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The luxury SUV segment is highly competitive, with plenty of options for shoppers. One of Lincoln’s best-known models is the full-size Navigator. However, it’s not the most popular Lincoln SUV. That distinction goes to the affordable Nautilus midsize crossover. It’s not only Lincoln’s top-selling SUV but also the brand’s highest-rated model in owner satisfaction.

A gray 2023 Lincoln Nautilus midsize luxury SUV is parked.
2023 Lincoln Nautilus | Lincoln

According to recent sales data from Ford Motor Company, the Nautilus is the most popular Lincoln SUV. It grew in 2022 and 2023 quarterly sales and year-to-date 2022 versus 2023 sales. The automaker sold 6,851 Nautilus units in Q2 2023, compared to the 6,766 units sold in Q2 2022, indicating a 1.3% gain.

The 2023 YTD sales of the Nautilus were 12,356, while the 2022 YTD sales were 11,855. That represents a 4.2% growth in YTD sales.

Conversely, the Lincoln Corsair compact SUV sold 5,608 units in Q2 2023, compared to 7,094 units in Q2 2022. This represents a 20.9% decline. The Corsair sold 9,631 units in YTD 2023, a 31.4% drop from the 14,038 units in YTD 2022.

Meanwhile, the Navigator sold 4,688 units in Q2 2023, a 20.1% increase from the 3,902 units sold in Q2 2022. The large SUV experienced a 46.4% increase YTD, selling 8,858 units in 2023 and 6,050 in 2022.

Last, the Aviator three-row midsize SUV saw a significant decline in overall sales. Lincoln sold only 2,977 Aviator units in Q2 2023. That was a sharp decline of 50.2% from the 5,983 units sold in Q2 2022. Similarly, this SUV’s YTD sales declined by 25%, with Lincoln selling only 8,213 Aviator units in 2023 against 10,950 in 2022.

Inside the most popular Lincoln SUV, the Nautilus
2023 Lincoln Nautilus | Lincoln

The J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study uses feedback from vehicle owners after 90 days of ownership to formulate independent and unbiased reviews. The study categorizes vehicles into segments and provides ratings based on their quality and reliability, driving experience, resale value, and dealership experience.

The 2023 Nautilus earned an overall J.D. Power score of 82 out of 100, making it the highest-rated Lincoln model and a runner-up in the Midsize Premium SUV category. The data analytics firm gave the most popular Lincoln SUV an 88 in quality and reliability, 77 in driving experience, 77 in resale value, and 80 in dealership experience.

The Lexus RX took first place in the segment with a rating of 83. The Land Rover Defender, scoring 78, was also a runner-up.

Nautilus owners told J.D. Power they like the vehicle’s fuel economy and range, rating it higher than average for its segment. They also enjoy the experience of using the SUV’s navigation and gave the SUV a high rating for its ability to carry plenty of cargo.

The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. APEAL Study’s findings are based on survey responses from 84,555 owners of new-model-year vehicles.

Overview of the Lincoln Nautilus

Lincoln has a reputation for its luxury SUVs, and the Nautilus proves the brand knows what it’s doing. The 2023 model offers two engine options: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder generating 250 hp and an optional 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 harnessing 355 hp. The base engine takes 6.8 seconds to reach 60 mph, while the V6 engine manages a brisk 5.9 seconds.

This luxury two-row midsize SUV is available in three trims: Standard, with an entry MSRP of $46,220; Reserve, starting at $52,435; and Black Label, running at least $68,640. 

Attractive features include the Sync 4 infotainment system, a piano key shifter, an available Revel sound system, a panoramic glass roof, genuine wood interior trim, and leather details.

The most popular Lincoln SUV is set to continue its winning streak, thanks to an exciting redesign for the 2024 Nautilus.