The Lincoln Nautilus took over the MKX’s name and position in the lineup as the brand’s namesake midsize SUV. And while the midsize SUV has gone through many changes throughout the years, the latest 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is directly in the middle of the current generation. So what’s updated on the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus, what’s the same, and is it worth even considering over the current model year?
The new 2021 Lincoln Nautilus: what’s changed?
The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is fresh off of its most recent generational change when the Nautilus took over the MKX namesake for the 2019 model year. Only two model years later, it is unsurprising that the Nautilus isn’t receiving a complete redesign, but rather a very focused refresh of one particular area. And it’s the one area that could make the biggest difference to the midsize SUV.
According to Car and Driver, the newest Lincoln Nautilus gets “a thorough interior redesign for 2021, bringing the mid-size SUV in line with the rest of the company’s lineup.”
This interior redesign comes on the heels of the 2019 and 2020 Lincoln Nautilus, which left many experts and consumers alike feeling unimpressed. For what appeared to be a new SUV, the Nautilus lacked the interior refinement and luxury found in the rest of Lincoln’s lineup. Lincoln took this to heart, giving the 2021 Nautilus refreshed interior materials and touches, an updated dash/console, and better technology.
The newest Lincoln Nautilus remains mostly unchanged where it counts most
MotorTrend experts note that other than the interior updates, “the 2021 Nautilus largely mirrors last year’s model.” Under the hood, the Lincoln Nautilus features the same, two powertrain options. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter V4, making 250 hp while a 335-hp twin-turbo V6 is available. Both of these engines pair to an eight-speed automatic transmission, with standard front-wheel drive with four-cylinder models and standard all-wheel drive with six cylinders. The 2021 Nautilus is expected to drive much like the 2020 version, boasting a smooth and pleasant ride.
Mechanically, the newest Nautilus remains the same as its predecessor. Aside from all the interior upgrades, like a huge infotainment touchscreen display and premium materials, many of the Nautilus’ features and specs remain the same as well. Standard safety features include Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360, a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, and more.
Even on the exterior, the 2021 Lincoln looks nearly identical to its older sibling. Lincoln did lower the front bumper slightly for the new model year, giving the fascia “a cleaner design relative to last year.” But even the most avid of Lincoln fans may not be able to notice this small difference right away.
Is the 2021 model worth the increase in price over the 2020 model?
The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus comes with an entry price of just under $43,000, with top ranges starting around $66,000. According to U.S. News, this remains very close to the current 2020 model’s base pricing of just over $41,000. Whether it’s the current 2020 Nautilus or the newest 2021 model, this remains one of the most competitive price points for the luxury midsize SUV segment.
The newest Nautilus remains the same, enjoyable luxury SUV it ever was. But Lincoln only focused on updating where the Nautilus needed to be updated. Overall, the Nautilus is posh, plush, refined, and fun to drive. Combine its improved interior “inspired by the horizon” with its similar pricing and the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is a great value. Although you will have to wait until early 2021 to get your hands on one, the Lincoln Nautilus is definitely worth a look.