2019 Lincoln Nautilus Reserve: MKX No More

Posted by Shane Kalicharan about 9 months ago

Lincoln has been making something of a comeback in recent years. With a rebranding effort to forge a new identity, the company launched the newly redesigned Navigator, which we quite liked, as well as a modern take on their classic Continental. The work continues down the line too, with the sort-of-new Nautilus. On paper, it’s a facelifted, renamed MKX. But on the road, it’s so much more.

At a glance the Nautilus looks pretty similar to the MKX. But the front end has been resculpted to fit more in line with the design language of the Navigator and the Continental, complete with the stylish squared off grille. Lincoln ditched the base V6 engine in the MKX and opted for the turbocharged four-cylinder approach. A turbocharged 2.7L V6 is also available. Both are mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox controlled through buttons on the dashboard. It’s a little weird at first to use but it’ll become second nature quickly. We’re not sure the traditional gear lever needed to be replaced but it does clean up the dashboard a bit, at least.

Speaking of the cabin, it’s quite a nice place to be for drivers and passengers. Our tester was fitted with some very luxurious options, including a 22-way adjustable power seat for the driver, which also offered a massage function. The audio system is as impressive, with a well-balanced 19-speaker setup by American audio manufacturer Revel. The cabin is quiet enough that you can appropriately enjoy that sound setup too. 


Unfortunately not every aspect of the Nautilus feels new and fresh. The plastic materials and cascading design of the centre console and the visual style of the infotainment system does look a little dated compared to the rest of the interior – especially the stylish and massive digital gauge cluster. We love the look of it. Sometimes with digital clusters, designers feel the need to inject as much information and colour as possible, which more often than not, ends up looking tacky. It’s certainly not the case in the Nautilus. The new digital screen looks refined, elegant and best of all, is actually intuitive.


Our tester was fitted with the turbocharged 2.7L V6. It’s punchy, smooth and powerful enough to more than satisfy your daily commute. It’s quiet too, but not so much that you can’t hear a little growl when you put your foot down. Fuel economy is adequate. Lincoln estimates about 9.4 L/100km, but our everyday driving didn’t yield such efficient results. Our readings hovered between 10 and 11 L/100km instead. But if fuel economy is a concern, there’s always the 4-cylinder standard engine. 


To paraphrase the great comedian Red Green, if they don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. Red was talking about women in this regard, but we can loosely apply it to cars too. If they don’t look good, they should at least be useful. Thankfully the Nautilus can check both boxes. With the seats folded down, you get a more than ample trunk capacity. Even with the seat up, you’ll have more than enough room for groceries, golf clubs and most of whatever else in your daily life requires transporting. The back seats are both roomy and comfy too. 


As with many luxury cars, the price on the Lincoln can add up fast. With the boxes on our tester ticked, the price came in at over $73,000, which is no small number to swallow. At that price point, you can also consider options from other big players like BMW and Volvo. While Lincoln has certainly been in the luxury game a long time, their recent comeback has only been within the last few years. While brands like the aforementioned BMW have been going strong. So why pick the Lincoln over another? At that point, it’s a matter of budget and preference. Features like the 22-way adjustable massaging seats do set the Nautilus apart, however, and it’s certainly a worthy contender right next to the established giants of luxury.

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