional.
The Aviator is a 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick. It features a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 400 hp, and it gets 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. With all seats in use, this SUV has a cargo capacity of 18.3 cubic feet. However, folding the third row brings it up to 41.8 feet, and folding the second row gives you 77.7 cubic feet of space.
In addition to the standard safety features included with the Lincoln Aviator, many optional features are available. These include parking assist, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition. As this SUV is new this year, there are not many – if any – used options.
What to expect from the Lincoln Nautilus
Like the Lincoln Aviator, the Lincoln Nautilus comes standard with Co-Pilot360 and MyKey. However, this SUV does have one detriment when compared to the Aviator: its headlights are rated as Poor by IIHS. It is ranked tenth on CarFax’s list, with seven Good/Superior safety test ratings from IIHS. It also has a 5/5 rating from the NHTSA.
The Nautilus has a starting price of $41,040, quite a bit lower than the Aviator. However, the two vehicles are much closer in price when you add in the key safety features, which bring the cost of the Nautilus up to $55,135. 2019 models of the Nautilus are almost identical to 2020 models, so buying used is a good option to save some money.
The Lincoln Nautilus comes with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that makes 250 hp. A 2.7-liter V6 that makes 335 hp is also available. This SUV gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. It has 37.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and 68.8 cubic feet of space with the seats folded.
Both the Lincoln Aviator and the Lincoln Nautilus are excellent options, with luxurious interiors and an abundance of safety features. Folks who need a little more space will likely be happier with the Aviator — but either way, it’s hard to go wrong with either of these picks.