If you look at lists of the year’s best luxury SUVs, you are likely to see Lincoln’s Aviator toward the top of the list. But, Lincoln has another handsome-looking SUV in its lineup that hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention in the luxury market which is known as the Lincoln Nautilus. Here’s why you may not be as familiar with the 2020 Nautilus.
Marketing has to do with it
Up until 2019, the Nautilus was under the MKX nameplate. Technically, the MKX was Lincoln’s first crossover SUV which is pretty cool. Although, the MKX name was pretty confusing to most buyers. Partly because it didn’t match the naming convention of other models in the Lincoln lineup and also because it had a similar name to Lincoln’s MKZ sedan. Still, it’s not like “Nautilus” just rolls off the tongue.
But while there have been rumors that Lincoln plans to sunset production on both the Nautilus and the MKZ, that doesn’t mean the Nautilus is going anywhere. A Lincoln spokesperson told Motorbiscuit, “The Nautilus plays and will continue to play an important role in Lincoln’s growing SUV portfolio which includes the Corsair, Aviator and Navigator. Lincoln is investing in growth segments including SUVs, and we have no plans to exit the segment.”
How the Nautilus performs
Like we said earlier, the 2020 Nautilus is a looker, but it’s not exactly a high-performer which is why it’s not a standout in its class. There are two engine options on the Nautilus. Base models get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that has 250-horsepower. For more oomph, there is a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that has 335-hp. No matter which engine you pick, the Nautilus rides firm and smooth. This SUV also gained a high emergency handling rating from Consumer Reports.
While the performance variety is nice, the Nautilus doesn’t quite compare to class rivals like BMW X5 or the Audi Q7 It also pales in comparison to its big brother the Aviator. The Nautilus also gets points taken off for its below-average fuel economy.
On the inside of the Nautilus
The inside of the Nautilus isn’t exactly a standout either, but it offers a nice car cabin overall. This SUV seats up to five passengers comfortably and handsome faux leather upholstery comes standard. Genuine leather and an even fancier Venetian leather upholstery are available on the higher trims.
Infotainment-wise, the Nautilus gets points for offering Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, and a wifi hotspot as standard features. It comes with a nice 11-speaker stereo system too. The infotainment display does look a little dated compared to the rest of the Nautilus’ interior. But, it makes up for that by being very user-friendly.
Other things to consider
Based on responses from actual owners, Consumer Reports gave the Nautilus a high owner satisfaction rating. However, CR gave the Nautilus a low predicted reliability score. This is related to the two recalls on the SUV when it was known as the MKX.
One recall had to do with a potential issue with the vehicle’s electrical system and the other was related to a concern with its door latches. There are no recalls on the 2020 Nautilus though which is good news if you are interested in this model. Pricing for the Nautilus starts at $41,040 and you might be able to score an extra deal since it’s being discontinued.